Merry Christmas everyone! I want to share a poem by WOW member, Liz Brookshire
 
If Christmas Never Came
by Elisabeth Brookshire
 
What if Christmas never came?
We would be utterly lost.  Hope would not exist; only shame, guilt and fear.
 
Without the miracle of Christmas, all the other miracles that followed would
have been impossible.
 
Without the miracle of Christmas, belief in the unknown would be shunned as folly.
We would not cultivate wonder and joy in our children.
 
Without Christmas, we are condemned to live in darkness.
In Christmas, we find a Hope beyond imagination.
 
Without Christmas, we are alone.   We do not have the Emmanuel, God With Us.
Hearts become empty and cold.
 
Without Christmas, all that remains are the realities of death and the grave.
But in Christmas, we know Life Eternal.
 
In Christmas, we find a Love
that never gives up on us.
 
In Christmas, we know Peace.
Whatever tomorrow may bring, we still have Christmas.
 
Wherever life takes us, Christmas still comes.
And that is the magic of the season.
 
That’s a beautiful poem, Liz. Thank you for sharing it with us.
 
There were five of us at the WOW monthly meeting yesterday. Sally Clark shared some of the information she learned on Saturday at the Writing & Publishing 101 workshop with literary agent, Johnnie Bernhard at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center on Saturday, December 10th.
 
Judith Rost and I both attended and we both had critiques from Johnnie. Our critiques were both very individualized and beneficial advice. The afternoon session was good, too. Johnnie broke down the basics of how to write a query letter to submit to the Loiacono Literary Agency where she works. It was great practical advice and I finally learned a simplified way to write a one-page synopsis:
 
1st paragraph – tell the beginning of your book in where? who? and why? (setting, protagonist, and conflict)
2nd paragraph – tell when? and how? (the meat and potatoes of your story)
3rd paragraph – tell how the book ends (conclusion)
 
Johnnie may be in Fredericksburg in the fall, but I’m not sure yet. She’s got to coordinate with Robert Deming with the Fredericksburg Writers Conference, so nothing is set yet.
 
Save the dates: Sally shared with the group about a writers workshop coming in Wimberley in March of this year on March 16-18. I’ll be sending out information about this soon. I also shared information about the writers workshop coming up on February 22 in Johnson City. That seminar will feature an editor, an agent, and a publisher and will offer the opportunity for a critique with the one of your choice. There will, of course, be more information about this later, too.
 
Sally also shared her poem, “Santa Starks” with the group. You’ll be able to hear this poem soon on Facebook and maybe on YouTube? I’m not sure, but I’ll send you the link whenever it is up.
 
Barbara Loyd wrote a memoir about how she discovered there wasn’t really any Santa Claus in a piece she titled “Sneaky.” And oh, goodness, she certainly was! It is a great piece, Barbara, and I’m sure there’s an anthology that will love it.
 
Shelley Burkhalter is working on a letter to the editor of the local newspaper asking why we can’t have some more vital programs for adults at our local library. I am so excited about Shelley taking this on. Put this on your New Years resolution list – write a letter to the editor or the county commissioners court about some of the programs other libraries in other communities have for their writers. I’m going to work on one after Christmas.
 
Linda Christensen had a copy of Creative Writing Institute 2016 Anthology that published her story “Antics.” The theme for the anthology was “Explain how that happened....” Thanks for bringing the book to show us, Linda.  
 
Paula Bramlett was there with a big smile and big Merry Christmas for us all and that made us all happy!!
 
Merry Christmas to all – you are all one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received!!!!
 
Love, Sally
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