Monday, May 21, 2007

Kaye's work goes international

Kaye's short story, "Candle Garden" -- which is also being used as the basis for an art installation by artist Melissa Duckworth come the end of the year -- will be published in India's Taj Mahal Review. The magazine is only in print and is available only in India, or through their website via Paypal. The piece will appear in the June 2007 issue.

Jen gets a new writing post!

Jen Connic has been named senior web producer for the Herald News in New
Jersey. Their offices are based in West Patterson, and they cover all
of Passaic County and a portion of Bergen County. They are the sister
paper of The Bergen Record.

Congratulations, Jen! Her start date is June 19.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pencils! Points: May 8, 2007

Hello, gang! Another great, in-depth meeting last night, and great to see some familiar faces, Vance, Kathryn, and Shirley! It was terrific to see everybody.

Anyway, here's our Pencils! Points for Tuesday, May 8, 2007!

1. Jerry opened with his newest short story, "The Plan," a fun little delve into some noir. "The Renaldi Funeral Home had been their forbidden playground for most of those early years, when they would sneak in and dare each other to touch various parts of the corpses."

2. Henderson continued to entertain us with more of The Eight-Fold Way, and lively discussion ensued.

"I recoiled a bit, surprise flashing and receding. A sunrise pattern spread up Blue's face, and she giggled. Then laughing colors splashed across her bare arms."

3. Dave, who will be leaving us to go off to the prestigious Odyssey Fantasy Workshop for six weeks, presented the first half of a story with a Lovecraftian bent called "The Ones Who Listen." "Bad luck for him I had the tire iron sitting right there. But I probably did him a favor, considering. After you saw the towers fall, didn't you think, OK, now the rest of my life is going to suck?"

4. Lastly, Roger rejoined us from his travels with Chapters 13 and 14 of How My Retirement Went South. From "No Child Left Behind": "As reported in the April, 2005 issue of Creative Loafing, the county "graduation rate is only 53.7 percent. Of the freshmen that started four years before, 53.7 percent graduated, 21 percent left the county school district, 4 percent remained active students but lacked the credits to graduate, and 22 percent dropped out."

We also got tons of wonderful announcement news from members, both at the meeting and through e-mail.

Have a magical couple of weeks. We'll see you all on May 22!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Arun to speak this Thursday at Stamford Chamber

This Thursday (May 10), Arun will be presenting a seminar at the Stamford Chamber of Commerce entitled "How to Advertise Your Small Business." He will "show small businesses how to make their advertising rise above the competitive noise." The seminar is for members of the Stamford Chamber only. Arun will cover how to:
  • Plan an advertising strategy;
  • Create persuasive messages for various media;
  • Make the best use of your marketing dollars.
Go, Arun!! For all the new members who haven't had a chance to meet him, he's a true fireball of inspiration. If you've known him for years, well--you know what I mean!

Vance named to Honor Society

Vance was named to the English Honor Society at Sacred Heart University, where he is just a few credits away from his Bachelor's degree. Rock and roll, Vance!

Mike gets great news and columns in Greenwich Time

Mike has just returned from China, where he received notification that he was accepted into the State of Connecticut's Alternate Route to Teacher Certification program. This means that by the close of summer he'll be a fully certified high school English Teacher!! Due to the intensity of the nine-week program, he'll be on hiatus from Pencils! for the hot months. He has noted, however, he plans on returning in the Fall.

Below are links to the stories which were published in the Greenwich Time while he was in China.
Making music in China
A Great Wall of GHS music

Dave off to the Odyssey Fantasy Workshop

Dave has been accepted to and will be attending the prestigious Odyssey Fantasy Workshop, held each year at Saint Anselm Colege in New Hampshire. This six-week course is not the easiest thing to get into, and Dave has done it. He leaves for his adventure shortly, and will be gone until the end of July.

I'd love to beam about this workshop here in e-mail (and on the blog site), but the website is chock-full of everything you'd want to know, so here it is:

This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity for Dave and a credit to his skill as a writer. Let's all wish him the best!

Chris to study for EdD at SCSU

I am excited to report that Chris Emmerson-Pace has been accepted to the Doctoral program at Southern Connecticut State University. The last time we had a chance to hang out, he told me he was planning on pursuing his EdD. in Educational Leadership! For more information on Southern's programs, visit

Congratulations, Chris!! This has long been a dream of his.

Kaye chosen to speak at Burlngton College Commencement

Guess what guys? I didn't know this, but every year the faculty at Burlington College chooses a student to speak at Commencement.

