MeetingA Stall of the
Narrative/A Sell of the Book
The program for July
promises to be encouraging and informative. Best-selling author and
WiVLA founder Karleen Koen will share ways to pull yourself out of a
creative stall and places to begin if you want to sell your book.
Karleen is the author of the New York Times bestseller
Through a Glass Darkly.
Her last novel
was selected as
among the best historical fiction (2011) by the Library
and RT Book Reviews.
Additional information can be found on her website www.karleenkoen.net
. Her Facebook is www.facebook.com/KarleenKoenWriter.
meeting will be held at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX
5:45 Mix and Mingle; Please bring wine or a snack if
6:15: Short business meeting
7:30: Walk two blocks to Brasil’s at the
corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy for dinner (Dutch treat).
We like the sunshine,
but the heat? Well, we find work-arounds, don’t we? Iced tea.
Skating at the mall. Relaxing in the pool. And good, solid amounts
of time indoors for creating art, performance, and writing! Those
are definitely great ways to beat the heat.
are also heating up around the world as people struggle to come to
common agreements, see each other’s perspectives, and work together.
Mark Maron was musing on his blog several weeks ago about the power
of art to fight fear and hate and make a big difference. He
continued, realizing that big differences are hard to achieve at
times, but little changes are essential. He states, “Every little
expression of human creativity and imagination is a celebration of
the pure human spirit – without boundaries or restrictions or even
I think of the storytelling I hear when I
attend The Moth (2nd
Tuesdays of the month in downtown
Houston at the Warehouse Live) and how those moments when the
audience’s rapt attention erupts into enthusiastic claps, cheers,
and whistles. A brave storyteller has brought us together with one
little story, and we leave better humans than we were when we
Peggy Sexton’s Boogle Houses are charming,
fascinating creations that make me want to shrink myself and join
the world of tiny things. I want to climb those miniature ladders
and live way up high inside those exciting and exquisite buildings
perched on the edge of a piece of wood or a rock. That must be a
fantastical and beautiful world I think. Peggy’s Boogle Houses allow
me the chance to escape, fantasize, and celebrate what art can do
for the spirit. One little creation – and look what it can do. As
many of us joined together in Peggy’s honor at Archway Gallery, it
was another indication of how much art can show us how we’re more
alike than different and bring us together – to celebrate, to mourn,
to learn, to grow.
I’ve been twice to the
Wall Theatre at Spring Street Studios within the last
month. I’ve come away having been transported to another place,
learning through the characters, seeing a new perspective, agreeing
- or not - with the choices being made. “Lobby Hero” had such
amazing dialogue between the actors, and the play forced the
characters (and the audience) to consider morality from different
perspectives. “Cry Havoc” was an amazing one-person show about the
horrors of war on its soldiers and the difficult task of re-entry
into one’s former life. Woven through were timeless pieces of
Shakespeare. The actor and playwright, Stephan Wolfert, reappeared
after the first act to meet with the audience and debrief us on his
own personal journey. Then he invited audience members who were
military, or had family members in the military, to share their
experiences. The connection and respect between audience and actor
and between all audience members were palpable and extremely moving.
We walked out of the theatre as changed people.
Picture a literary reading, perhaps at Archway Gallery. While the
author is reading, a phrase or line connects deeply with the
audience, and there is an audible, “mmmmhhh.” That is creativity
crossing the space between people and helping us hold each other’s
hearts. Archway holds monthly readings on the 3rd
Thursdays at 6:30.
This city abounds with
opportunities to open ourselves to art and community. First of
all, come to your own WiVLA meetings! They are inventive and
inspiring. Try Creative Mornings. Attend a lecture at the
Museum of Fine Arts. They show wonderful films as well. What
better connection than a film and a post-film glass of wine to
discuss the movie? 14 Pews is another art house film location. There
are galleries galore all over the city. Meet the artists – connect
with their why and how. Attend a dance performance, whether
classical ballet or contemporary dance. Look for a September
performance by Fly. The Menil waits quietly for us to enter and
breathe in the art. Take an art class or workshop, join a critique
group, attend a reading, grab a friend and go somewhere interesting.
Make the world a smaller and better place by appreciating and
celebrating every little creative moment that has been offered up by
a brave soul.
