Monday, June 18, 2007

Vance's "Specks of Dust" in Horizon Literary Magazine

Vance's piece "Specks of Dust," which he presented recently at Pencils!, has been picked up by Horizons, Sacred Heart's Literary Magazine. You can check it out here:

Keith's 2nd Piece appears in Mouth Full of Bullets

Many of you knew Keith Harjes, who passed away in January. For those of you who didn't know him, he was an active and passionate Pencils! member.

Before Keith passed away, two of his stories were accepted for publication in Mouth Full of Bullets. "Killer Traffic" was slated for the June issue and it is now available to read. Please take a moment to visit the link below and read!

Vance's article to appear in Sicilia Parra

More News from Vance's corner of the universe....

I'll let him tell you in his words. We're all familiar with Giacomo from Vance's novel; it would be GREAT to read about the real person!

Arba Sicula
is a non-profit International Organization that promotes the Language and Culture of Sicily. It is part of The Modern Language Department at St. John's University in New York. They produce a bi-annual news letter, Sicilia Parra (Sicily Speaks) and have accepted for publication an article I have written on the 17th century sculptor, Giacomo Serpotta. It should be in print fairly soon.
Congratulations again, Vance!

Walt places in Military History Online

Walt, who moved to Cambridge just a few short months ago, reports that he's writing like mad and has sold a couple of things since he's left (WORD TO MEMBERS: SEND OUT YOUR CRAP!!!)

One of his articles, "The War That Never Happened," sold to Military History Online, and is available to read at I'll let him tell you what it's all about:

"I thought you might find a piece on the Irish invasion of Canada interesting. "The War That Never Happened" is an astounding, little-known bit of history. Interesting part of this story is why the U.S. government approved an illicit army of immigrants invading our neighbor to the north. There may be lessons to be learned about trusting too much in politicians' promises, the tenuousness of international relations and the wisdom of unilateral invasions."

Keep on truckin', Walt. Proof positive that Pencils! don't have to be here to keep the spirit alive!

Walt in Mouth Full of Bullets

Walt's also been featured in the June 2007 issue of Mouth Full of Bullets. His Flash Fiction piece, "Not My Wife," is a great quick read!

Check it out at

Great job, Walt! Keep writing!

Walt is Crusing the Green...

More good news...

Walt's stories from Cruising the Green of Second Avenue--many of which were workshopped at both Pencils! and Truth & Lies (the old Danbury group, ca. 2003) are being read by Wild Child Publishing's e-books group. And Nina Bayer at Lunch Hour Books will get one of them out in print at the end of July.

Way to go, Walt!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pencils! Points: June 12, 2007

GREAT MEETING! And now, on with the show!


Welcome first-timer Maria! Let's hope she returns and feels confident enough to share in future!

Reading policy reminder: We never know from meeting to meeting how many readers we'll have. In an effort to ensure that everyone gets a chance to read, please come prepared to limit your reading to either FIVE DOUBLE-SPACED PAGES or TWO AND A HALF SINGLE-SPACED PAGES. You may, however, bring more—as was the case this week, we had time for more—in case we have too few readers, in which case, we'll be happy to read and comment on as much as time allows. Please keep in mind we're only stressing this in an effort to keep things even. Thanks!

THE PENCILS! FOURTH ANNIVERSARY PIRATES OF FIVE-MILE RIVER PARTY IS ON-TARGET FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 28. This year's committee—Lon, Carol, Kaye, and Jen—got the details down and snail-mail invitations will be going out this week. I do not have addresses for several of you, so once they go out in the mail I'll be sending out the details via e-mail as well. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS YEAR WE'LL REQUIRE AN RSVP OF EITHER YES OR NO, AND IF YOUR ANSWER IS YES, YOU MUST STICK TO IT! This is because each person will be paying for either a full-out Clambake and American-Style BBQ, so we'll be stuck paying for no-shows. As always, significant others and family members are welcome. WATCH YOUR MAILS FOR DETAILS!

And now, on with the show:

  1. After several disclaimers, SHIRLEY opened the meeting! It was good to hear her work after such a long hiatus. She presented a piece called "The Kindest Cut": "There was a thunder of 124 pairs of loafers and saddle shoes stomping on the polished wooden floor of the gym."
  2. Joyce brought us up-to-date on the latest installment of Venus Ascending, her novel. I don't have a copy, but one neat phrase was "news that she couldn't keep her marriage together." Nice way of stating all of the feelings of failure that comes with divorce; good work!
  3. Jerry entertained us with another clever two-hundre-and-fifty-worder for the Alfred Hitchcock magazine contest. "The corpse seemed to grin in the moonlight, but Murdoch grinned back at the briefcase clutched so possessively to the old man's chest."
  4. Kaye presented one of her acceptance letters from Goddard—that came with a bumper sticker. Great marketing idea!
  5. Lon was back with a short piece of his "Working Late." "Irwin broke off, flattening out his voice and his sadness as only a man surrounded by men can do. Sean looked away, his eyes misting."
  6. Judith has put in an overhaul on the opening chapter of SHU, and it's a great improvement!

