It was a warm night for the April meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words. Good thing the EMS Building was cool!

 

After nibbling and visiting for a bit, we got right down to business with a writing exercise. Sally Clark chose an exercise from Room to Write, page 96, “Signs of Age.” The assignment was to describe the signs of aging in ourselves, a tree, another person, a cat, or a piece of pizza. We took 15 minutes to write and 15 minutes to read. It was perfect! Look forward to more of these exercises – I plan to bring another one in May!

 

Kathleen Maxwell attended a writer’s conference in Kerrville this past month called Poetic Voices: A Texas Writers Conference. The key speaker was Karla Morton, the 2010 Texas Poetry Laureate. Sheri Pattillo was able to attend one of the workshops, too, and talked a bit about it. Some of the workshop prompts they were invited to write/read about were:  “What I don’t want to tell you…,” “I don’t know why…,” and “What season are you living in right now?” Two quotes that were memorable to Kathleen were: “Digging deeper into yourself is what makes writing interesting,” and “Writing is a journey – you don’t know where it’s going to take you.” Great things to remember. This two day conference was FREE and I will not forget to inform everybody next year – I’m goin’!

 

Kathleen Maxwell has her own column in the Kerrville Daily Times, in the Faith section! Her most recent piece is “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.” She brought the article to share with us. Kathleen plans to contribute an article every other week, but will not have a column again for a few weeks; her dad was hospitalized this past weekend and Kathleen is busy caring for him and for her mother. You can keep up with Kathleen on her blog: www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com Congratulations, Kathleen!

 

Sheri Pattillo has jumped in with both writing feet and submitted a poem to Rock & Sling, a Christian literary journal! She brought the poem to share with us, “Intruder in the Woods.” It’s a great poem with an unexpected point of view. Thanks, Sheri, for sharing the poem with us!

 

Megan Willome brought us the latest copy of The Wacoan. She is the magazine’s editor. Megan writes a feature article and her personal column for each issue. The feature article was about Mark Nemec who was named Cotton Consultant of the Year. Megan has some background with cotton – her father was a cotton farmer. She didn’t read this piece to us because it was too long but she wrote it all from telephone interviews with Mr. Nemec and his wife. Her column (published on the last page of the magazine) this month was called, “127 Seconds: A Hike You Have to Take Alone.” It scared me, Megan - I would never have gone out on that ledge! It still amazes me that Megan can edit a magazine about Waco without ever leaving her living room in Fredericksburg. Technology is a wonder (when it works!). Thank you, Megan. I loved your column piece! Megan also posts to her blog every Wednesday at: http://meganwillome.highcallingblogs.com

 

Sheila Kale is still glowing over the acceptance of two of her stories to Love is a Verb Devotional to be published by Bethany House later this year. She brought a story for us, “God, Fix Me!” about an experience she had years ago, after the divorce and death of her second husband. This is a wonderful piece, very honest and vulnerable, and I’m sure it will find a home in publication. Thank you, Sheila! Check out Sheila’s devotionals at: http://www.thecloserwalk.com/latest-devotions.php

 

Sally Clark has been busy creating her very first chapbook. I have chosen to print the book myself, then pay to have it “saddle stitched” together (that means stapled). The title of the chapbook is “Selected Published Poems” and that just about says it all. It’s all my adult poems that have been published. I thought this way, I don’t risk publishing something that might still win in contests or be published in magazines or journals. I will feature it on my web site or when I speak or read anywhere. And by the way, I will be speaking at San Antonio Writers Guild on Thursday, May 5th, at 7:00, if anybody would like to ride along, I’d love to have the company. I also brought along some poems to read: 3 journal poems entitled, “I Knew When You Left This Morning,” “Mother Robin,” and “Time Passes” and a poem I plan to submit to an online publication, Enchanted Conversations. The poem is about Snow White and is called, “An Apple Does Not Fall Far From the Tree.” I am still occasionally posting poems on my blog: www.pocketpoems.info

 

Pam Perrin brought us a poem she wrote called “My Usual Conversation with God.” This poem, written in a conversation style, sounded much like my own with God; I protest – He comforts. Good thing it’s not the other way round! I doubt He’d get much comfort from me. Thank you, Pam, for sharing it with us.

 

Sheila Barnette was with us, despite the fact that she is still recovering from 5+ broken ribs she sustained on March 20th. Sheila brought two things to read, a poem and more of her parents diaries and letters. Her poem, “Deep Summer,” was beautiful. She said she is not a poet but I disagree. Wouldn’t it be fun to do an anthology of summer poems? Living where we do, summer is such a big part of our lives. Sheila’s poem should find a home in some publication. In her parent’s diary, it’s the summer of 1944 and her father is in England, then France. After this point, her father doesn’t get any of the letters Wanzy writes to him from Ohio for 3 months. I cried, again. But it was good crying. Thank you, Sheila, for sharing your parents with us.

