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, May 28, 2009

Lord Willing

Close your eyes.

Imagine a person described using these words:
rugged man, rough skin, long beard, long gray hair in a ponytail, unwashed, old jeans, drives an old beaten up, rusted out pickup with a NOMAD license plate, and a topper that doesn't match.

Tell me what kind of person comes to mind. Would you talk to him, strike up a conversation with him?

Close your eyes again.

Now imagine a person described using these words:
kind, unassuming, humble, very thankful, very appreciative, soft spoken, faithful, peaceful, sincere, hard working, simple.

Now what kind of person comes to mind?

Could these images be of the same man? In your mind, could they?

My husband and I met a man that fits both descriptions. He is an exceptional "cement man" that knows his craft well. He lives in the hills of Kentucky and walks by faith like no other we have ever met. This unassuming man touched us as he worked along Kent's side and others in the Colorado mountains helping add a Family Life Center to a very special "church on the hill."

One day several weeks ago he counted all the money he had. $600 was the total and it was in his right hand. His phone rang with a man asking if he wanted to be a part of the team to build this center. The man said the only catch is that you have to have money for the plane ticket immediately. The cost? $600. The cement man looked at his right hand and decided it must the Lord's will so he said yes.

He touched our souls by his walk with God and we will always remember him and he will always remember us. He has many stories to tell and I hope to hear them all some day when our paths cross again. Lord willing.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Since many in our writing group are interested in journaling, I want to mention that Dr. Kimberly Wulfert has some timely comments on the topic in the introduction to the "Changing Times: Women's Stories 1902-1942" Ebook on page 4.
If you're interested in reading the Ebook and don't have time or don't want to read it on line, I have printed a hard copy, and I'll be glad to share.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Never too late...

Rose was an only child. Her only sibling, a brother, had died in childbirth. Her parents had been among those who helped settle midwest America. Oh, the stories they could tell! Her father, a farmer, had been left crippled after a bout with diphtheria as a young adult. Her mother began a career as a very young woman as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. As Rose grew and matured, she continued the educational path and became a writer. She wrote articles for newspapers and magazines, a practice begun by her mother. Rose became a well known journalist. A skilled writer, she would later also write several novels.

Rose began to encourage her mother to record the wonderful stories of her youth growing up in a pioneer family. Her mother had produced only one story through the years. Rose, by then a professional journalist, encouraged and assisted her mother with the writing and editing. In 1932, when she was 65 years of age, Rose's mother published her first book--a success! Over the next eleven years, mother and daughter would collaborate to write seven more books. The world had been given a gift--the series we know as "Little House on the Prairie" that began with "The Little House in the Big Woods". Rose Wilder Lane was the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Monday, May 18, 2009


What prompts us as a society to write? Is it not life itself with all its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, changes and transformations--i.e. the journey of it all? Sometimes along this journey whether you are a writer, a poet, a singer, an artist, a musician telling a story, many hands affect the way a 'masterpiece' is born.

Beauty, it is said, is in the 'eye of the beholder', the ears of the listener, the voice of a singer, the talent of a musician or the interest of the reader. The touching words of a songwriter's pen can be transformed by the singer's voice and vice versa. The words of a writer can come to life through the art of an illustrator. Sometimes these collaborations can become the perfect match.

It was his song; he wrote it--the words and the music, but she sang it and made it famous. Crazy? Yes, that was Willie Nelson's song transformed into great hit by singer Patsy Cline, the 29 year old country and western singer killed in a plane crash in 1963. The song still resonates today when you hear it, a powerful song making a powerful statement. We are moved by the emotions the songwriter and the singer evoke in us. Awesome--the power of the pen and the human artists who write.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who among us cannot relate to either our favorite animals or our favorite animal stories?

Remember Black Beauty, Old Yeller, National Velvet and Hank the Cowdog. Whether the stories are about dogs, cats or horses, we all love them. As Kentucky Derby Winner "Mine That Bird" with his trainer from Dalhart gets ready to run the second race in the Triple Crown, other famous horses come to mind. Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown in 1977, one of only 11 fine horses to do so since 1919. When Dr. John Hill, Co-owner of Seattle Slew, met Walter Farley, the author of the Black Stallion series, Mr. Farley told him that he had been looking for the black stallion all of his life--and that "Seattle Slew is my black stallion."

