Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Judith's Oil Paintings featured at upcoming show!

Many of us probably didn't know this, but Judith is an artist and her work will be appearing in a local gallery in Greenwich this coming May. Here are details on the Opening Event -- she phrased it so nicely with directions, I'm copying and pasting most of her original note to me.

I am planning on attending the opening night, Thursday, May 3. It would be great to see some other Pencils! there!

Congratulations, Judith!

Happy writing!

Six of my abstract oil paintings will be
exhibited at
the Christopher
Fischer cashmere store at
103 Greenwich
Greenwich, between May 3 and
the 28th, as part of Greenwich's
annual "Art to the Avenue" show.

Opening night is May 3rd from 5:30 to
8 p.m.
Wine, champagne and hors
d'oeuvres will be served to kick off
the show.
I will be there greeting
people and explaining my art (impossible
to do). Most of the other
featuring artists will have
refreshments too.

If you miss that night the
paintings will be on display
during the entire
month of May.

The Christopher Fischer store is next
to the CVS pharmacy and a few doors
down from Sephora.
The intersection streets
are Greenwich (one way west)
and Lewis Avenues.
A large parking lot is
behind the pharmacy.

Mike makes a sale!

Mike has sold a four-story travelogue of his trip to China to the Greenwich Time! He'll be back from China in a few weeks. Let's be sure to congratulate him when he returns since I don't know if he'll have e-mail access!

Congratulations, Mike!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Joyce's Work Soon Appearing; Invited to Read

Three of Joyce's pieces, "Massage," "What I Want for Christmas," and "The Right Thing," will be appearing in this year's issue of Musings, the magazine put out by Norwalk Community College. The magazine is going to be out later this year.

Joyce will also be reading some of her work at the college's Academic Festival on April 11th between 11:30 and 1 p.m. in the East Campus Atrium, which is in front of the library.

Congratulations, Joyce!

John and the World Horror Convention

John Palisano just got back from Toronto's World Horror Convention, where he reported making several great contacts! In addition, he pitched his latest project to three publishers and is sending out synopsis and first three chapters.

Congratulations, John, and best of luck!!

Lon gets a mention!

One of Lon's stories, which was published in Spacesuits and Sixguns, was reviewed in LOCUS magazine. What the reviewer noted and information on finding the story is below.

It's always nice to get a third-party mention in another publication -- reviews are important in building status as a writer!

Congratulations, LON!!

The story that was reviewed is still available to read in the first issue of

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Kaye's "Dead Letters" on The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show!

Kaye will be doing a monthly paranormal literature review, "Dead Letters -- The Last Word in Paranormal Literature", on The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show. Visit and click on "G&D" crew -- she's listed there on the bottom -- and click on "Archives" to listen to the show that contains her first segment, March 25, 2007. You have to have Windows Media 7 to listen. For a quick look at the book she reviewed, visit the "G&D" forum and look for the "Dead Letter" topic.

What does this have to do with Pencils!? Nathan, who was responsible for getting us started down at Barnes & Noble in Norwalk, is now spending his time doing this instead!

You can also check out the show LIVE on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Visit and click on "listen live" to hear Nathan and Shaun do their thing with the paranormal research community's most famous personalities, Gore Girl with horror movie reviews, and the Mind of Magnus's crytozoology report. Kaye is proud to be part of this crew and will be joining the guys at the GhostWorld Conference in Gettysburg for her first appearance. In October, The Ghostman & Demon Hunter will be a featured attraction at Troy Taylor's Spooktacular in Decatur, Illinois -- access that by clicking here or cutting and pasting this link:

Conferences fast approaching -- register now!

The two conferences coming up in our area are fast approaching. Here's the info:

APRIL 14/15: THE 2007 NATIONAL WRITERS WORKSHOP SPONSORED BY THE HARTFORD COURANT. Registration costs $105 for non-students and $70 for students. Featured speakers include David Baldacci, author of several New York Times bestsellers (I believe he's commercial fiction); Lauren Baratz-Logsted, who has published ten books with major houses and is a personal friend of mine; Michael Patrick MacDonald, who has won the American Book and Literary Lights Awards; and several big names in journalism including Pulitzer Prize winners.

Our own Jen Connic will be attending.

