April  2013

WiVLA's Mission: To provide an inspiring forum for women to explore and advance their creative development, to promote their work in the marketplace, and to infuse the community with their spirit of cooperation and invention.

In this Issue
From the Editor
WIVLA NEWS: Mayborn Literary Conference
Poet's Corner
Announcements and Upcoming Events
Call for Entries - Visual Arts
Call for Entries - Literary Arts
Calendar of Events

Cathy Nieman Head Shot    

President's Pen


"Every artist joins a conversation that's been going on for generations,
even millenniums, before she joins the scene." John Barth
If you learned something at the Circle of Five raise your hand.
I know that I am raising mine. One of our participants sang her
presentation. The camaraderie and sharing of the evening was infectious.

I greatly appreciate the legacy and history of our WIVLA growth.
Karleen Koen was so instrumental in praising and encouraging Sandra Sherrod
and Donna Perkins that they began the first literary readings at Archway Gallery.
WIVLA voices began to be heard and the words have continued on.

March 19, 1994- The First WIVLA Meeting, The vision of our founding mother's philosophy stays the course. Our monthly meetings are greatly inspiring a wide range of artisans, tenured and new. Growth steps abound for both experienced and emerging writers and artist; members helping other members fortifies our mission statement that is read at every meeting.
One member was able to create her first web site with the assistance of another.
We stand united in our unique talents and abilities.
All is well.
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
My literary phrase of the month: "clear pointed verbs." Name one.



 FROM THE EDITOR_____________________________________
A new segment is developing for the newsletter, I would like to highlight writers who want to submit short poems, prose or essays.  The maximum is 250 words. Please keep it simple. We will see how this goes for now.  I am also hoping that in the very near future we will be able to highlight photography and visual art.
Right now I am only accepting poetry or prose.  You can submit to the newsletter on the website.  





Mayborn Literary Non-fiction Conference

by Lane Devereux

 The following copy is from the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference website. I have attended this conference five times in the past eight years and can attest to its strength and value. They have just started taking registrations for the July 2013 conference. There is limited space and the conference sells outs every year. Now is the time to submit your registration. The website is: http://journalism.unt.edu/maybornconference.


"The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is a forum for journalists, writers, readers, students, educators and the general public to listen to, be inspired by and practice their craft at the highest possible level.


The Conference was created to enhance the quality of nonfiction writing, encourage innovation, and create a community of factual storytellers who maintain an unflinching faith in the narrative craft.


Every year, the Mayborn Conference gathers some of the most talented storytellers in the country to share their stories, life-changing experiences and expertise with aspiring writers!


The Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism organized the conference eight years ago. George Getschow, writer-in-residence at the University of North Texas, lines up more than 20 of the nation's top nonfiction writers and editors each year."


 WiVLA Annual Board Retreat

By Diane Door

One of the secret strengths of the members of WiVLA is their ability to care, be supportive of each other's art, and come to together to plan the future of WiVLA.  That is what happened this past Saturday, March 30 as the Board Members of WiVLA came together, working together to participate in fellowship and to plan the future happenings of our WiVLA community. 

The retreat was held at the Live Oak Friendship Hall which provided us a wonderful and serene meeting place.  We participated in a lovely pot luck lunch.

The retreat overall created solid suggestions for future programs, new shows, and workshops.  Initial plans for our 20th Anniversary year in 2014 are being formulated.

We humbly, as your 2013 Board look forward to working with and providing a creative atmosphere for all of our amazing WiVLA membership.


A Room of Her Own Foundation

By Lane Devereux

The A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO) shares many aims and goals with WiVLA about the creative work of women writers and artists. AROHO describes itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women writers and artists and as a "transformational collective that changes the lives of creative women by honoring our artistic excellence and moving us out of isolation to a rich and whole community." AROHO gives out numerous grants, including a $50,000 Gift of Freedom writing award each year.

