DECEMBER 2022 Newsletter, Keeping members in touch!
Abilene Writers guild.org, Ktalley1963@gmail.com
Preserving the Past in Print
Toward the end of November in 1997, I was blessed to realize one of my dreams, that of visiting Germany. How ironic that I got to be there as the German culture had already had all the streets, cottages, and stores decorated and were in full swing of Christmas celebrations. It was not until that time that I began to realize how much influence the German culture had on my Christmas celebrations growing up. My grandparents immigrated from Germany and what had been instilled in my dad as a child was carried on into the family and home he established.
Each year as Christmas approached the small town 15 miles from our farm would come alive with much color and sparkle as the strings of lights stretched across main street. Shop windows displayed scenes of delightful Christmas cheer adding to sugar plums dancing in our heads.
Christmas Eve always called for a trip into “town”. In my early childhood, my two sisters and I would pile into the 1940’s red pick-up and make the trip into Ballinger where my dad would do his Christmas shopping. My mama would have already had all hers done, wrapped, and hidden beneath the “snow” under the tree.
Not only had she prepared in advance for Santa to visit with his gifts, our house had been filled with the aroma of old-fashioned fudge bubbling slowly over the gas burner to just the right temperature before being poured into the pan to cool and set. Piles of shiny white divinity nuggets were stored, waiting to be offered to any visitor who might appear at our house on Christmas eve, the traditional time for Germans to celebrate Christmas. Rolls of date nut loaf and my mama’s special fruit cake were among the delectables that would appear on the tray of special holiday treats. Daddy would sing Stille Nacht and O Tannenbaum as we celebrated with the goodies and the opening of our gifts.
We would then travel seven miles over the country caliche roads to all the festivities at the home of my uncle and aunt who had become my paternal grandparents. The cedar tree had been brought in from the pasture earlier that day and decorated with popcorn garland and wax candles, their flames dancing to the music of Uncle Otto’s accordion music. No presents rested beneath; the gift of joy and love in the hearts of those around the tree were the greatest gifts.
Writing memoirs preserves the past to be handed down to the next generation. A good challenge for the coming year.
Kay Talley-Leach, AWG President
BRAGS and SAGS
Nancy Robinson Masters: BRAG - I was the Bosque Arts Center workshop presenter in November with a great turn out of fellow authors!
Marguerite Gray: BRAG - Merry Christmas! Book Two in my Gardens in Time Series, Promise of Purity will be released Feb. 14, 2023. It is set in Hampton Court, England in 1661.
Linda Gordon: BRAG - I was able to attend a two-day American Christian Fiction Writers online conference and even won a door prize!
Mary Berry: BRAG - My article about Teddy Bears and their 120-year-history was published in the Nov/Dec Doll Castle News magazine complete with photos of bears from my collection.
SAG: I have not been making time to write - missed the contest deadline, struggling on my latest magazine assignment, and even behind in personal correspondence. Seems like perhaps a 2023 New Year's Resolution may be in order.
What AWG Reads
Marguerite Gray: READING - The Nutcracker by Alexandre Dumas and The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White.
Linda Gordon: READING - The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa.
CONGRATULATIONS To KAREN WETEMEYER who was recently named this year’s recipient of the Christy Award, the most prestigious award for Christian fiction publishing. The award was established in 1999 to acknowledge the value and impact of the novel of faith in contemporary culture. Karen’s writing career took a huge step forward when she attended a series of AWG workshops several years ago.
Our Life Members Stewart Caffey, Nancy Masters Alice Greenwood, David Dodge Betty Thomason Members gain the status by gift from the membership as a whole, by paying a one-time fee of $600, by receiving the honor as a gift from another, or by reaching the age of 90 while a member of AWG.
Big Country Writers Newsletter
of the Abilene Writers Guild
Objectives: To study methods of writing and research,
To develop our talents as writers,
To promote interest in writing, and
To encourage our fellow writers at all times