Oh my goodness, what a fun time we had at the September meeting of the Hill Country Women of Words! Laughter and tears sweetened our fellowship and our words.
Mary Eckert is part of a writers group that meets in Brady, TX. This month’s program was given by Karen Witemeyer, an Abilene author of three historical Christian romance books, A Tailor-Made Bride, Head in the Clouds, and her latest, To Win Her Heart. All three books have been published by Bethany House. Mary says Karen was a wonderful speaker and she learned a great deal from her. She brought a hand-out to our group from the Brady meeting and I have attached it to this email.Be sure to read it! Karen has a wonderful web site. Take a look at it: www.karenwitemeyer.com. Mary is going to get me on the Brady email list and hopefully, a few of us can make a trip to one of their meetings. I’m sorry to have missed this one! Mary recommends Karen’s book as a great read and also recommends Writing the Christian Romance by Gail Gaymer Martin.
Mary brought something else wonderful to the group: her friend, Sharise Griffith and Sharise’s daughter-in-law, Rachel Griffith, who live in Johnson City. Sharise and Peaches Evans have been friends for years and when Sharise told Peaches she was interested in publishing some of her writings, Peaches told her to get in touch with Mary Eckert for advice. Sharise has written a pamphlet about the tabernacle and how it represents us and our relationship with the Lord. Mary is helping Sharise with this publication. Sharise didn’t read any of her work, but we would love to hear any and/or all of it. It sounds fascinating and would make a wonderful tool for retreats or a series of devotionals. Please come back, Sharise, and bring your inspired words (and your lovely daughter-in-law) with you!
After Mary’s short presentation, we all enjoyed a writing exercise from Room to Write, entitled, “How To” where we were asked to choose a simple action and explain how to do it without referring to what the action is. Everybody enjoyed this one as our readings inspired much laughter!
Vickie Wray started us off with a treat – a melodrama, one of the plays she performed with her grandchildren at Camp Grandma – and five of us got to read the parts. What fun!! This one was called “Hedly to the Rescue” and was a take-off on the old Dudly Do-Right cartoon show. Do you remember that? I do! Dudley and Nell and the horse was the smart one! Well, this was terrific fun. It will be in her book when she submits it to a publisher and should be a hit! Thank you, Vickie!
Sally Clark brought six poems, “Prayer as Thin,” “The Elephant in the Room,” “Caroline,” “On a Slow Afternoon,” “Buffalo Wallow,” and “September 11, 2011.” Thank you all for listening!! I also brought my copy of Hurray, God! HopePrayBelieve, an anthology compiled by Jeanette Sharp, and featuring one of my stories, “Faith Under Fire.” And I was proud to report that to date this year, I have spent $244 entering writing contests and have won $775 from those contests. Hooray! A profit!!
Sheila Barnette was at the meeting and she brought a friend from Johnson City, Betty Mucha. I know Betty from the Johnson City writers group. She is a talented writer of memoir and mystery and the short story she brought to the group was chilling! Entitled, “Swamp Things,” this short story features main character Jonathan running from the law. Despite Beligia's best advice, he hides out in the swamp where he meets Crazy Jake amidst bursts of “swamp gas” (never heard of such a thing!). This was only the first part of the story. Betty has it all written out in long hand and is working at typing it into her computer. Betty, you have to come back and bring us the rest of the story!! Please!
Sheila Barnette brought more of her father’s wonderful letters home from WWII. It is 1944 and Curly is hospitalized in England from appendicitis. His surroundings at an old English estate sound romantic but he misses his “flowers” something awful and writes to them almost every day, despite the fact that he hasn’t had a letter from them in 3 months. His mail does eventually catch up with him, but in the meantime, he struggles with the loneliness that their absence leaves. Thank you, Sheila, for sharing so much of your parents with us and please bring us more!
Kim Easley brought Chapter 3 of her middle-grade chapter book, Harrison Hawkins and the Hilltop Hounds. In this chapter, “The Learning Experience,” Aunt Clair, Uncle Jake, and Harrison have brought a sick, injured dog to the vet. When the sight of blood makes Harrison a bit weak in the knees, Aunt Clair takes him aside and explains that his Uncle Jake suffers from the same problem. Their secret fosters a special bond between Harrison and his aunt. I wonder what has happened to the poor dog? Please bring us chapter four next month, Kim, so we can find out! (no talking dogs in this chapter as Abilene and Chloe are back at the ranch.)
