The November meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words was fantastic! We met at the EMS Building. There was plenty of parking, plenty of chairs, plenty of tables, plenty of food, and plenty of wonderful writing!

 

Liz Eberle, our fearless founder, led us into a new (but not final) frontier – writing exercises at the meeting. After a short presentation and the gift of some wonderful notebooks (complete with a reading list), Liz dictated a writing prompt, then gave us 15 minutes to finish it. The response was delightful – everybody enjoyed it immensely. I believe that with a bit of encouragement, we might be able to persuade Liz to continue with these sessions in the first 45 minutes of our meetings. We could strive for this format – 15 minutes of presentation, 15 minutes of writing, and 15 minutes of reading the results. Or something like that. Thank you, Liz. What a wonderful gift you have given us (just one among many)! And if you want more of Liz’s own writing words, you will be deliciously refreshed at her blog: www.myprayingchair.blogspot.com. 

 

We were happy to welcome a new member, (we hope!) Beth Smith. Beth lives here in Fbg. and has a blog at www.heartopentogod.blogspot.com. The day after our meeting, Beth posted an entry entitled, “How many years are you going to wait until you write?” where she makes mention of Liz Eberle inviting her to our group and attending the Cecil Murphey seminar at The Haven last month. Thank you, Beth! We are so glad you found us! Beth brought some writing, too. A story called, “Scripture and a Prayer,” about a young man Beth has mentored and prayed for for years without always knowing the results. I think this could work into a great devotional. Please come back, Beth. We love having you!

 

Judy Koch was at our meeting. Some of you have met Judy at our TWiG (Tuesday Writers inspiration Group) meetings. This was her first time to attend one of our Monday night meetings. Judy wrote a story that some of you have read about a lion attacking her in Africa. She took this story to the Cecil Murphey seminar at The Haven in October and Cecil critiqued it personally. She passed it around for each of us to read. Thank you, Judy, for sharing this – we all learn so much from each other. Judy was excited about everything she learned at the seminar. It’s a lot to absorb in one sitting, but she loved it. I hope I can go next year (if they have another one).

 

Cindy Harper brought us more of her coyote poetry in a longer poem called “Coyote Afternoon.” After we had read and praised this wonderful poem, Cindy revealed its secret meaning: it was based on the 23rd Psalm. What a clever way to illustrate scripture in contemporary living! Good job, Cindy! Write more! Cindy’s series of poems about Coyote and Shadow were inspired by the book, “Poemcrazy,” that our Tuesday group has been going through, six chapter a week. We’ve all been inspired to new ideas and new techniques by this book. We will end the study next week and will start a new poetry handbook in January. Everybody is welcome to join us!

 

Liz Brookshire brought two poems that she wrote from the “Poemcrazy” study, “The Center of the House,” and “The Cedar Chest.” Both poems were memoir poems, one about her dad who died years ago, and one about her mom who recently passed. They both brought tears to my eyes, especially since I drove past her parent’s house on my way to WOW just that very evening. Thank you, Liz, for sharing so much of your heart with us.

 

Mary Thompson was with us again. Welcome back, Mary! She brought us a story called, “The Hunter,” which was based on her father’s life as a boy before WWII. It was an engaging story and very appropriate since hunting season just opened a few weeks ago. Thank you, Mary! Bring us more of your words, please!

 

Alice Kolb was with us but she didn’t have anything to read. Alice has been busy with quilting seminars but she does have a wonderful post on her blog: http://pens-or-pins.blogspot.com that you should read. Alice is working on a book of family stories/memoirs written around different food dishes and recipes. She got the idea from a tasty book, “Will Write For Food,” by Dianne Jacob. I would love to read some of her stories when they have cooked enough and are ready to eat! Thank you, Alice! And, Alice, I apologize. In the last newsletter, I wrote that your daughter lives in Colorado and I realize I was wrong – she lives in Oklahoma City.  Forgive me!!!

 

Lorraine McVey brought two poems that she plans to enter into the Spirit First Poetry Contest: “Be Still and Know” and “God Remains the Same.” The guidelines for the contest ask for poems that are based on “meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or silence” and I think these poems will qualify. They were lovely, Lorraine. Thank you for sharing them with us!

 

Pam Perrin has been coming to TWiG regularly and working through the poetry book with us. She read a few of her poems from her journal. Pam is unsure of her words but I think she is very talented and I always love hearing her poems. Thank you, Pam, for bringing your words to us!! We love them!!

 

Sheila Kale was with us and didn’t bring anything to read but her comments on our work is invaluable. Sheila pointed out that nobody has to bring something to read every time we meet – a willing pair of ears is always welcome! You can read some of Sheila’s devotionals at her web site: www.thecloserwalk.com. If you are not already on her store email list, sign up. Her latest email contains a wonderful devotional. And don’t forget to stop by her store, The Closer Walk, for Christmas shopping. She has a wonderful array of cards, gifts, book, and music.

