Sunday, April 1, 2007

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!


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