We're proud of our members and their accomplishments or recent activities, whether they've had a story accepted or published, have been on national TV, published a book, won a contest, received an award, partook in an interview or book signing or sold new artwork (a few of our members are multi-talented).  

Check out "What's New" on the sidebar for the latest News and Events of our Poway Pen & Ink members.


I'm just sayin'...

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"Writing or making anything - a poem, a bird feeder, a chocolate cake - has self respect in it.  You're working.  You're trying.  You're not lying down on the ground, having given up."
Sharon Olds
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"Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth.  Putting them down is the hardest."
Rod Sterling

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"Don’t say that “the old lady screamed” – bring her onstage and let her scream!"

Author Unknown

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"A goal is a dream with a deadline." 

Napoleon Hill

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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Thomas Edison
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I saw a quote from Danielle Lazarin this week in an email from Glimmertrain that touched the writer inside me.  When you doubt the path you've taken, or stumble on your way, perhaps this will help:

     "What you notice as a writer isn't an accident, nor is it objectively interesting, but this sense of recognition, of compulsion toward a subject or character or storyline, is the layering of the lenses of your childhood and your adulthood, your jobs and your relationships, the series of small and large decisions we make, life's little accidents constructing our fictions as much as they make our real lives. By indulging yourself in these raw materials, allowing them to be the match to the kindling of the world you walk through every day, you're likely to start a story that matters to you, one that you can't help but write, because it comes from your gut."

Danielle Lazarin


Each month we'll feature a different Author/Artist.  We want you to have fun with this, so we'll provide an expanded (and more folksy) biography of the author with a picture, followed by a list (or link to) of his/her books, merchandise and/or artwork.   Or maybe we'll include one of their stories, poems, op-eds or illustrations so there is something new each month.

Here's this month's featured author:
Barbara-Helene Smith

Barbara-Helene grew up on Long Island, the eldest of four children.  Her childhood passions were sports and animals.  With two athletic parents and three brothers, Barb was the neighborhood tomboy. She participated in every sport her high school offered, played competitive tennis, was the captain of her high school and college cheerleading squads and cheered one year for the New York Giants football team in Yankee Stadium.

Barb loved animals.  When she was seven years old, she raised six, baby chicks and kept them in her bedroom until they became full-grown roosters and woke the neighbors at sunrise.  She tested her mother’s patience with every stray that ‘followed her home.’  Not surprising, Barb wanted to be a veterinarian and majored in biology in college.  The subject of her study changed in graduate school and she earned a Ph.D. degree in cell biology instead.  A career in teaching and research followed.

After marrying, Barb joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, first in Washington, D.C., then as an investigator in San Diego.  Later she became the Director of Investigations in Chicago.  The job was exciting, but sometimes tense.  On her way to investigating a consumer complaint the first day on the job in San Diego, she drove directly through the exact spot where five minutes later a commercial airplane crashed with no survivors.  Another time she was stopped by a cop for a burnt-out tail light while driving the FDA Commissioner to the airport.  After leaving the FDA, Barbara-Helene worked as a consultant for the medical industry; assisting companies in getting new products on the market and ensuring they were manufactured according to government regulations.

On a whim, Barb took a six-week, creative writing course.  Writing fiction set her imagination free and she was hooked.  Reading and watching mysteries is a favorite pastime, so it is not surprising she is now working on projects in this genre.  She writes about ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations and incorporates many of her government and industry adventures into the stories.  Her current project is a series of short mysteries with a protagonist who, as you may guess, is an FDA investigator.  Barb has published several short stories and poems and is an active member of Poway Pen and Ink, a talented group of writers whose mission is to edit and critique each other’s writing to promote individual growth and encourage publication.

When not writing, Barbara-Helene likes to hike, swim, garden, volunteer at the local animal shelter and research her family’s genealogy.  She has traced her paternal lineage back to the early 1600’s in Connecticut.  Her maternal line is from war-torn Europe and remains a mystery, yet to be solved.

Published Stories and Poems:

“Secret Santa” - The Storyteller, (pending publication) October/November/December 2014

“Transgression to Ridgecrest Village” - The Storyteller, October/November/December 2013

“Footprints” - Tough Lit XI/IdeaGems Publications, December 2013

“The Secret Keeper” - Tough Lit IX/IdeaGems Publications, June 2013

“The Parkway Murders” - Tough Lit VIII, IdeaGems Publications, February 2013

“Tips for Avoiding a Wreck When the Roads are Wet” - PowayPatch, October 2012

“The Christmas Present” - The Storyteller, October/November/December 2011

“Four Poems - IdeaGems Magazine, August-October 2011

“Foil the Boil” - Cruising Style Magazine, 2010

“The Long Journey Home” - The Storyteller, October/November/December 2008

 Works in Progress:  “Search for Justice”; “Vanished”; “Family Matters”; Fakes, Frauds and Forgeries”; and a “Connie Murphy Mystery” series.