In addition, AROHO hosts a variety of workshops and conferences around the country. Since 2003, it has held an annual retreat; this year's retreat runs from August 12 through 18 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Admission to the retreat is competitive, but all women writers, emerging and established, are encouraged to apply, the earlier the better.

I had the opportunity to attend an AROHO workshop in Austin last fall and was very impressed by the quality of both the workshop leaders and participants. I strongly encourage you to learn more about AROHO to see if the retreat appeals to you and to look at the financial opportunities they offer creative women.



Earth/Energy: Through Women's Eyes, will run until May 2, 2013.  The show will feature ceramics and ceramic- or clay-inspired pieces, and there will be an accompanying literary presentation.  This year, WiVLA was lucky enough to score the gallery space at the newly-renovated Houston Public Library. Don't forget to check it out!

Poet's Corner


Man in the moon

By Diane Door

I walked out into the morning

Barely after dawn

And noticed the yellow full moon

Resting low in the sky

I wondered if I could reach out to touch

And for a moment my hand moved

Tell me

Man in the moon

Have you, beautiful glowing circle

Been waiting for me to walk through

My patio door

And I wondered why

Life shifts

To and fro

And I get stuck

Forgetting that

there is this amazing universe to explore


I should learn to be like a child 

with endless amazement at everything

in life

If only ...

No, not that young again

But if I could absorb the stars

And feel what they have to show me

That life is not as painful

as it seems to be

And, I am loved

Just for me

And when the wind blows

I know

It is the touch of God that

ruffles my hair


 I retreat behind my door

as the sunrise begins


How to Capture the Moment and Create an Intellectual Self Portrait with a Commonplace Book

By Leigh Owen


Though similar in some ways to a diary or journal (a daily record of happenings), a commonplace book is really quite different. It's a personal collection of things that have been read, or heard, or thought of, and then gathered into one, common place so they won't be forgotten. Write one favorite quote in a blank book and you've begun your own commonplace book.

Reflecting a work of the self, the commonplace book is for keeping valuable snippets of information: phrases, short articles cut from magazines, quotes, ideas, all contained in a handy bound volume. It's a personal way for you to capture and preserve a moment, a thought, and a comment. Over time (they can take years to fill), it turns into an intellectual self-portrait where you:

  • Assemble affirmations
  • Bring together lists
  • Collect enlightening quotes
  • Include words of inspiration.
  • Put tips at your fingertips
  • Take notes to learn and explore

First, the book itself. From beautiful to utilitarian, you can make your own blank book or choose from the amazing selection at Texas Art Supply or Events on West Gray. I prefer ruled pages in a wire-o binding because I can always find my pen slipped into the wire spine.

My first commonplace book met with a water disaster. Ever since, I've housed my book in plastic. It's an excellent use for those zippered plastic bags in which curtains come packaged.

On the first page, write your contact information in case you misplace your book.


Here's another tip-repurpose a used envelope. Fold back the flap and affix the address side and folded flap to an inside cover. Use it to hold loose notes, tickets, some dollar bills, business cards. This is a good trick for the inside cover of any book. I also keep a dozen or so Post-It notes handily stuck  inside.


You can reserve a few blank pages in the front of your book for a table of contents. Of course, you'll have to add numbers to your pages for the contents listing to work. The contents listing need not be overly detailed or formal: the purpose is simply to help you find what you want to find. Add tabs or color coding or date every entry if you like.

Include little images clipped from magazines or paste in some ephemera - tickets, ads, a beautiful stamp. You can use colored pens. You might even add some rough, casual sketches to help you recall the details of something, but this is not an art journal nor is it a sketch book.


Feel free to include photocopied items or words printed from your computer works, but you'll miss the valuable, kinesthetic exercise of hand copying. The act of writing focuses your attention and intimately connects you with your selections. By copying longhand, you gain the time to reflect more on what the passage means to you. I like to use calligraphy, hand-drawn letters, and doodles to add a special touch.

