The Hill Country Women of Words met in their new location – the University Center in Fredericksburg, TX – for their October meeting and everybody seemed to approve. The facilities are perfect. Everything we need and more: a kitchen, a soft drink machine, tables, and even internet service. I think we are going to like it here!
 
While we munched, we discussed another new opportunity for our group – a WOW members blog. We decided we’d like to post our responses to our monthly timed writing prompts that we do every meeting on a blog. If publishers and editors “google” any of us online, they will find the basic information on us on the WOW web site (http://hcwomenofwords.org), but a blog will give us the opportunity to put samples of our writing online for them to read. Members will be asked to type up their writing and email it to me, Sally Clark, at auslande@ktc.com so I can copy and past it into the blog. I hope to have everything up and running by the next meeting when we will discuss it again.
 
Valerie Gaumont http://valeriegaumont.weebly.com/ normally provides our writing prompt, but she was sick this month. She did email me a prompt (thanks, Valerie!), but while we were talking, Barbara Loyd came up with this one: “Because her parents over-controlled their only child, she craved more freedom ...” and we were off and writing. We wrote fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoirs, and essays. Bobbie Grimmer said she kept thinking about her mother’s admonition, “don’t run with scissors” and that led us into a discussion of “mom-isms.” Speaker Anita Renfroe has written and performed the ultimate Mom Song to the tune of the William Tell Overture and I found the link to her youtube performance:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxT5NwQUtVM . This is one of the funniest things I’ve heard online. Take a few minutes (three is all it takes) to listen to Anita. It will be a treat to yourself.
 
Rori Crawford read us four poems. The poems were untitled, but I’ve created titles for them so I could remember them: “Scars,” “War Zone,” “Satan’s Calling,” and “Scars on my Heart.” Forgive me, Rori, if you don’t like the titles – you can certainly call your poems whatever you want to! All of Rori’s poetry is very deep and soulful. We feel privileged to hear them. Thank you, Rori.
 
Bobbie Grimmer brought us a poem she wrote that was inspired by Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “I Will Be Here.” Her poem was not titled, either, so I created a title: “This Day Sparkles” from the first few words of the poem. It was beautiful, Bobbie! It felt like a love poem to God and I’m sure He heard it that way.
 
Anna Mendeke said that she was inspired to start writing by Rori Crawford. Isn’t it wonderful how we motivate one another? Anna brought us a poem she called “Ancestor Quilt” that begins...”I mended an old quilt today...” and took us on a sweet journey of the quilt’s beginnings and endings. This is a lovely poem, Anna. Thank you for sharing it with us.
 
Betty Murphy brought us another memoir from her story, “Oh, Minnie, How You Do Run On.” She wrote about how her mother, Minnie Merle, went to beauty school to get her license. She made $4 a week at a shop in Houston and met her husband at a bus stop. I love getting to know Minnie and her story! Thanks for sharing with us, Betty.
 
Sheila Kale http://sheilaspeakshope.com and http://closerwalkcoaching.com taught us something – how to find the “speak” program on Microsoft Word! With this little button, your computer will read your text out loud to you! Amazing! I had no idea it would do this. My Word program will not do it because it’s too old L but the newer versions will do it. You just have to know where to look and which commands to click on. If you are interesting in learning, just email Sheila at sheilaspeakshope@yahoo.com and ask her to send you the instructions. This is sooo cool! Sheila also brought us a part of the novel she is working on and we helped to critique it. Right now, Sheila is writing random scenes from the book she envisions and it will be interesting to see how she puts them all together. I call this scene “Car Wreck in the Church Parking Lot.” There was a lot more wrecked than the cars!
 
Barbara Loyd http://colorfilled.blogspot.com/  worked at Oktoberfest this month, schlepping beer. Nothing quite like it to inspire you to write a poem and Barbara wrote a nice one she calls “Oktoberfest.” Barbara learned that there is an art to serving beer on tap to fill the glass with beer and not foam! Barbara also brought us a memoir she calls “Home.” Barbara only felt at home with her maternal grandmother, Mama Jeanne, who lived in Marksville, Louisiana. It was a haven for Barbara. I’m thankful that she had it and thankful that she has shared her grandmother stories with us.
 
Sally Clark http://sallyclark.info brought a new board book, Little Hands Can which I have submitted to Ideals. I also brought ½ of my January Kidz Flip Calendar poems, Jan. 1-18, (thanks for the suggestions!) and a sheet showing the text of my book, Where’s My Hug? and how the editor changed it from my original to what they are going to publish in January. I thought it was interesting for everybody to see how editors edit.
 
Vici Wray brought two of the arts and crafts projects from her book, Adventures at Camp Grandma – “Tin Can Planter” and “Ceramic Tile Angel.” Both crafts are very well done and kids will love them, Vici. I wish I had the energy to do some of these with my grandkids. Thanks for sharing them with us.
 
Lynn Harris read us some more of her novel, Life With Lupe. I love listening to Lynn’s stories and hearing how the characters in her book are real and personal. I bet they feel like close friends to Lynn. She is doing a great job in writing down their stories.
 
Alice Kolb http://alicekolb2.wordpress.com/ made it to our meeting, but she had to leave early, before she could read anything. Her life is difficult right now with her husband’s health and other demands on her time, so we are grateful to have her, even for a little bit. Alice lives close to the University Center, so we hope to see at our meetings again.
 
News from other WOWs –
 
Linda Colie couldn’t make it this time. She was just too tired. Please keep Linda in your prayers.
 
Linda Christensen http://senioradventureswithlindakay.blogspot.com/ emailed that she had a conflict that night and couldn’t make the meeting. Linda has been coming to TWiG and we have really been enjoying her stories there.
 
Liz Eberle http://myprayingchairs.blogspot.com/ is posting on her blog. Keep up with her writing there.
 
Mary Eckert http://www.blessingsfortheday.wordpress.com/ writes: Hope everyone has fun tonight at the new location. I will not be able to be there. Just got back from Alpine and research on new book. Had a great time and gathered LOTS of info. Will have new chapter next meeting in November. See you all then.  Blessings Mary”
 
Our TWiG attendance has been great – Sally Clark, Sheila Kale, Barbara Loyd, Valerie Gaumont, Lynn Harris, Linda Christensen, Pam Perrin and Megan Willome attend regularly or as often as they can. If you have more writing than what we have time to critique at the monthly meeting, please join us on Tuesdays at 12:00 in the downstairs meeting room of Chase Bank.
 
Birthdays coming up are – Mary Eckert Oct. 16
                                      Sally Clark Nov. 5
                                      Karen Greathouse Nov. 5
                                      Sheri Pattillo Nov. 8
 
 
If you are looking for places to submit your work, be sure to check my blog: www.christwriters.info/deadlines for list of current submission deadlines.
 
Enjoy this cool fall weather and don’t forget to write about it!
 
Love to all, Sally
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