The July meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was summed up best by one of our illustrious members, Linda Christensen, who said, “I learned so much today.” That’s what we’re all about – learning from each other

Sally Clark, Shelley Burkhalter, Judith Vost, Alice Kolb, Paula Bramlett and Lynn Harris attended the Johnson City Writers Event to hear author and speaker Nancy Robinson Masters on June 28th. Sally, Shelley, and Judith were all at the meeting so we shared how much we enjoyed the day (and the food) and Nancy. She is a very good speaker and I hope we can get her to come speak in Fredericksburg sometime.

Linda Christensen was the first one to read. Linda and her husband, Jerry, are working hard to bring a half-way house to Fredericksburg for women recovering from alcoholism. They are working in conjunction with their church, Holy Ghost Lutheran, and Linda is keeping a diary of each step of the process. She brought us her notes and emails. This is a worthwhile project for sure and we are all praying it becomes a reality. I’m sure there will be many challenges along the way, but it will be a real blessing to so many women.

Liz Brookshire was with us this month. Liz has been out for awhile, but I’m so glad she came today. She brought a story called, “Memories of Old Turner Hall.” Liz’s wedding reception was there. Do you know why it is called Turner Hall (it’s not because of someone named Turner)? Now I do. We feel the newspaper should run Liz’s story and other’s like it, so everyone can know more of the Turner Hall history. I hope they will decide to rebuild it.

Sally Clark brought a new picture book, Marmalade’s Words, a story of a little girl? mouse? whatever? who likes to collect happy words all through her day and carry them home in her little basket. But what will she do with the stinky, heavy, biting words that some of her friends throw at her? Will she let them weigh her down? Sally also brought copies of two new anthologies that each feature one of Sally’s poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Person Poems and Texas Poetry Calendar 2016. Both are published by Dos Gatos Press. So sad this is the last TX Poetry Calendar.

Barbara Loyd brought us a new project – a calendar of colors. Today, she brought “A Fish of a Different Color” about Koi ponds and how people have bred the fish for their colors. So interesting! This would be a beautiful calendar, Barbara. She also brought an essay on “Can Animals See Color?” What do you think? For years, the experts have told us no, they only see black and white, but current research proves that theory wrong. Wonderful writing, Barbara.

Shelley Burkhalter brought us the continuing saga of the “Mermaids of West Texas.” Such a good story! Shelley read the first part of this chapter at TWiG a few weeks ago. This week we learned about Dugan and Gable’s run in with No-Neck at the country western dance. This is prime West Texas in the 70s and we’re really enjoying it.

Judith Rost has written a new picture book, The True Story of Buster, the Handicapped Bat. Would you believe Judith’s daughter had a pet bat? I’ve never heard of anybody who kept a bat as a pet, but Jodi, Judith’s daughter did. This could really be a fun picture book and very unusual. I think I’d freak out, too, if I saw a tiny little bat face peaking out from somebody’s shirt collar!

Mary Eckert emailed to say: “Miss all of you. Summer is keeping me busy with grandkids coming and going. Also helping Dewey with summer harvesting on the farm. Don't give up on me....I shall return!  Blessings Mary

 Megan Willome also emailed: “I won’t be there tomorrow—doing an interview (for her book.)” Megan will be speaking at Zion Lutheran in August and I will put more information out about that later and also about an online poetry course Megan will be teaching starting in September.

Stay cool this summer and let it rain!

Love, Sally

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