We had a merry little Christmas gathering at the Hill Country Women of Words December meeting and we welcomed a new member, Ann Shafer!

On December 6th, Sally Clark, Linda Christensen, and Barbara and her husband, Paul Loyd, attended a free Texas Writes meeting at the Comfort Public Library sponsored by the Writers League of Texas. Sally and Linda shared information and insights they gathered from the event’s speakers, Becka Oliver, Carol Dawson, and Meg Gardiner. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt it was well worth our time. I will keep everyone posted when there is another Texas Writes event in our area.

Our WOW meeting started as usual, with a writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont: “The double doors solemnly re-opened...” and we wrote for 10 inspired minutes. And as usual, we went in every different direction, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and humor. Such a good time! We love doing this.
Vici Wray was the first to read, “The Advent of Christmas,” a selection from her book, Adventures at Camp Grandma. Vici has written out a sample of how her family celebrates Advent with purple, pink, and white candles, a wreath and the appropriate scripture verse for each day. It was lovely. Thank you, Vici.
Linda Christensen http://senioradventureswithlindakay.blogspot.com is doing the most fun thing on her blog. Once a week, on Tuesdays, she writes scenes from a continuing story on her blog and invites her readers to tell her what they think happens next – Will Judy get the job? Who is John? Is Trevor a good attorney? What will Duane do when Judy files for divorce? Linda brought this past weeks’ installment to WOW and we all got to put in our two cents worth of ideas. It was a lot of fun. Take a look at her blog and chime in on the story.
Anna Mendeke told us that when she has a few minutes to spare, she likes to write short poems on her cell phone. She read one of them to us. It was a marriage poem we titled “Birdbath” and it was wonderful. Simple and true! Thank you, Anna!
Sally Clark (http://sallyclark.info ) showed everyone her copy of her new board book, Where’s My Hug? I only have one copy right now. The book is scheduled to be released on January 1 and the publisher plans to market it for Valentine’s Day. It is so amazing to hold the actual book in my hands! I also shared with everybody that I’ve been invited to judge the unrhymed poetry division of the Abilene Writers Guild annual contest which ended November 30th, and to speak at their annual banquet in March. I’ve never done anything like this before so it is a new adventure for me. Lianne Mercer has graciously agreed to help me with the contest judging and Sheila Kale says she will help me with my speech. Whew. What would I do without supportive friends? Not nearly as well!!! I also brought a poem I called “Hibernation,” but it needs a lot of work so look for it again in a better, edited version.
Our new member, Ann Shafer, has such an interesting background! Ann’s great-great grandfather was Commodore of the Texas Navy and Ann is an Admiral in the Texas Navy Association. Did you know the Republic of Texas had a Navy? We did – from 1836 to 1843 (Ann, did I get the dates right?). Ann and her co-author, Michelle Graham, have written a series of three historical fiction picture books they would like to have published. Kids study Texas history in 4th and 7th grades and these would be at the 4th grade level, I believe. Ann read us her picture book, How the Navy Saved Texas. It was fascinating to hear Ann talk. She knows so much Texas history. I hope she will come back and teach us more!
Valerie Gaumont is a very disciplined writer. She begins each writing day with freestyle writing from one of the prompts she has collected. Now Valerie has started a new blog - http://valeriegaumont.wordpress.com – where she is posting those writing prompts and her responsive writings. She calls the blog “Writing Around.” She brought us one of her exercises, along with the photo that inspired it. We loved the story and thought it would be great as a short story, but knowing Valerie, it will grow and grow and become another wonderful novel! Where does she get all those words? I don’t know, but I do enjoy them!! Check out Valerie’s blog and subscribe and you will get a writing prompt in your email every day to inspire you! Thanks, Valerie.
New from other WOWs –
Alice Kolb (http://pens-or-pins.blogspot.com) writes “Regretfully, I'll miss again. George and I have to attend a couple's social event. I also realize the new second Monday time is the same as my Quilt Bee monthly meeting. Trying to decide how to make it work-- every other month?”
Barbara Loyd (http://colorfilled.blogspot.com) emailed: My sorority has a dinner on the 8th and I am committed to attend. I hate to miss the WOW event.”
Betty Murphy said she won’t be able to come to the meeting and wished everyone a happy Christmas season. She looks forward to seeing us all in January.
Karen Vanek (http://karenvanek.wordpress.com ) emailed: “I'm sorry but will not be able to attend. Blessings to one and all.”
Linda Colie wanted to come so badly. She was dressed and ready when I got there to pick her up. Unfortunately, I was not able to lift Linda into the car by myself and there wasn’t anyone else around to help me. So now I am looking for volunteers to pick Linda up and it may take two people. It is hard for me to pick her up and get to the meeting early (or even on time) to get things set up. Linda likes riding in my minivan because it is the easiest height for her to get in and out of. Sedans seem to be too low and SUV are too high. If anybody can help her out, I know she will be appreciative. She was really looking forward to coming.
Liz Eberle (http://myprayingchairs.blogspot.com) has been posting some wonderful Advent writings on her blog. Take the time to read them and keep up with Liz’s life.
Lynn Harris was called in to work at Der Lindenbaum that night or she would have been there.
Mary Eckert (www.blessingsfortheday.wordpress.com) says, “Won't be able to make it. Too much Christmas doings piling up! Blessed Christmas to all and hope to see in the New Year!
Sheila Barnette emailed: “I miss the group. I have one more year as Administrative Council president of my church, then maybe I can get back to writing.”
Sheila Kale (www.sheilaspeakshope.com ) had a commitment to attend the Canto concert that same evening.
Sheri Pattillo (www.sheripattillo.com) said, “Thanks for keeping me in the loop. I won't be there tonight, but I sure hope to return to this group and our TWiG group with the new year!  Merry Christmas to everyone!
Our TWiG group has been going great. Regulars attending are Sally Clark, Sheila Kale, Megan Willome, Linda Christensen, Valerie Gaumont, Barbara Loyd, and Lynn Harris. Everybody is invited to come on Tuesdays, at noon, in the downstairs meeting room of Chase Bank. We discuss anything “writerly” and read things that we don’t have time for in our monthly meetings. Join us!
We have one birthday (that I know of) coming up – Linda Colie on December 28th.
Remember that you can always check http://christwriters.info to keep up with the latest submission opportunities.
Merry Christmas to all and may God bless us, every one!
Love, Sally

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