The June meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was fantastic! We had a great turnout, a lot of laughs, and an overdose of inspiration!

 

Sally Clark read a piece she found on line by author Janice Christensen about how her weight loss journal lead her to writing a blog which lead her to two book contracts. It can be done, ladies, and we can do it, too!! Read Janice’s story at: http://janiceeileen.com/mystory.html

 

We started the meeting with a writing exercise from Room to Write by Bonni Goldberg. Everybody really seems to enjoy these 10 minute writing exercises and we plan to continue them at each meeting. Some members said they hadn’t written anything all month until now. It is so good for us all to read what we’ve written and enjoy everybody’s words.

 

Alice Kolb is back from her travels and her grandmother duties. She brought us a great piece called “Summer’s a Burnin’” and man, was she ever right! We are all hot but very, very thankful to have escaped any fire damage so far. Alice’s work made us reflect on how our grand and great-grand mothers must have coped with this heat in long skirts and sleeves. They were certainly made of sterner stuff but then, they lived much shorter lives, too! Thank you, Alice, for this wonderful essay. You can read more of Alice’s writing at her blog: www.pens-or-pins.blogspot.com

 

Linda Colie was with us but she had not written anything to share with us. I am so eager to know what happens in “Extra Body, Extra Shine,” and how Chloe escapes (if she does) that diabolical bottle of shampoo in the shower but I guess I’ll have to wait until next month. Sigh. In the meantime, we are thankful for Linda’s ears and comments on our work. Thanks you, Linda! And by the way, if anybody has a “Dragon” program for your computer that you can share with Linda, she would love to have it. This program enables you to talk to your computer and it will type your words for you. What will they think of next?

 

Kathleen Maxwell brought us an article she has plans to submit to Celebrate Life Magazine (http://www.clmagazine.org/nav/index/heading/MjE/) called “Dignity in The Decline.” It is a short piece about celebrating life, even in the first Christmas Eve after the death of her husband. She asked us to help her find typos and grammar mistakes so the piece is ready for submission. Kathleen certainly has a lot on her plate with caring for both of her parents and their health problems but she finds grace and love in every struggle. Read more of her words on her blog: www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com Kathleen also showed us the second revision of her book, Wake Up to Who You Are, which she will be selling and signing on July 28th at The Fredericksburg Herb Farm. Watch your emails for more news on this event.

 

Dayna Haines from Mason was with us! What a treat! Dayna is the art teacher at Llano High School and a gifted artist. She brought us some amazing books of poetry she has created herself - I mean created as in written, made the paper, constructed the covers, and illustrated. They were fascinating! She said she makes them along with her students so they can see her work and she can involve them in the process. Dayna is co-hosting a teachers retreat in July at The Haven River Inn in Comfort, TX, along with WOW member Rebecca McCright and this year, Dayna is one of the speakers. The theme of the retreat is “Treasured,” so Dayna is speaking on “Treasured Conversations” as well as teaching the attendees to make treasure boxes. I bet they will be awesome! Dayna also brought a beautiful book of haiku poetry illustrated with gorgeous color photography by her friend Celieta Leifeste entitled, When I in Awestruck Wander. I just had to purchase a copy of this beautiful book of 80 pages of poetry and photos. Did you know that Dayna was born in Japan and has been writing traditional haiku since she was 8? I had no idea! What a gold mine of creativity. Please come back anytime you can, Dayna, and bring us more of your amazing work!

 

It was so good to see Mary Eckert again! Mary has been struggling with writers block even though her characters are badgering her to be put back on paper. That sure is a frustrating place to be, I know. I don’t think of it as “not writing” but as “re-fueling” and “doing research.” In the meantime, we were grateful for her ears and comments on our work. Mary will also be selling and signing her book, Where Was God When I Cried, at The Fredericksburg Herb Farm on July 28th. Thank you, Mary!

 

Surprise! Surprise! Barbara Loyd is in town and made the meeting! What a treat. Barbara will be here until the end of the month and she and Paul are making plans to move back to Fredericksburg!! I’m so excited. She was only supposed to be in Tulsa for two years and it’s been almost four so they are tardy!!! Barbara didn’t have anything to read at the meeting but she did come to TWiG yesterday and has written some wonderful poetry in response to the book that we are doing, Talking Back to Poems. We’ll see her next week at TWiG, too. Zipp-a-dee-doo!

