The May meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was a very fun event! If you weren’t there, you missed great fellowship and a bounty of writing inspiration.
 
We started the meeting with a writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont – “Once more on the boat, he felt a tranquility of spirit...” – and we were off and writing. As usual, we committed murders, isolated like sea hermits, sailed around the world, you name it, we can write it! Lynn Harris says this is her favorite part of the meetings and I have to agree.
 
Sally Clark (http://sallyclark.info/ ) was thrilled to show what had arrived in her mail just that day – a nice, crisp check for $2000 from Guideposts, an advance against royalties for her board book, Where’s My Hug? I was smilin’ all the way to the bank!! This has been such a fun adventure and I would never have taken it if it hadn’t been for all the WOWs and their encouragement and friendship! That’s the truth, Ladies! I also brought a new picture book I’ve written called Deep Fried Dillies: A Pickles A-Z Book, another lift-the-flap board book called Hogs and Kisses, an essay entitled “You Can’t Beat Me for Losing,” which I have submitted to an anthology on writer’s rejection experiences, and a poem I call “Unattended.” Thank you all so much for your suggestions and for your encouragement.
 
Barbara Loyd (http://colorfilled.blogspot.com/ ) has resurrected a story that she started years ago called “A Journey West” and she brought us 1500 words to critique. Bunkie has won the lottery and is celebrating her new-found financial freedom with a trip from Chicago to California. She plans to drive the famous Route 66, just like her TV heroes did back in the 60s, but will she take this journey alone or pick up a handsome stranger to keep herself amused? Come back next month and find out!
 
We were so happy to see Alice Kolb again! Alice (http://pens-or-pins.blogspot.com/ ) is a talented writer and has been a member of our group for years. Some of you may not have met her because her husband’s health situation has made it hard for her to leave home at night, but we are so happy for any time she is able to come. Alice has written and illustrated a new cookbook/memoir called Hard Times, Good Times, and Great Home Cooking. The book is being edited right now. Alice had originally intended it to simply be something for her family and friends to enjoy, but her editor is so impressed, he has suggested she try to sell it to the general public. She read us one of her stories about baking coffee cake when she was 9 years old. The recipe called for 1/4 C of coffee. Alice used coffee grounds instead of liquid coffee and you can imagine the results. Much to her father’s credit, he ate and praised her efforts which encouraged her to enjoy a lifetime of cooking. I can’t wait for this book to come out. I want one!
 
Sylvia Rogers (http://praise4life.wordpress.com/ ) is working on her children’s picture book, The Wishing Tree, and she brought us some of her revisions. Such a sweet, tender story. Discussing her book lead me to tell Sylvia about a book called The Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogilner (http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Writers-Word-Alijandra-Mogilner/dp/1582974136/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400706916&sr=8-1&keywords=the+children%27s+word+book+writer%27s+digest ) This is a wonderful tool for children’s writers because it lists specific words that are introduced at each grade level along with synonyms for each word that can be used for different grades. Very clever! I recommend it to any children’s writers.
 
Linda Colie wrote for the exercise, like she always does, and as always, it was completely enjoyable and we were impressed. We sure wish Linda would finish one of these timed writings, but we understand her limitations. Linda did bring her sketch book, full of beautiful, detailed, colored pencil drawings. We were so impressed. Linda is a real artist and we are lucky to get to see some of her work. I love the ice-fishing houses!!
 
Vici Wray is working had to put together a proposal for Rainbow Publishing of her Adventures at Camp Grandma book. Sheila Kale has been helping her, but we all pitched in with whatever advice we could contribute. I’m so proud of Vici for pursing this project. It really is a valuable book that I think would be a good seller for the right publishing house.
 
Sheila Kale (http://sheilaspeakshope.com/ ) was with us, but didn’t have anything to read. Sheila also writes wonderfully to the timed writing prompts and we wish she would finish one of these stories, but she’s been pretty busy lately. Sheila organized the Easter Bible reading in the park, at the gazebo, and at Cross Mountain this year and she also organize the National Day of Prayer here in Fredericksburg. She’s also had several speaking engagements, talking about her experiences in Cambodia earlier this year with a medical mission team, as well as being Area Governor for Toastmasters. She attended a Toastmasters conference just this past weekend and loved every minute of it. Sheila is so talented!!
 
Valerie Gaumont (http://valeriegaumont.weebly.com/ ) brought us the beginning of a new other-world novel she calls Ashka’s Road. Ashka is in his 80s. He fought in the revolution that overthrew the puppet king, Ferd, and lived through the struggle to establish a new government in the twenty years that followed. Now he wants his grandchildren to understand all that happened before they were born, the sacrifices that were made, and how their world used to be. Fascinating! Valerie has a fantastic imagination and we are so lucky to get to dip into her mind!
 
Here is what I’ve heard from everyone else:
 
Betty Murphy emailed: "I will not be there as we are going on vacation.  Hope to see you next month."  We missed you, Betty.
 
Bobbi Grimmer had Les Miserable rehearsal. Linda Colie says Bobbi has a great part in the play. Tickets go on sale June 9th and I bet they will sell out quickly.
 
Liz Eberle has had double cataract surgery the past month and done very well with it all. She looks so different now without her glasses! Maybe she will post something soon on her blog: http://myprayingchairs.blogspot.com/
 
Lynn Harris has been coming to TWiG on Tuesdays, but couldn’t make the meeting because her daughter was graduating this weekend with her Masters in Justice Ministry from Catholic Theological University in Chicago. Lynn got to spend the week with her daughter and celebrate with her. What a treat! Congratulations, Lynn!
 
Pam Perrin’s son, Enzo, was performing in Annie at St. Mary’s that night. Wouldn’t that be fun to see?
 
There are no birthdays that I know of between now and our next meeting. If I’ve missed anybody, please, please, please let me know.
 
Until then, keep writing!!
 
Sally
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