We had a wonderful turnout for the October meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words. We were privileged to welcome a new member, welcome back two old members, and celebrate with TWO pizzas! Thank you, Liz and Vickie. People who bring pizza are particularly wonderful!
 
Our writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont was “She approached the table warily...” We took it about as many directions as we could stretch it.
 
Melinda Holley joined us for the first time. I met Melinda at several of the Fredericksburg Writers Conferences that are held quarterly at the University Center and also at two of the critique groups they have sponsored. Melinda is an insurance agent in SA, but she works from home on Mondays. She didn’t bring any writing to share with us this month but she did write for the prompt, about a courtroom inquiry concerning a supposed Martian invasion over downtown Scranton. What fun!
 
Lynn Harris brought us two poems. One was “The Fog.” When the fog of life becomes a cold, damp blanket, we do long for the sun. The other poem was “Overheard in Mrs. Blanchard’s First Grade Classroom on Halloween” and we laughed at Lynn’s clever rhymes. It was great.
 
Vickie Wray brought us a Thanksgiving play she wrote called “Thanksgiving – What Makes it Special?” for children ages 9 to 12. She’s written it in the format she plans to use for her book, Adventures at Camp Grandma, listing the cast, the costumes, the props, and the script. Vickie adapted the play from a book by the same name by Harold Myra. Vickie is still trying to find out if she is infringing on any copyrights but hasn’t been able to find anybody in the industry who can answer her questions. I think she’s going to have to submit it to agents and/or editors and let them figure it out.
 
Sally Clark brought Chapter Ten, “Blast off Rudolph!” from her book The Art of Christmas. Thank you for your comments, encouragement and your laughter. It is so heartening to me! Next month, I’ll bring the final chapter to the novella. I am also working on a query letter and a synopsis so I can start sending the book out to agents and editor.
 
Linda Colie wrote a poem to the prompt that Valerie sent us and it was funny. I really enjoyed that, Linda. Linda says she has gone back to a story she wrote and shared with us a long time ago (Sept. 2009 – I looked it up) about a Christian vampire in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1796, and is working on it again. I hope she bring us the next chapter in November.
 
Bobbi Grimmer was at our meeting and we were so glad to see her again! Bobbi brought us a memoir piece she called “Beautiful Boy” about her first love – a boy she knew when she was 15 and living in Africa. She heard that he died in September of this year and she wrote this piece in tribute to him. It was very moving, very vulnerable and we enjoyed it so much! Thank you, Bobbi, for sharing this with us.
 
Barbara Loyd is finally home from Tulsa!!! Yeah!!! She left five years ago and we’ve missed her so much. Barbara is still writing her wonderful blog about color, http://colorfilled.blogspot.com/. I love reading about the history and meaning behind different colors. She brought us a poem called “Oktoberfest,” about lemon meringue pie. Barbara and her husband were serving beer at Oktoberfest. They really jumped right back into the swing of things, didn’t they? Barbara is looking for color stories she can share on her blog. Do you have one? Send it to Barbara at babs.loyd@yahoo.com  Barbara also asks that if you have any old Christmas cards (or any greeting card) bring them to the November meeting and she will give us a refresher course on how to make Christmas boxes out of old Christmas cards. Remember when Barbara taught us this at WOW years ago? Barbara also asked that we pray for the sale of her house in Tulsa. The market is very slow right there now. 
 
Liz Brookshire brought us a letter she wrote to her grandson, Andrew. Andrew called her one day to tell her that a little boy in his class named Gabriel didn’t believe there was a God and he wanted to know if that was true or not. Liz wrote him the most wonderful letter in reply. How smart she was to put her words into writing where her grandson could read and reflect on them as he grows. He (and we) are blessed by her letter!
 
I see WOWs everywhere I go! It’s so encouraging:
 
On September 26th, at the Fredericksburg Writers Conference I saw Barbara Loyd, Alice Kolb, and Karen Vanek. We heard author Antionette Van Heugten speak about her publishing journey. On October 12th, Sally Clark and Valerie Gaumont along with two other authors, spoke at the Johnson City library on the topic of self publishing. In attendance were Mary Eckert, Dayna Haines, Sheila Barnette, and Betty Mucha.
 
After seeing Alice Kolb at the University Center, she emailed me to say: I am DEEP into my cookbook memoir, trying to meet a November deadline for copy. It is primarily copy "for the family" and a May Mother's Day gift. Maybe I'm doing it for myself, but regardless, loving it. Next come the drawings--even more fun.  Oh, how I wish Alice would bring some of her cookbook memoir and share with the whole group! Please?
 
Betty Mucha was the facilitator for the event in Johnson City and did a great job.
 
Dayna Haines has written a Christian children’s coloring book that she wants to market to therapists working with troubled children – while the children are coloring, it’s easier for them to talk and the pictures are designed to stimulate conversation. She has sold out of the illustrated haiku book she wrote with photographer Celieta Liefeste. Congratulations Dayna!
 
Somebody from my email list attended Dena Dyer’s weekend retreat. I am so happy that I shared Dena’s information! She is planning to host another retreat Feb. 7-9, 2014.
 
Katy Jones sold one of her picture books, Duck in the Muck, to Reading Reading Books! Congratulations, Katy! Keep up with Katy on her blog: “Life is a Four-Letter Word” at http://katyhuthjones.blogspot.com/
 
Liz Eberle is the proud creator of the Living Well College web site. Liz has written the entire thing! Check it all her creative words at: http://livingwellcollege.org/
 
Mary Eckert is starting to speak about her book, Where Was God When I Cried, to Christian women’s groups. You can see the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Was-God-When-Cried/dp/1615668799 . Mary won the door prize at the Johnson City library workshop. It was a copy of Valerie Gaumont’s latest book, Keeper of the Crossroads.
 
Megan Willome has been really busy this month with the magazine but she comes to TWiG whenever she can. You can keep up with Megan on her blog: http://meganwillome.com/
 
Pam Perrin comes to TWiG, too, but for this month’s meeting, she wrote: I won't be there tonight but this week is the last volleyball practice and game so next month I'm in!!
 
It was so good to see Sheila Barnette at the workshop in Johnson City! I’m just sorry I didn’t have more time to visit with her.
 
Sheila Kale couldn’t make the meeting because she had a scheduling conflict. Sheila has been active in organizing the upcoming Revive event on Marketplatz on Nov. 2nd from 2-6 p.m. There will be music, raffles, food and treats. Come and get revived, recharged, and rekindled. There is no charge.
 
Valerie Gaumont emailed: I won't be able to make it tonight as we have company coming in. Sorry I can't make it in.  Thank you, Valerie, for sending the prompt.
 
Upcoming birthdays are Sally Clark and Karen Greathouse on November 5
                                 Sheri Pattillo on November 8
                                   Vickie Wray on November 21
                                 Rebecca McCright and Sheila Barnette on November 26
 
 
Keep writing!
 
Love, Sally
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