Even the best made plans of mice and men can go astray. The September meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words meeting proved that fact. The Highland Oaks Apartments manager gave Linda Colie the wrong key for the front door and we were locked out. We tried all three doors – no luck.  Dismayed and a bit panicked, our fearless leader came through for us, once again! Liz Eberle graciously offered, on the spur of the moment, to have us all over to her house and saved the day. She is our hero!!!

 

We had a guest this time, writer Sheila Barnette, from Johnson City . Her husband, George, came along for the ride and had a nice visit with Gus Eberle on their front porch, enjoying the sunset, while we writers gathered inside. Sheila is part of the Johnson City group that meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Johnson City library. She is a retired micro paleontologist and I found a wonderful article about her professional life at: http://www.gcssepm.org/about/barnette.htm Sheila is working on a wonderful nonfiction book combining her mother’s diary and her father’s letters from WWII titled Wanza’s Story: A Time of Writing (her mother’s name is Wanza). She read us the introduction and it sounds fascinating! She is looking for people to help her review/edit this as she writes and I would love to be included! We all hope Sheila will come back and become a regular member of our group.

 

Linda Colie brought us some of her drawings! They were wonderful!! Linda is sketching and pencil coloring illustrations for her book, Tempest in a Teapot, a delightful children’s story about a polite and proper little mouse named Clover Buttercrumb. Linda also brought us the first chapter of a new manuscript she is working on called The Vampire Confesses, the story of a Christian vampire in 1796; a man with a wife and three children who attends a seminary in Edinbugh , Scotland . Her first chapter is chilling! What a contrast!! Imagine these two stories going on in your head at the same time – mousy Clover Buttercrumb and a blood-sucking vampire! Linda, is even more multi-talented than we realized!!!!

 

Liz Eberle, in addition to opening her home on a moments notice, brought us a fun story called “Up a Tree” about the time the foster parent supervisors came to her house for a surprise visit only to find three-year-old Eddy up a tree, stripped naked, singing into a garden hose, and jumping into mud puddles beneath the tree!! What a hoot!! And what lucky children to be in Liz’s care!! Liz submitted this piece to Focus on the Family’s magazine, Thriving Family, and should hear back soon if it was accepted or not. I certainly would accept it if I were the editor!

 

Cindy Harper has a new web site: www.encouragingwords.info Check it out! The pages are still under construction, but Cindy wanted it to be up and running when she submitted her proposal to agent Terry Burns with the Hartline Literary Agency. Cindy put her proposal in the mail last week. Hooray! And, she says, many thanks to Dena Dyer for her help, especially on her Marketing Strategies section. Cindy brought us her “before and after Dena’s help” sheets on Marketing Strategies to compare and it was amazing. We are so lucky to have two members now that have completed book proposals and be able to draw on their experience and advice! Cindy also had a book signing for the 2010 Texas Poetry Calendar last Saturday, Sept. 19th, at The Twig bookstore in San Antonio . Keep checking the Dos Gatos press web site – I bet Cindy’s poem, “Fuzzy Math,” and photo will be featured there soon.

 

Megan Willome came to our meeting with nothing to read, but a dilemma on her hands. The Wacoan is still pursuing Megan for the position of editor for their magazine. Since moving back to Waco is not an option for their family (whew!), it would have to be an email/faxing/once-a-month-meeting type situation. I’ve heard of other editors who make it work and I really, really hope they can work out the details for Megan. If they don’t, it will be their loss. Megan, you are so ready and so qualified for this job! Good luck!!

 

Back in February, Sally Clark wrote and submitted 42 toasts for one of June Cotner’s gift books, TOASTS: Words for All Occasions. In August, I heard back from June that she wanted 25 of the 42 and would I consider writing more? So, of course, I obliged her! I have written 50 more toasts which I brought to the group for critique. Thanks so much, everybody!! I got them in the mail yesterday. And I almost forgot – I brought my copy of Christmas Traditions: True Stories that Celebrate the Spirit of the Season published by Adams Media and featuring my story, “Christmas Shells.”

