Never have I been so late with the newsletter. This year’s Christmas was particularly challenging and I have fallen way behind. So here is the review of our December meeting, with a plea for forgiveness for whatever I’ve forgotten by now!  

We met at Liz Eberle’s house, which we LOVE every time we are there! Liz decorates for Christmas like nobody else. There was a delightful Christmas treasure every way you looked, from nativities to Frosty snowmen to angels to Santa Clauses. Thank you so much Liz, for the Christmas gift you give to the WOWs every year, the gift of your home!

 

Sally Clark brought a hand-out for everybody – a list of the writing courses offered at www.ed2go.com/SearchResults.aspx?query=writing. They offer online lessons on grant writing, fiction writing, writing for children, pleasures of poetry, magazine writing, travel writing, and more. 32 courses are offered online for 6 weeks, 12 lessons, new sessions beginning monthly, and each class for $139. I have taken 3 of these courses and can recommend them. Consider an online writing class for your New Year’s Resolution!

 

We welcomed a new member, Paige Walker, to our group. Liz met Paige in Dr. Hans Oosterbann’s office, Hill Country Vision. Although she works in Fbg., she lives in Llano. Paige says she likes to write poetry while sitting in her deer blind. She brought one poem to share with us she called “Wind” or “Anticipation.” It was lovely!! We hope Paige will join us again, and maybe, if she can, even for our Tuesday group because we have lots of poets in that group. Welcome, Paige!

 

Liz Eberle rolled out an older Christmas story of hers that we all loved hearing again. Liz called this piece “A Divorce for Christmas,” but we changed the title to “A Rocky Christmas.” After you hear the story, you’ll understand why. This beautiful slice of Liz’s life, from years ago, touched us all and I can’t believe she hasn’t submitted it to a Christmas anthology before. It is perfect Chicken Soup material. I’ll keep my eyes open, Liz, to find the right home for this poignant tale. Thank you for bringing it out, again!

 

Sally Clark read a poem from Barbara Loyd called “Christmas Clearly.” We all felt this poem from Barbara has a powerful Christmas message and loved it! I can’t wait until Barbara is back in TX!! After reading Barbara’s poem, I showed everyone my copy of Say A Little Prayer: A Journal, a writing journal compiled by June Cotner that features one of my poems she previously published in one of her other anthologies. There was no pay for this project but it’s a lovely journal and I’m proud to be in it. The group helped me critique my one poem written this month: “Mother at Christmastime.” I am still struggling with the title; I don’t think it is quite right yet but it will be. Thanks for all your help. Then I shared with the group my experiences with Dancing With Bear Publishing which have been a real learning experience, to say the least!

 

Vici Wray is entering one of her plays, “Hedley to the Rescue – a Melodrama” in the Catch a Star Theatrical Players Contest and she brought us copies of her cover letter, some art work, and the play. We have read this play before and enjoyed it. Vici said she had ordered some software for putting plays into the proper format for submission and after she uses it, she will be happy to share it with anybody else who wants to submit a play for publication. Thank you, Vici, for sharing this with us and for sharing your plays! We are all eager to see them published!!

 

Megan Willome brought us one of her magazine columns to critique, “The Problem with Fantasizing or Why Any Tea is Superior to Diet Sprite.” Oh, Megan, every mother out there will identify with the wish for time to be alone, especially at Christmas. The only problem with Megan’s piece is that it was too long and she needed to cut about 300 words. I don’t know where or how she will do it – every thought moved the story forward – but I know she can. Thank’s Megan, for bringing it for us to read! And take a minute to look at Megan’s new blog site: http://megandwillome.wordpress.com and read her 13 Days of Christmas posts (her kids are out of school for 13 days). I love her photographs!

 

Sheila Kale is still working on her organic gardening web site, http://www.organic-gardening-seed-to-harvest.com . Sheila now has 30+ pages on her site. It’s amazing! She has been sending some of her pages to our TWiG group for us to critique for typos and grammar. For the meeting, she brought a hand-out, an article written by Audrey Owen (www.writershelper.com) about how to “Entice Visitors to Your Page With an Irresistible Page Description.” I didn’t even know what a page description was until now. Thank you, Sheila, for this information. Sheila is becoming a wonderful source of information for our whole group for promoting our writing.

