The February meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words welcomed a new member, Sara Allerkamp. 

On Saturday afternoon, eight WOW members attended Jane Rubietta’s writer’s session at the United Methodist Church. Present were Sally Clark, Sheila Kale, Liz Eberle, Liz Brookshire, Lynn Harris, Vickie Wray, Judy Koch, and Sara Allerkamp. Personally, I was relieved to hear from Jane that publishers are finally realizing social media does not play a crucial role in books sales. What a relief!


Valerie Gaumont started our meeting off with a prompt: “So close to evil, she must have lived all those years...” We all enjoyed this prompt, even if it was a little dark, and as always, we were surprised at how many different directions we took it.


Linda Colie wrote longer on the prompt and delivered a chilly little tale about Winnie, Snookie, and Dr. Adams. Linda thought it was finished but we all thought it could go on and develop into a short story. Thank you, Linda. We enjoy having you at our meetings so much!


Vickie Wray brought us a short skit to read in parts. I’m sorry to say I got away without getting a copy so I can’t remember the name of the skit (I’ve slept since then, you know) but we had fun with it. It was based on the full armor of God as illustrated in Eph. 6:13-17. I got to read the part of Soldier #2. Vickie’s creativity never ceases to amaze me. She ought to be writing VBS curriculum! Thank you, Vickie.


Sara Allerkamp is hoping to write a book about caring for her 90-year-old mother and she brought a short piece called “Loving Mamma.” Sara is one of 15 living siblings. She, her twin sister, Sally, and another sister, Janie, have dedicated themselves to caring for their mother through this stage of her life. It is a tough decision, I know, and it will be a loving and difficult journey. I’m so glad Sara has joined us and look forward to traveling this path with her through her writing.


Sally Clark showed the group her copy of Voices Along the River: The 2012 San Antonio Poetry Fair Anthology which features Sally’s poem, “Diamondback” as an honorable mention winner. I also read an email from a seminary professor in Australia who read my poem, “Flowers After a Wildfire” in Weavings and wants to re-publish it on his web site. He felt it would be very timely for Australians who have lost so much land to wildfires in the past year. Since Weavings bought all rights to this poem, I advised him to contact them directly. He did and they gave permission. You can read it on his site: . I also read Chapter Two, “Can We Lynch Him?” of my Christmas novella, The Art of Christmas. Thanks everyone for your help on this one. I hope I can keep going and actually finish it sometime soon!


Valerie Gaumont brought us two chapters of her newest book, Miss Chrissy’s Cooking School for Young Ladies. She handed out Chapter Two for us to read at home and then read Chapter Three aloud. Valerie says she’s never written anything quite like this book before but it certainly doesn’t show. It’s funny and quick and we all loved it! And if you are wondering whatever happened to her mystery, Shadows on the Wall, featuring Ellie-who-has-lost-her-memory, Valerie said she finished the book and it is being edited. As soon as it is available, she will let us know and we can download and read it. I really want to know what happens in that one!!!


Sheila Kale was with us and even though she didn’t bring anything to read, Sheila wrote a wonderful piece to Valerie’s prompt. Working her way through her mom’s death has taken much of Sheila’s energy lately as well as working towards her certification as a Life Coach. She will write again someday, I hope.


News from other WOWs include:


Barbara Loyd continues to write and post on her blog, She has some beautiful postings and photos about Valentine colors.


Dena Dyer is also posting on her blog: She just put up a new post yesterday, an interview with Kimberlee Conway Ireton who has written The Circle of Seasons which is a well-written, thoughtful, and practical guide to the church year. Sounds interesting!


Dorothy Leyendecker reports that on Monday morning, at her home in Lady Lake, Florida, it was 29 degrees. Brrrrrr! Especially for Florida!


I had an email from India Lott this month. India writes: I am currently trying to find an agent to represent my finished novel ("The Witch's Familiars") and perhaps one that would be there for future projects. Though I self published it originally, I think it may have potential as a traditionally published book. I’m so glad that India is still moving forward on her writing. I hope she can visit us again.


Karen Greathouse emailed me, too, this month, asking for information about how/where to published some of her children’s stories. Remember them? Sweet animal stories that I thought had great potential. Karen hopes to be able to join us again in the summer. Right now, her schedule is too busy.


Karen Vanek joined us last month and this month she emailed: I'm sorry that I was not able to attend Monday's meeting as I was out of town... I will plan on attending the next meeting. I hope so! I really enjoyed getting to know Karen.


Our sympathies to Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie on the passing of her father in early February. Read Kathleen’s beautiful words of tribute on her blog: God’s blessings and peace, Kathleen.


Katy Jones has a new blog post up, “What a journey of tenacity it’s been” about writing. Take a look and be encouraged at: Thank you, Katy, for being so honest about what it takes to be a successful writer!


Liz Brookshire was in Houston Monday night. Her husband, Don Brookshire, is helping to coach the girls basketball team at Heritage Family School and they are in the playoffs (I’m sure thanks to Don!). They won the game. Heritage is very lucky to have him!


Liz Eberle is doing better, praise the Lord, venturing out some, has no caregivers right now, and doesn’t have to go to the hospital for infusions any more. Liz even has a couple of new posts on her blog: but I won’t tell you what her new four-letter word is!


Lynn Harris was also in Houston, visiting her son, grandson, and daughter. Hope all went well, Lynn!


Mary Eckert writes: Wish I could be with you all tonight. My husband Dewey is getting prepared to have cataract surgery next week and we have to go to Fredericksburg Tuesday (tomorrow) to set things up. I've been sick the last few days with cold and sinus. Maybe I can make it next month. I did get a new car so I do have something reliable to drive now. Still don't like driving that far at night alone. Maybe I can get Dayna to start coming with me again. Blessings to all...Mary I hope you can get Dayna to come with you, Mary. I miss you both!


Megan Willome is posting on her blog: every week. She is so much more disciplined than I am! Megan comes to TWiG and shares her poetry.


Pam Perrin’s daughter, Sasha, had cheerleading class again. Pam comes to TWiG and is writing wonderful poetry.


Sheri Pattillo is also coming to TWiG and I love hearing her words.


We have one birthday coming up: Liz Eberle on February 25. Happy Birthday, Liz!


Until then, remember you can always check the web site: to keep up with the most recent submission deadline.


Love to all, Sally

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