National League of American Pen Women

The Muncie, IN Branch is a part of the National League of American Pen Women

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why Aren't You Writing?

Why Aren’t You Writing?
by Ella Reff

            To be writers, we have to believe in ourselves. What do we have to say that others would want to read about? While Ecclesiastes kept saying there is nothing new under the sun, our own experiences are unique.  My first effort at being published besides having a poem in the school newspaper was to enter a contest sponsored by Warner Press of Anderson, Indiana. Directions were to write a spiritual autobiography of at least 20,000 words. How easy it would be to do today compared to then, with a manual typewriter. I did not win. I did not receive any critique, merely a mark on a certain page. I wondered why. But I never knew the answer.
            I do know that a while after that, I met a man who had his own business called Beck Publishing Company and a trademark called Silent Witness. His business was in Pandora, Ohio. Was I opening Pandora's Box to pursue my dream to publish a book? He asked me to add a couple more chapters then printed one thousand copies and took half for his use. I gave some away and sold others by speaking at retreats and placing copies in bookstores. I was twenty-nine years old. Now, I take the book off the shelf and look in it, and I reflect on how I have grown as a Christian and how the world has changed.  I had used my talent and I went on from there to write in other venues: an interview in an evangelical magazine, a how-to article in a national hobby magazine, a weekly newspaper column.

            In class I learned four reasons to write:  to inform, to entertain, to persuade, or to share vicarious experiences.  At this time, I am reflecting on the same thing: What could I say that hasn't already been said? Besides writing about my own experience, I need a unique approach. Out of all the books on the shelf, what would make mine be the one picked for purchase? I need a brainstorm list.  

As the computer sometimes says...Thinking....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Upcoming Event: Ruminate

Muncie, IN branch president of NLAPW, Judy Urbanski, shared this publication with us recently.

Ruminate is a quarterly magazine that comes from Ft. Collins, CO. Its central focus is to "resonate with the complexity and truth of the Christian faith" (from the website).

You can read the magazine online and submit your writing for consideration for publication. There is also an upcoming Writer's Workshop sponsored by Ruminate on September 10th.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Visiting Artist Opportunity

For those of you who are local, you may want to take this opportunity to hear Daly Walker, author of Surgeon Stories.

Here's the information:

E.B.& Bertha C. Ball Center presents a Readers & Writers Series Reception featuring DALY WALKER, author of Surgeon Stories, on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.

Winchester native Daly Walker is a retired surgeon who practiced medicine for 35 years in Columbus, Indiana. A fellow of the American College of Surgery, he served in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon and received a Bronze Star. Walker studied creative writing at Indiana University, the University of Louisville, and has studied with Sena Jeter Naslund (acclaimed author of Ahab's Wife), founding director of Fleur-de-Lis press, at Spalding University. His short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Sewanee Review, The Louisville Review and The Southamption Review.

Books will be available for purchase. There is no charge. Reservations are required. Please call 285-8975 for more information or to make a

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Calligrapher Paula Sullivan

Introducing our newest Member, Paula Sullivan!
Repost from Jude Urbanski, Muncie, IN Branch NLAPW President

Welcome Paula! Tell us about yourself, Paula. Where were you born? School? Children?

Thanks, Jude, for having me today. I was born and raised in Indiana. Married for 25 years and divorced. Have two wonderful daughters and four precious grandsons, including a set of twins. Graduated from Muncie Central High School. I'm a proud Bearcat!

You're a great calligrapher and I'm wondering how long you've been working at your art? When and how did you begin?

I've been a professional calligrapher, or lettering artist, for 31 years. My love for this art began at age 12 when my Father bought me a book about lettering. I started drawing letters and even designed my own. I spent many years doing posters, signs, quotes, and note cards.

Is there any particular thing which inspired you?

The book on lettering that my Father brought home to me was my impetus, but I'd say my break through or my real passion began once I took a workshop at the Ball State University Museum of Art and learned how to use a lettering pen. This was an improvement over my drawing the letters and coloring them in. I practiced every day for one year, before I accepted any payment for my work.

That is a wonderful story, Paula. I'm sure your Father was pleased. What piece of your work makes you most proud?

There are three actually. The RESOLUTION I lettered for the Minnetrista Cultural Center is one. I also lettered the song, Wind Beneath My Wings, which we placed with both of my parents when they died. Then I lettered a quote found in my sister's pocket upon her untimely death at age 17. Twenty-one years later, I had the opportunity to present this piece to her high school class.

