For the June meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words, we did not meet in the HEB Community Events room, but we met in one of the classrooms instead. I hope it was not a problem for anybody.
We all had a good time doing our timed writing. Valerie Gaumont brought us our prompt: “Suspicions kept arising....” and we wrote fiction, memoir and poetry. You are welcome to do your own 10 minutes writing exercise to this month’s prompt and send it in to Valerie at and she will post it on our blog: We would like to get a bit more participation on this blog, so if you were at the meeting, please send in your stories!
Rori Crawford was the first to read. She read a dark poem she called “Heroine Tales.” We are so sad to learn that Rori has suffered a miscarriage. She was three months along. It was a shock to her and she has written a wonderful article about the experience she calls “Everything You Never Knew About Miscarriage.” The pain, physical and emotional, have been very deep for her and I think her article would touch many women’s hearts. Rori would like to publish the article in a women’s or mother’s or parenting magazine, if anybody has any suggestions. Our deepest condolences, Rori. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Valerie Gaumont has started a new novel she calls Yard Work and it promises to be really intriguing! I like her characters. Albert J. Robinson hates grass - mowing it, growing it, planting it, all of it – and he has just moved into the sleepy little suburban community of River Oaks. When he discovers his nearest neighbors, Jeanie and George Anderson and their daughter, Emma, are not yard fans, either, a friendship is born from their mutual lack of interest and the neighborhood hierarchy is threatened. Bring us more, Valerie!
Linda Christensen was there, but she didn’t bring anything to read. Linda is moving from their home in Heritage Hills to their new home in Stoneridge and as we all know, that can really suck up all your energy. Linda’s book signing in her home town went very well. She will be traveling to Maine for a month – from July 15th to Aug. 20th – so we’ll look forward to seeing her in September. (I think she’ll be here for the July meeting)
Karen Vanek was voted to be the secretary for her family’s reunion committee. They said all she had to do was send out the invitations. Well...Karen got a little excited and did just a bit more than that! Karen dug up an old photo of her Czech ancestors, the Pekar’s, and then figured out who belongs to which ancestor. I bet everybody loved it. Then she wrote a poem about the photo she calls “The Pekar’s Sweet, Sweet Home” because the family was from Sweet Home, Texas. Sweet Home is about 100 miles east of San Antonio. We loved your poem, Karen, and I bet your family did, too. I think Karen may have a job for life!
Beverly Naumann, a neighbor of Karen Vanek and Barbara Loyd’s, was at the meeting. Beverly came along on our road-trip meeting to Kerrville in May. She is a writer and she hopes to bring something to share with the group soon. Welcome, Beverly!
Sally Clark brought a critique of her children’s picture book, Chicken Tenders, from a web site called Rate Your Story. Their web site is and they have contests and free-entry events to rate your story from 1-10, with 1 being the best. My story got a 4 and a short critique. I will keep the group posted as to when they have their next free critique event. They review both children’s and adult writing. I also brought the story I plan to enter in the Fredericksburg Writes Conference Contest. Right now, I call it “Handy Man,” but what do you think of "Genie in the Garage?" I’m going to bring my entry to the meeting on June 25th and give it to Robert Deming there. I hope many of you all will submit a story, too.
Liz Brookshire showed us a photo of her family home here in Fredericksburg and then read us a poem she wrote called “The House That Was Us.” Liz made copies of the photo and the poem and gave them to her four sisters when they closed on the sale of their parent’s home. It was a bittersweet event and brought tears to my eyes. Liz also read us excerpts from one of the talks she gives at the retirement centers here in town about the Notable Women of Fredericksburg. We encouraged Liz to choose one of the stories and write it up for the FWC contest! I hope she does. I would love to see some of Liz’s historical stories printed in the newspaper.
Paula Bramlett is continuing to work on her book about the Catholic Saints. This month, she read us her chapter on Dorothy Day, who is not a saint, but was the founder of the Catholic Workers Movement, a social justice ministry. I love Paula’s “voice” in these pieces and learned so much about Dorothy Day that I did not know. I think she was a dedicated, hard-working, fire-ball of a woman. Thank you, Paula, for sharing her with us.
Here is some news from other WOWs –
Alice Kolb emailed “I'm teaching in Blue Bell country tomorrow (Tuesday), so driving to Austin this afternoon (Monday) to shorten tomorrow's early morning drive. Hope tonight is a fun meeting.See you soon.”
Anna Mendeke didn’t come because she had some minor surgery done that day and she needed to rest.
Barbara Loyd tried to come, but she an appointment in San Antonio with her eye doctor and she got stuck in traffic on her way home.
Betty Murphy says: “Our summer brings guests, so I will be missing several meetings.  Maybe I can get back in gear by August.  Have a great meeting.” Betty and her husband have a bed and breakfast in Willow City.
Some of you may remember Judith Rost. She came to our TWiG meeting a few times. Judith hopes to join us soon. She emailed me: “Just to let you know, we have a pending sale on our home here in MN. If all goes well, we will be back in Fredericksburg in August. I haven't had a chance to work on any writing since we returned. Time has been spent getting the house staged and now we are busy packing and trying to get rid of stuff. I'm looking forward to getting back into the writers groups.” Wouldn’t Linda Colie have loved having another writer from Minnesota? I miss you, Linda.
Please pray for one of our Kerrville members, Katy Jones, whose lymphoma has returned after 9 years of being cancer-clear. I see Katy at the Boerne group that I attend twice a month.
On May 9th, Liz Eberle had a terrible fall in her house and smashed her face and her knee. She has been recuperating the knee ever since and is still working (and resting) hard to try to avoid infection or draining or anything invasive. Liz has suffered from MRSA in the past. Say a prayer for her full recovery, please.
Lynn Harris has been coming to TWiG.
Sheila Kale’s five grandchildren were in town from Dallas the night of the meeting.
Vici Wray says: “Taking the summer off to catch up on projects here at home and hope to get back in the writing groove. Have a yummy summer.”  I miss Vici. L
Valerie Gaumont’s birthday is June 27th. (It’s a big one, but I won’t tell anybody that it’s the same as Kate Gosselin’s.)
Hope you all make it.
Love, Sally

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