Thanks to all who sent in their never-before-published short stories and poems for our annual summer fiction issue. We hope that Stan Kephart’s clever cover illustrations will whet your appetite for discovering new talent.

Every year writers ask and we have to respond: No, it is not a contest. Our decisions are mostly based on space — what we have room for — and what we get. This year we received more than 100 contributions, and we printed just over 20 stories and about two dozen poems. We squeezed one story in about two hours before we went to press when some space opened up.

Some stories were too long. Some were “too true,” that is, they were more fact than fiction. Occasionally they work as stories because of their characterizations. One story this year is about an MG, and we suspect most of it is true, but the writer personified his car in a way that our “screeners” found appealing.

Nevertheless, some of these non-fictional pieces may surface as personal observations for our recently launched Interchange column. We hope you will join those who are taking advantage of the opportunity to submit opinions, whether serious, funny, or in-between.

Last week Charlie Kreitzberg of Cognetics explored the ins and outs of Web 2.0 in an elegantly clear way. This week’s Interchange, also tackling a serious subject, is by Christopher Rice, CEO of Blessing/White. Two weeks from now, who knows?

Yes, two weeks, not one week. The next issue of U.S. 1 will be August 8. That’s because, after the fiction issue, it is our wont to gasp a sigh of relief and — for at least some of us — to escape to the beach or the mountains.

Most of us will be back on Thursday, August 16, when you are invited to the Summer Fiction Party. Just show up at Tre Piani restaurant on Rockingham Row in Princeton Forrestal Village, from 5 to 8 p.m., cash bar, no reservations needed. Readings and introductions will begin at around 6 p.m. and there will be plenty of time, before and after, for food and fun.

Please note that you are holding the only available edition of this issue. We print only the writers’ names on the web (www.princetoninfo.com). We do not post their work in cyberspace.

To the Editor:

As a major fan of alfresco dining, I loved your article in the July 3 issue. However, you missed one of the best: Avanti, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Pennington. Last summer chef/owner Vincenzo Severino, and managing partner Kathleen McNulty, unveiled their covered porch.

Ceiling fans hang from the awning to move the air on the hottest of summer nights, heaters keep you toasty well into the fall, and attentive waitstaff provide comfy throws when they notice that a diner looks chilly. You’re away from the rush of traffic, surrounded by beautiful plants and trees that twinkle with white lights after dusk.

Top that off with some of the best Italian cuisine in Mercer County, and a bottle of your favorite wine from home — in the immortal words of Kurt Vonnegut, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

Lisa Forrester

The Harmony Schools

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