To my surprise, (and I do mean surprise) I was chosen. I will be speaking at Burlington College's 2007 Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, 2007. I have written the speech, the subject matter of which talks about the importance of following your passion as a moral responsibility to make a better world.

Anyway, I'm really psyched about this. It's a great thing for the CV!

Pencils! Points: April 10 & 24, 2007

Hello, all! Wow, what a great month. Everybody seems to be getting busy with new work for spring. Attendance is up and pens are pounding! Here's the announcements/meeting updates for the month of April.

I didn't attend the April 10 meeting, but Joyce was kind enough to snail-mail everybody's work so that I could go ahead and still get the notes out. Thanks, Joyce! And a special thanks to Joyce for moderating the meeting. I know she did a GREAT job!

So, here goes:

SAVE THE DATE NOTES WERE SENT OUT VIA POSTAL MAIL A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO – FOR THE 4TH ANNUAL PENCILS! ANNIVERSARY PARTY. The date is July 28, 2007. Carol is checking into doing an all-in-one clambake, with, of course, some other meats available for those who can't do seafood or meat. The event will be at Carol's house – and it's the official Pencils! 4th Annual Pirates of Five-Mile River Party. Watch for official invitations in the next month or so!

April 10, 2007

Notes on this meeting's readers

-- Judith read more of her novel SHU. "Every prison has such a Potter's Field. There were only numbers on the crosses, no names. Even in death, she thought, the inmates were identified only by a number. Suddenly, she felt the same quiver of fright that she had experienced in the stairwell. Someone was watching her."

-- Ann Lynch brought her new poem, "To Be Known." "Having face value/Grown in stages and/Noticed by wholesome people/Reaping rewards as/The catastrophes are listened to."

-- Henderson presented more of "The Eight-Fold Way.": "The Normals were clearly revolted by us, and the brains. The brain is clearly a part of nature, so that is all right. Our minds, however, may be another thing. Perhaps beyond nature. Like a book. A book is real but the contents are not. The Normals accuse us of creating souls. And only God can do that."

-- Dave read his short piece "Three Little Lessons Learned Too Late." "Eins, Zwei, Drei. As children in Koln we counted on our hands starting with the thumb, then forefinger, then the middle finger. We learned this way because everyone did this, everyone in Germany and all Mitteleruopa, I think."

April 24, 2007

1. We kicked off this meeting with a brief overview of The Hartford Courant Conference. Both Jen and Jerry went, and to hear their varied experiences was really interesting. It sounds like a great conference and something more of us should try to get to next year!

2. Cindi presented her newest work, "Sun Chasing." "Oh spirit under glass,/who drowned me best,/free flowing dream genie/in a pretty glass, I loved you/much, much better than living."

3. Yvonne read a piece called "Love and Other Craziness." "…it crossed my mind that my hair was dirty and I didn't want to die with it that way. I was really stressing about that, until it occurred to me that they would probably take care of it at the funeral home."

4. Sharon, our newest member, read from her piece, "Unloosed." "We both became loners then. I used to sit in the window seat in the bedroom and stare out at the city skyline wondering what it would look like if neutrinos burned like stars. Would they set the night sky ashimmer with tiny diamonds of light? Would they make a pointillistic tableau like a George Seurat masterpiece? Or would the picture be more hazy, like the Milky Way? Or like the last scene in Night of the Shooting Stars? Maybe the towers of the tallest buildings would evaporate in a bejeweled brilliance, neutrinos everywhere."

5. Carol McManus is back again! She brought an oldie but a goodie, "Reflections of a Boomer." This was one she had presented way back in the dawn of Pencils!, and she's been constantly improving it. It was great to hear it again! "But all that aside, my generation changed the world. We protested loudly for what was wrong and fought fiercely for what was right. We banded together so united voices would be heard on issues like the Vietnam War, abortion, endangered species, civil rights, and even the second amendment. The irony of those marches and those sit-ins was that not everyone there knew what they were protesting. Not everyone there believed in the cause. Not everyone there was even there."

6. Tom Barker was last to present with some of a new science fiction piece he's been working on. He didn't bring copies or else I'd print some of it here! It is great also, now, that we have some other sci-fi writers in the group, so there was really some great discussion following.

Quote of the Night

Carol: It sounds like the same shit that was going on in the 21st century is still going on.

Kaye: Yeah, it's like same shit, different day. It really is.

-- on Tom's Sci-Fi piece