ECO Fund Now Open for
and Cultural Opportunity Awards
Did an art or writing opportunity recently turn up and then
you thought to yourself, “Darn! I just don’t have the cash right
now?” Or has a project come to mind that would be fun, interesting,
and challenging? What about a piece of equipment or supplies that
you need to create your art? Have you found an interesting workshop
that you’d love to attend? Is there a distant location in which you
could create beautiful art or writing?
Opportunity is knocking on your door!
WiVLA’s ECO Fund scholarship awards will be chosen at the April 17
meeting. The application is on the website, http://www.wivla.org/eco.htm
and can either
be sent via email (save the form on your computer, fill it out and
attach the form to your email), or by mail. All
applications must be received or postmarked by Friday April 6,
There are certain
specifications to having an accepted application, so read carefully.
Applications are reviewed, and all names whose application falls
within the guidelines are placed either an “artist” box or “writer”
box. One name from each box will be chosen at random at the
April 17 meeting. Everyone has an equal chance of being
The program that evening will be
presentations by the 2017 scholarship winners, Mary Ramain and Kay
McStay. Then, drum roll……, the new awardees will be chosen. It is
always a fascinating and exciting program!
Men in Boats – Join us for an
at Main Street
Street Theater’s production of Men in Boats
soon. This is a rendering of Major John Wesley Powell’s actual
boat trip to map the Colorado River in 1869, but all the parts are
played by - women. This juxtaposition creates a thoughtful
take on adventure, conquest, and bravery. As Shannon Emerick,
MST’s marketing director and actress in the play says, “…it’s like
the playwright, Jaclyn Backhaus, took history and has just tilted it
slightly – it’s not camp, it’s not over-the-top drag – it’s pretty
straightforward storytelling – it’s just what does this history,
this story sound like when it comes out of the mouths of
In Backhaus’s words, “It’s
interesting for me to take that idea of male conquest, give it to
someone who usually doesn’t have that right, and put that into the
roles themselves. It begs the question of what histories we
WiVLA members have the
opportunity to attend this event on Sunday, March 4, at 3:00
pm. Afterward, there will be a Female Voices in Writing
Post-Show Discussion with Texas Novelist (and WiVLA founder) Karleen
Koen, Houston playwright Elizabeth Keel, and Main Street Theater
Founder and Executive Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden.
Optional dinner to follow at a local restaurant for a post-play
And, look for Shannon
Emerick at our February WiVLA meeting. She will talk about
what it’s like to be in the show in light of the unique perspective
of the playwright.
Action to take
right now: We have a block of only 20 tickets. So, go
quickly to our website www.wivla.org
The home page will have ticket reservation and paypal information.
($29.50 + svc fee) Email Cori Austin email@example.com
to let her know
you’ve paid and are on the list.
Giovanni, Poet, at the U of H Cullen
activist, and educator, Nikki Giovanni’s voice has made us aware of
our country’s state of mind, and her role as healer and friend has
comforted our hearts. Her new book, A Good Cry: What
We Learn from Tears and Laughter,
is an intimate collection
which confronts the joy and peril of aging and gives us access to
all the thinkers and poets and students who reside in her head and
her heart, including her dear friend, Maya Angelou. If you'd like to
This event will be held on Thursday,
February 15, 2018, at 7:30 pm. Tickets for this event are
free, but cannot be picked up ahead of time. Thus to attend,
we will arrive early, 6:00 pm. We will meet at the entrance to the
building. I plan to bring my camp stool and a Subway sandwich
to eat while I wait. This is a fabulous opportunity and I
don't want to miss it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me
know if you're coming.
is located at the Welcome
Center Garage located at
You can register on the HPL's event page for this
reading, but it does not guarantee you a ticket. Questions?
email Cori email@example.com://houstonlibrary.org/learn-explore/library-events/hplq
Books2Eat Celebration on Saturday,
March 31, 2018
Did you ever read War and Peeps
Or what about A Catsup in the Rye
? Maybe Anne
of Green Apples
? Are you hungry for some delightful and
delicious creative work? You are invited to prepare and exhibit an
edible work of art based on books and reading. Any edible book idea
is eligible, a favorite title, character, event or a pun involving a
book. Join the Houston Book Arts Guild and WiVLA for an evening of
eating our words! This evening will be the local festival that is
part of the International Edible Book Festival, which occurs
annually throughout the world. We encourage you to make an edible
“book.” There will be prizes and lots of fun! If you want to be on
the committee to help with the festival, contact Cori Austin
Saturday, March 31, 2018 from 5:30 – 8 pm
or google Books2Eat for more ideas.
of Denise Bossarte
Meeting Jumpstarted WiVLA’s New
The energy was palpable at January’s meeting! Members,
new members, guests – everyone was excited to be together and ready
to share ways that they jumpstart their creative
Murmurs of assent, head
nods, chuckles and laughs, scratchings of pen on paper….all these
responses were in evidence as members gave their ideas for getting
their creativity moving.
suggestions came in two forms: inspiration and
completion. Some of us are inspired but have a difficult time
getting creative work finished. Others find creative juices
dry up periodically and need fresh inspiration. Some ideas
tied directly to that person’s form of creative endeavor, and others
could be used regardless of what work one does.
