Friday, January 19, 2007

Pencils Point: Jan. 9 Meeting Wrap

Greetings! We had an awesome first meeting to kick off 2007 with 17 people in attendance. WOW! Here’s some announcements before I give you the low-down:

Walt reminded us that we should submit, submit, submit! One useful resource for finding markets is <>. This free website even has, if you want to set up a free account, a submissions tracker. At duotrope, you can search for markets by genre, wordcount, response time, and other specifications. Duotrope also keeps track of markets that take the longest, take the shortest, are most receptive, and the ones that don’t bother to answer. They also have a tab that keeps track of contests and deadlines, and you can sign up for their free updates newsletter. Unlike Writer’s Digest, duotrope is run by a couple of guys who do this for the love of it. Truly, it’s the best market tracker out there and it’s easy to use. Don’t be shy! Sign up today!

For those of you looking for a little extra feedback on your work, check out This website allows you to critique others and get feedback on your own work in return. I’ve found it very helpful. <>.

THE PENCILS! 3RD ANNUAL REJECT-A-RAMA is set for Saturday, Feb. 10, at Al’s house at 7 p.m. Bring your rejection slips and burn, burn, burn, or just come and give moral support! It’s a great way to light a fire under your butt for submitting in 2007! Don’t miss out…RSVP today. Details were sent via snail-mail, or just call Kaye.

IF YOU HAVE A WEBSITE, BLOG, OR OTHER INFO you’d like to share with the rest of the Pencils! Gang, please send it to Kaye. I’m going to start compiling a list of all our websites, blogs, etc. IF YOU DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE AND WOULD LIKE A FREE ONE, PLEASE E-MAIL KAYE, who will hook you up with an invitation for googlepages. It’s free and it’s easy as pie. (Trust me, if Kaye can do it, ANYBODY can.)

Reminder: <>. Really great, really cheap business cards.

CAROL MCMANUS HAS GRACIOUSLY OPENED HER HOME FOR OUR 4TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY TO BE HELD IN JULY. Thanks, Carol! Details on the party will be released sometime in May.

Phew! That was a lot. Now, on to the meeting updates:

Roger opened the meeting by sharing with us that a manufacturer in Wallingford will be manufacturing his latest piece of designer furniture. Congratulations, Roger!

1. Henderson opened the new year with his presentation of “The Camp,” another one of his wonderful war stories…I swear, they just keep getting better! This one in particular was loaded with some poignant imagery and motifs: “I had thought the cars were empty, but they were layered in bodies, dead bodies, bodies that looked like they had been dead already, like they had been living skeletons. The bodies, still in their prison uniforms, were sprawled as if they had been sticks thrown randomly onto the floor of the car.”

2. Ann was up next with “My Story,” a courageous and moving piece which I hope she’ll consider sharing with others because it may help others in distress. Nice job, Ann. “It was worth working hard and seeing the task to completion. Gives you guts. It’s not so tragic. We find commonality. The day goes on and it’s dinner. And another smoke break.”

3. Joyce presented more of her novel, Venus Ascending, which seems to be coming along beautifully: “He sprinted the blocks to Serena’s house worried that he might lose her. He thought of those evenings on the beach when Scooter would find Lady, and Serena would follow, her black hair falling in waves around her perfectly formed face, her clothes clinging to a body that moved like liquid.”

4. Last up was Judith with more of her novel, called SHU here: “She routinely gave out her address and phone number to patients she liked when their sentences were served and they were going home.”

Quotes of the Night:
Roger: …and you drove down here?
Keith: No, he took a sub.
on our newest member who joins us from the base in Groton

“And then I’m going to carry you.”
Keith, to Joyce

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