The November meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was a small group but we had great fellowship and lots of inspiration. Thanksgiving preparations kept a lot of our members away.  

Valerie Gaumont gave us our writing exercise. We were able to choose from two exercises, whichever appealed to us the most. I chose “She was so deeply absorbed in her own thoughts that her eyes gradually closed...”


I tell you what – when we write off the top of our heads, we are plum amazing! Valerie, Sheila Kale, Linda Colie, and Lynn Harris wrote the beginnings of wonderful stories. I think it just goes to show how much talent we really have. I hope these exercises encourage us all to keep butt-in-chair and write, write, write. We have it in us – it’s amazing – and we deserve to prioritize our writing time.


And if you need some story starter ideas to get your pencil moving, I found this web site: It looks great - lots of ideas for fiction and poetry. 


Lynn Harris was with us again. Last month was her first meeting. Lynn has two jobs that keep her busy and limit her writing time but she likes to write for children, when she can. But I’m telling you, she wrote a great story start and I hope she keeps going with it. Lynn says our group is inspiring her to keep with it.


Valerie Gaumont brought Chapter 6 of her book, Shadows on the Wall. For those of you who are following the story, Ellie plays tit-for-tat with the people who have arranged her pseudo life, switches drinks, and manages to slip some information about her real life our of her drugged enemies. Valerie has even created her own designer drug names. How clever! Valerie does a masterful job of creating end-of-the-chapter cliff hangers to keep the reader turning the pages. Linda Colie calls them “bladder busters” because you can’t stop reading long enough to go to the bathroom!


We discussed the fact that if Valerie continues to bring us one chapter a month, it’s gonna take a looooong time to finish the book. She’s almost finished with the first draft and anticipates being done by the end of the year, so she is going to make the first draft available to any of us who want to read it by email in January. I’ll send out an email about it when she is ready. Also, here is good news – four of Valerie’s short stories, The Caller, Morning Ritual, Mirror Mirror, and Blues Bar Valentine and the first book in her Pilot series, Pilot, are now available for FREE as ebooks at: The other books in the series are available for just $2.99. I guess we’re all going to have to get e-readers, aren’t we? The book and her short stories sound really exciting.


Sheila Kale was with us. Sheila is still active in the Fredericksburg Toastmasters group and is loving it. Last week, she was invited to speak at the River Place Country Club in Austin to a Women’s Connection group to promote her life coaching and speaking skills. Sheila is blooming in so many directions! Keep up with her on her web site:


Sally Clark brought a children’s picture book she is working on, The Twelve Days Before Christmas, which is, as you might guess, a take-off on the twelve days of Christmas except that Stanley is snooping around the house for his Christmas presents and what he is finding is not making him very happy. I also brought a poem I wrote, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Gingerbread Village at Market Square.” I composed this poem from an exercise from Writing the Life Poetic, a book that the TWiG poetry group is working through. I’m really enjoying this book. I hope our other TWiGgers are, too.


Linda Colie didn’t bring anything to read to the group. Linda has a new home health care worker who, in Linda’s words, “works like a caffeinated rabbit.” Apparently, the woman is keeping Linda busy with organizing and cleaning her apartment. Linda is very happy to have the help but she’s exhausted when the woman leaves and has no energy to write. Also, her computer is broken and she needs to repair it or buy a new one.


From our other WOW members:


Alice Kolb writes: “Seems I'm forever on leave of absence. Maybe I will start writing again! My spirit is there, just not the physical evidence!” Alice did make a visit to Liz Eberle at Knopp Nursing Home on Llano and I know Liz was happy to see her.


Betty Mucha says: “I am not going to make the meeting again.  I had my granddaughter all weekend and now am behind with all the things I need to do before all my relatives come for Thanksgiving.” Holidays throw us all off, don’t they?


Glenda Thompson, who visited our group once, is moving to Charlotte, Texas, a tiny town about an hour south of San Antonio. Glenda is a wonderful writer. I’m sorry we didn’t have more time with her.


Kathleen Maxwell was married to Stephen Rambie on October 27th! See some beautiful wedding photos on her blog:


Do you remember Laura Lightner in Kerrville? She writes: “I wanted to ask for prayer from the group, if possible. I now have stage four breast cancer that has spread to the lungs. I am moving to Austin to be near my doctors and begin hospice. I would surely appreciate all the prayers you can pray, many thanks, and if I do not respond right away I am fine and just a bit slow. Blessings and hugs to you! You all have blessed my life, I am so sorry that I was unable to ever meet with the group, but have enjoyed cheering you all on! If the Lord calls me home I will be cheering you on from the other side, hugs to you all!” Please pray for Laura. She is a beautiful woman.


After surviving her grandson’s wedding, Liz Eberle is recuperating from her knee surgery (Nov. 12th) at Knopp Nursing Home on Llano (can’t remember if that’s #1 or #2...I think it’s #1). She is getting physical therapy with Kelly Rodriguez twice a day. Kelly is very good and I’m sure she’ll have Liz back in shape as soon as she can. Liz hopes to be home in 10 days to 2 weeks. Keep track of her on Facebook:


Megan Willome was under her editing deadline so she couldn’t make it. Megan comes to TWiG whenever she can and writes very poignant poetry.


I don’t know where Pam Perrin was tonight but she has been coming to TWiG. I enjoy her poems so much!


Sheila Barnette emailed: “I will be out from now till January with company and already scheduled activities.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas and a bright, beautiful, healthy New Year.” See you in January, Sheila.


Sheri Pattillo says: “Sorry I will miss - Dixon has some college application deadlines and I'm his proofer!  Give hellos to all!” Sheri has been coming to TWiG and writing some wonderful poems.


Vickie Wray writes: “Count me out for the WOW this month - while y’all are having a good time, I will be baking pies for the horde headed our way for Thanksgiving.  God bless you all and I'll see you next month.  See you in December, Vickie!


We have two birthdays coming up – Sheila Barnette on November 26 and Kathleen Maxwell-Brambie on December 17


When I count my blessings, I count all of y’all twice! Once for being fellow writers and another time for being such good friends!!! Thank you!


Keep writing! Love, Sally

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