The March meeting of the Hill County Women of Words got off to a sunny, blue sky start but it ended much too soon when the EMS scanner announced a tornado watch for western Gillespie county and we decided to be safe rather than sorry and went home.

 

In the past month, WOW members have attended several writer events. In Feb., at the Johnson City Writers Event, Sally Clark, Liz Eberle, and Cindy Harper attended a fiction writing workshop with author Carol Dawson. Betty Mucha attended the young adult writing workshop with author Jen Zeigler and Alice and George Kolb, Sheila Barnette, and Liz Brookshire attended the nonfiction workshop with author James Haley. Then in March, Sheila Kale and Sally Clark attended the Christian Writers Group of Greater San Antonio Conference with author/speaker, Sharon Norris Elliott. And just last week, Sally Clark and Lianne Mercer read their poems at a Johnson City poetry reading held at Johnson City B & B, Chantilly Lace.

 

It is great when we are active in various groups, conferences, and seminars, as we all bring back our information and share with the group. Thank you, Betty Mucha, for copies of the handouts your furnished! I shared them with everybody.

Don’t forget Lianne Mercer is starting a fiction writing class through Community Ed next week at the Fredericksburg High School. You can find out the details in the Fredericksburg Community Ed Spring Flyer at http://fisd.org/commed/Documents/SPRING2012.pdf. The cost is only $49 for 5 classes and that’s a bargain!

 

It was fun to welcome a new WOW member, Valerie Gaumont, to our group. Valerie lives in Johnson City and writes novels full time. She has a blog at http://valeriegaumont.blogspot.com/ and she writes contemporary sci-fi and fantasy. Her books, Pilot!, Storm Chaser, Alliance, Rabbit, and Roses for Juliet were previously published by Brown Street Press but are currently available through Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=valerie+gaumont. Valerie brought us part of Chapter 1 of her newest novel, Emily, which she is writing for middle grade readers. Sixteen-year-old Emily and her younger sister, Kelsey, have moved to a new city with their mom. The fog around the woods is frightening to Kelsey so Emily tells her that it is an  enchanted forest. What a surprise when there turns out to be some truth to that rumor! I hope Valerie will be back with more of this story...it sounds intriguing.

 

Liz Brookshire has joined Toastmasters and she brought us her first talk: “Flour and Feed Sacks – From Function to Fashion.” I remember feed sacks and the ways my grandmother used to use them. I think some of her quilts (that I still have in my house today) may have been made with feed sacks. Liz even brought props! What fun! She had men’s underwear, potholders, aprons, and dish towels. I hope she has great success with her talk. It was great!

 

Linda Colie didn’t have any writing this month but she did have artwork; beautiful sketches and colored pencil drawings. We were all so impressed. Linda has been recovering from a very painful sprain in her elbow and she said it was actually easier to draw than to write while she was healing. Thankfully, she is back home in her own apartment now and feels fine. Thank you, Linda, for bringing us your drawings.

 

Sally Clark had four poems, “Scattered,” “Is’a See-kit!,” “Bed Check” and “Forgiven Instead of Good” but I didn’t get to read them because of the impending storm.

 

Sheila Kale brought a devotion, “I’d Rather Die,” but she didn’t get to read it either.

 

Cindy Harper, Pam Perrin, and Megan Willome were also at the meeting but didn’t get to read. Pam and Megan have been coming to the TWiG group on Tuesdays. I hope everybody will come back next month and good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we’ll all get to read and share.

 

New from WOWs who were unable to attend:

 

Alice Kolb will be in Israel for three weeks in April, rooming and attending classes at a Baptist seminary in Nazareth in the morning and sightseeing in the afternoon. She is traveling with some of her husband’s cousins and is very exited. What an amazing trip!

 

Barbara Loyd continues to post faithfully on her blog, http://colorfilled.blogspot.com with wonderful essays and reflections about color and the use of color. This month features a video of Vincent Van Gogh’s works and some of Barbara’s own poetry.

 

Betty Mucha wasn’t able to come because Sheila Barnette couldn’t come and Betty doesn’t drive at night. I hope they’ll make it next month.

 

Dena Dyer did a great TV spot for Catholic Family Services’ World Bazaar fundraiser and featured it on her blog, http://denadyer.typepad.com, even though they misspelled her name! It was great to hear her voice again!!!

 

I’ve been keeping up with Kathleen Maxwell on her blog, http://themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com. This is her latest news: I have gotten a promotion at work. My time at BCFS (Baptist Child & Family Services) YouthBuild will come to an end this Friday (03-09-12) as I have accepted a position as the Division Development Officer for BCFS. I am still working for the same nonprofit but will be moving into a management position. I am excited about the new position and have been quite busy wrapping things up with the kids I have been working with. We have had GED testing recently and I have been coordinating job shadowing as well as helping 8 YouthBuild clients obtain jobs.” Congratulations, Kathleen! It sounds like really fulfilling work.

 

Katy Jones has been hard at work promoting her new book, Leandra’s Enchanted Flute. Check out her web site, http://katyhuthjones.com/index.html and find out what she is working on writing now. I’ve been meeting with Katy and two other authors, Lupe Flores and Diane Bertrand Gonzales, twice a month at the Boerne Public Library for a critique group and I’m learning sooooo much from these talented ladies.

 

Liz Eberle has a new blog post, “Signs of Spring,” at her blog: http://myprayingchairs.blogspot.com and some beautiful photographs. Check them out!

 

Mary Eckert couldn’t make it because of the weather.

 

Megan Willome is posting poems and more every week at her blog: http://megandwillome.wordpress.com She has a beautiful photo of iris this week. And Megan has exciting news to share – she is going to Belfast, Ireland, for a week in April on a writing assignment (all expenses paid)! April 12th will be 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic and Belfast is the port she sailed from. The periodical, Senior News, has hired Megan to go to Belfast and write a story for their paper. She is super excited, as you can imagine, even though, sadly, no, John can’t go with. Hooray for Megan!!!!

 

Please keep Sheila Barnette and her husband George in your prayers. Sheila writes: I am going to miss this Monday's meeting as George is still undergoing more tests, including a bone biopsy this week - we are both really tired. I will need to chauffeur him around and be there to ask the questions he forgets. They still don't know what causes his low blood platelets (they are dropping again), hence the additional tests. So far, it appears to be in the "auto-immune complex" area, whatever that means.  All his other blood work appears fine. Most of his discomfort comes from having to take huge doses of prednisone and the resulting side effects.

I really hope April finds George much improved and me able to return to WOW.
I really miss the meetings when I can't be there. Give everyone my best.

 

Sheri Pattillo emailed her regrets that she couldn’t come but Sheri has been coming to TWiG every other week.

   

Remember to check http://christwriters.info/deadline-dates.php to keep up with submission deadline dates.

 

Our April birthday is Lorraine McVey’s on April 14.

 

We should be in for a beautiful spring with wonderful wildflowers! Take time to enjoy the weather and the season and don’t forget to WRITE ABOUT IT!!!

 

Love, Sally

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