The Penland Cabin

The Penland Cabin
Summer, 2005

Monday, December 7, 2009

Plan Ahead: First Friday in January is on the 8th this time

Owing to the New Years holiday being precisely on Friday Jan. 1, we are moving First Friday to the second Friday for this month only. 2010! Can it possibly be almost 2010??

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Friday will happen on December 4

See you there, same time, same place. (Which would be 6:30 PM at Woolson House on the Rollins campus.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No First Friday November 6

First Friday will not be convened this month. Philip will be at the Florida Literary Arts Coalition conference in St. Augustine on the weekend. See you in December. :-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

First Friday October 2 -- YES

First Friday will meet in Woolson House this coming Friday, Oct. 2, beginning at 6:30 and going until well after midnight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jeanie Thompson Comes to Read, Urban Think!, this coming Fri., Sept. 18, 7 PM

I'm pleased that Jeanie Thompson is coming to read from her new book The Seasons Bear Us. I had the opportunity to read this manuscript on its way to publication and found it moving, smart, and beautiful all at once. The manuscript became a beautiful and moving book. Jeanie is a poet of national importance, and one of the pleasures of having her here is to introduce her to our formidable community of writers. What better place than the fine literary scene at Urban Think! I hope you get a chance to join us at 7 PM this Friday. Bring friends.

The Cows in Nana’s Hay Field

We are riding back from dinner at Eddie’s, through the valley of many flowers, across
the creek of deliciously bright light and rock-clear laughter.
Eddie has filled us with salmon and yellow tomatoes, and truffles and white wine,
and we have filled him back in turn with poems that tumble out of us
like girls sharing secrets. We have all been happy and we have all been
profoundly alone in our happiness. Now, you and I are talking about what it means
to understand love, all the dimensions of it – the crack in the wall, you call it,
into seeing that a profound love between men and women is possible. It seems like it is
right in front of us and we struggle to pick that gift and offer it for sustenance to the other.
If only we could grab just the right word, the right thought, and arrange it on the plate
of our desire to tell each other, to tell ourselves. That close! Pondering and talking, we turn
into the farm road, past the first gate, and then the second. “On no!” you exclaim
suddenly. “The cows are out!” You had left the gate open, thinking that the cows might not,
but of course they have, gotten into the hay field. Dark shapes, some black, some brown,
some putty are molded into the green breath of the hay. In the deep dusk I might not have seen
them, but you have. When we pull up to the house, you jump out, grab a broom,
and head down the lane toward the field, calling in your strong voice, “Hey, go on, get out,
get outta there, hey, go on, get out!” And I think, what person who thinks
to shoo cows from an acre of hay with a broom, wouldn’t know now to corral any
thought, know exactly how to define something as simple as love?

Jeanie Thompson
from The Seasons Bear Us

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Friday Cancelled for Labor Day Weekend

First Friday will be held in October, but it is off for this month. To our many new members, thanks so much for hopping in, and thanks too to our amazing continuing group of poets and writers. Last month's FF was rich and amazing with new work and a lot of fun. We grow completely by word of mouth, our little unassuming collective of writers urging each other along, practicing persistence in the art and craft and the giving and receiving of plenty of good feedback.

Here's a note also that founding First Friday leader Lezlie Laws and Philip Deaver are conducting a workshop Saturday, Sept. 19, in the Galloway Room at Rollins College. The two of them will continue, in fishbowl style, their 15 year discussion on writing, with accompanying writing prompts, and will bring YOU into the conversation. They will focus on seven challenges we all must confront in doing the work and some ideas on how to confront them. More information, contact Mary de Stefano at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Friday ON for August 7

Hey all, just to let you know we're on for this coming Friday, August 7. Woolson House, 6:30. Hope you got a chance to check out my rant on Long Pine Limited about 1969. You might disagree with it, but at least it has a nice picture of my mom!

See you soon.


Monday, June 1, 2009

First Friday is ON for June 5

Spread the word to our friends. First Friday is on for this coming Friday, June 5. Yay. The gathering begins at 6:30 Friday evening and ends . . . well, you know. Before dawn! There is word that Woolson House may be reserved for a special meeting, which will bump us to Orlando Hall, only 25 or 30 steps away. At any rate, I'll be there a little earlier than usual to make sure everybody gets a good seat, so come to the area just outside Woolson, you know where I mean, and we'll scope out the situation and act accordingly. See you soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No First Friday on May 1, '09

Greetings my friends, it is a long story how come First Friday is cancelled for this month, but it surely is. It is May Day and the sun promises to shine, and I hope you have a great day and month. Please spread the word, and see you in June. pfd

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First Friday, Yes, March 27, Same Time, Same Place

April's the cruelest month, wrote Eliot, but he'd never been to Buffalo in January. Still, April may be among the busiest months. Hence I've decided to hold First Friday this coming Friday, the 27th of March. The week after that is impossible for me, also the one after that, then comes Good Friday, something different entirely.

Spread the word to the gang! Let's do poetry and prose, same time on the clock, same place on the campus map at Rollins, the Emerald of Winter Park.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Friday Not Meeting March 6

Regrettably the host of First Friday, on his first day of Spring Break, will be in an undisclosed location because he's a writer, too! We've learned he can be reached by email at the usual address or Sorry for the relatively late notice. Please spread the word so nobody has one of those bleak evenings outside the locked door of our home base, Woolson House!

Good Danny

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First Friday on Feb. 6 -- YESSSSSSS!

See you Friday night, Feb. 6, for our first FF meeting of the new dawn! I mean, the new year!

Also, don't forget Winter with the Writers! Please drop by on TONIGHT! at 8PM in the Tiedtke for Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize-winning poet. Come early and enjoy yourself.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Walking People

This is perhaps too early to send out, but I will send a reminder when this book gets released (May 20).  The Walking People is the debut novel of Mary Beth Keane, formerly the assistant of agent Chris Calhoun at Sterling Lord Literistic (Chris is Billy's book agent and best friend).  I am almost finished reading the advance copy and I have to say I am blown away by the brilliance of the writing, sentence by sentence, word by word, and by the storytelling ability possessed by this young writer.  (She's in her thirties.)

I wanted to paste some reviews below, but darn that Amazon and their code that won't allow it.  Instead, you can go here to the Amazon page and read about it. 

 The Walking People is a book I know I will open from time to time just to read a paragraph or two for reminders of how great writing works.  Keane's use of even the simplest detail is not without purpose; every word in this novel works.  

Monday, January 5, 2009

Phil --

Thanks to you, I now have a foothold in the 21st century. I wanted to be a "follower" of your new blog, so I learned how to become a blogger myself.

Pretty soon we'll all be selling each other insurance!



Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wow, the blog is hoppin'. Thanks to those who weighed in. Tell our fellow FFers who might not have noticed yet. Let's keep going with this in our great new year, '09. The economy sucks, good time to do some writing and reading. The price is right!

Happy New Year.