Here is the link for information and registration (you may have to copy and paste this; I'm terrible at sticking links in e-mail):,0,3796551.htmlstory

MAY 12: CAPA-U. They still have plenty of spaces left--so you're not too late. Registration is $140.00. Kaye will be speaking and attending this event, and you will, if you sign up and put in your requests, have a chance to conference for fifteen minutes with an agent. If you were thinking of signing up and haven't yet, NOW IS THE TIME. Information and downloadable registration forms can be found here:

Happy writing! Hope you'll all consider attending one or both. Conferences, no matter how large or small, are an important part of the writing process. While it's important not to be a "conference junkie," -- there are many writers and all they do is go to conferences -- it's good to try to attend one or two per year if your budget allows.

Kaye gets her BA from Burlington College

Hello, all...

...well, it's done! I got notice last week that I have officially graduated with a BA in Writing & Literature from Burlington College in Vermont. I'll be attending the ceremonies in May, where I'll receive the actual diploma.

I'll be applying to Goddard, also in Vermont, this coming April 15, to pursue a master's. I've also chosen a few other schools, but I'm waiting to hear on Goddard first since to apply for these programs is like fifty bucks a pop! If I don't get accepted at Goddard, I may take a well-deserved year off.

Talk to you all soon! (Notice, I did not refer to myself in the third person in this e-mail!)

Happy writing!

Walt marks another acceptance!

Northwoods Journal in Freeport, Maine, wrote Walt that
they'd received
"Call Him Lucky", which he read at Pencils! last April, and
they'd like a copy of it
"on disk." It will be available in the Spring 2007 issue,
and he is paid commensurate with how many copies sold.
Copies are $6.50 at
Congratulations, Walt! Feel free to e-mail
him, though remember,
he's in the
middle of moving and I'm not sure when he'll next be checking
his e-mail.

Pencils! Points: March 27, 2007

GREAT MEETING ONCE AGAIN! We fit in six people this week and still managed to have lively discussion. Here's some announcements.

HARTFORD COURANT CONFERENCE-- The National Writers Workshop -- IS COMING UP SATURDAY APRIL 14 AND SATURDAY APRIL 15. Please visit the "Pencils! Updates" page at our website,, for registration and conference information, or just visit,0,3796551.htmlstory. (Copy and paste link).

There's still time and spaces open at CAPA-U May 12; however, early bird registration ended March 31. The new cost from here forward is now $140 for the day. Again, for info, visit the Pencils! Updates page.

THE PENCILS! 4TH (yes, folks, we're FOUR!) ANNUAL PIRATES OF FIVE MILE RIVER ANNIVERSARY PARTY has been officially slated for Saturday, July 28, 2007. The party will be held at Carol's and kick off at 3 p.m. Stay tuned for details, but the committee's leaked there may be a real clam bake, treasure hunt, and peg-leg race! Mark your calendars. I'll be sending or distributing "mark the date" announcements soon.

If you weren't at the meeting, here's what you missed:

1. Roger kicked off with "Bible Belt Busted," another chapter from his book How My Retirement Went South. He has also just written me to let me know an agent expressed interest in his query and has requested to see the whole manuscript: "Since Betty is much closer to God than I'll ever be, and is much more intimate with the rules of praying, she chastised me and told me that I wasn't permitted to ask God for anything for myself. I didn't know that!"

2. Mike followed up with the second half of "The Changing Room." "The notes from the evening guard indicate you changed shortly after moonrise," Mary said without looking up. "We fed you three rabbits, which you devoured, then drained your bladder on their bones."

3. Anne brought a piece literally hot off the presses—she'd written it that afternoon! The poem was called "My Landlady": "Like mixing flour for a cake/she chews and stews/and laments and lauds/a timetable of living/Over 81 years".

4. WELCOME BACK FROM MORROCCO JOYCE! We expect PICTURES!! Anyway, Joyce was next up with the last part of Chapter 6 and the beginning of Chapter 7 from her novel, Venus Ascending. "Look at Estelle mover her deltoids and patellas." Grinning, he tapped his ankle, and called, "Lateral malleous," then his calf, "tibialis anterior", and thight, "rectus femoris." His hands kept to the rhythm; his eyes sparkled."

5. Newcomer Tom, who writes a much-loved column for one of the Fairfield County papers (he e-mailed me the name of it but I don't have it in front of me), presented part of an upcoming piece called "Vacation Day 1." Because I don't know what rights are involved in his contract with the paper, I'm not going to quote it here. I will, however, say it had a lot to do with Asian neighbors who seem to buy meat before they go away for a week, knives, and a remote control.

