We had a lovely time at the May meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words and a great turnout of talented women writers.
We started with a writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont: “The community seemed to adjust . . . ” We wrote fiction, nonfiction, mystery, humor, and fable, but no poetry this time. If you would like, you are welcome to write a 10-minute timed writing on your own to the prompt and send it into Valerie at valeriagaumont@gmail.com. Valerie posts our responses to these writing exercises on our group’s blog: https://fredricksburgwomenofwords.wordpress.com. Barbara Loyd has already sent her writing into Valerie and it is posted there for everyone to read. I love the surprise ending!
Barbara Loyd shared advice on “Reconsidering Dialogue Tags.” Dialogue tags are the words that come right after (or right before) someone is your story says something. Some editors like a variety of colorful tags (admitted, quipped, insisted, etc.) and other editors prefer to keep it simple as in “she said,” and “he said.”  The most important thing to remember is to show, don’t tell, as in if you can show your character’s nervous behavior, “his hands shook as he read the letter,” then you won’t need to tell you reader, “he said nervously.”
Linda Christensen brought us the preface to the 4th book in her series. The main characters are named Jeff and LeeAnn, but they are based on two people Linda knows well, I believe it is her brother Dave and sister-in-law Judy? (Linda, correct me if I’m wrong) Jeff and LeeAnn met when they were very young, just 14 and 15 years old, but their love is strong and they marry, raise children, and grow old together. Their love is the epitome of abiding love in Linda’s book series.
Lynn Harris has been ill, but she was at the meeting. One of her ear drums had burst and it was still draining and painful. Lynn told us, with tears, that her son and grandson will be moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, in June. She has been full-time caregiver to her grandson for the past year and it will be hard on Lynn for them to move so far away. Please lift Lynn up in prayer for the healing of her ear and of her heart.
Megan Willome was at the meeting, too. Her publisher, T.S. Poetry, is working hard to market her book, The Joy of Poetry: How to Keep, Save, and Make Your Life With Poems. I think they’re doing a good job. Part memoir, part humorous and poignant defense of poetry, you can read the first ¼ of Megan’s book for free here: http://books.noisetrade.com/meganwillome/the-joy-of-poetry-how-to-keep-save
Paula Bramlett was with us, but she didn’t bring anything to read. I’ll be so happy when Paula has time to write again. I miss her stories. She’s been busy with family issues.
Sally Clark hasn’t been writing much, but she did bring two poems, “Sleeping In,” and “Quiche.” I also brought the notes I made from the Johnson City Writers Conference in February when I attended the workshop with children’s author, Liz Gardner Scanton.
Sheila Kale asked the group a question: what is the difference between a fairy tale and a legend? We had a lively discussion about that topic. Sheila also handed out some wonderful submission leads. She has subscribed to C. Hope Clark’s “Total Funds for Writers” newsletter and is allowed to share the market leads with “one group” and guess what – she chose us! We are so lucky! I’ve already picked out one I’m going to submit to for sure. Thank you, Sheila!
Shelley Burkhalter brought us the next few pages of her short story about Peg and Kay at the garage sale. Peg’s newly-ex-husband has showed up and wants to buy some of Peg’s old clothing. What on earth is he up to? Come next time and find out!!
Valerie Gaumont read us two poems she wrote. Neither one were titled, but I called them, “Coffee Cup,” and “Drip, Drip, Drop.” We enjoyed them! Valerie had big news – she has bought a house and is moving to Marble Falls. Not too far away, but not too close, either. We sincerely hope Valerie will continue to come to WOW, as often as she can, but we understand it’s going to be more of a challenge than the drive from Johnson City was. There is still time for you to read and vote for Valerie’s book, Quickening, in the Kindle Scout program until June 5th. The link is: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/9TXXF23O12TQ Whether the book gets enough nominations or not will determine if Kindle will publish it or not, so even if you don’t have time to read the excerpt right away, please take time to nominate Quickening for publication. All you have to do is push a button.
Betty Murphey sent me an email: “I hope to see you in June. It sounds like congratulations are in order to lots of our group. Hopefully, my computer will be replaced by summer.”
Judith Rost emailed, too, to say: “Sorry won't be there - dentist appts in Boerne.”
If you need to keep up with submission opportunities, check my blog: http://christwriters.info/ for deadlines and for publishers with open submissions.
Until we meet again, keep writing!
Hugs, Sally

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