 

Linda Colie had a Thanksgiving story about half written when she arrived at the meeting and she continued to work on it while we read. Talk about your powers of concentration! Her story was a memoir of her family’s Thanksgiving in 1970 in Bemidji, Minnesota, when Linda was a young teenager. Her father presented their Thanksgiving guests with a surprise “family recipe” potato dish. He was caught later by one of their guests at the local grocery story, right beside a display of a brand new product – Betty Crocker au gratin potatoes in a box!!!! Thank you, Linda, for making us laugh!

 

Sally Clark brought some children’s Winter and Spring haiku she plans to submit to Berry Blue Haiku and four poems she has written from the “Poemcrazy” study: “A Scarlet Leaf,” “Homesong,” “Sharing Tears,” and “Fly the Friendly Skies.” I had several requests for a web site I’ve shared before on how to write haiku, so I’m sharing it with you all again: www.ahapoetry.com, written by Jane Reichhold.  Reading her sea shell game at http://ahapoetry.com/shelgame.htm is how I really learned to write haiku. It’s a wonderful teaching tool and I loved it. Just read through the “games” one by one and you will see what I mean. I recommend scrolling to the bottom, starting with the first game, and working your way up.

 

News from around the WOW circle:

 

Barbara Loyd in Tulsa, Oklahoma is doing well and sends me work from time to time to be critiqued.

 

Dena Dyer in Amarillo is on Facebook now under “Dena Ratliff Dyer.” Read her blog at www.denadyer.typepad.com. Her latest post dated Nov. 5 is “This Thing I Carry.” Very moving, very revealing. Don’t miss it!

 

Katy Jones is still posting at her blog: www.freedombites.blogspot.com. She promises to send me a completed version of her “Leandra’s Flute” story and I will share it with everybody!

 

Dorothy Leyendecker in Lady Lake, Florida, wishes: A Happy Thanksgiving to all WOW'S and their families. And to you, too, Dorothy.

Kelly Carper Polden is in Montana. She writes: As of last Tuesday, I am now a Montana resident. We closed on a beautiful property in the Bitterroot Valley, part way up a Bitterroot mountainside. Our new horse property is gorgeous and is located on a "bench" of the mountain, nestled in a grove of tall pine trees. The horses and dogs love it! We are located about two hours south of Glacier National Park and less than three hours from Yellowstone. In addition to a four-bedroom house, we have a two-bedroom apartment (with kitchen, living room, full bath and deck with a "to die for" view) above the barn for guests. I continue to work with Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com/) and my other national/global clients. I will start looking for local clients. My LBJ book will be released by Arcadia on Feb. 21, 2011. I will be back in Texas in early to mid-March for the launch and book signings. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Her guest house sounds amazing…I’d sure love to check it out!! I can’t wait for her book to be out. I’ll drive for anybody who wants to go to her book signing – I’m sure it will be at the LBJ State Park in Stonewall.

Mary Hartman, in Medina, New York, is on Facebook now, too. Look for her under “Mary Hartman-boechel.” She would love to hear from you.

Sheila Barnette in Johnson City hated to miss our meeting but she emailed: I will miss seeing everyone, and especially miss participating in the new format, but realized today that I have another commitment on both our November and December meeting dates. The holidays are always hectic. Give everyone my best wishes for lovely Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I hope some of you (or all of you) can attend the 50th anniversary of our Living Nativity at the First United Methodist Church in Johnson City. The dates are the first 2 Friday and Saturday nights in December, with performances every half hour from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. The Living Nativity is a "get out and sit in the bleachers" show with music and dialog, child angels, and animals. Each show lasts about 15 minutes. The display of Nativity sets is just inside the building behind the bleachers - which is where the refreshments are also. (the building is handicapped accessible, and wheelchairs can sit next to the bleachers for the show.) Cookies and hot drinks are provided to all between performances, and there will be over 100 Nativity sets from around the world on display. I should be there all but the first Saturday night. I hope to get back to regular attendance in January. I really want to make this one this year! It sounds wonderful!

Megan Willome is still posting at her blog: www.meganwillome.com. Her Thanksgiving post will warm your heart!

If any of you were thinking of attending the Johnson City writers on the first Tuesday in December – don’t. They have decided not to meet in December and will start back up in January. They are planning a one-day seminar/workshop in February that will feature Scott Wiggerman from Austin, TX, along with two other authors. I will keep everybody posted about this event because it is so close and so worthwhile – we loved it last year!

Our December birthdays are Kathleen Maxwell on Dec. 17th and Linda Colie on Dec. 28th.

Don’t forget to check www.christwriters.info/deadlines.php for a current schedule of submission deadlines.

Holiday seasons are always so busy and so rushed with so many things to do. But even if your words are few, get them down, somehow, someway, on anything, and save them. They are gifts from God to you and He wants you to share them with us! 

Love,  Sally

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