Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Enchantment Show with New Mexico's SCBWI Chapter

"Up on the Roof," by Eddie Edwards
This year marks the Sixth Annual Enchantment Show for the New Mexico chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, SCBWI. Illustrators who signed up are given a deadline to complete an illustration of their choice, in their choice of medium. Participating writers are then randomly matched with an illustration, and must create a one-page story to accompany their illustration. This year’s theme is “Serenity.” The stories and illustrations are displayed at a local library in Albuquerque for the month of June, and a reception held to celebrate our members’ creations.

Last year, as a nonparticipant, I attended the reception to enjoy the show and also to see, frankly, if I would be up to the challenge. This year, I am happy I took the leap. Not only was it a challenge to think up a story that would give my terrific illustration justice, but it awakened the desire to create more. The biggest benefit was meeting more SCBWI members, and especially the artist, Eddie Edwards, my illustrator. I had spent many hours dreaming about her illustration not knowing who had created it. To finally get to meet her was a thrill.

So, without further delay, I present:

Stars and Dreams Forever
by Linda Wilson

Hunter pressed his hands over his ears. Luna, his little sister, wouldn’t stop wailing. His dad paced back and forth across the living room, jiggling her in his arms. It didn’t help. And no one had turned down the TV. There had to be a better place to find some peace and quiet than under this coffee table. 
He slid open the patio door and stood by the porch railing. On the streets below, sirens screamed and drivers honked, the sounds tunneling up between apartment buildings. All this noise hammered into his brain. This wouldn’t do, either.

A pot bubbled on the stove. Mmm. Mom’s spaghetti sauce. He slipped into the kitchen. His mom and Mrs. Martinez, their neighbor from the apartment next door, were busy talking and laughing. Supper would be a while. Time enough to escape to his room.

Sitting on his bed, Hunter glanced at the Star Wars posters plastered on his walls. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vader stared back at him from “Return to the Jedi.” The saying at the top, “Return to a Galaxy Far, Far Away . . .” took him lightyears away, to suns and moons and planets . . . to infinity . . . places beyond his own imaginings. If only he, little speck-on-the-Earth-Hunter, could travel as long and as far as it took to get to other galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy, maybe? But how could he ever do that?

His eyes shot up to the ceiling. The plain white paint gave him a blank canvas, as an artist would use, to think and dream up his next creation. An idea came to him. He found his dad, now holding Luna fast asleep in his arms, and whispered, “Dad, can I go in the hallway and check out the stairs?”
“Why, whatever for?”

“I want to see how far up they go,” Hunter said.

His dad thought a minute. Hunter held his breath. Then his dad said, “All right, go ahead. I’ll catch up as soon as I put your sister to bed.”

“Thanks!” Hunter climbed the stairs and swung open the door at the top. A cool breeze ruffled his hair. He’d found his building’s roof. It’d been here the whole time, a place on top of the world!
Above, a crescent moon shone, and constellations of stars sprinkled across the nighttime sky, sparkling like jewels. Below, life had quieted down some, the only sounds soft music, soft voices and TVs turned down. Even the traffic had slowed. In a spot that looked just right, he lay back. The door opened. He said, “Hi, Dad.” At that moment, a shooting star streaked across the sky. A spectacle that he and his dad could share, and it didn’t make a sound.
Illustration: I'd like to thank Eddie Edwards for sharing her illustration for this post.
Watch for Secret in the Stars,
soon to be published. Don't worry:
Readers of WOTM will be
the first to know!

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 150 articles for adults and children, and several short stories for children. She has recently become editor of the New Mexico SCBWI chapter newsletter and is working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on Facebook.

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