 

India Lott was very excited to show us a hot-off-the-presses copy of her new book, The Witch’s Familiar. India even designed the cover! Published on Lulu.com, you can see India’s book and read the first chapter at: http://tinyurl.com/3oyjaaf (On that page, look under the book cover and click on “preview.” At the top right of the next screen, click on the > arrow to read the book.) India is very proud of her accomplishment and would love people to read and comment on her book. She read us more of the book, picking up where she left off last month. India also read a poem written by her twelve-year-old sister, Lucy Lott. I had no idea Lucy wrote poetry and was impressed. I’ll try to help India find outlets for Lucy’s poetry. Thanks, India, for sharing with us.

 

Linda Colie did not bring anything to read. She said she’s been too busy drawing and painting a picture for her parents to replace one her sister, Chris, absconded with. What a good daughter you are, Linda, and how fortunate your parents are to have you. But just so you know, this does not let you off the hook for finishing “Whimsy, Shine, and Luster.” We still want the ending!!!!

 

News from around the world of WOWs:

 

Congratulations, Alice Kolb! Alice sold her quilt seminar company two weeks ago and writes: “Now I'm grandmothering in Oklahoma City for the next 8-10 days, then home for 10 days and back to OKC for the birth of David, baby # 3. I'll stay about two weeks and then, hopefully, return home for "normal" life schedules. Please tell all "happy writing and I miss you." Check out Alice’s blog at: www.pens-or-pins.blogspot.com 

 

Barbara Loyd was in town last month and I got to have a visit with her. Barbara had about 14 poems she had written to show me. She said when she travels, it loosens up her words and they come spilling out. I should say! Barbara and Paul will be in Fredericksburg for the Easter weekend. They are having some work done on their rent house in Carriage Hils. Check out her blog at www.colorfilled.blogspot.com

 

Beth Smith is writing prolific poetry on her blog: www.heartopentogod.blogspot.com I’ve been enjoying them all month. Beth writes out of her observations of God in her daily life. Take a look and enjoy!

 

Cindy Harper is probably out of commission until July – her oldest daughter is getting married June 18th and it is consuming her life. I remember that feeling! I bet everything will be beautiful.

 

On March 25th, Dena Dyer wrote: Guess what? Broadman and Holman is taking my latest proposal to committee. I should hear any day...it's about women in the Bible who've been wounded and will be along the lines of "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" or "Bad Girls of the Bible." Lots of practical application, creatively-retold biblical stories, and contemporary women's testimonies. I'm writing it with a friend who's a singer/songwriter/worship leader and pastor's wife. Greg Johnson of Wordserve Literary is the agent. He's excited about it and so are we.” However, Broadman and Holman passed on it. Then on April 19th, I got this word from Dena: “It passed muster with the acquisition editors at Harvest House and goes to "pubco" commitee (the publication board) on April 21. I'm excitedly nervous about it. I think HH would be a perfect fit for it.” I am saying prayers for your success, Dena! Be sure to read her blog: www.denadyer.typepad.com

 

I got to see Kelly Carper Polden at the LBJ Park in Stonewall on March 26th. It was great to see her! She looks just the same and says she and Howard love Montana. Kelly was promoting her new book, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, published by Arcadia Press. I bought a copy if anybody wants to read it.  

 

Liz Brookshire will be in Houston until the end of May, keeping her three-month-old granddaughter, Katherine Elizabeth, while her daughter, Casey, goes back to work teaching.

 

Liz Eberle had a wonderful visit with her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in Kentucky but returned with some health issues. Please pray for Liz’s health and healing. We miss her so much!!!! Liz’s posts to her blog at: www.myprayingchairs.blogspot.com

 

Lorraine McVey writes: Janna (I think that’s her daughter) and I are rewriting my (children’s chapter) book and it is sooooo much better!  I am really pleased with the results so far.  She is a great editor and we are working so well together.  We have the first ten chapters close to finished, we have added a chapter and we are still working on the last three. It has been a lot of fun!”

 

Mary Eckerts says: Won't be able to make it...miss all of you...maybe next month

 

Rebecca McCright is in graduate school, working on her Masters degree in school counseling, but still doing the annual summer teachers retreat at The Haven on July 22, 23, & 24. She would love to have our prayers. Her retreat is titled “Treasured” with Dayna Haines and speaker Dianne Albrecht. Rebecca writes: “I miss everyone in the writers group. I am writing constantly, but all of it is submitted to professors. I am enjoying being back in school, but I am missing writing with voice and character, so I'm trying to fit it in whenever I can. I am also writing and planning for Retreat. We have got a wonderful weekend planned for all of our guests. We'll be back at the Haven. I love it there! I would love to know that you are praying for the Lord's direction and presence during our time together.” I have attached a copy of the retreat’s brochure for you to read and to share with anybody you know who might be interested in attending.

 

Only one May birthday that I know of: Liz Brookshire on May 9th.

 

Be sure to keep up with submission deadlines at: www.christwriters.info/deadlines

 

May the Lord be your Muse! Happy writing!

 

Love, Sally

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