Pam Perrin brought us some beautiful writings from her trip to Massachusetts to clean out her grandmother’s house. One was a poem, “Why Can’t I Sing This Without Crying?” about her family’s tradition of holding hands and singing Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow, such a sweet remembrance that always bring tears to her eyes no matter where she is. She also had a memoir of a note she found on her grandmother’s dresser, kept for 40 years, from her grandfather, that said, “I love you but I have to go. When I get home, I’ll show you how much.” What a blessing!!! Pam has a treasure of all her grandmother’s journals from 1939 to the present (she is still alive at 99) and is relishing each and every memory. Please bring us more of her wonderful story, Pam, and your wonderful words!
Linda Colie didn’t bring anything to read this time but when I took her home, she showed me what she has been working on: a birthday card that has grown into several drawings. They are fantastic, ladies, and I am encouraging Linda to bring them next month to share with all of you. They would make wonderful birthday cards but they are good enough to use as prints. Linda always surprises us, doesn’t she?
Sheila Kale has been very busy creating her newest web site: www.organic-gardening-seed-to-harvest.com. Check it out now to see her wonderful photos and advice about organic plants, soil, and flowers. Sheila hopes to make this into a money-making site to provide some income and has been working through a course by Site Builders. You can check them out at www.sitesell.com They help you build a blog that will earn money and I am so excited for Sheila to be doing this – we will all learn from her experiences. She brought us a few pages from her blog but I notice this morning she has added a new page: Organic Flowers. I can’t wait to hear more! Sheila also has a new email address: sheilaspeakshope@yahoo.com and two other blogs: www.sheilaspeakshope.com and www.sheilasgardenrevelations.blogspot.com, both of which she plans to continue.
There were many faces to miss this month but I’m happy that so many stay in touch!
Alice Kolb writes: I'm finally home but think I'll stay in tonight. I need to regroup, get my pencil going again and spend some visiting time with G. You can catch up with Alice on her blog, www.pens-or-pins.blogspot.com
Do any of you remember Anna Migeon? She moved to SA a few years ago but she has a blog: www.SacredAppetite.wordpress.com Take a look – she’s a very good writer.
Barbara Loyd is keeping up her blog, www.colorfilled.blogspot.com and has a wonderful post about 9-11, the Colors of Agony. Ruth Ganley says they are black, gray, and red. Very good!
Beth Smith has good news on her blog, www.heartopentogod.blogspot.com Her daughter, Avery, was crowned FHS Homecoming Queen! Congratulations, Beth! I know you are so proud!
Dena Dyer emailed this: I thought you might enjoy reading this guest post I did, about my miscarriage (in our early married life) and how God specifically ministered to me in the midst of it http://hannahsprayerblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/he-saw-me.html Very touching writing, Dena; very honest. Thank you.
India Lott has enrolled in a college in Arkansas and is moved there. Her mother and family are still here, though, so we hope India will come back to visit us when she is home.
Kathleen Maxwell says, “I will have miss again. Love to all my friends.” You can read Kathleen's articles for the Kerrville Daily Times at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com
Liz Brookshire has been sick with a bad virus. She writes,I don’t think I will make it. Still struggling with this virus.” Yuck! We hope you get well soon, Liz. 
Liz Eberle is still suffering with restless legs/sleeping problems but she has posted to her blog: www.myprayingchairs.blogspot.com and you will want to read her end of summer musings.
Lorraine McVey has sad news: she and her husband, Lee, have separated and Lorraine has moved to Lawrence, Kansas to live with her sister-in-law. She writes:I appreciate all the love and support I received from the group and hope you will continue to email me the updates… I love each and everyone I met there… Pray for both Lee and I that things will be okay.” We will pray, Lorraine, for God’s mercy for you both. Stay in touch!  
Megan Willome had planned to come but Just found out that tonight is Open House at FHS . Sorry!” We understand! Megan also has a blog at www.meganwillome.highcallingblogs.com You can read about her life and poems there.
Sheri Pattillo emailed to say, “I will be out of town most of the day today so I won’t be able to make it over to Fredericksburg tonight. LWe missed you, too, Sheri! Sheri has begun writing some wonderful articles about wine that would be perfect for a food or wine magazine!
Our Tuesday Writers inspiration Group has been going great with Vickie Wray, Sheri Pattillo, Megan Willome, Pam Perrin, Cindy Harper, Lianne Mercer, Sheila Kale and Liz Brookshire attending in the past months. The poets are working through Wingbeats but anybody who has writing they want critiqued or who just wants to fellowship is welcome!  
Our October birthdays are: Pam Perrin and Mary Hartmann – October 5
                                                 Mary Eckert – October 16
Hope to see you all next month, if not before. Keep writing!!
Love, Sally

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