Our Mission Statement:

The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Background

Hello PnP ladies,
This is your friendly neighborhood computer geek. ;) With Mrs. M's permission, I've changed the background. Comments? If you don't like it, it's very easy to use a different background, instead. Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Women on Quilts Story Contest

I ran across a short story contest that some of you might be interested in entering. The deadline is April 20, I believe, and the complete rules are here. It could be based on true life stories of you or your relatives, however, it must be presented as fiction. I do not believe there are cash prizes, however there would be publication, and I think an interview as well.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


 At the last P&P meeting I took a survey of the members who were present, asking them to answer in a sentence or two "Why do you write?  What makes you do this?"  Their answers were beautifully diverse.  See for yourself ............

D.J. said:  I write because I have to or I would go crazy!  I think I have something to say even though I'm not sure what!

Amanda said:  I write because stuff is in there and it has to come out.  It's something I have to do, but I don't know why.

Nana said:  I write usually with a specific purpose in mind.  I also write to relieve stress.

Brenda said: I'm intrigued, completely intrigued, by the effect writing has on me, the writer, and those who read my writing.

Solard said: I write because I have no other effective way of dealing with or processing my desire to make the story end the way I want it to end.

M.J. wrote in her 'free verse' style:
I write to figure it out    What happened, what I thought
What that happening    Means today.
I am writing     And I haven't figured it out
I'm thinking, still thinking
Life is still happening   Meaning I'm here today.

Darla said:  It soothes my soul -- word pictures come to my mind and I have to write.  It fills a void.

My thoughts on the subject are:  We are the creative ones.  We have that creative spark, or maybe it is a gene acquired from our elders and we pass it along to the next generation.  We see visions in our heads and hear music in our hearts.  I can't remember a time when I did not feel the urge to create something that wasn't there before.

Not everyone has this creativity, but those who have it are usually talented in more ways than one.  I know some of you also sing, play instruments, dance, sculpt, paint, act, design, photograph, quilt, knit, scrapbook, etc.  The ability to do these things doesn't just happen overnight.  It requires some talent and a lot of "want to" which calls for study, practice, determination and focus to accomplish.

I think our creative energy makes us feel the need to leave something of ourselves behind --- something which will help us be remembered in future days.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."   ----John Keats

Grannie Carol

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Envy and Creativity

Sometimes when I read something I enjoy I have to be careful of envy. In one sense envy is a sign of admiration for the great job a writer has done. The problem is that such envy can stop me from trying to create my own pieces. I can never be another writer or create what came from their personality. See more in my post Envy and Creativity.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Request it!
Anxiously await it!
Insist we must have it!
Notably--crave it!


Freewriting Exercise

During our latest Tuesday meeting we had fun doing a free-writing exercise from Creative Writing by Kathryn Lindskoog. We took some small pieces of paper and each of us wrote an abstract word on one paper and the name of an object on the other. Then we mixed up each pile of papers and drew one slip from each. Then we were to tell how the two were alike. We enjoyed it so much, we decided to publish! Here they are in their mostly unedited forms:

Birds with humor tease the squirrels in my trees. Of course this thought presumes that birds are like humans and capable of thought. Humor exists in creation in like manner as birds do. It takes flight in the mind of the observer or communicate and lands where it is safe in the minds of joyful people and singing birds. The humor of the world is wrapped up in bird songs-making fun of us with their sounds.

A Toenail is Like Honesty
A toenail is always just what it is, so it is "honest".
One can paint it, cover it up, or hide it, but it will still be a toenail. Therefore, a toenail is like honesty.

Lemons & Depression
Not the bright elegant yellow of a lemon, but the sour taste of the inside of the lemon.

Is this how we present ourselves .... happy, sunny on the outside, but depressed, sour, introverted on the inside?

Depression will eventually turn a person's sunny side sour if it is allowed to take over our thoughts, our very being.
Grannie Carol

Kleenex & Intrigue
Kleenex is like intrigue because it is made up of layers, tissue thin, which build upon each other to become opaque. At least the good kind of kleenex. I guess cheap kleenex is like a failed attempt at intrigue - it tears and you can see right through it.

Sculpture & Humor
Humor is molded like an artist molds clay. the artist presses and shapes until he gets the effect he wants. In the same way people play with words and ideas, pushing them and shaping them to have a specific effect.

Humor is like a sculpture that was chopped apart and put back together carelessly or absurdly. The sculpture had one message and was morphed into a different message.

Faith and Hat
A hat covers your head, keeps you warm, protects your vulnerability to the elements. I've heard a hat on your head is more effective than a coat in keeping core body heat in.

Like faith, which seems so small and insignificant, yet the Bible says that if it's like a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Faith, like the humble hat covers you more effectively than any single component in your belief system. It protects you from the spiritual elements that seek to "lower the core temp" of your soul.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TGIF ;-)

I was supposed to post this on Friday, but it's Tuesday. I have a good Writer's Reason for being late. On Friday I was finishing up my editing to get two submissions into the Frontiers in Writing contest sponsored by the Panhandle Professional Writers!

Other than contests that were entered on my behalf by College directors, this is the first writers contest I've ever entered and, on my personal journey of writing, another step I can mark off that little "To Do" we all carry around in the back of our head.

In talking it over with some fellow PnP'ers I solidified in my own mind the Good Things (tm/ Martha Stewart) that I can get from taking this important step. And none of them include winning ;-)

First of all, I performed the steps to enter the contest -- including following all the rules, checking and double checking the items to include, etc. and that is good for me, because I have a little trouble -- like most moms of a certain age -- with covering all the bases, and keeping all the balls in the air that I juggle.

Second, I am looking forward to receiving -- no offense, fellow PnP'ers -- completely objective critique from people who have no stake in sparing my feelings, or stroking my ego. Just straight feedback as un-subjective as it can be on stuff I've written. I look to this to give me some useful stylistic and even grammatical pointers.

And Finally, I did it. The fact that I did it at all is a 'uuuge step in my pathway, as I'm usually one of the "also rans" who woulda, coulda, shoulda entered...but, alas (a big sigh always accompanies this admission) I didn't. The reasons vary, but usually follow a loosely prescribed subset of parameters. "I didn't have time", "I wasn't ready", "I'm too chicken", etc, etc, etc.

The lessons I learned in simply entering the contest have me looking forward -- even more -- to the benefits to come from the critiques when the contest is over.

Like: a synopsis isn't a four-letter word. It may be tough to summarize a full-length novel in a two-page, double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman font...but once you have, full-blown clarity opens out to you like a clearing in the woods. A synopsis becomes like a road map that gives you a bird's eye view. It lets you look at the novel in a different light, not from the inside where everything you're looking at is distorted because you're too close to it. A synopsis lets you spot, almost impartially, those places where the scenery surrounding your novel's path is a little...how shall I say this... uhm, thin. I am now a fervent believer in writing synopses... like my trusty road map when I embark on a road trip, I'll never "leave home without it" again. As a matter of fact, I think I will start every book with a synopsis.

The most important thing that happened, though, is that I have "ripped that band-aid" off. See, as I said before, this is the first contest I entered myself... even though I wanted to I've always let some excuse prevent me. Like an old dirty band-aid, long past it's usefulness, my fear needed to be pulled away, and fast, in order for me to progress in my writing life. So, I've done that now. I've gotten over the hurdle, and any contest I enter from here on won't be that dreaded first.

So...no matter the outcome, I've already "won".