Meeting Overview: February 19, 2007

We had a meager crowd at our Magic Pens meeting, Monday, February 19, 2007 at Main Street Books at 1:00 PM, but we did get a few good points across. Here is a thorough overview in case you missed the meeting or need a little refresher.

1. Hoodies – Mr. Gifford posted the idea for limeade (neon yellow and lime green mixed) hoodies much like the construction worker’s uniforms. This idea was not well-liked amongst the members and the color choice is still up for debate. Please post your top three color choices, (and possibly even top three most hated color choices,) on Mr. Gifford’s Blog as soon as possible. We would like to have the hoodies ordered and paid for by the end of March and are currently pricing them around $24.00. If there is a low amount of orders placed, the cost for the hoodies will most likely raise. One problem that has arisen in the ordering of our hoodies is the font for Matt’s ThermoNuclear Warhead is unreadable when shrunk to the approprate size and needs to be adjusted.

2. Writing Buddies – If the writing buddies idea works well this month, Mr. Gifford plans to continue with willing volunteers next month. Writing buddies are reminded to write often and to never disappear for large amounts of time. Continue to check your buddy’s blog, read their posts, and give good, constructive comments giving input, thoughts, tips and suggestions. We hope that this idea will help inspire our members to continue reading each others posts, and writing their own. Bloglines is a good way to keep up with new posts on blogs and will help with writing buddies. Bloglines will not however keep track of comments, meaning you will still have to check blogs for new comments.

3. Goals – Remember to write everyday, even if it is but a few sentences. Every little bit helps! Try for 15 minutes a day and remember to read everyday just as well. Don’t forget to give your word and reading count at the end of each week , preferably each Sunday. By the end of the year, we hope to pull together what we have all been reading to create a Suggested Reading List. Mr. Gifford has encouraged us to continue writing and posting often, as many contributing members means more contests and such.

4. Weekly Non-Fiction Post – A new goal has been layed upon our shoulders that will hopefully encourage members to write more often. Each week we are to post a non-fiction piece that can basically be about anything. This can include book and movie reviews, random rants, true stories, diary or journal entries, etc. This will hopefully keep members writing and posting often and will help members improve their non-fiction writing abilities. Writing non-fiction posts will help make your non-fiction writings to be more creative and interesting, thus helping with school assignments such as essays. Mr. Gifford would like us to post our non-fiction piece at the beginning of each week.

5. Author Speakings – Mr. Gifford has announced that he has had some difficulties getting his author friend to come and speak during one of our meetings but says that if you are still interested in having a published author speak during one of our meetings, leave comments on his blog.

6. Story Prompt – Don’t forget about Mr. Gifford’s Story Prompt! The idea is open for everyone and we hope to have one story from each member on this topic. Even if you were not included in the Story Prompt by name, there was a sentence that questioned if there were more students hidden below the rubble. Everyone is encouraged to write what happened to themselves, making it any desired length, as long as the entry is finished. Please post your version soon, for Mr. Gifford will post his own after all the members have.

7. Unfinished Stories – Mr. Gifford has reminded us that you are able to post unfinished stories and ideas. Shorter posts attract comments and will help in the developing of a story. Feel free to post stray ideas that you have had along with story notes to get feedback, thoughts, and inputs to help you along the way. All writings can be published (as long as it is school appropriate to some degree.)

8. End of the Year Collection – For the end of the year, we are still planning to collect a piece from each member of Magic Pens and bind it in some form of a book. The title will most likely be a continuation from last year’s collection, Type a Little Faster Volume 2. Many ideas have been cast for what we should place in the book.

  • Favorites: each member contributes his or her favorite piece, book will be random
  • Themed: each member contributes one post of a certain theme, (suicide stories were used as an example), book will be themed
  • Our World: each member contributes an Our World story, book will take place in the same world
  • Story Prompt: each member writes what happens to himself using Mr. Gifford’s Story Prompt idea, book will be the same story with different perspectives
  • Our World Epic Story: each member contributes a chapter of Matt’s Our World epic story, book will be a continuos story with different writing styles for each chapter

9. Matt’s Contests – Matt has reminded everybody that his contest, Matt’s Contest 01, is still open for entries and includes real prizes. These prizes include gift cards to various stores such as book stores and Coldstone Creamery. For more rules, check his blog. He would also like everybody to visit his Contezt post and cast a vote for A or B, to decide his next contest.

10. Our World Epic Story – Matt has proposed the idea for a single story that each Magic Penian would contribute to. This idea is still currently being worked out, but may be an idea for our end of the year collection. There is a basic storyline with one main character that will embark on a quest. Every member is expected to write a chapter (possibly more if volunteered) for the story. When you are controlling the story, you may change things such as killing off secondary characters, however there will be a list of items, people, etc. that you will not be allowed to control and change. Matt will begin writing the first chapters on his blog once the rules have been worked out a little more. We are still currently unsure of whether the story will be open-minded, making it up as we go, or if there will be a fine skeleton that allows for delays and changes in courses, but still have a basic path. We are also currently unsure of how each chapter’s author will be chosen. Will we use a “popcorn tag” type of approach where you write your chapter and call out the next author at the end, or will we take volunteers? The first to comment and “call dibs” on the next chapter would therefore be the next author. It may work out that you would write a chapter call out for volunteers on the next one and if there are no replies, continue writing the next chapter. As I said before, the rules are still being thought over. This is an idea for the end of the year collection that would be an actual story and still show each member’s indivual style of writing.

11. Our World Computer Game – Matt has been thinking of creating an Our World computer game. If you are interested in working with him on the game, comment on his blog.

12. Open Mic Night – Main Street Books has Open Mic Nights that allow writers to read their writings before an actual audience. If you would like to participate, contact Mr. Gifford or Main Street Books for more information.

13. Open for Ideas – Remember that we are always open for any ideas that you may have. Feel free to comment on Mr. Gifford’s Blog with any ideas or suggestions that you may have, or present them at our meetings like members have done before.

If I have any inaccurate data, broken links, missed some topics, etc. please comment.