June Meeting Makes a
Sophisticated and Energetic Impact
Kathy Wood, along
with her husband Mike and Fly Dance Company's Executive Director
Jorge Casco, enthralled us with the story of the hip-hop dance
company who found an exacting and creative artistic director in
Kathy. Thirty-three audience members heard the riveting and often
humorous story of Kathy's life in dance and her devotion to teaching
and mentoring young dancers. She says:"I take dance form and set it
in a new way. I like surprising the audience, ...and think dance
should be fun with the audience fully engaged. I like to mix musical
pieces juxtaposing unexpected movement styles with that music." And,
her talk was as surprising as her life teaching young dancers has
been in Houston and Tyler. While Mike chimed in and filmed the talk,
Jorge relayed multiple stories that exemplified Kathy's "hard work,
dedication, commitment, passion, hitting her mark, using a vivid
imagination" to transform the dance troupe into an international
sensation. Kathy's motto is -- "What puts that battery in your
pack!" -- find it and do it with courage, take risks, stand up to
intolerance and small-mindedness and always, always maintain the
highest of standards in your art and craft.
showed videos and still photographs of the troupe and the WiVLA
members and guests reacted with enthusiastic applause. There were
many questions and comments in the Q&A period and then Kathy, in
her joyful and graceful way, got audience members up for a dance
You might like to see the videos and read the
history of the dancers and Kathy at http://www.flydancecompany.com
WIVLA Members Tour the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou
On a warm June day,
eleven WiVLA members met at the Buffalo Bayou Water Works Park for a
descent into the Cistern to see Magdalena Fernandez’ “Rain”
installation. What a marvelous, mysterious, and breath-taking visit
The Cistern is a space that the city
of Houston previously used for water containment many years ago. It
has been empty and dormant until recently, when it was reopened and
restored, and is now used for art installations and tours. What a
great idea for our wonderful city – a community gathering place and
artistic showcase which also raises money! http://buffalobayou.org/visit/destination/the-cistern/
We gathered with other Houstonians in the entrance, were briefed
about what to expect, and entered the dark and cool chamber. Holding
the railing throughout the entire walk around the interior of the
space, we encountered lights which played off the columns, then
flashed like lightning, and the wonderful sound of a thunderstorm.
The sounds and lights played cyclically for the entire walk. It was
mesmerizing. We had been told by the guide that the sounds were
created by finger-snapping, leg-slapping, and foot tapping. It
sounded so thunder- and rain-like! (Here is a link to a video of the
Here is a link to the choir which created the sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29qaN0M0o0s
It was a lovely and refreshing retreat from the
Houston heat. Unfortunately, “Rain” is no longer showing, but the
space can be accessed for an informational tour beginning again on
July 20. Thursdays are free.
wonderful lunch of fellowship and delicious food followed at the
Black Walnut Café.
Save the date for the RENEWAL premiereEvelyn
Rubenstein Jewish Community Center on Sunday, August 20,
Memorial Celebration and a Profile of Peggy Sexton by Jane
Note: In addition to the remembrance by Maggie Baldwin in last
month's newsletter, I asked Jane Mulholland to write another article
about our dear member Peggy Sexton.]
New Facebook Group:
Announcement from Regina Vitolo
WiVLA has a new Facebook group for MEMBERS ONLY.
If you would like to join, you can go directly to the link and send
a request, or you can email Regina at email@example.com
, and she can send you an
invitation to the group. Here is the link:
- Editor’s Choice repeating an item from
Regina, social media guru: Do you want to post on WiVLA's
Facebook page? Click here for a short tutorial with easy-to-read
instructions and images. Many thanks to Regina!
Writer and WiVLA member Debbie Blumberg is looking
for people to profile for an online publication, Folks
magazine. It tells the stories of extraordinary people who
refuse to be defined by their heath issues. Here's a recent story
she did for them: http://folks.pillpack.com/because-chemo-is-scary-enough-without-wigging-out/
There are plenty other examples on the website as well. She would
very much appreciate any introductions to people or any leads! You
can reach Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We heard from our Ohio WiVLA member, Cindy
Rasche, recently. She says: "I keep thinking of you all
often and fondly. I feel like once I joined WIVLA I finally found
a place for myself in Houston. I'll be sending in my dues soon.
I'll be a member from afar. Keep up doing all the good you do. The
world needs the kind of heart WIVLA offers.
send in your news by the 20th of each month - art exhibits, literary
works, news, etc. - for inclusion in the following month’s
newsletter to email@example.com.
- donna e. perkins has
a work accepted into the Big Show at the Lawndale Art Center. The
Big Show will be on view from July 7 to August 12, 2017 with the
opening reception on Friday, July 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. donna
will participate in the Big Show Slide Show on Thursday, August 3
from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
- Kay Adshead writes:
"July 6 - 8 I
have a (very) short play OF THE END playing as part of Mildred’s
Umbrella Museum of Dysfunction at Studio 101 Spring Street
Studios. It starts at 8:00 pm.
is the link to the promo. It would be lovely to see folk there.
