The Hill Country Women of Words met at their new time and new place for the first time in November and I believe it was a success. Everybody seems to like the bank room and several members who live outside of city limits and had not been able to attend were there. We were so happy to see everyone again!
 
We started off with a timed writing prompt from Valerie Gaumont: “Her choice would be to stay as long a she could...” We wrote fiction, nonfiction, humor, and poetry. We love doing this exercise and we enjoy reading our pieces afterwards. Please type them up and email them to Valerie at valeriegaumont@gmail.com so she can post them on our WOW group’s blog: https://fredricksburgwomenofwords.wordpress.com
 
Vici Wray was first with her arts and crafts project of Homemade Envelopes. This is one of the crafts projects Vici features in her book, Adventures at Camp Grandma. Vici gave each of us a set of instruction and a sample sheet to work with to try to make the envelopes at home and let her know if her instructions are clear. I confess, I haven’t done mine yet, but I will, Vici, and I will report back to you.
 
Rori Crawford was with us and she read three untitled poems reminiscent of Sylvia Plath. Rori’s poems are gut-wrenching, burning, intense, and sometimes brutal. I think she likes them that way. I’m thankful she shares them with us.
 
Linda Christensen made copies of her work, then picked up the wrong folder when she left the house. But she did have a short piece to read us called “Half Slips.” We laughed at this fun story and brought up all our own half-slip stories. Do girls even wear half-slips anymore? I don’t know.
 
Mary Eckert brought us a copy of her latest insightful blog post, titled: “As Long As You’re Above Ground, It’s a Good Day!” You can read Mary’s post and follow her at: https://blessingsfortheday.wordpress.com. Be sure to leave a comment. Mary is trying to write once every week, which is perfect for a blog.
 
Valerie Gaumont has started a new novel she hopes to be reading in installments at WOW about a time when “real magic existed and that people who could use it, mages, were real as well.” Police Detective Martin Benson is stunned to learn his friend and partner, Stan Anders, is one of the mages, and even more surprised to find out police Captain Wilson is already aware of it. Wilson then orders Anders and Benson to investigate the latest murder and use Anders’ magical abilities, if necessary, to solve the crime. What will happen next? Come to WOW and find out!
 
Judith Rost brought us a few chapters of a children’s chapter book she started writing years ago and now wants to continue. We didn’t discuss a title, but I think Chloe Finds a Home is a good name? Cute, sensitive and heartwarming, Judith envisions a series of chapter books about Chloe, a miniature poodle puppy, finding a new home and all her adventures with her family. We enjoyed the book and I hope Judith will continue with it. She and her husband have been in the process of moving and that drains all your energy and concentration, I know, but it will end someday and then Judith can concentrate on her murder mystery novel again.
 
Barbara Loyd brought us four poems, “No Squint, No Squat,” “The Great Equalizer,” “Veneer,” and “Digits.” Barbara has been taking a creative writing class at TTU with Christine Granados this semester and has learned so much. We are thankful to be able to grow along with her as she shares some of the writing lessons she has learned.
 
And Barbara has great news – our newspaper, the Fredericksburg Standard, has asked Barbara to oversee their newspaper insert of art galleries here in Fredericksburg. This will involve writing articles and interviewing artists and art gallery owners. And she has a deadline – December 3rd, 2015. Yikes! That’s practically tomorrow! Barbara is excited about this new challenge and a bit nervous, too. I’m excited because Barbara is always so willing to share everything she learns and we will get to learn through her. Go, Barbara!!
 
Sally Clark brought a group of five poems, “Those Were the Days,” “The Kitchen Door in the Restaurant We Owned,” “Getting Ready for Work,” “Slow Afternoon in a Tourist Town,” and “Retired” and asked everyone which three poems they liked best. I plan to submit to a new literary journal called Poetry and Business, but I can only submit three poems, so I needed to know which two to leave out. Thank you, everybody, for your help!
 
Paula Bramlett was at the meeting, but didn’t have anything to read. Paula has been in the building/moving process, too, and too distracted to write much, but she comes to TWiG and we love being with her there.
 
Anna Mendecke was also at WOW and she had something to read, but we ran out of time, I’m so sorry to say. Please forgive us, Anna.
 
Which brings me to this – I really hate to have anybody left out of reading when we meet for WOW. We have the bank room for as long as we want (until 5:00 p.m.) so there should be plenty of time for everyone to read, but I realize people have appointments and such, so I’m asking - do you think we should limit the time we each take to read? Say 10 minutes per person? I can use the timer on my phone. It’s just a thought, but everybody needs to be able to read with a decent number of us still there to give an adequate critique. And if you bring copies, we can mark the copies and hand them back to the person who wrote them. That might save some comment time, too. Just something to think about.
 
Sheila Kale couldn’t make it this month because she was out of town.
 
Lynn Harris was sick or she would have been at the meeting.
 
Liz Eberle has a new blog post to share at: http://myprayingchairs.blogspot.com
 
Upcoming birthdays are: Vici Wray – November 21, and Lynn Harris – December 3.
 
Everybody is welcome to attend TWiG on Tuesdays, in the bank meeting room, at 1:00. Regular attendees are Sally Clark, Valerie Gaumont, Barbara Loyd, Paula Bramlett, Lynn Harris, Linda Christensen, and sometimes Sheila Kale. Please bring us your longer pieces that we don’t have time to hear at WOW.
 
Keep writing and we’ll see you in December!
 
Love, Sally


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