 

Liz Brookshire brought us a memoir she wrote called “School Bus, Cool Us,” a humor story about a used school bus her father bought and drove into the country to bring home a Christmas tree. I swear, cedar trees grow from the time you chop them down in the pasture to the time you haul them back to the car to load and take home. I know ours did! Liz story will work well in an anthology. I’ll keep my eyes open – there will be one soon that this will fit and Liz will be ready. Good advice for us all – don’t wait until the submission comes up – write the story while it is on your mind and then you’ll be prepared. Liz also brought a poem she is working on called “Scraps” - food scraps, material scraps, bits and pieces of scripture, snippets of memory….beautiful!

 

We critiqued a story Kelly Carper Polden emailed to Sally Clark: “Out Here, Life is Good.” Kelly plans to submit this story to a contest that Tractor Supply’s magazine, Out Here is sponsoring. Kelly’s story, “Canine Counselor” is now on the shelves in Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned From the Dog. I have featured it on the WOW web site home page: www.hcwomenofwords.org. I hope Kelly will bring a copy to the next meeting.

 

Alice Kolb couldn’t not be with us – she was visiting grandbabies in Ft. Worth – but Alice has already posted her photo and bio on the WOW web site! Check her out at www.hcwomenofwords.org.alice-kolb.php WELCOME, ALICE !!! To any members who do not have their bios and/or photos on the site (photos are optional), send what you want to say to Sally Clark at auslande@ktc.com and I’ll get you posted on the site.

 

Dena Dyer has news and a prayer request: I was asked to be a blogger to help publicize the offerings of "Hearts at Home" international ministry to moms, which has conferences, an email newsletter, and their own line of books. Saying yes to that opportunity led to them looking at one of my book proposals (Mother Inferior) and loving it. Yay! Their agent will be shopping the book around to editors this fall. As it makes the rounds, it will already have their "seal of approval," which may help it (along with my recent good sales numbers on Mothers of the Bible) reach the contract stage. The exciting thing is that IF I get a contract, Hearts at Home would ask me to speak at their three large conferences the year the book comes out, and they would promote me through their website, email newsletter, etc. Please pray that God's will would be done and the right publisher would "bite" if it's supposed to happen.

 

Dorothy Leyendecker, our Florida member, emailed me with this good news:  I heard from "Angels Among Us" magazine.  They want to shorten my story and use it in Letters to the Editor. They asked for my photo. They will contact me by mail. I don't know what the pay is yet. Editor said he will talk to me and send me a contract.  It will be in Jan/Feb issue.  Will keep you posted.

 

Katy Jones, our Kerrville member, has been writing on her blog: www.freedombites.blogspot.com Be sure to read Katy’s blog to keep up with all that she is doing. Mary Eckert was not at the meeting but reports that she has ordered a new laptop. She says “now all I have to do is figure the darn thing out!” Sheila Kale has been re-vamping her web site. Soon you will be able to view books that Sheila has for sale in her store and reserve your copy online. Check out: www.thecloserwalk.com Sheila is visiting grandbabies (and her daughter, Shannon) in Dallas this week. Shannon is due with baby #4, Dustin Kramer, at the end of Oct. And I’ve also had word that Sarah Brooks, daughter-in-law to deceased member, DeAnna Brooks, is also due with her fourth baby in October.   

 

Our October birthdays are: Mary Hartmann (in Medina , NY ) – Oct. 5

                                            Mary Eckert (in Mason , TX ) – Oct. 16

  

You know, I believe three of us will have Christmas books on the shelves this season….my story in Christmas Traditions, Kelly Carper Polden’s story, “The Miracle of the Lord’s Prayer” in Cecil Murphy’s anthology, Christmas Miracles, and hopefully, Mary Eckert’s biography of Peaches Evans in Where Was God When I Cried. What a writerly season for us!! Maybe we can all bring Christmas stories to the December meeting.

 

Here is inspiration from a writer named Holly Lisle, via Liz Eberle, who receives Holly’s newsletter:  Write only because you love to write, because sitting down and weaving a tale out of thin air makes your heart sing and your pulse race.  Write ONLY because it makes you happy. There is no other good reason to do this job.” -  Holly Lisle http://hollylisle.com/newsletter.php      

Good advice! I love it!

Happy Fall to You All!!! Love, Sally

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