Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the National League of American Pen Women is a non-profit organization of women artists, writers, and musicians. We offer mutual support and exchange of ideas to encourage and inspire excellence in original creative work.

Home by GPW Doris Mady

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” — Edith Sitwell

 


Note from our President:

February, 2024

As we face Groundhog Day, I am reminded that when I made my last trip to the compost heap something had dug a big hole in the middle of the lawn. Could it be? For the moment, with 15-degree weather keeping us warm, I’m not going to find out. Anyway, whatever it is, and I would guess a groundhog, it isn’t hibernating as it’s supposed to be in order to come out and see or not see its shadow. So maybe we haven’t had enough days of winter…

The bird feeder is the most popular show in town. There are literally twenty-five to forty birds out there every day: sparrows with hats, sparrows without hats, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, juncos, the Carolina wren (a ball with a beak like a cactus spine and tiny legs), and every kind of woodpecker you can imagine. I am particularly fond of the wren because he is always prospecting for bugs, especially spiders, but having read Charlotte’s Web as a child, I am also fond of spiders. And some of the robins didn’t go south this year… what do they find to eat?

One more note on animals. On my morning walk I came face-to-face with what I originally thought was a dog sitting in the road. On closer examination it was a red fox. Did it run away? No, it lay down facing me as a dog does when it wants to play. Of course, my dog finally caught its scent, gave off a large woof, and that was the end of our encounter. As one of my neighbors said, the foxes aren’t afraid of you anymore, nor are the deer, because they know your dog is leashed. So, what happens if I meet a bear?

Addressing the primary purpose of this letter, Greenwich Pen Women, I am looking forward to hearing Deb Weir interview Barbara Ehrentreu tonight about her teen book, If I could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Later in February, on the 26th, as you will see from Diane’s calendar, Jan Yager’s rescheduled talk on How to Promote Your Book will take place. Please sign up for this event at the Perrot once it is advertised and allow our local bookseller, Athena Books in Old Greenwich, to sell you a book. Or buy one from Jan.

Book talks at the Perrot, our partner, have been enjoyed by members and the public. Thank you to those who hosted them! Congratulations to everyone who received notice and praise in the quarterly Pen Women magazine. I think Greenwich stole the show!

We will be closing the private Facebook page for GPW and transferring the name, Greenwich Pen Women, to the public Facebook page presently entitled Greenwich Pen Women for Artists, Writers, and Composers. The private site will close on February 15th.

Lastly, mid-month, Valentine’s Day approaches. I always find that a holiday based on a Christian martyr is thought-provoking to say the least. Apparently, St. Valentine performed marriage ceremonies for Christian soldiers not allowed to marry under the Roman Emperor. He is also associated with healing the blind daughter of his jailer. Add to that, there are multiple St. Valentines, all associated with love after courtly love of the 14th and 15th centuries embraced them. I think we are all in favor of love so do share it out beyond your significant other, family, and friends to others that need it: maybe that little dog that needs a pat, or the charity that tries to help those in need, or maybe the guy on the street corner who is looking for a dollar to get something to eat. I think Katherine Hepburn had it right: “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything.”

Onwards and sideways,

Leigh  

Leigh Grant
President, Greenwich Pen Women: