We really started 2010 out the right way: with a blow-out writers meeting!!! Words and ideas flew around the room and inspiration was overflowing!  


Kelly Carper Polden gave a short talk on her latest writing project. Kelly has been hired to write web content for Stratfor: The Leader in Global Intelligence (www.stratfor.com). “Stratfor” stands for “strategic forecasting.” The web site has over 10,000 subscribers and gives some impressive testimonials to the excellent writing. Kelly works from 11 at night until 7 in the morning, 5 nights a week (when it is daytime on the other side of the globe). She receives reports from all over the world and edits them into 100 word articles to post on the web site.  She also edits their Readers Comment section and several other features.  Forgive me, Kelly, for not being able to keep up with them all!


And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she has just signed a contract to write a book for Arcadia Publishing on the LBJ National Park. Arcadia (www.arcadiapublishing.com) specializes in beautiful historical photo-essay books. There are no books on the LBJ Park itself and Kelly will have thousands of photos to select and research for this project, due in August of 2010.



And, in case you missed it, Kelly had a book signing at The Closer Walk on December 15, just in time for holiday gift-giving! The book is Christmas Miracles, compiled by Cecil Murphey, featuring Kelly’s story, “The Miracle of the Lord’s Prayer.” Cecil Murphey will be in Fredericksburg on Feb. 7th, at Evangelical Free Church from 2-4 p.m. to talk to writers.  I will send out a separate email with details. Mr. Murphey is currently seeking submissions for a follow up to this book called Christmas Spirit and I will be sending out the submission details for that book soon, too.


Thank you, Kelly, for taking the time to come talk to us. We are amazed and inspired by all your hard work and so thankful you are one of us!!



Sally Clark has a story in the book, Parent/Teen Stories, Without Judgment called “Nick” under the pen name, Melissa James. I was proud to report that in 2009, I made 287 submissions, had 60 acceptances/successes, chalked up 196 rejections, and have not heard from 31 yet (made later in the year). A good thick skin is priceless in this business!! I also read my poem, “Christmas All Year Long,” (inspired by a Christmas plaque I have hung on my wall) which I submitted to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Holidays Ho Ho Ho and my new daily journal of haikus.


Sheila Barnette brought us more of her mother’s diary, Wanza’s Story: A Time of Waiting, from WWII. It was funny and warm and so interesting – we all loved it! Sheila also wants to bring a writer friend from Johnson City next time. She will be welcome and thank you, Sheila, for sharing your mother with us! We love getting to know her and her world.


Alice Kolb brought us a nonfiction article she plans to enter in The Dead of Winter Contest (http://www.thewritehelper.com/id68.html) about her partnership experience in her quilting seminars business. A very good piece about a unique business, there are not too many nonfiction contests around and I wish Alice good luck! Alice is also working on an article for Threads magazine (http://www.threadsmagazine.com ), the magazine for people who love to sew. Alice has written for them before. How-to articles entail sewing the garment 5 times, each piece illustrating one step in the process, then mail them to the magazine to photograph. She says it’s a lot of work but worth it. Another new genre for our little group and very interesting! Thank you, Alice!


Dena Dyer brought us part of a chapter from her new fiction novel, Saving Grace. The book is so good, it really rings true for West Texas. You will all want to read what she has written so far, whenever you can! And you know what I always say…everywhere you go, you find people from Fbg.? Did you know I always say that? Well, Dena and her husband Carey took a cruise in Dec. and of course, Dena had to check out the ship’s library. Guess what was on the coffee table in the library? The Wacoan with Megan Willome’s name on the cover and one of her feature stories!!! Doesn’t that just give you a big, warm feeling when you are far from home and see a familiar name? I love it!!


Cindy Harper had a book signing for the 2010 Texas Poetry Calendar at BookPeople in Austin in December. I was unable to attend L. But you can see Cindy’s photo from her reading at the Dos Gatos website: http://www.dosgatospress.org/gallery.html. She says it went very well. Cindy brought us a piece she hopes to be an entry for her blog called “Walking Points…Some talking points for your daily walk with Christ.” Great title! This entry was called “Dangerous Liaisons.” Cindy has started a journal called “My Year of Living Dangerously” to record her daily commitment to “admit defeat, confess my sin, beg forgiveness” and ask Jesus to change her instead of through her  own efforts. We look forward to hearing more of this project, Cindy. Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability.


Megan Willome brought us two more of her cancer poems about her mom, “Mimosas” and “Blue Moon,” both poignant and honest. She wrote them while spending a week with her mother over the Christmas holidays. I love reading these poems. Megan says she has compiled 60 of them and hopes someday to submit them as a chapbook for other daughters struggling to walk alongside their mother’s through this difficult journey. Thank you, Megan, for letting us travel with you and your mom.


Linda Colie brought us an old photo of her and her friend Jodi riding a tilt-a-whirl ride at a fair in Bemidji, IO. They were having a blast! Then she read us a poem she had written to remember the event. What a wonderful way to preserve the story behind the photo. Linda also had news – she will have surgery on Feb. 16th, the day after our next WOW meeting, to replace her right shoulder. The surgery will be here in Fbg. and Linda will be in the hospital for 3-4 days, then in a nursing/rehab home for about a month for recovery. She covets our prayers and I promise she will have them. Thank you, Linda, for sharing so much of yourself and your writings with us! We love you!


Sheila Kale did not have any writings to share with us, but she had done some research on Amazon.com’s newest print-on-demand publishing program called CreateSpace. This is one of the “easiest, fastest and most economical ways to self-publish and make your content available to millions of potential customers on Amazon.com and other channels.” Self-publishing is not for everyone but if you are interested, Sheila says the costs for this program range from $3.25 to $5.50 a copy, drastically less than most self-publishing programs.  Thank you, Sheila for researching this information for all of us!


Liz Brookshire couldn’t be with us – they have just called in hospice for her mother, Hermina Krauskopf, and Liz needed to be with her. She writes that she “hasn’t written anything in a while but I would love to hear everyone else and get some inspiration and motivation. Tell everyone hello and I’ll see you soon.” Liz asks us to keep her and her mom in our prayers.


Liz Eberle wanted to come but she, Gus, and Melinda had just returned from a trip to Dallas for daughter-in-law Kathy’s 60th birthday and Liz was all partied out! She’ll see us next month, I hope!


Barbara Loyd sends wishes of “Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010 to all WOWs”


Karen Eby, our Medina, TX, friend says her “Calendar Journals have gone over well again this year and I am very thankful for seed money for whatever Nugget of God’s Truth He decides to have me delight in and share in 2010.” Thank you, Karen, for staying in touch.


Katy Jones writes “I miss you and all the WOW ladies very much. I’m still up to my armpits in home school classes, music, and patriotic stuff (the fife & drum corps, my husband signing up to be precinct chair, so I’ll be his helper, and he and I are going to be George and Martha Washington and hopefully give presentations to schools…” Busy!!!!


Mary Eckert couldn’t make it.


Rebecca McCright sent this message, “I’m with you in spirit! Love and miss you gals!!” Thank you, Rebecca. We miss you, too! Please keep sending me your newsletters.


Nancy Robinson Masters (Abilene Writers Guild) sent us a Christmas card/newsletter that said, “You all were one of the best things to happen to me in 2009 – Blessed writing to all.”


Our only January birthday is Megan Willome on January 29th.


Our next meeting will be on February 15th, at 5:30 p.m. in the club room of the Highland Oaks Apartments, 1019 Friendship Lane, behind Walmart. Hope everyone can make it!


It was a wonderful meeting ladies and I was privileged to be there!!!

Keep the good words flowing! Sally

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