As the recent movie "Marley and Me" attests, animals touch our lives in so many ways, it is only natural for us to want to write of our experiences with them. These stories can be among the most touching.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hi There!

Ahhh, I like me some Peter Gabriel. A lot of my fellow PnP'ers may not know who he is, and that's okay; I think I can fix that ;-). He's a singer/ songwriter, once the frontman for a band called Genesis, before Phil Collins (he of the Disney "Tarzan" soundtrack fame) took over who, oddly, followed in Phil's footsteps and became Peter Gabriel, he of the Disney "Wall-e" soundtrack fame.

Either Genesis and Disney have a 'very special arrangement' or it truly is a Small World After All, isn't it... (heheheh -- you just knew I was gonna go there, didn't you?!?)

Anyway... I bring up Peter Gabriel, not just because one of my favorite of his songs ("Big Time") starts with a very British, very cheery, very fake, "Hi There!" like my title, but also because something that happened to him has made me think about us...

It seems that the song he composed for Disney's Wall-e, called "Down to Earth" (oi! such a sweet song -- as a matter of fact I'm putting a link..... here ;-) was nominated for an Oscar along with a few others (don't know how many, sorry)

Great, right? Wow -- what an honor, right? This great little tune, with really sweet, earth-friendly (without being anti-human, a rarity, I think) lyrics from a song written for a Disney movie -- an animated one, at that -- in the cesspool of unoriginality that is Hollywood (oops -- I think my true opinion is peeking out, sorry) What could be more of an honor for a singer/ songwriter? To be able to perform your composition at an award show for movies, in front of what is, arguably, the US's royalty? That's just WONDERF-

What? What- what's wrong? We can't...uhm -- we can't perform the whole song? We have to edit a portion of it into a special truncated medley of all the nominated songs?!?

So, let me get this straight. You have time for your self-indulgent presenters to rail against half of the country for being too conservative for your tastes for 10 minute stretches at least three times during the 4 hour broadcast...but you can't spare five minutes a piece for the nominated songs to have their "moment in the sun"? Emmmkay.

You have a plethora of laboriously over-produced song and dance numbers and inane "comedy" sketches scheduled during the broadcast to bolster the insatiable egos of your denizens...but won't allow a song you yourselves say is the absolute cream of the crop for the entire year to be played for this audience of self-absorbed dwellers of the shallow end of the pool? Hmmmm.

Guess what Peter Gabriel said? "Em, thanks...but no thanks. An incredible amount of work goes into producing that five minute song, by a load of very talented people...and I think, as the songwriter, they deserve their due. Their full due, thank you." (my interpretation -- not his exact words, but you get the drift.) I don't know how it ended up, but I don't think Peter Gabriel was in attendance at the Oscars...

Now, if you're like me, and you have a little bit of the cynical "stick it to the Man" in you, you might be agreeing with Peter Gabriel in a show of fist-pumping support. I know I did, at first.

But then I thought. Hmmm. How many peeps didn't go see Wall-e, 'cause they dismissed it as a "kids' movie"? How many have never been exposed to that gem of a song, which really celebrates not just the earth...but our fitness as people to take good care of it? And I think that's a shame. Many would love that song, who would watch the Oscars but never think to go to a ...kids' movie, who could have been exposed, at least a tiny bit to the song -- even truncated, in a medley.

So... I guess what I'm saying is -- and Nana's story getting published in the e-magazine (an e-magazine was something I just ...kind of discounted, I'm sorry to say -- I know better now) really kind of spurred me to this conclusion, so thanks for sharing your success, Nana! -- don't automatically dismiss an avenue that opens up -- even if it doesn't look "perfect" to you. You never know who could be exposed to your gift, if you relax your ideas a little and take those little avenues.

Anyways... Peter Gabriel is huge so he doesn't need the stinkin' Oscars -- Yay! Peter for stickin' it to the (hollywood) Man! hee -- but the rest of us, well, maybe lets get huge first, eh? ;-)