"Is that bread?" Molly asked.

"No, stupid. This isn't bread. It's what's called The Loaf, the dinner people in SHU get," the guard answered, "when they're bad."

  1. Henderson closed us out with more of "The Eight-Fold Way." "I am myself outraged at what has happened," said Professor Alberte, head of the Political Science department at Normal University. He was fanning himself with a piece of paper…"What's wrong with the air conditioning?"


Tom: If you use betraying, then you don't have to say 'he betrayed.' Two for one!

Jen (to Kaye): If it were one of your stories, she'd burn down the school at the end.

Judith's Artwork

Judith, who recently had a show of her work running down in Greenwich, gave Kaye a piece of her artwork as a graduation gift. Kaye thought it was so lovely she'd post it so those of you who didn't get a chance to attend her show could get an idea of the kind of work she does.

Attached is a jpeg of the painting. The inscription at the bottom says, "For Kaye, who sees everything."

Kaye accepted to Goddard College's MFA in Creative Writing program

Kaye has been accepted to the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. She leaves Friday, June 22, and will be returning Monday, July 2. It looks like it's going to be a rewarding and fulfilling residency...she's heard through the grapevine it's a lot like being at a writer's retreat. Following that, all of the work she'll be doing will be on her own, through the exchange of packets with her mentors and professors.

For more information on Goddard's programs, visit

Arun's scripts featured at Montreal Festival

Great news for Arun! Two of his short scripts will premiere at the Montreal Fringe Festival this weekend, June 16 & 17. One will be produced as a play, the other as an animated film. When Arun reported this, that was the plan. In his own words:

"Now I know how scriptwriters feel. It's like taking your baby out into the world, and then someone says, 'Thanks for bringing the kid up so it can walk and talk. I'll take over now.'"

Great job, Arun!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Kaye's Recent Links

One of my stories, "Candle Garden," is now in the June 2007 edition of The Taj Mahal Review. Copies are expensive, but you can at least look at the publication here:

In addition, people have asked if they could have a copy of or read my graduation speech. I posted it on my website:

and then scroll down to "NEWS." It's under that heading, and the link is pretty big.

For those of you who wanted to read it, ENJOY!!

Happy writing!

Pencils! Points: May 22, 2007

Hey gang!! Special thanks to Jerry for helping out with Pencils! in my absence. Here's some notes for anyone who missed the meeting.


1. Joyce started us off with another moving chapter from her novel.

Murray's eyes narrowed. He turned toward Estelle. "Just one dance, that's all." He shook his head as he rose from the chair.

2. Vance was up next with Specks of Dust, a story that will be published shortly in Sacred Heart's literary magazine.

As Fillipo threw open the shutters and we moved about the rooms, there it was again, the connection to my youth, the floating specks. If you look at them intently, you can see colors. Threads of red, green, and gold; just a tiny curled and twisted line, never very long. Sometimes they rise in a nearly straight line.

3. Next, Kelly read two of her poems for us, one of which just won a poetry contest. Unfortunately, we didn't get any notes on these. I'm sorry I missed them!

4. Frequent light laughter was heard as Roger read chapter 17, Cookie Cutter Casas of his How My Retirement Went South.

I told them I didn't have a cast on my leg and that where we came from, if you have an elevator in your home, you have too much money.

5. Kathryn shared The Man with the Cats, a short story that also drew laughs.

The dénouement came in New York City. He had taken his cats there for an examination and was waiting for the results at Fifty Seven Fifty Seven, the swanky bar at the Four Seasons Hotel, his cats in the carryall on the next barstool.

6. Ann then read us her poem For Joan/Saturday morning.

The reeds shook

The water broke

The tree found hope

In a Santa Claus suit.

7. Henderson concluded with chapter 4 from The Eight Fold Way.

The Normal went on. "Your mate is OK, as you can see." He did not turn to look at Doris but I could see her features easily. She was signaling reassurance, and then she switched to communication mode. She flashed that she had been at the home of a Normal to paint.