Open Invitation

It is time for the annual U.S. 1 Summer Fiction Issue Writers’ Reception and publication Party on Wednesday, August 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. And you’re invited.

Created in partnership with the D&R Greenway Land Trust, 1 Preservation Place in Princeton, it’s a public celebration of regional writers whose work appeared in the July 24 Summer Fiction issue.

While readings begin at 6 p.m., come early, mingle, and snack with participating writers and U.S. 1/Community News Service writers, editors, and publishers.

Hope to see you there.

How a Monster Came to U.S. 1

As the saying goes, every picture has a story to tell. And U.S. 1’s August 7 cover for the “Nightmare on State Street” is no exception. Professional regional artist Mark Schreiber created the image in 2011 as part of a series of images for a story I wrote as an online experiment.

After reading a report on how Japanese writers were releasing stories for subway commuters through Twitter, I decided to write a story released in a series of blogs — something equivalent to stories told through letters or journal entries, as in the novel “Dracula.”

I also decided that it would be fun to write a monster story set in Trenton. After all monsters are good for a city’s PR, think King Kong and New York City or Godzilla and Tokyo. As the New Jersey slogan goes, “Perfect Together.”

Schreiber and I had met working on some regional art projects. When I mentioned my idea, he got interested, asked to read what I had, and created a series of illustrations.

His artistry brought the project to another level. And soon we had a story with images designed to be released in seven installments that chronicled in seemingly real time a story of a creature terrorizing the capital city.

I arranged to use the Trenton Artists Workshop Association’s blog site to publish the story, now called “Crashtrenton.blog,” and released it in weekly installments from October 28 (for Halloween) through December 9, 2011. It also appeared on Facebook and in email alerts to TAWA members.

While nothing earth-shattering happened, we were satisfied, and Schreiber gave me permission to use the images whenever I wanted.

And that is how years later a nonpolitical image designed to tell a monster story came to U.S. 1.

The images are just a blip in Schreiber’s 30-plus years as a professional artist. In addition to being a licensed architect and working with architectural firms, he has created murals and book illustrations, produced a series of Princeton-area images, and received private and government painting commissions.

As demonstrated by U.S. 1’s October 10, 2012, article, Schreiber has also garnered national attention for using an unusual medium to create art — wine — and has been flown to Napa Valley to produce art events for companies such as Turner Broadcasting.

For more on the Bucks County-based artist, visit www.markschreiberartist.com.

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