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May 2002


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We Hope To See You At Our Next Celebration

Bruce's Retirement Party & FOKUS Sharing

Sunday, May 5, 2002
arrive at 1:00 PM for all the festivities

Kafka's Kastle (Bruce Taylor's condo)

For directions: Please phone Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.

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Art Sharing
Sunday, April 7, 2002

Lida Sloan read four short poems, both serious and saucy. Elizabeth Pankey shared her latest caricature work for the NCN Convention and in the Winged Tiger comic book, which highlighted herself and other FOKUS artists Roberta Gregory, Donna Barr and Larry Lewis. Roberta Gregory shared some of her Bitchy Bitch comics. Bruce Taylor read his short story "You've Been There". Mike Monroe read "Water, Water Everywhere", a chapter from his unfinished book Hexodus. Bob Olson read "Sy Safransky's Notebook" from the April copy of Sun Magazine and his story "Faking It" submitted to their "Reader's Write" column. Karen Stein read her poem "Born Addicted". Roger Pankey provided a large delicious apple pie. Pippin Sardo gave us her double chocochip cookies, and the rest of the audience - Andrew Hamlin, Craig English, Seiko Olson, Page Tullock and Alina Rossano - listened with pleasure.

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Other Stuff

Bruce Taylor was a guest at the Northwest Science Fiction Convention, March 26-31st. Look for a feature about him on the archive: www.angelfire.com/wa2/margin. He is also getting a book ready for submission to www.scorpiusdigital.com.

Bruce's retirement date is set for April 30th. As indicated at the top of this newsletter the MAY 5 FOKUS gathering includes his RETIREMENT PARTY. Come one, come all. Help him party. And party suggestions are certainly helpful and welcome. YAAAHOOOOOO!!

Come see Carl and Lida Sloan's latest artwork in their new show May 11 at the Second Saturday Art Walk in Ballard at Zerenes - 5140 Ballard Avenue, 7-9 pm. Carl and Lida would love to see you there.

Carl Sloan's poem "Gridlock" is being published at www.tuppenceworth.ie this month. Please check it out.

Bob Olson has been selected for the Marquis Who's Who in the World, 2003 edition. (Of course he is only one of 50,000 - one selection from every 150,000 people on Earth.)

Pippin Sardo will appear in performance with Maria Morca's flamenco group at the Folklife Festival in Seattle, Saturday, May 25, at 2:40 pm at the Mural Amphitheater in the Seattle Center.

Bruce will be guest speaker on June 4th at The Freelancers, which is the oldest and said to be the "most professional" writing group in Seattle.

If you want to advertise something your are doing in our newsletter please call Bob or Bruce. This is an excellent free bulletin board for your announcements.

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Bruce Taylor's Editorial: Retirement

Wow! Retirement. Me? Age 54. Retiring. Wow! A little sad to leave a job that I've held for so long - 27 years (3 years in the County at another job) and wow! 30 years later, retiring. Sad, yet excited - to finally have the time to write full time and get paid (by the state) for it. And I have to marvel how well I set it up, even those three years in the County which transferred to the State and I really didn't know about it officially until three years ago. Yes, some sadness: Harborview has treated me well, indeed, treated me well indeed. It has given me a position where I could write and not have to work full time, even though it meant working, what with writing and the job, sometimes 60 hours a week, keeping 40 short stories out at any given time - what a job. And, 30 years, 1000 short stories later, here I am. Wow. And I am convinced that because I had it in my head from year zero that I was a writer, the Universe said, "OK, here you go. Here's a lifestyle that works. go for it. Here's a retirement that, while not plush, will pay your bills so that you can do the most important thing you can do with your life: write." To the Powers That Be, to Fate, to the Gods, to Luck, to Friends, I do thank all of you for creating a situation, a life, so that I could write. So that I could pass on a view of life that others have passed on to me. That is the obligation that we all have: to pass on that which was passed on to us, creatively. For if God, or whatever we conceive god is, is creative, as He/She/It sure appears to be, then our duty is to pass on the favor that the Creator, however you conceive Him/Her/It to be, passed on to us. In that way, we make the world a little bit better, just as all those creative folks presently and back through time helped us by being creative. We owe it to pass it on. We must. Who knows who will be influenced by our creative endeavors? We must share our art, we must keep it out there, as hostile as the political millieu is right now, all the more important to keep it out there, because, if we don't, we have given up and what have we given up, aside from our creativity? We have given up what creativity gives to ourselves and hence to others: Hope.

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Two Poems by Carl Sloan


They battle it out every day,
with a lot of no decisions,
Lies called "truth"
Truth called "lies".

Lies-called-"truth", the favorite
a proven crowd pleaser,
lands the most punches
but can't deliver a knockout.

pesky underdog,
keeps getting up
at the count of nine.
Even when slugged
by the referee.


His voice
in England's
chill midnight:
"I offer you
blood, toil
tears and sweat."

He knew,
he was a writer.

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Two Poems by Lida Picton Sloan


The notes touch and heal my heart.
They rearrange vibrations, increasing health and energy.
Who knew I could feel like this?
A few times music has been the only place I did not hurt.
Music clarifies and lightens - leading me to my soul.
Each note a joy.
Maybe the next time will be the one that is
Too beautiful to bear.
And some day I'll explode.


Throw away society. Trashing our planet.

Mounds of discarded plastic - useless batteries.

Computer poisons leaching from discarded parts.

Even junk in space threatens our view of the stars some day.

Climb Everest - pick up tons of trash there - haul it down.

Some day millions to launch vehicles in space
To retrieve debris from a space jam.

Will mankind die choking in a cloud of plastic fumes,
Crisped by too much sun through the ozone hole?

Or will he die like a rat fighting his brother
For rapidly dwindling space between garbage dumps?

Or will we find again our love for Mother Earth
And bind her wounds in healing and prayer.

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Two Poems by Karen Stein


Filled with things
That are flawed.
I run around fixing them
Even if they aren't broken.


Making obvious
That which has been hidden or
More peace
But more sorrow
Loneliness Pain
Abuse Pain

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Celebrity Comments

"We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. In it, I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerine. My time capsule will be set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like."

Alfred Hitchcock

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Last updated:  May 26, 2002