We had a wonderful turnout for the March meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words.

It was full of surprises!


On Feb. 23, eight WOW members attended the 5th Annual Writers Event in Johnson City, TX, featuring authors Suzy Spencer, Greg Garrett, and Joe Nick Patoski. Sally Clark, Sheila Kale, Liz Brookshire, Lianne Mercer, Karen Vanek, Alice Kolb, Betty Mucha, and Sheila Barnette were all absorbed in the listening and learning event. A few of us even had critiques with the presenters. It was a wonderful event that we are blessed to have so close to us!


Valerie Gaumont furnished our writing exercise: “The poor lady grieved in one of her rare revolts against fate...” We finished that thought in eight different, surprising, entertaining, revolting, stimulating, though-provoking, humorous, and bone-chilling ways.


We had the nicest surprise - Liz Eberle was with us! Liz is our founding member. For years, Liz held all our meetings in her gracious living room and we loved it. Family circumstances and health changes required Liz to take an extended leave of absence but we are soooooo happy that she is back with us! Liz brought a delightful fiction story, “Granny Wore Dirty Sweats.” It was funny and tender. We loved it! It is definitely anthology-worthy! And here is another surprise --- Liz has already enrolled in the Fredericksburg Art School Memoir Writing Workshop being held at the Hampton Inn, here in Fbg., April 15-19! I am so impressed with her decision and her action. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us. I will be putting out an email to the group about this event soon but if you want a sneak preview, go to http://www.fbgartschool.com/2013_classes.htm for more information. 


Vickie Wray delighted us again. Her work-in-progress, Adventures at Camp Grandma, will have a section for devotionals and she brought us an Easter piece she calls “The Rusty, Old Bird Cage.” This is not an entirely original piece...Vickie adapted it from an old story that has circulated around the internet with no author credited for it. We discussed at length how she might find the author but she’s tried them all to no avail. We decided she should just say: “Adapted From...” at the beginning and go for it. It’s a beautiful illustration of Jesus’ willingness to pay the price for our souls. Beautifully done, Vickie!


Linda Colie was with us, as always, and although she did not bring anything to share with the group, she wrote a wonderful story from Valerie’s writing prompt that kept us all intrigued. Thank you, Linda!


Sally Clark brought chapter three from her unfinished Christmas novella, The Art of Christmas. More Tannenbaum residents are sounding off via the letters to the editor column in the local newspaper and editor Sam Larson reflects on Christmas’ in the town’s past. I am so enjoying writing this book, whether anything ever comes of it or not, I thank you all for your encouragement and your support!


Sheila Kale gave us another surprise – she brought poetry! Two poems! “Noise Like Silence,” and “I Remember,” both inspired by her mother’s recent passing. The first poem was from Sheila’s perspective, the second poem was from her mother’s. Very touching, Sheila. You are so talented!!


If you didn’t already know, Sheila is organizing a city-wide Bible reading on March 28-29 at various places around the town. If you haven’t already signed up, there is still time. Go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050D45A8AB2BA02-proclaiming and find your time slot.


Karen Vanek brought us a wonderful nonfiction story, “Message From Christy” about the passing of her daughter as a young woman. Karen, I am so sorry I neglected to ask you how old Christy was when she died and how recent was her passing? She certainly was a very special and beloved woman to many people. I so glad you shared this story with us. We love your writing and getting to know you more!


Karen has a blog: http://karenvanek.wordpress.com. This is some of the wonderful advice she offers there: “To connect to the emotions of a character, I always taught my students that characters in their writing need to share from the head, their intellect, as well as the heart, the emotions. In fact, I would have them sketch a quick gingerbread body shape and put a heart and a brain in the appropriate spots. Then I would have them draw a line from each organ to what line/s of dialogue or what line/s of narrative would connect the reader to each of these response areas. This seemed to get the results I was seeking.”  What a great idea!


Lynn Harris was at the meeting but didn’t have anything to read. Life (as well we know) too often gets in the way of the creative process! But Lynn did write to Valerie’s prompt and we loved hearing her story!


Valerie Gaumont brought chapter five of her book, Miss Chrissy’s Cooking School for Young Ladies where we learn that Chrissy’s dear old grandma used to grow and sell pot out of her greenhouse in the backyard! As Chrissy tries to settle in to living with her parents again, her mother reveals the beginnings of her plot to keep Chrissy employed and at home for the unforeseeable future. This is a funny and fun story, Valerie! Thank you! And if anybody would like to read the previous chapters of this book, just email Valerie at valeriegaumont@gmail.com and she will send them to you.


From around the world of WOWs:


It was so nice to visit with Alice Kolb in Johnson City! I hope she will be able to join us again someday.


Barbara Loyd continues to post on her blog, http://colorfilled.blogspot.com. Barbara’s latest post features a home exterior color contest sponsored by Polymer Roofing Company. Deadline for entry is April 21.


The following information is from Dena Dyer’s Facebook page:Whoo-hoo! Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts is now available for pre-order on Amazon. There’s a bible study in the back, which makes it ideal for doing it as a group (bible study, prayer partners, book club, etc.)” Here is the link to Dena’s new book: http://tinyurl.com/clsywx9


Kathleen Maxwell-Brambie has a beautiful Easter post on her blog, http://themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com.


Katy Jones is saddened that the publisher of her two books, Leandra’s Enchanted Flute and Return to Finian Jahndra has gone out of business, but her books are still available on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/cm5nuoj . See the book trailer she made at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYVvbcYybfQ


Liz Brookshire emailed: I am in Austin helping my sister-in-law move.  Sorry I can't make it tonight.”


Thank you, Lorraine McVey, for sending information about a new writing contest her writers group in Kansas is sponsoring! I’m going to enter!


Megan Willome has a new look to her web site: http://meganwillome.com. It is so cute and perfectly reflects her personality. Megan comes to TWiG regularly.


Pam Perrin says, I'll have to miss tonight. Chey has to work late and the kids have homework.” Pam comes to TWiG, too.


Sara Allerkamp wrote: “I won't able to go Monday night. It's the night before a medical mission trip; much work, and gotta get up at 4 am on Tuesday.” God bless your efforts, Sara.


Sheri Pattillo emailed: I will not be there tonight. The Heritage School sophomore class has gone to the Grand Canyon for their class trip and my hubby went as chaperon so I'm going to enjoy having some Mom/Son time with Dixon tonight.” Sheri comes to TWiG as often as she can.


We have two birthdays coming up: Betty Mucha on April 7

                                                Lorraine McVey on April 14


Don’t forget you can keep up with submission deadlines at www.christwriters.info/deadlines


Let your prayers and your words be heard!


Love, Sally

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