We've all experienced that electrifying effect that some thoughts have on us when we encounter them for the first time. We've all experienced the opposite effect when that amazing thought vanishes almost immediately from our brain. The commonplace book is a way of memorializing those striking expressions, useful concepts, and facts so you can return to them for renewed inspiration.


When you are moved by Bible verses, quotations, favorite passages from books or plays, or have an idea, mind map, tip, or meaningful list of things that you want to save to read again and again, the commonplace is where to put them. Be sure to include the source or author. For example, the following quote is more fun because of who said it: ­­­­"The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health, or we suffer in soul, or we get FAT."-Albert Einstein.


The self-selected notes and quotes you collect will evolve into an intellectual self-portrait. The greater the resource you build the more beneficial and cherished the commonplace becomes. Your meaningful treasury makes for fascinating reading that's yours and yours alone. It's great on a rainy afternoon, or any time you need reassurance or a kick of motivation. It's a good way to improve the moment while you're waiting for your tardy doctor or your flight.

I hope you'll join me, our January speaker Bridgette Mongeon, our president Cathy Neiman, and a world of others who keep a commonplace books. It's a simple way to put all your favorite thoughts into one common place. Above all, remember to write it down if you want to keep it.


Be sure to bring your commonplace book to our August 20, 2013 WiVLA Circle of Five meeting along with a sample of your creative work to share with your circle.


We're On Facebook

Did you know WiVLA has a Facebook page? We do and we want you to LIKE us!


Our Facebook page is an excellent tool for communicating informally among members. Do you have a show coming up? Post it on our page. Are you teaching a workshop or selling equipment? Post it on our page. Do you have a new brag to share? Post it on WiVLA's Facebook page.


To find us on Facebook, click here, then LIKE us and post a greeting to all your WiVLA friends. 




Cornelia Amiri - The third book in Cornelia Amiri's Dancing Vampire series, Ever So Bonnie A Vampire, is coming out April, 19, 2013, from Ellora's Cave. Blurb: Ever So Bonnie A Vampire.

 When the vampiric fey, Ever, is thrust into the mortal realm, her human lover Calin, excites and satisfies her like no fey man ever has. But she's consumed with the vow she made to her sisters to never leave them for a mortal man. She fights her feelings for Calin and seeks help from goddess Morrigan.

 The goddess has feelings of her own for the tall, muscular mortal, so she frees Ever to return underhill. It isn't until Ever's back with her sisters that she realizes her heart is still held captive by Calin. When Calin spurns Morrigan's attentions, the goddess's lust turns to vengeance. With Ever out of his reach, underhill, and a goddess shape shifting into different beasts to hunt and kill him, Calin McDuff must risk his life and fight all odds to be with the woman he loves.
Cornelia Amiri http://www.ellorascave.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=cornelia+amiri

 second a book signing.
Cornelia Amiri will be signing her Celtic/Romance books at the Houston Highland Games, April 27th & 28th at the Houston Farm and Ranch Club at Bear Creek Park. http://houstonhighlandgames.com/

The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake (TAACCL) TAACCL SPRING2 SEMESTER CLASS SCHEDULE-2013 is available now. To request a class description and/or class registration form, please e-mail Cindy Fischer at cfischer@taaccl.orgor call 281-335-7777.


Lane Devereux'shandcrafted scarves will be featured at the Tremont Hotel during the Galveston Art Walk on April 20th. The show, Scarf Chic, runs from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It will feature ribbon scarves, infinity scarves, ruffle scarves, and knotted scarves constructed by Lane. All WiVLA members are invited to stop by and say hi. 


Galeria Regina- Art show reminder - a kidney pathologist and the artwork in this show is inspired by what I see in the microscope. The exhibit goes until April 28. The next reception is on Saturday, April 20, from 6-9pm. Galeria Regina - 1716 Richmond Ave, 77098 713 523 2524- www.galeriaregina.com.