6. The rest of the time was filled with Henderson's presentation of "The Eight-Fold Way." : "Smitherton took the gene manipulation techniques to heart. He decided, from his specialty, the octopus, to see if he could manipulate its genes, the ones that gave it the fantastic capability to change its color and surface patterns."

OUR NEXT MEETING IS APRIL 10, 2007! First up: Jerry and Dave.

Quotes of the Night:

Carol: Yeah, but outfielders have to throw too.

Tom: Point well taken

~ on Mickey Mantle (sp?)

Kay: A live studio audience as opposed to—

Betty: --a dead studio audience.

Dave: MMMM. There's an idea.

Dave: It's a consistent problem in science fiction.

Kaye/Jerry: Maybe you could do it in dialogue.

Lon: Yeah. Just don't do, "Well, as you know, Bob."

~ on the problem of exposition/back story in science fiction

Hope to see you there and happy writing!


Pencils! Points: March 13, 2007

Pencils! Points: March 13, 2007


Walt, who joined Pencils! in January of 2006 but who was a member of another Barnes & Noble writer's group with me back in 2003, has announced that he and his wife will be leaving the Danbury area and settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His wry humor, thoughtful critique, and entertaining stories about the lively characters who populated 2nd Avenue will definitely be missed. He, right now, has stories coming up in future issues of Mouth Full of Bullets and Lunch Hour Stories. I'm not sure when he's leaving—he may have already left or it may be as of April 1. We wish him luck and will keep him, at his request, on the Pencils! e-mail list. Best of luck, Walt, and keep us posted in all your placements so we can read them!

John Palisano has mentioned he'd love to have a party one of these upcoming Saturdays. He'd wanted to do it in March, but the time slipped away. Stay tuned!

Mouth Full of Bullets has in its Spring Issue, 2007, a tribute to Keith as well as one of his stories. You can read it on the web, or download the whole thing as a PDF to print out. Visit

Now that we've got tons more members and less time thanks to Borders' early closure, we've started brainstorming about ways we could still have everyone get in as much reading time at the meetings. When we were large and back at Barnes & Noble, we did have a five-page double-spaced limit, and this seemed to work. Input is welcome…we started the discussion five minutes before closing last time, and hopefully we'll pick it up again at the meeting this Tuesday.


We had a terrific meeting! The critical discussion, especially lately, has really been top-notch. Here's the details for those of you who missed it:

1. Ann kicked off the meeting with three of her poems. They were untitled, so here's some lines from one of them: "So here we are now/At each other's cheeks/Drawn together/In a tesh/Like Siamese twins."

2. Henderson surprised everybody with a new project! "The Eight-Fold Way." This sci-fi fling was such a different turn from Henderson's usual work. "He flashed a friendly zigzag pattern and I matched it, even though I knew he expected little from me, and we had little regard for each other, as it happened. His screen faded to blank." Some of us kept copies so we could read the other half.

3. Jerry was up next with a flash fiction entry for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. "She was glad to be rid of them, and the money would enable her and Ramon to live in luxury in his native Spain."

4. Next up was Judith with more of SHU, for which she is now looking for an agent. "You keep repeating that you feel as if it is you who are doing those crimes. You feel the same shame, shock and guilt, as they do. As if you have changed something in the world that you had no right to change, as if you have transgressed against the gods."

5. Kathryn, after presenting over the weekend at Arcadia Coffee, was back with a new endeavor for her: short fiction called "The Golden Boy." "Already his ability to learn adult decision-making sills, like the ability to focus, to discriminate, to predict and ponder questions of right and wrong, was becoming impaired."

6. Mike presented the first part of his short fiction, "The Changing Room." Some of us kept copies so we could read the other half. "But on this December day the sky was painted with cobblestone-colored winter clouds, and the Lady remained a dreary shade of mashed peas. With a stiff wind forcing her to draw her knit shawl closer to her breast, Mary glanced at the gathering storm."

7. Welcome back Vance, who has returned from sunny Spain! He brought with him a short piece called "Paganini's Plight." "Colors of notes burst forth in reds, yellows, and oranges on the highs; aqua, greens turquoise and blues on the lows. The middle range held bright clear pastel colors enhanced by white."

At March 27's meeting, we're starting with Roger, since he didn't get a chance to read.