Never did we think we’d hear the words, “read
and cut out obituaries from the NYTimes” at a WiVLA meeting, but
that was Kay McStay’s suggestion for building interesting
characters. Concentrating especially on interesting, quirky
women, she calls them “rocks of bravery,” and keeps the cutouts in a
file for future needs.
swims laps….huh? But as she swims, her body takes over the
swimming and her mind is free to wander. She says this “opens
her up” and she is able to let ideas flow in. Several others
members riffed on this idea, saying walking or driving does the same
Gladys Bullock talks and talks
until emotions take over. Then she can write. Sometimes
she can’t write fast enough because the words come so quickly so she
has to put a cassette into a recorder to record herself.
Contemplation featured in many of the ideas
offered. Being lost in deep nature, walking a labyrinth,
giving oneself time to withdraw from regular life are ways that work
for some of us. Using one’s nondominant hand to write gives
insight. Taking a nap works for some.
Then there were the ideas of how to actually get the
work done: a to-do list, hide from regular life and do your
work, deadlines, sign up for a show or submission, create the habit
of a regular blog. Play hooky from your regular work says
guest Sabina, it’s more productive because the time is limited and
feels “stolen.” I find it best to not wait for
inspiration to come to me. I go after it by putting
myself into working mode – as my writing teacher Sarah Cortez says,
“Butt in the chair, pencil in the hair.” Often I will then
find the words I need.
This meeting was
another form of one of our favorite words – collaboration. We,
of all versions of creativity, shared our ideas and helped each
other with the creative process. I think I’ll play hooky this
week! But first, I’ll take a nap…..
Thanks so much for seeing the need and
providing us this
opportunity. Before, just the names of social media tools
put fear in my heart. Now I feel
acquainted with them and
like to get to know them better.
Some very brave women, some
sort-of-techie women, and some technologically adept women gathered
at Mendenhall Community Center to face the ins and outs of using
social media for one’s creative business.
Another example of WiVLA’s mission statement in action, our
purpose was to help each other upgrade our marketplace skills.
As Gladys Jones said, “We have a great diverse group of smart women
who enjoy sharing their wisdom to help other women.”
Six different sessions were held:
Instagram/Pinterest from Regina Vitolo Mader; Facebook from
Lee Steiner; Twitter from Melody Locke; online video presentations
using Facebook and Youtube from Donna Durbin; Mail Chimp from Dianne
Webb, and blogging from Lilibeth Andre. Lilibeth wrapped it up
at the end by discussing how to make a social media business plan of
As an elementary
teacher, I am often reminded of the word, “schema.” It means
whatever the child brings to the classroom – background,
experiences, past learning. I have always thought of it as a
shelf on which to put their learning. Saturday’s workshop for
some was to build the shelf. For others, it was to decide
which books to put on the shelf. Others found more to put into
each book. Still others had to build another shelf for more
books. Many levels of social media familiarity were in our
room, and each came away with something new for her shelf.
Even our presenters learned from each other.
Many participants expressed a desire in a deeper,
hands-on session on individual topics. We will put those
together as soon as possible to further our learning. Plan on
joining these even if you didn’t take this overview class.
Every bit of learning will help you with marketing your creative
work. Dates and times will be announced as they are
Membership Now - Easy to
2018 your opportunity for creative encouragement and
by renewing your membership to WiVLA. The
coming year promises to be outstanding in programs, writing and
visual art opportunities, and friendships with interesting and
creative women. Keep your membership current by renewing today! You
can do it easily online
: click here and pay online
you are renewing, please fill out the informational
OR download a membership form
and send the form and a check for
to WiVLA, P.O. Box 130406, Houston, TX
77219-0406. One of the best deals in the city!
You can also renew at the February meeting. To
facilitate this, please print the membership form and fill it out
ahead of time so you don't miss the opportunity to visit
friends before the meeting! If you are a new member who joined at
the end of 2017 (October through December), your membership will run
through the entire year of 2018. Please try to complete your
membership renewal by the end of February. Then you will be
current with every opportunity that comes in.