First, a VERY special thank-you to all those Pencils! members who generously came out to Gibbs College to inspire young writers this past Tuesday night. Thank you Ann, Nick, Jerry, Roger, Carol, Judith, Vance, Joyce, Claudia, Shirley, and Dave, and thanks for being gracious if we ran out of time in getting to everyone's pieces—it was nice to spend a little extra time discussing everything, and also to allow our students to read their work!
5th Annual Christmas Cocktail this Saturday night, and we're expecting a GREAT turn-out! It'll be wonderful to see everyone there!
Finally, a congratulations to all for a productive and fun 2007. We'll be looking forward to 2008…while our next meeting isn't until the end of January, it'll be worth the wait!
…our final meeting round-up for 2007!
1. Vance kicked off the meeting with "Wind", a short piece to echo another he'd written called "Rain" last year: "But the animals knew, they always knew. In the field the horse of the plowman pulled his handler into a copse and stood still, refusing to move. No birds were flying. Chickens, the usual noisy barnyard denizens, now clutched quietly to the rafters in the hayloft."
2. Welcome back, Ann! She presented her poem "Something About You": "Set free, out of bounds where we now play;/Talking in simple rhythms, acute with/Familiar foreplay and dancing/Among one another's tongues."
3. Nick shared his Thanksgiving installment of the Darien News-Review column "From My Post Road Window" called "Thanksgiving Mantra": "For me, it wasn't conservative Christian bloggers, or religious apologists, or Freud or Jung or Esquire magazine that called the idea to mind. It was my need for a Thanksgiving Dinner table mantra…"I think Giuliani is the best candidate for the Republicans."/ "What melts wax hardens clay," say I, "and pass the creamed onions."
4. Chris (who just got published! More on this later) presented his short story "The Paradigm", which he has been working on since its last appearance at Pencils!: "It is often like this, she thinks, the way people are separated from each other in moments of passion. Years from now she will sit in that seat and look through the same scratched glass at her husband. They'll both sit to the side of the booth so that the scar does not obscure their view."
5. Tania, one of the English 102 students, read her poem "Seeing Through the Years": "I saw my mother today, a woman in her 30s/Hurrying off to work, coffee cup in one hand, cell phone on her ear,/Polished hands and shiny lips, rushing her children into the car."
6. Roger was up with another installment of "Crash Test Dummies" from his book How My Retirement Went South: "…someone was parked next to us. Not one spot over. Not two spots over. Directly next to us…with fifteen empty spaces on either side! At first I thought it was done maliciously…I figured that was probably not the case since most Charlotteans are generally kind, God-fearing people."
7. English 102 student Nicole presented her short story "The Things That Live in her Room". "Maybe my wife is right. Maybe my little angel inherited her fears and sixth sense from me. It's my fault she's always so scared and waits for me to tuck her in at night." In that same breath he thinks of it as being a blessing. He himself uses it in his profession, as a detective."
8. Jerry was up next with a piece of his latest novel, Omniscience. "I gotta move, Donna Mercury told herself as she walked toward the God Guy, who stood, as usual, outside her apartment building. It wasn't the first time she'd had that thought and it wouldn't be the last. The God Guy had never done anything that she perceived to be a threat. But still, he creeped her out."
9. Kaye was up last with a retelling of an urban legend for a contest, but she'd like everyone to know that on the basis of the feedback she got she's writing something completely different and came up with a new idea on the ride home. Still, here's something from "Crossing Guards": "It's an abandoned house with giant wisteria growing up through its broken windows, weed poking up through the rotting floors, and junk the owners left behind in every room. Like the moldy stuffed bunny in the upstairs closet under the light fixture with the shattered bulb."