- Sylvia Cooper
announces the publication of the second part of her memoir
Better Out Than In Part II. She continues the story of
her journey to freedom and while not an easy one, the journey
shows there can be a happy ending for victims of domestic
violence. See the cover and book jacket text here
- Save the date for Fringe Festival
Anything Goes night on Sunday, September 10. Member Margo Stutts
Toombs will be presenting Mona Meditation Maven.
- Tayyba Kanwal is
happy to announce the following to all WiVLA members: Fuente
Collective is a new organization with a mission to catalyze
creativity through online and on-location national and
international retreats and events. We plan to launch multi-lingual
artistic programming, especially in Spanish.
Founded by Tayyba Kanwal with three fellow passionate
writer-artists, we launch our programming this summer. We are
thrilled to offer our first Youth Studio and the first of our
“Write Wild” retreats, a day in Kemah focused on generating new
ideas and work, experimenting outside the participants' usual,
genre, style, and even art form.
We look forward to seeing WiVLA members at our retreats and
will keep you updated on interesting programming!
- A social media tutorial by
Regina Vitolo Mader is under the NEWS
heading. Many thanks to Regina for clear and concise advice!
- Editor’s Note: We know a lot
of you are showing your work and getting articles and books
published, so we ask you to send the information to newsletter@WiVLA.org by the 20th of each month.
We want to support you and come to your openings and readings;
timely info to the newsletter gets the word to members and their
friends and contacts.
Editor's Emphasis: I'm repeating a couple of
announcements.~ Public Poetry announces a
marvelous month of events in July beginning on Saturday July 1 at
2:00 pm, Library Reading Series, Smith Neighborhood Library, 3624
Scott Street, Houston 77004. Poets are: Konnor Broussard, Corinna
Delgado, Priscilla Frake, Monica Teresa Ortiz.
Also on July
1, Red Alert, a poetry and dance party benefiting Public Poetry at
7:00 to 8:00 pm at 215 Grove Street, Houston 77027.
has a good write-up about the show and details about tickets and
other events. http://www.publicpoetry.net
Denise Bossarte recommends the following online
retreat. Please see the link. "I have participated in this online
retreat several times. It is really wonderful. And
WiVLA president Jane Mulholland encourages everyone
to check out the Houston Writers Guild website where a full slate of
events and call for entries are listed in a very appealing way.
Events include Summer Sessions and Tier 2 Critique Groups. http://www.houstonwritersguild.org
Margo Toombs writes: "I
saw The Adventures of Robin Hood last night. It is a
high-energy, fun show and my favorite part was the way the actors
engaged the children in the audience. At one point, Robin and his
merry folk warn the villagers to hide from the evil sheriff. Some
little boys hid under their chairs - hilarious! But seriously, this
is a great opportunity to introduce children to live theater.
The show plays through July 15.The theatre web is http://www.companyonstage.org
from Margo Toombs: "I am co-hosting deep listening
circles at the Jung Center the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month
for the next 3 months [editor's note: now next 2 months] - 6:00-7:30
pm. Imagine talking without being interrupted. Listening without
feeling the need to fix the speaker. It's emotionally refreshing.
It's a gift. And it is free. Let
me know if you are interested in being on our email list." You can
reach Margo at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read an introduction to
deep listening circles here.~
Inprint opens its doors at 1520 West Main on the first Friday of
every month from 9 am to 12 noon for a writing cafe. Any and all
writers looking for a pleasant morning space in which to write are
welcome. For information, click here. Be sure and use the link to confirm
the Friday availability. A few Fridays in 2017 are blocked due to
other schedules. http://
Additionally, Imprint is featuring a master class on writing
personal essays in September. See that notice and much, much more at
~ WriteSpace is offering
several workshops in July and continuing into the summer. For
pricing, registration and more information, go to the WriteSpace website or contact them. Please see the WriteSpace website
for details. Additionally, save the date for WriteSpace Writers'
Family Reunion on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9:00 am to 5:00
Harriet Riley sends a save-the-date notice for the
Weird Homes Tour in Houston on Saturday October 7. Learn more and
see amazing pictures at http://www.weirdhomestour.com
~ Events and
upcoming shows are noted on the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) helpful
website at http://visualartsalliance.org/
Debbie Blumberg says: Save the date: February 3,
co-chair of the American Society of Journalists and Authors regional
writers conference next spring in Austin (and also the co-president
of the group's Texas chapter). This is shaping up to be an amazing
event for writers, freelancers, book authors, content
marketers--anyone who's making a living from writing--to make
connections and pick up new skills. Stay tuned for more information!
