The Hill Country Women of Words February meeting was spectacular! So much to learn, absorb, and celebrate!!! I will try to re-cap the excitement!
 

Mary Eckerts biography of Peaches Evans is out, Where Was God When I Cried. Mary will have a book signing here in Fredericksburg on Saturday, March 6, from 1-3 at The Closer Walk and Peaches will be there in person!!! We will finally get to meet this amazing, Jesus-loving, grace-filled woman! I can hardly wait!! Make plans to attend! April 20 is the books official release, but Mary says that online sales at the Tate web site have been very brisk. Mary was so gracious in her acknowledgements “…most of all I want to thank the precious group of Christian women in my writers group, Women of Wordsthis book is as much theirs as it is mine. Thank you, Mary!!! We are so honored!! Congratulations!!!

Mary also brought a poem she wrote called When She Walks into Heaven, Will She Remember Me? a poignant tribute to Marys grandsons words after his other grandmothers death. A precious memory for their family and for anybody who has lost a loved one.

Liz Eberle just got her copy of Adams Medias newly released A Cup of Comfort Book of Bible Promises: Stories the Celebrate Gods Encouraging Words. The editors contacted Liz personally with the scripture reference, Jeremiah 31:13, and asked her to writea story. She wrote a beautiful piece called Journey to Joy about her hesitancy and worry about marrying Gus and the joy it has ultimately brought to her. What a treasure! Congratulations, Liz!!! Sheila is carrying the book at The Closer Walk. Liz also brought us a story called Snickerdoodles and Christmas Magic, written primarily as a memoir for her family, but I believe it could find a home in a Christmas anthology. Thank you, Liz!

Linda Colie had shoulder surgery on Tuesday, the day after our meeting. All went well. She is in Hill Country Memorial Hospital but will soon be moving to one of the local nursing homes. Ill email everyone when I know for sure which one. Linda brought us a short story called A Trick of Nature about a woman named Holly whose loses track of her beloved dog, Kum-Quat. Fearing the worst, Holly spots a limp form on the ground and almost perishes at the thought of losing her pet and best friend. Did you know that Linda was almost named Holly but her dad wouldnt allow it? He didnt want her to go through life being called Holly Colie (people would have pronounced her last name like the dog because it would rhyme). A wise man, Linda!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

Sheila Barnette brought us more of Wanzas Story, her mothers diary from 1943. Sheilas mother was a wonderful, gifted writer who makes the ordinary days of her life so personal and interesting. We were all caught up in her beautiful words but a few of my favorites were, so unfair of life to shove us along so fast... and sooner or later, hope returns. I admire the way this woman, daughter, mother, wife-about to-lose-her-husband-to-the-Army was still able to see the beauty in the natural world around her and the love of her friends and family. Thank you, Sheila, for sharing your mother with us and please, please bring us more!!

Sally Clark brought all the haikus Ive been writing in the last month, including three wildflower haiku I plan to submit to the 2011 TX Poetry Calendar. I also brought two poems, Widows Walk and Open Heart Surgery, (in honor of Valentines Day and my Dad). I am truly enjoying studying the haiku writing form for such a simple poem style it has the most complicated rules!

Sheila Kale brought us her newest devotional entitled Praise full of her deep yearning to worship the Lord. If you do not already receive Sheilas wonderful devotional emails, you can read them on her web site at http://thecloserwalk.yolasite.com/thoughts-by-sheila.php. I know that Sheila has several speaking engagements in the next few weeks through Stonecroft Bible Studies in Corpus Christi. Sheila, thank you for your prayers and for your insights. And did you happen to see Sheilas announcement in last weeks newspaper, on page A15? Sheilas story, Whats Your Name Again? is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love: 101 Heartwarming and Humorous Stories about Dating, Romance, Love and Marriage. As the newspaper articles states, the book is available at The Closer Walk and Sheila will be happy to autography copies. Congratulations, Sheila!!!

Cindy Harper brought us two poems, one she hopes to submit to the 2011 TX Poetry Calendar, Pedernales River Bridge, and Survival of the Fittest. I love Cindys poetry they help me to know her better…”Its the pesky ones who finally find their homes. Love it! Thank you, Cindy.

Megan Willome brought us two of her cancer poems: Groundhog Day and Valentines Chai, which still haunts me. Megan said she was inspired by Lianne Mercers talk to us about poetry therapy and decided to start writing poems about her mothers cancer journey. She has about 60 now and will continue them to the end. Her mom has stopped treatment and called in hospice. The family is preparing to say good-bye and let her go home. We love you, Megan. Thank you.

And what a treat Roylynn Brocksch came with Mary this time!!! Roylynn is our #1 fan and we love when she visits us!!! I wish she would come every month. She is always a source of encouragement!

Do you remember Aimee Martin? Aimee had a story published in 2008 in Life Savors: Savory Stories to Inspire Your Soul called Crunch Time Miracle.  The editor was Jeanette Littleton who is also compiling stories for Guidepost for their series, The Incredible Power of Prayer. Aimee was thrilled this month to find out that her story has been reprinted in the third Guidepost book in the series, Expecting Miracles! Aimee has a copy of the book, but I cant find the expected release date anywhere on the web. I hope Aimee will let me know the details when she finds out. Congratulations, Aimee!!!

Alice Kolb writes: Whew! I’ve got too much on my plate right now. I just walked in from lecturing this a.m. and have to teach all day tomorrow – so I have to miss tonight. I’m very DISAPPOINTED. Have fun and grow together. And may I ask, copies of tonight – oh, I love these meetings. Absolutely you may have copies, Alice. I can email them to you, if you like. And we miss you, too!!

One of Barbara Loyds stories has passed through the first round of acceptances for a new anthology, Thanksgiving Tales: Stories of the Holiday in America!!! They sent her a contract this past week. The book will be published by Sestin, LLC and is due out before the end of 2011. Megan Willome and I critiqued this piece in one of our TWiG meetings and it was delightful! Have you ever heard of a recipe called Turkey in Crust? Barbara hadnt either but she pulled it off!!! Congratulations, Barbara! We will pray for your story to be accepted!

Dena Dyer wanted to attend but her kids were out of school that day and she and Carey decided to make a day (and evening) of it with them. See you next month, Dena!

Our sympathies to Liz Brookshire on the passing of her mother, Hermina Krauskopf. We miss you, Lizzie!

Mary Hartmann, our NY member, was in a bad car accident on Feb. 11 in Florida, where she has been staying with her daughter and her family. Mary writes: I am blessed, truly blessed to be alive. The Lord is so good to me. This particular accident got both the front and the back of my car. Although I made it, the car didn’t and was junked…Though I feel like my bones banged into my flesh, I am repairable…My daughter and family are spoiling me…by the looks of things I’ll be here for quite a while; longer than I expected…all I can say is the Lord surely has a purpose for me. Mary, Im so relieved that you are whole and on the mend!!! We love you, Mary, and will keep you in our prayers!!  

Rebecca McCright emails: I miss you gals so much. Aside from my newsletters, I am writing very little. I so enjoyed the inspiration and camaraderie. I hope you think of me as often as I think of y’all – maybe your thoughts of me will send me bits of inspiration. Sorry I won’t be there…” We miss you, too, Rebecca!!! Maybe you can visit in the summer? I hope so!!!

We have two February birthdays Karen Eby on February 24 and Liz Eberle on February 25.

Did I get everything in? Did I miss anything?

Until next month, keep writing. Our lives, our thoughts, our relationships, our stories are all worth recording and we are the only ones who can do it.

Love and blessings to all, Sally

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