Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the August 7, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Writing is a lonely pursuit, especially fiction writing.

Reporters get to begin their article-writing process by doing interviews,

but fiction writers and poets must keep company only with their own

imaginations.

Partly because writers like to meet people, and partly because it’s

a great excuse for a party, U.S. 1 always hosts a party to celebrate

the paper’s annual Summer Fiction issue. This year’s issue, dated

July 24, contains 26 short stories, 18 poems, and one short play.

This year’s party will be at Barnes & Noble in MarketFair on Thursday,

August 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by the Barnes

& Noble Cafe and Big Fish Bistro, and the editors will start introducing

the writers around 5:45.

Even though we writers are solitary, once our stories are published,

we begin another dialogue, with ourselves and with our imaginary readers.

Should I have used a different word in the third paragraph? Should

I have cut that line about mother? Was that adjective too overbearing

or simply misplaced? It can take many readings for an author to "make

his peace" with a published text.

One of this year’s contributors wrote us a letter about that process,

how his mindset changed when he saw his story in print. Plainsboro

resident Paul Spagnoli is a retired lawyer, a Princeton University

alumnus, and a veteran of World War II. His story appears on page

34 of the Summer Fiction issue. He wrote:

"How can I thank you for publishing my story, `Billy Darling’?

"Now I’m experiencing the strangest reactions. Writer-oriented

in all those writing classes and programs — us against `them’

— now I find myself on the side of the enemy, the editors! As

a writer so proud and satisfied with `Billy Darling,’ now as an editor

I find all sorts of faults and inadequacies!

"Is that because I feel so exposed, that I am literally being

presented as a target for all those who know they can write one hell

of a lot better? Yes! I’ve been there, done that! Nevertheless and

despite all, I am so very, very grateful to you for giving me this

chance to see how the other half lives! I do hope I can thank you

in person — on August 8th."

Everyone is invited on August 8 — including all those who

submitted work, not just those who were published — and all U.S.

1 readers as well. Fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and poets

crave honest feedback, not the whitewashing of "It was terrific,"

but compliments and insights that can be believed.

In that spirit we will say thank you in advance to Barnes & Noble

and Nancy Nicholson, the store’s community relations manager, for

supporting this event. We hope you will join us on August 8.

Technology Showcase

SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, and computer programmers, but they too like

the chance to meet each other in person. That opportunity comes along

at the annual U.S. 1 Technology Showcase Wednesday, September 4, at

the Merrill Lynch/Harrison Conference Center.

In addition to table top displays, the showcase will feature a panel

discussion on the quest for better cancer cures, with Lisa Drakeman

of Genmab and Sidney Pestka of Pestka Biomedical Laboratories. See

page 16 for more information.


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