Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pencils! Points: Feburary 27, 2007

Hello, all! What a great meeting. I'm just sorry not everyone got the chance to read, although I have to say that for two hours, six readers – and the quality of the feedback – was bang-up! Next time, we'll try for at least seven! For those of you who missed out this time—Henderson, Judith, Jerry, and Ann—you'll be up first at the March 13th meeting.


First up: WELCOME, NEWCOMERS! Three of you in one meeting! Welcome Mike, Thomas (do you go by Tom?) and Gary. We hope you'll be joining us again.

SUNDAY, MARCH 11TH: Kathryn and Kaye are going to be reading from their work at Arcadia Coffee House in Old Greenwhich at 1 p.m. Other writers and editors will also be sharing. Come on down, have some coffee, and show your support! Details were e-mailed, but if you need them again, e-mail Kaye.

UPCOMING NEARBY CONFERENCES. Two are coming up in Hartford: The National Writers Workshop, sponsored by the Hartford Courant, and CAPA-U, sponsored by the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. The first one features heavy-hitters for lecturers; at the second one, you can sign up to meet with an agent. Information was distributed via e-mail for both; however, if you need more, e-mail Jen for the Hartford Courant conference at, or Kaye for CAPA-U at

JULY MAY SEEM A WAYS OFF, BUT IT'S REALLY NOT! We're going to be working on putting together our 4th Anniversary party pretty soon. Right now, we're shooting for July 14, but since Carol has volunteered to have it at her house, we have yet to nail anything down, so it may be a week earlier or so depending on her schedule.

Writers have a cool podcast! She's called Grammar Girl, and you can find her column and show at

Pencils! travelers: Shirley's got Tuesday night classes, Joyce is in Morocco, and Vance is in Spain. Hopefully we'll see them all soon!

Hey, Arun, it was good to see you!! Where you been at, yo? (tee hee)

1. Kaye kicked off the evening with the presentation of her prologue from her new novel. "For all his love of art and paper, he was into littering. "Contributing to the archeological digs of the future," he always said. And she shuddered when she felt something on her, starting at her, and she got the sense that whatever it was that was watching them was not happy about the shedding of cigarette butts all over its domain."

2. Eric, who's a relatively new member, read his story "Pro Bono." "Thirty years later he was alone, the forgotten moments with Laura high points in the topography of a life of little compromises. At some point during college, Laura had gotten very radical and angry, and he had stopped talking to her, disturbed by her new extremism. Paul had gotten serious about his career. He married Marcia while he was still in law school. Now he was divorced."

3. Yvonne, who will be applying to Goddard to pursue her Master's, presented an essay called "A Baby Boomer's Retrospective." "Anyone who says that we never fought a foreign war on our own soil didn't own a TV in 1968. Every battle was fought out in every American living room every night in hideous detail."

4. Mike, a newcomer who writes a column for the Waterbury Republican, read through one of his pieces. For some reason, I DIDN'T GRAB A COPY!! I'm so annoyed with myself. The writing was tight and good and there were only a few suggestions for making it better. It was about plastic toy soldiers rotting under a porch. Well, a few other things. Sorry, Mike, my fault for not grabbing it so I could quote it! Eeek!

5. Lon, who joins us all the way from Groton, was back for yet another meeting and also made his first presentation to the group. The first chapter of a YA futuristic/horror novel (which I don't think I wrote down the title for) put an interesting bent on the reality show. "Asher Benedetto swallowed more of the designer water. It was warm and tasted of pencil lead, but it was expensive, or so the pink-faced, pink-jacketed production assistant kept saying. His father, sober and wearing a borrowed suit, paced back and forth, staring at the screen mounted overhead like he was trying to memorize it. It went blank every so often as the other clairvoyants were put to the test."

6. Roger brought another chapter from his book How my Retirement went South, and I think it was the first one he's brought so far that has brought in a little bit of research. "I guess you could say the problem was on its way to being resolved though. An article in Creative Loafing told about two guys who made a living out of picking up dog crap for clients. I couldn't believe it when I read it."

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