Attendance at the May meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was a bit sparse, but maybe that’s the way it was supposed to be. With only four members present, we spent most of our time sharing and treasuring our memories of WOW founding member, Linda Colie, who passed away on May 5th. 
 
Linda was at the very first WOW meeting at Liz Eberle’s house in July, 2001 and she attended almost every meeting until January, 2015. I can only remember two or three times that Linda might have missed in 13 and ½ years. Linda wrote Biblical fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, children’s stories, essays and memoir. Many of her stories brought tears to our eyes. Many more made us laugh out loud. We were amazed at her beautiful drawings.
 
I remember Linda once told me she won a Writer’s Digest contest, I think it was First Place, but I don’t remember the category and I never knew the year. I remember she illustrated a book that a man in her apartment complex (Town Creek Apartments) wrote. It was on Amazon, but I can’t find it now or remember the man’s name. I believe there is still a soft-cover book at Pioneer Memorial Library that was complied by another writers group here in Fredericksburg, before WOW began meeting, that Linda was active in that has some of her stories. It used to be in the Texas Room upstairs at the library. I have many of her writings in my file cabinet.
 
Here is what Linda wrote for her bio page on the WOW site, http://hcwomenofwords.org/linda-colie.php
 
“Linda Colie was born and raised in Northern Minnesota, the Land of Guilt and Honey. There was nowhere to go. Someone would tell Ma & Pa.
 
The deep woods and small town life played to a fertile imagination that was often rewarded with red-cheeked praise and sometimes, the dreaded "what will people think?"
 
Ms. Colie lived, breathed, and dreamed horses as a young girl, channeling her artistic endeavors and reading programs into horses, horses, horses. A sudden unexpected meeting with RA in her 17th year put a hold on much of her life until moving to Texas with her folks put her in contact with a number of gracious people, namely Liz Eberle who lit a fire under her bum, getting her to join a writing group that eventually became Hill Country Women of Words.
 
Ms. Colie enjoys writing quirky poetry, silly rhymes, odd ball mysteries, and Biblical fiction. She also draws, colors with colored pencils, and has sewed quilts, dolls, and wall hangings. She came to Christ when she was 40 years old and hasn't looked back. Her love of Christ is what keeps her going, day to day.”
 
A memorial service for Linda was held on May 13th, at the Evangelical Free Church. WOW members who attended were Sally Clark (and her husband, Mike), Sheila Kale (and her husband, Steven), Megan Willome, Bobbi Grimmer, Lynn Harris, Anna Mendeke, and Alice Kolb. Bobbi read Linda’s life testament written by Rolf & Julie Smith. Sheila read Linda’s essay, “Sufficient Grace,” which Linda wrote and brought to our WOW meeting on February 28th, 2005.
 
I am attaching a copy of the memorial service bulletin to this newsletter. Please take a look at it. The cover is a self-portrait of Linda with her best friend, her dog Punkin.
 
If you would like to send a sympathy card to Linda’s parents, their address is:
 
Robert& Lucille Colie
1125 S. Adams 
Apt. 104
Fredericksburg, TX  78624
 
Or to her sister, Chris:
 
Chris Shurson
1125 S. Adams
Apt. 1104
Fredericksburg, TX  78624
 
For those of us who knew Linda, it was a privilege to be her friend. Our lives are richer because of her. She will be deeply missed and long remembered. We can’t wait to see you again in heaven, Linda!
 
Anna Mendeke was at the meeting. She didn’t bring anything to read, but she was there anyway, just to listen and critique. We appreciate her so much!
 
Bobbi Grimmer was there, too, and read us two pieces. The first one was “Spring Break Extravaganza” about her trip to see her daughter, Sarah, in Germany. Bobbi forgot to check her luggage through all the way to Germany and ended up having to drag it around herself through the airports. Yuck! Her second piece was an alliteration poem called “When I think of you, I think of...” she wrote for her brother years ago. He was her favorite brother, just younger than her, and the poem was filled with poignant and funny memories between the two of them. Thank you, Bobbi, for sharing with us.
 
Sally Clark brought three things to share with the group. On children’s literary agent Jill Corcoran’s web page, I found an article entitled “What Makes a Book Sell?” that impressed me so much, I wanted to share it with the group. You can read the article online at: http://jillcorcoranliteraryagency.com/what-makes-a-book-sell Take a few minutes and read it. I found it to be very refreshing. Then, because I was so impressed with Jill’s article, I decided to submit one of my picture books to her, Boogie Man Jam, for representation. I have no experience with an agent, so we’ll see where this goes, and I brought my submission letter to Jill for everyone to read. Lastly, I have submitted my humorous Christmas novella, The Art of Christmas, for publication with Pelican Book Group. They have a really detailed submission form you have to use on their web site, so I brought what I wrote for that for everybody to see. For submission to this publisher, I had to establish what my Christian theme/principal message was for the book, write a 10-15 word tag line (that was the hardest part!!), a 150 word blurb, a 700 word synopsis, and list my previous publications. Whew.
 
Sheila Kale shared a beautiful piece of writing she called “Affirmation.” It brought tears to my eyes. “When I woke I noticed, the muscles holding my mouth into a tight-lipped line, rested for the first time in years.”  Talk about your perfect ending!
 
New from the other WOWs includes:
 
Ann Shafer: “Sally, My husband got out of the hospital yesterday. He is recovering from pneumonia. I think I will not make it tonight. Sorry to say”
 
Barbara Loyd is vacationing with her husband, Paul, in Switzerland and Austria. What fun!
 
Betty Murphy: “I will not be at the meeting on Monday night as my husband wants me to go to the picnic with the retired teachers.”
 
Karen Vanek: “I'm so sorry but we will be out of town due to visiting our Oklahoma grands for Mother's Day. Ya'll enjoy. I was thinking that if I were there that we would all write a progressive poem in honor of Linda. Just a thought.  Maybe next time.”
 
Liz Eberle took a terrible fall on her knee and her face. She will be recovering from that for awhile.
 
Paula Bramlett was babysitting her grandkids in Austin.
 
Vici Wray said that if it was raining on the night we had WOW, she was going to stay home and dance in the rain. I told her that was fine – I would just tell everybody that she had gone crazy, but with Vici, how can you tell???
 
Lynn Harris had to work.
 
Linda Christensen is busy, busy, busy. She is working to pack up the house they are living in now in Heritage Hills and to finish the new house they are moving into in Stoneridge. And in the meantime, she’s going to Illinois for a month to (among other things) have a book signing in her home town! What fun. I’m sure Linda will be back as soon as she can breath again.
 
Rori Crawford has changed jobs. She’s not working at Walmart anymore – she’s now working at Goodwill and is happier there with better hours.
 
Be working on your stories to submit to the Fredericksburg Writers Conference Short Story Contest and we can critique them at the June meeting. The deadline to turn them in is at the FWC meeting on June 25th, or you can mail in your entry by that date.
 
Hugs all around!
 
Sally



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