 

Cindy Harper brought us four beautiful Christmas poems, “Finding Christmas,” “What About This?” “Who?mas,” and “Think About Mary.” Cindy’s Christmas this year has been a journey of trying to find Christ among the packages and wrappings and I think she has done a beautiful job of expressing it. I hope your celebration was peaceful and warm, Cindy, and that you found Jesus at the heart of it. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

 

Linda Colie wrote while all of us read and then blessed us with a poem, “Christmas, 1975,” a rhyming poem about one of her Minnesota memories when her brother came home for Christmas from military school. Thank you, Linda. I can’t believe you wrote that in rhyme in such a short time – rhyme is so hard for me!

 

Words from the others WOWs include:

 

I got a Christmas e-letter from Andrea Culpepper! She is still around and is back working for Susie Ellison Ramsay with the Lamb’s Tale Ministries. Maybe they will have another writers’ retreat in Comfort this summer at The Haven Inn? I think they are open to suggestions of speakers. If you know of an author in Austin or SA or close by that you would like to hear, let Sheila Kale (sheilaspeakshope@yahoo.com) know – she is on the Lamb’s Tale board.

 

Alice Kolb - Have a very Merry Christmas. I regret I'll have to miss the party as George has two cousins coming in Monday to stay with us Monday and Tuesday (that means I'll be doing dinner Monday night!). Have fun--look forward to seeing you in the new year. Alice rode with me to the SAWG meeting in early December and we had a great time together. 

 

Dorothy Leyendecker - Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

 

Katy Jones - Oh, Sally, I miss all you and all the WOW ladies very much.  I am up to my armpits in Republican paperwork (long story, but the Reader's Digest version is that the U.S. Supreme Court is throwing a monkey wrench into the Texas redistricting so keep changing dates for candidates to file for office as well as the primary, which so far has been moved from March 6 to April 3, via court order!  Grrrrrrrrrr).  So I have to be at Republican HQ today until 6 pm, which is the "first" candidate application deadline. :P

 

I am still writing though.  I have almost 700 (!) pages of my current story (that is 175,000 words, BTW--incredible!), and I just got word that Leandra's Enchanted Flute will be available on January 17th!!!!  At the advice of the marketing director I now have a website:  www.katyhuthjones.com  Whew!  And they have some info up at the website:  www.coolwellpress.com  This publisher has been a DREAM to work with so far!  Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOO much for bringing them to my attention!  You must check out Katy's new web site - it is beautiful! 

 

Kim Easley - I won't be able to attend next week.  Our crazy time at work begins on Monday.  I'll see you all again in January.

 

Laura Lightner - Wishing you all a very merry Christmas! God bless you all in the New Year!

 

Liz Brookshire - Don’t think I’ll be there.  Was really looking forward to coming but I have sinus infection and don’t feel well.  Have fun!

 

Lorraine McVey - Thank you for your inspiration.   I finally set down and wrote something last night...it's about time!   I think I will send it to the Kansas Poetry contest....haven't sent anything in since I moved.   Shame on me.   Going to start again.

 

Mary Eckert - I'm not going to make it (for the meeting). My grandson and son will be coming in for the night. Will miss all of you. Blessings to all and a very Merry Christmas!

 

Pam Perrin - I wish I could be there but Sache is having her Christmas concert tonight for school. Merry Christmas!!

 

Sheila Barnette - I am sorry to have to miss the WOW Christmas party but things have just gotten too hectic this season and I have to clean house on Monday for dinner guests on Tuesday.  I know I will be really tired come Monday eve, and I see the weather is supposed to be quite rainy anyway.  I'm not too fond of driving in dark and rain.  Since Betty Mucha couldn't go either, I think I will just stay home and dry.

Please give everyone my best wishes for a great Christmas and a healthy and beautiful New Year.  I will pray that God wraps you all in his wonderful love, and gives you comfort and strength for every need in the coming year.

 

Sheri Pattillo - I am not able to make the meeting tonight.  A friend has asked me to read his new book and write one of those "comments/endorsements" on the back cover - my deadline is this week and I need to read tonight.  Sounds intereating, Sheri! Please bring us your comments and tell us all about it. 

 

I read on Dena Dyer’s Facebook page that she and Carey have bought a house in Amarillo and are moving out of their apartment soon. Congratulations, Dena! Hope the move goes smooth!

 

We are all so blessed with one another!!

 

Our end of December birthdays are: Linda Colie, Dec. 28th and

                                                    Laura Lightner, Dec. 30th.

   

Remember, you can see all the current submission deadlines at www.christwriters.info/deadlines.

 

Thank you, Lord, for all the rain and for the flowers we will get from it in the spring. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of words and writing and the opportunity to meet with each other to encourage, learn, and inspire. Fill us to overflowing with what You want us to write, Lord, and give us time to get it all down on paper.

 

Love, Sally

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