 

Megan Willome had just finished editing her magazine, The Wacoan, and had some brain-drain issues but I’m so glad she was there to listen and critique. Megan’s new title at the magazine is Managing Editor! Congratulations! Megan will soon have a poem posted online sometime before the end of the month. Watch your emails for the announcement and the link where you can read it. In the meantime, keep up with Megan’s 40 days of sitting on her blog: http://meganwillome.highcallingblogs.com

 

Sheri Pattillo has started attending our TWiG group on Tuesdays. For WOW, she brought us a fun poem called “Say Cheese,” about school picture day when she was nine years old, “turning flip-flops across the playground” and “not doing the curls Mom likes.” We all have to establish our independence sometime, don’t we? Thank you for bringing that wonderful poem, Sheri, and making us all laugh.

 

Lorraine McVey was back! She emailed me last week to ask why wasn’t I sending her any more emails and it turned out they were all going into her spam box so if you aren’t getting an email from me every day, you might want to check your spam. Lorraine was afraid we were dismissed for the summer but I told her, heavens no! We’re still meeting and come on down! Lorraine brought a story that she plans to submit to the Cheerios contest called “Annie Goat and the Cereal Rules.” Such a cute story! I would love to read it in my cereal box, Lorraine! Good luck and keep us posted!

 

Sally Clark brought an essay (or was it a journal entry?) called “Relationship is a Two-way Street” and some poems: “Leafy Worship,” I wrote one morning after a walk and three poems I wrote while traveling to East Texas this past month with my husband: “Band of Brothers,” “Launching Pad,” and “Church of the Living God.” I submitted a poem to Enchanted Conversations last month about Snow White and it was not chosen for publication but I was encouraged to submit again as my poem was in the top 20. This month, the theme is Cinderella, so I wrote a poem called “It Must ‘a Bin A Full Moon,” about a drunk rat and his outrageous tale about driving a coach and six horses. How will he convince his rodent friends it really happened? Ha! Ha! Wish me luck!

 

Pam Perrin read us a poem at TWiG a few weeks ago about her dad. When she presented it to him, she says he read a few lines and choked up, then handed it to her mom who read a few lines and choked up, so she handed it to Pam’s brother who managed to finish it. How gratifying to know that our words touch the people we love! Good work, Pam! She read a few poems to us at the meeting. I didn’t catch the titles but I think one was “I Hate Spiders,” another was, “There I Stood,” and a third was a poem about cultivating the garden of motherhood. Pam is coming to TWiG and writing some wonderful poetry. I’m so glad she’s with us!

 

News from other WOWs includes:

 

Beth Smith is keeping up her blog: http://heartopentogod.blogspot.com

 

Cindy Harper’s daughter got married this past weekend, so she can have her life back now. She is planning to start attending TWiG again and I hope she will join us for WOW in July.

 

I haven’t heard any news from Dena Dyer but am still praying for her book deal to go through.

 

India Lott’s book, The Witch’s Familiar is for sale downtown at The Spunky Monkey. She missed the meeting because she was visiting her grandparents this week.

 

Liz Brookshire is back in town from babysitting in Houston and hopes to join us in July. She’s ready to get back in the saddle!

 

Liz Eberle wanted to be with us but was worn out from weekend company and celebrating her husband Gus’ birthday.

 

Sheila Barnette emailed to say: “Looks like I'll miss this month's meeting again.  Drat!  I have been having a barrage of medical tests and have been on the road to Austin, San Antonio, and Fredericksburg almost constantly for 2 weeks.  I am tired of driving.  I have to be back in Fred'burg on Monday morning, and I don't think I'll want to go back in the evening, too. George has been in Joplin for the last 2 weeks organizing volunteers in the recovery effort.  He comes back tomorrow. I hope I can be at the July meeting.  I miss everyone and hearing what they're doing.”

 

Sheila Kale is in Dallas visiting her daughter and grandchildren.

 

Our July birthdays are Dena Dyer on July 12th and Katy Jones on July 20th.

   

Until then, stay cool, keep praying for rain, and write about it! Love,Sally

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