I can see why those pieces would make you proud. Mention some of your clients, Paula. Any commissions?

I've been fortunate enough to be commissioned by the notable Muncie Ball Family, the Muncie Minnetrista Cultural Center, the Pan Am Games, Life Touch Portraits, Ball State University, the Muncie Symphony and the American Red Cross. I've also done work for local businesses, individuals and Tri Kappa Sorority.

How impressive! You also teach calligraphy don't you, Paula? Please tell us about that aspect.

Thank you. Actually, I have taught several years and to over 200 students.

Quite an accomplishment in itself. Paula, how do you fit your art into your daily schedule? I find this is always a challenge.

Well, I do have a 'day job' and have had even two sometimes! I most often find myself fitting my art jobs into the last part of the day. Late at night after family needs are met.

It seems most of us have events in life which challenge us. Can you tell us about one of yours?

The loss of my 17 year-old-sister and the loss of both of my parents impacted my life. Yet through sorrow I found the meaning of joy. So, I've tried hard to spend my life comforting and encouraging others through my work by bringing them from sorrow to joy.

I like that. There's even a favorite Bible verse of mine which fits just what you're saying. In II Cor 1:3-4 it says Praise be to the God …of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Where else do you find inspiration for your work and life, Paula?

Through my faith in knowing God. The sorrow and pain in my life have made me lean on God and He in turn has given me the strength to create my work and allowed me to comfort others while I receive the joy of healing in my life.

When I'm doing my art, I'm in a different world, which gives me a feeling of pure joy. I was taught that it is in giving we receive. No matter the circumstances, my passion and dedication to my art have never wavered.

Tell us 'a secret' or something we don't know about you, Paula.

Well, I was in the movie that all Indianans love-The Hoosiers. I did a lettering marathon. For 7.5 hours a day, five days a week for three months, I lettered 9,000 names on photographs for Life Touch. My fingers were numb for a long time!

If you could meet any person in history, who would it be and why?

Joyce Meyer, the incredible inspirational speaker and author. She has endured and overcome great odds in her life by knowing God and allowing Him to lead. In turn, she inspires thousands with her strength, wisdom courage and faith.

Do you have any parting words for us?

I do. I'd like to share my favorite mottos: DON'T POSTPONE JOY and FIND STRENGTH IN THE LOVE THAT SURROUNDS YOU. Thanks for having me, Jude.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Blog Site

This is the new blog for the Muncie, Indiana Branch of the National League of American Pen Women. Our first attempt at blogging was originally located at As the primary writer/organizer of this blog however, I found it much better to make a new one under my own profile.

Members of the Muncie, IN Branch of NLAPW are invited to send their contributions to me, River Lin, via email and I will post them here for the group.

Thank you!

Mission and Vision

Mission and Vision

According to the Pen Woman, the publication of the National League of American Pen Women, the mission and vision of this group is as follows:

Founded in 1897, the National League of American Pen Women is the oldest women’s arts organization in America. The League, recognized for its support and creation of art, music, and letters, is comprised of professional women artists, writers, poets, composers and arrangers.

The mission of the League, a not-for-profit 501 © (3) corporation, is to encourage, recognize, and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters, and Music, and through outreach activities provide educational, creative, and professional support to members and non-members in these disciplines.

The core values of the NLAPW are respect, knowledge, creation and preservation of the arts. 

History of Muncie and National Branches

History of Muncie and National Branches

by Judy Martin-Urban

History of Muncie and National Branches
The National League of American Pen Women

            The Muncie, Indiana Branch of the National League of American Pen Women began March 7, 1944. Susan Marsh served as first president. There were 20 members; 18 in letters and two in art.
            On the national level, the organization began June 26, 1897 through efforts of Marian Longfellow O’Donoghue (yes, William’s niece), Margaret Sullivan Burke and Anna Sanborne Hamilton. They desired to bring together ‘women journalists, authors and illustrators for mutual benefits and strength that comes of union.’
            Alice Morgan, a New York illustrator, designed the League insignia owl, symbolic of wisdom. The owl is placed in a triangle formed with a red pen, a blue pencil and a white brush, bearing colors of the American flag.
            The first national convention was held in Washington, DC, April, 1921 with 300 women in attendance. President Harding attended the convention with his wife, who was a distinguished member. Mrs. Roosevelt and Mrs. Clinton have also been members.
            Our local branch has sponsored academic scholarships and creative writing contests as well as many other worthy activities connected with the arts.
            There are 135 branches in the United States.