The August meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was nice and cool inside the bank. The heat outside is oppressive.

Valerie Gaumont has big news – she is currently living in Marble Falls, but she and Baird are moving to Tennessee. Baird got a job as curator for the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. They will be living only 3 hours away from Valerie’s mother, which should make her mother and her brother very happy! She’s planning to surprise them when they move at the end of October, so mums the word. Valerie brought us a short story called “Persephone’s Turning,” a twist on the legend of how we got four seasons. I bet Valerie can find a place to submit this story, if it doesn’t end up being a novel, which (knowing Valerie) it might.

Barbara Loyd brought us a poem called, “Stumbling,” (about the Olympics) a memoir called, “A Moment’s Kindness,” (previously published, but she’s re-working it for another submission) and humor piece called, “An Embarrassing Lesson,” (we’ve ALL been there). It was really funny! There are several anthologies/journals currently seeking stories about kindness, so I think Barbara will be able to recycle her story successfully.

Paula Bramlett led a Catholic teachers retreat on Shepherding at Sacred Heart Church in Elgin, TX, and she brought each of us a copy of the curriculum she wrote for the retreat. What a gift, Paula! Thank you! Your writing is very moving.

Megan Willome was with us, but was called away. Megan had a very successful speaking engagement on August 4th at Zion Lutheran. I was there with my granddaughter Ellah Rose Brillhart, also Bobbi Grimmer and Shelley Burkhalter and Shelley’s sister. Megan sold about 25 books and gave a great talk. And the desserts were wonderful!!

Shelley Burkhalter brought the final installment in her short story about the “Mermaids of West Texas.” It is such a good story, Shelley. I think she can place this with a YA publication or a journal with the theme of nostalgia. Good luck, Shelley.

Lynn Harris read more of her novel-in-progress. Her main character, Elizabeth, has re-invented herself into Liz Dumont because of all the publicity she’s gotten from helping to find the two missing children. This part of the story had a lot of humor.

Sheila Kale was with us, but didn’t have anything to share. We’re so glad she comes to listen!

Sally Clark brought a new picture book, Daniel’s Backyard, which was inspired by Kate DiCamillo’s new book, The Magician’s Elephant. Thank you, everybody, for all your suggestions and encouragement!

Judith Rost emailed to let me know: Leaving after next week for up north for family reunion and 50th class reunion. Won't be back until around August 20th. 

Linda Christensen had a family problem: My older daughter had a mild stroke last Monday. We are back from Illinois trip, and she is back in Boerne, needs rest and some pampering from her mama! I'll give you details later. She has no outward appearance of damage. Doc's have located the problem, all pondering how to go forward.

Liz Eberle, who is the founder of our group, is working to self-publish a collection of her fiction stories called Climates for Love with Author House. Liz has made connection with Linda Christensen and Linda gave her good advice. I’m so glad Liz is able to write, even in the midst of her complicated caregiving life. I’m looking forward to buying a copy.

Liz Brookshire wrote to me the day after our meeting: Oh Sally, I just now saw this email and I have missed our meeting.  Hope to be there in September!

Until then, enjoy all this wonderful rain and cooler temps!!!

Love, Sally

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