Chasing inspiration in Warwick

October 8, 2013 § 2 Comments

Warwick, New York

Fall is by far my favorite season; cooler temperatures, post card worthy scenes of yellow, wine red, rust brown, and burnt orange desiccating leaves, apple picking, and the prestigious Commonwealth Foundation/ Commonwealth Writers Prize welcoming entries for its short story prize (Oct. 1st- Nov. 30th). Admittedly, as much as I look forward to the competition, I am always nervous to begin my submission, and before long find myself arguing out loud with the story. That kind of mania demands a step back and away from the laptop. So, last weekend I took the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors at Maskers Orchard in Warwick, New York. To say it was a worthwhile excursion is an understatement. Even the hour and change drive through West Milford, Butler, and a great deal of New Jersey was refreshing. The trees in the city aren’t quite into their change, but further away they are every shade of Fall. My inner country girl had a field day; winding roads, windows down, singing Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” at the top of my lungs. I love the small town feel of Warwick, pumpkin picking, apple cider donuts and tea, or simply roaming the orchard eating way too many apples, absorbing the fresh air and scenery, and the juicy Golden Delicious, Idareds and Empress apples of Maskers.

apples on tree cheesing with applesapple shadebiting that apple

It’s safe to say, I feel sane enough to resume my efforts. Last year, I wasn’t even fortunate to be shortlisted. However, after the winners were announced, I received an email to re-send my entry and through a few exchanges learned that the Caribbean region submitted very few entries. So, Caribbean writers, if you’re up north, as the temps dip, huddle under those blankets and share your stories. If you’re in the region, pull a fan close and get to typing. Other than the attractive monetary prizes for regional winners (₤2,500) and (₤5,000) for the overall winner, the greatest benefit of winning is that it ‘connects writers and storytellers in a range of disciplines…builds communities of less-heard voices and links them to groups which seek to bring about social change.’ And if/when frustration hits, get out, and enjoy a bit of mother nature. Or, like the Dixie Chicks crooned “touch the earth…break it in [your] hands, grow something wild and unruly…be the only one for miles and miles.” Seek your inspiration, then follow the link: http://www.commonwealthwriters.org/

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