This month’s meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was really FUN! I know I say that a lot, but every meeting is fun for me. I look forward to it all month.
 
We began the meeting with a writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont: “He floated somewhere between restriction and freedom...” and we took off from there. It’s always so interesting the different ways we each can go with the same idea. We wrote about women’s lib, reality TV, a car thief, afterlife, betrayed lovers, fantasy island, a poem about a pear, amnesia, and a story from the point of view of a fish. Where would that prompt have taken you?  
 
We were so excited that Mary Eckert was with us this month! And guess what – Mary has a new blog – http://blessingsfortheday.wordpress.com/ . Mary’s goal is to write once a week so check it out. Mary recently attended a writer’s workshop with author and speaker, Pamela Fagen Hutchins. She was very impressed with Pamela and bought one of her books about self-publishing. Mary has been side tracked from her writing for awhile, but she is teaching creative writing one day a week at a small church school in Junction and she’s determined to get back into the writing saddle again. We are so glad to have her back with us!!
 
Betty Murphy has a new Apple computer her children handed down to her (isn’t it funny when we get their hand-me-downs?) and she’s struggling to learn it, but she did have a sweet nonfiction piece to share with us called “Believe in Happy Ending,” a true story of her grandparents relationship. So bittersweet. I would never have imagined it. I’m glad her grandmother did have her happy ending.
 
Lynn Harris has a new job at Hat Biz. They are a hat distributor and sell Lone Star Hats. Lynn brought us a continuation of her novel, Life With Lupe. Now they’ve discovered tunnels used by drug dealers, stashed with a cache of weapons and hordes of spiders. Yuck. Sounds gross and dangerous at the same time.
 
Valerie Gaumont, http://valeriegaumont.weebly.com/ , brought us the rest of chapter one from her new novel, Ashka’s Road. This haunting book is really interesting. I’m so glad Valerie brought us copies so I can re-read the first chapter of the entire fantasy adventure. War-weary Ashka lives on Gerodona Street, an old street that has seen it’s share of revolutionary battles. How honest will he be now in the re-telling of the revolution now that his grandson is asking questions? Valerie is so good at creating intrigue.
 
Barbara Loyd, http://colorfilled.blogspot.com/ , and her husband, Paul, have both signed up for the Writers League of Texas Summer Workshop in Alpine, TX, August 2-7. What a great adventure they will have together! I didn’t even know Paul was interested in writing, but Barbara says he’s working hard on a rough draft to take along for evaluation. I can’t wait to hear Barbara’s report on the event. Barbara brought us a short prose gardening piece she titled “Prose-Bounty.” She also read us a sweet, visual poem called “Sunday Evening.” I love the description of her dog as “pants-a-lot.” That was fun.
 
Liz Brookshire put is all in stitches with her piece “Adventures in Camping,” a story she wrote and read for her Toastmasters group. I love this story!! I will keep my eyes out, Liz, for a camping anthology. This would be perfect.
 
Sheila Kale, http://www.sheilaspeakshope.com/ , brought us the very first beginnings of a story? novel? (we’re not sure), just slightly more than ½ of one page, but we were hooked! An old church, covered with vines, holds the key to whatever had destroyed her family and our heroine is determined that nothing will remain hidden in the ruins. I’ve always felt that Sheila could write powerful fiction if she just put her fingers to the keys and look – I was right! Please bring us more, Sheila.
 
Vici Wray is moving ahead with her planned proposal to Rainbow Publishers of her book, Adventures at Camp Grandma. I am so impressed with the work Vici has done on this and pleased to have a copy of her proposal to read and critique. I have a really good feeling about this, Vici. I hope Rainbow is ready for an adventure!
 
Linda Colie was with us, nothing to read, but she’s the one who wrote to Valerie’s prompt from the point-of-view of a fish! What a great imagination Linda has. Linda also brought us treats – nice manuscript folders and copies of the Constitution of the United States. Someone had given these to Linda and she wanted to pass them on to us. Thank you, Linda!
 
Sally Clark, http://sallyclark.info/ , brought eight poems, “Tiny Skeletons, Empty Skin,” (bet you’ll look at dust differently now, won’t you?) “Batten Down the Bodies,” (think I’ll change that one to “Summer Squall”) “Old Sheets,” “How Do You Explain,” “The Dam,” “Making My Way to Shore,” (I changed the title to “Making Peace With God,”) “Forty-Four,” and “Memory.” Thank you all for your help in critiquing these poems.
 
News from other WOWs –
 
Alice Kolb, http://pens-or-pins.blogspot.com/ , had intended to come to the meeting that night. She has copies of her new book to show everybody, but emailed at the last minute – “I am still hoping but not sure I can make it tonight. My left eye is fighting a problem that reoccurs now and then, old scar tissue that flares afresh on the cornea that makes me extremely sensitive to light. I tried driving to exercise this am and found it very difficult to drive home. I've been inside all day and just walked out to get mail and the sun felt blinding. I have re-medicated the eye and maybe by 5:20 p.m. I can drive. If I don't show it is because of the danger of driving with this problem.”
 
Bobbi Grimmer had play practice for Les Miserables. This is going to be a wonderful play and I think it will sell out quickly. Be sure to watch for it June 20th through July 6th. Bobbi is in the chorus.
 
Dorothy Leyendecker, our Florida member, sent me two writer magazines which I will read and bring to the next meeting to pass on. Thanks so much, Dorothy!
 
Karen Vanek http://karenvanek.wordpress.com/ , is out of town, attending the baptisms of her grandbabies. What a blessing!
 
Sylvia Rogers, http://praise4life.wordpress.com/ , emailed her regrets that she could not attend.
 
Upcoming birthdays are: Valerie Gaumont, Johnson City, June 27th
                                    Dena Dyer, Granbury, July 12th
                                    Katy Jones, Kerrville, July 20th
 
Keep writing!
 
Love to all, Sally
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