Margo Davis has poems forthcoming in The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, The Midwest Quarterly, and two anthologies, Out of the Depths and Southwestern Haiku and Haiga.


All Media Class - offers children and adult classes in watercolor, drawing, pastels, acrylics and oils. For more information or to request a registration form please email Cindy Fischer at cfischer@taaccl.org or call 281-335-7777.


Lane Devereux is honored to be a participating writer in the A Room of Her Own Foundation writers retreat at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM in August 2013. In the words of AROHO, "Women at the 2013 AROHO Retreat are a select, diverse group of accomplished women at various stages in their writing careers. AROHO women are accustomed to taking intellectual and artistic risks, and are eager for the company of peers who do the same."


 Would you like to post an announcement? Send your email

by the 20th of the month to newsletter@wivla.org.



Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s). 


The Newsletter is seeking updated website ifnormation for Call For Entries - if you have updated information please submit to the Newsletter via the WiVLA website - Thank you!


The Lone Star Art Guild is a non-profit organization started in Brenham, Texas in 1961. Visit their website to find more information about contests and art leagues that are within a 200 mile radius of Houston.


Womenarts Quarterly Journal seeks visual art. For submission guidelines and more information, visit their website.   


 New Contemporary Gallery. Submissions: Avis Frank welcomes submissions from artists and curators. We require that you submit a single e-mail, which includes all files and links. In addition to work samples, please submit an artist resume and biography. http://www.avisfrank.com 


Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).   


    The Newsletter is seeking updated website ifnormation for Call For Entries - if you have updated information please submit to the Newsletter via the WiVLA website - Thank you!

Rattle is accepting poetry, translation, review, essay, and interview entries. Deadline: open. Click here for more information.


Telling Our Stories Press is seeking memoirs between 100-300 words for a memoir project. Deadline: rolling. Click here for more information.  


ByLine Magazine sponsors monthly contests for essays, short stories, poetry, articles, essays, and more. Deadline: open. For more information, visit Byline Magazine.


Fiction Weekly accepts submissions via email, reads year round, and responds to submissions within 30 days. For more details, please visit Fiction Weekly 



Poets & Writers is a great source for writing contests. Check out Poets & Writers contests listings here.


Womenarts Quarterly Journal seeks literary art, including essays, fiction, poetry, reviews and interviews by women. For submission guidelines and more information, visit their website.


Creative Print Publishing offers a genuine, no fee book competition that stretches over 12 months. Each month a different genre; each month a winner. Winners are offered a contract, paid royalties, and receive full promotion and marketing strategies. Get full details of rules, genres and how to submit on their website.  




Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m.

WiVLA Board meeting  

Sosa Community Center

1414 Wirt Road

Houston, TX77055 


Tuesday, April 16, at 6p.m.

Museum of Printing History

1324 West Clay


For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar online.

WiVLA 2013 Board of Directors


President                     Cathy Nieman           (wivla.cathyniem@yahoo.com)

Vice President           Jane Mulholland   mulholland.jane@gmail.com

  Secretary                    Rona Lesser                   (ronales@wt.net)


Treasurer                    Pattie Berg                    (jewelry@sapamojo.com)

Membership              Cori Austin                     (artjournal50@gmail.com)

Communications      Dianne Webb                 (diannekwebb@gmail.com)

Programs                    Laura Pena                    (iselapena@hotmail.com)

Newsletter                  Diane Door                     (newslettereditor@wivla.org)

Visual Arts                  Michele Zacks                (visual@wivla.org) 

Literary Arts               Mary Baker                       (literary@wivla.org)  


                 Sandy Wells                   (literary@wivla.org)

At- Large                    Cindy Rasche                (cindyrasche@yahoo.com)


Historian                     Cathy Lachin                 (cplachin@yahoo.com)          

Past President            Lane Devereux             (wivla.lanedev@yahoo.com) 



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