(HTTP://TINY.CC/ASJATX). For more information on volunteering or sponsorship
opportunities, please email email@example.com
From Cori Austin -- Creative Mornings Houston:
Every month, creative people gather at a designated place for a
program designed to inspire and entertain. There is time for
networking, visiting, meeting new people, and having some kind of
morning food and drink. I've been three times. Each time has been
totally different, but the common denominator (I am a math teacher,
by the way), is always interesting people having interesting
conversations. To join, sign up for the Houston newsletter at https://creativemornings.com/cities/hou.
It’s always on a Friday morning and begins at 8:30 am. The location
changes each time. ~
3rd Coast Books is now accepting fiction and non-fiction
submissions in seven genres. Please go to: www.3rdcoastbooks.com
Houston is a new local magazine dedicated to all types of art and
they are seeking articles. For general submission guidelines,
contact the publisher at Art
Writers will find an abundance of resources on this new website created by writing coach Joan Dempsey.
for Entry: Visual ArtInclusion
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend
you research each contest, and contact the
Russell, one of the visual art co-chairs, points all
photographers to PhotoPlace Gallery. A new competition and exhibit
are featured on the very excellent website. Although the submission
deadline is passed, the upcoming juried show entitled "Portals"
looks very interesting and exciting. https://photoplacegallery.com/~
Archway Gallery has an important show this month. There is still
time to apply to the Ninth Annual Juried Exhibition by delivering
your art to the gallery from July 3 to July 5th. There is good
information on their website: Click here to go to the website. The Awards Ceremony and
Opening Reception will be Saturday, July 8th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
Hurry and deliver your art to this excellent opportunity!
Magazine is an online venue dedicated to contemporary and fine
art photography. It brings together diverse bodies of work by
established and emerging artists from around the globe.They accept
from new and emerging photographers.~
FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for
artists listed on their website - check it out!
Art Services has a digital jurying system. Click on the
link above for more information. ~
CAFE' for Artists! www.CallForEntry.org is
a website that lists calls for entry nation-wide. Descriptions of
type of art and theme are listed, as is a link for more information.
Deadlines are included. Calls
for Entry: Literary ArtInclusion
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend
you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).
& Art, a series of events facilitated by Mary Wemple at the
now-closed Rice University Art Gallery, is moving to CAMH. Mary
writes: “I'm excited to announce the next Words & Art events at
the CAMH. The new exhibit is called “A Better Yesterday’’ and is in
the basement of the museum. There are three solo shows, and we will
be looking at JooYoung Choi's work, the space with the big red
dinosaur.’’ Here are the dates for the upcoming events: Words &
Art - Writing Workshop - Free
Saturday July 22, 1:00-2:00 pm; Deadline to submit Saturday August
12, midnight; Words & Art - Reading Thursday August 24 6:30-7:30
pm. More information about visiting the CAMH:
Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts announces its 2017
contests and awards. The literary journal was founded at the
University of Houston and holds an annual event with cash awards to
the winners and publication opportunities. Please click "Contests"
on their web page for full information and submission guidelines. http://www.gulfcoastmag.org~
Houston Writers Guild has a call for entry notice on the guild's
website http://www.houstonwritersguild.org~ Narrative regularly publishes fiction, poetry, and
nonfiction, including stories, novels, novel excerpts, novellas,
personal essays, humor, sketches, memoirs, literary biographies,
commentary, reportage, interviews, and features of interest to
readers who take pleasure in storytelling and imaginative
Poets & Writers has a great database of conferences and
residencies for writers. Check it out.
Winning Writers is another great website for writing
opportunities. Check it out by clicking here. Renew
Membership Now Make
2017 your opportunity for creative encouragement and
support by renewing your membership to WiVLA. This
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: http://wivla.org/membership.htm or download
a membership form and send a check to WiVLA, P.O. Box 130406,
Houston, TX 77219-0406.You can also renew at the July meeting. To
facilitate this, please print the information 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 2016 (September through December), your membership
will run through the entire year of 2017. If
you shop at Randall's, tie your account to WiVLA (#5341). You
can do this at the customer service counter once, and from then
on, WiVLA will benefit every time you
forward WiVLA Voices to all your friends who might be interested in
WiVLA. BRING A FRIEND TO OUR NEXT MEETING!