Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pencils! Points: March 25, 2008

Hello, folks!


First off: a terrific meeting at Al’s, honestly the most productive we’ve had in a long time. Great job everyone!

Pencils! is in transition! Along with our new public location—which is looking like it is going to be the Community Room at ShopRite in Norwalk—we’re going to up the ante a little bit with incorporating some time at the beginning of the meetings for discussion and writing tips. For the time being, our next meeting—APRIL 8—will be held at Al’s. Thanks for your patience! We’ll soon be in our new home!

Happy moving, Ann! Ann is relocating to Delray Beach, Fla, to be closer to her family. The March 25 meeting was her last, and she says she’ll miss all of us—and we’ll miss her, too. I have her new address if anyone would like it!

Happy moving, Lon! Sadly, also leaving us: Lon Prater. I believe he is moving out to Ohio (or somewhere west of here). He’ll still be on our mailing list, and here’s to hoping he’ll chime in once in awhile and visit us when he’s in town. As soon as he’s settled, let’s hope he sends us his new postal address.

Think you may have just penned a few pages rife with clichés? Here’s your chance to find out: head on over to! They’ve got a huge list. You can search by topic, by alphabetical, or just see the whole damn list of close to 3000.


The Alice in Wonderland’s Through the Looking Glass 5th Anniversary Soiree is slated for Saturday, 3 p.m., JUNE 14TH, at Al & Maryanne’s. This will be a very special event. Mark your calendars and watch your mailboxes for details—because of the nature of what we have planned, we will be having a VERY EARLY RSVP date.

This meeting’s hand-out was an article entitled “The Importance of Place” from the March/April Issue of Poets & Writers—it’s all about why writers pick where they do to create their art. It’s not available on line, but it’s a terrific piece. E-mail me at the Pencils! address with your snail-mail if you’re interested in a copy.

Upcoming Creative Writing Workshops:

…are being offered by Cindy Wolfe Boynton at Café Atlantique, 33 River Street, Milford. “Finding Your Voice on the Page” will be offered on Saturday, April 5, and “Writing Your Family History” will be offered on Saturday, June 7. Both events will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the cost is $99 for each, which includes hand-outs, writing pad and pen, continental breakfast and a choice of lunch. For more information, head on over to

And now…


1. Henderson opened us up with more of The Eight-Fold Way. “They blended their skin to the dingy concrete and suddenly seemed to disappear from view. Charles watched their faint images as the two of them moved down the stairs, their two stunners seeming to float in the air, behind them.”

2. Ann wrote a poem for her landlady, which she shared with us. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the title, and there weren’t any copies. But it was a fitting tribute to someone that she’s going to miss very much.

3. Next up was Nick—who brought his very first piece of fiction (he’s never written fiction before!) He said the experience was rewarding and a big awakening for him. His first piece, “Dangerous Conditions”, was written for a specific publication, but he wanted suggestions for improvement so that it could be sent elsewhere if need be. “Cliff loved Amy, too, but the way seventeen year olds love lending their bodies to each other and wanting each other again and again, ignoring curfew times.” Nick also presented his next column for the Darien News: “The Entitlement Generation.”

4. Al brought us the second half of “The Easy Way Out”. I didn’t have copies or I’d put some in here!

5. Carol and Joyce stopped by after they’d been to the Small Press Editors Panel at Manhattanville College; they shared details of their enriching experience which featured speeches and a Q&A with editors from the literary journals Inkwell, Lumina and LitMag, as well as from the small presses Marsh Hawk Press and Slapering Hol Press. All three literary magazines are seeking submissions; a Google search on their names should turn up some more info on that and guidelines if you’re interested.

6. Claudia read her newest poem “Rush Hour”, which was very rich at its core. “Crow, circles high above, laughs, flies home.”

7. Kaye brought the first few pages of a new story, which right now has no title and actually is getting a major overhaul in terms of plot and characters. But just for the hell of it: “I don’t mind the house being Disney-fied, but I’m not into Small World, because when she has a little too much wine she puts that song on repeat, and there are dolls singing that hateful melody to the drone of my electric toothbrush, the pop of the toaster and the dribble of the coffee maker for weeks afterward.”


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