At the Hill Country Women of Words August meeting, the weather wasn’t the only thing hot – our stories were on fire, too. We covered the whole gamut from ghost whisperers to westerns to murders to devotionals to humor – we’ve got it all. 
Valerie Gaumont began the meeting by giving us our story starter: “It amused her to think of it in the cold, dark hours before the dawn.” Where would you go with that one? We ran all over the place in every different direction and had a great time reading our stories.  
Valerie is working on a book she wants to send off to a publisher called Brownie Oxford and the Ashland Affair. She brought us the first chapter because she’s trying to make it as editor-attention-grabbing as possible. Brownie is a woman who talks to ghosts and is employed by the NCS, the National Clandestine Service. She has been kidnapped and taken to a graveyard where she must think quickly on her feet when her kidnappers try to control her powers, thinking she can raise the dead. Bring us more, Valerie! It was really good! (yes, I know, I’m shouting!)  
Lynn Harris was at the meeting and brought along her daughter, Kristen, who is a grad student in Chicago working on a degree in Ministerial Social Justice. She was here to visit with her mother for a week. Lynn had good news on her health. It turns out that the tumors in her brain are very slow growing and all the doctors recommend is to “watch and wait” so no brain surgery! Then on her ankle, the doctors have ordered a custom made boot for her to wear that will hopefully, over time, push her ankle and leg back into place and she will not need surgery. We rejoiced with her!!! What a relief. Lynn did bring us the first chapter of a novel she is working on, a Christian western called “The Silver Dollar Saloon.” Lynn is such a good writer. This story is gripping and I hope she keeps working on it.  
Sheila Kale is working on devotional pieces to put up on her blog and to send out to her email list. She brought two of them for us to read, “Bring Light,” and “Thank God for Critique.” Both were written wonderfully in Sheila’s own unique voice and they went straight to our hearts! Thank you, Sheila! Sheila is also coming to our TWiG group. She is not writing poetry and we are so happy to have her join us and bring us new genres to enjoy.
Sally Clark brought Chapter Eight of her novella, The Art of Christmas. As many times as I had read this piece over and over, I heard new things that I need to correct just by reading it out loud. This is such a valuable writing tool and you guys are great with your suggestions and comments. Thank you!!!   
Linda Colie didn’t bring anything for us to read, but she started writing to the prompt that Valerie gave us and continued writing through the evening. It was a great piece. We all encouraged her to keep going with it and bring us more of the story next month. 
News from the world of WOWs –   
Remember Andrea Culpepper? Andrea has created a new web site, the Hill Country Veterans’ Network at and a Facebook page at  Her goal is to honor local veterans, advertise their events, promote & coordinate donating organizations, and share the veteran’s experiences through their own stories, poems, journal entries, and writings. Kudos, Andrea! What a wonderful adventure.   
It’s official - Barbara Loyd is moving back to Texas! I don’t know the exact date yet but Barbara will let me know as soon as it is set. I will be so happy to see her again! Linda Colie said she remembers Barbara as being “a beautiful lady with a beautiful smile and a real snappy dresser, too.” You can keep up with Barbara on her blog:
Dena Dyer’s newest book has been released. Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts is co-authored with Tina Samples and published by Kregel Publications. You can read about it at: It sounds wonderful. Dena is also leading a retreat – “Write Away: A Mentoring Retreat for Women Writers.” This will be a mentoring weekend for aspiring women writers on Sept. 27-29 in Granbury, TX. Details are at  Enrollment is limited to 6-8 women so you might want to contact Dena to see if she still has openings.   
Karen Vanek had to miss this month’s meeting but she emailed: “I will be out of town. So sorry. Just to keep you up to date. My writing the past month or so has been more technical as I create the marketing and tour booklet for the up coming Sustainability Home Tour on Sept 14. This is the first major project of the non profit organization Fredericksburg SHINES led by John Watson. Perhaps you know John? Anyway I've learned a lot about creating in a new venue. Wish I was going to be there in Monday night to get the groups' feedback. In any case you are each invited to the tour. Ticket flyers will go up on Sept 1 at various Main St businesses.  Looks like the next meeting I can make will be the October one.”
Kathleen Maxwell-Brambie has a brand new granddaughter. Congratulations, Kathleen! Keep up with her on her blog:  
Liz Brookshire writes: “I am in Houston w grandkids this week. I'll miss being at wow tonight.”  
Mary Eckert sent word: “Hi Sally and everyone at WOWs.  Wish I could be there Monday. Been sick all this past week and still not feeling up to par. Dayna and I both plan to make the September meeting. She has a lot of awesome things to share. Me...not so much. But I just need to start seeing and hearing all of you again so I can get back in the groove for writing. Blessings to all. See you in the Fall.....Hey! I still got it! Mary  
Megan Willome has been coming to TWiG. If you are a poetry lover or a Lonesome Dove lover, like Megan, check out her web site:  
Pam Perrin has been coming to TWiG, too, but she couldn’t make the meeting. She writes: “I will not be there tonight. Sache has volleyball practice and Enzo has soccer practice. We have started off the school year at a full sprint!!!”    
Sheri Pattillo comes to TWiG, also, and I just discovered that she has a blog! Learn all about wine and how it reflects in Sheri’s life at
Vici Wray couldn’t make the meeting but she said, “So sorry that I have to skip the meeting tonight - we have siding & roofing contractors out here and they keep leaving the gate open which lets the goats come into the yard. So while yall are enjoying munchies & stories & chit-chat, I will be shooing critters out of my flower beds. Have a yummy evening – Vici  
The next WOW birthdays are – Dorothy Leyendecker, August 23
                                             Alice Kolb, September 14   
                                             Ginny Bain, September 16
                                             Karen Vaneck, September 17  
Keep writing and stay cool!
Love to all, Sally


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