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December 2019 Year End Recap

Fort Stockton area writers group, Critique Café, has had it’s best year ever. Celebrating eight years in existence, I’ve watched these writers grow. Some have come and gone, but it has been a joy watching these folks learn to give and receive constructive criticism, improve their skills, and put out an amazing body of work.

The group produced two anthologies of our work this year, and published a newsletter each month. We held an art contest for our Children’s Edition cover, and gave support and prizes to young artists.

I’ve observed many come out of their comfort zone, lead groups, give speeches, and take the risk of baring their souls through their work. We’ve cheered each other on, supported, encouraged, and poked great fun at each other.

National Novel Writers Month has challenged and made better writers out of some brave people; 50,000 words in 30 days!

We’re so grateful to the H. Edward Petsch Foundation and the Fort Stockton Public Library for its sponsorship and support. We have some great community supporters as well.

It’s been a wonderful atmosphere to grow as a writer, and we ‘ve had the added benefit of meaningful friendships as well.

If you’ve ever thought of writing anything at all, and would like some feedback and support, we’d love to have you join us on 1st and 3rd Mondays at the library @6:00 p.m. ~ Jody Day ~

Book Review

November Newsletter: Joy Express

Joy Express
by Jody Bailey Day

Critique Café member Jody Bailey Day is set to launch a new book on November 8th. Joy Express is the third offering in the Washout Express Series. The series is inspirational fiction and follows the journey of two thirty-somethings, Bailey and Scott, as they overcome many obstacles to finally arrive at the alter.

“This one is different,” states her publisher, Pelican Ventures. “There is some tragedy in this one, as in the others, but it’s ramped up a notch in Joy Express. As always, in Jody Day’s books, faith brings the situation to a satisfying conclusion. Not necessarily tied up in a nice neat bow, but the reader is left knowing there’s something, rather Someone, to hold on to in times of trial.”

Day will celebrate the launch of her new book alongside the launch of Critique Café’s new anthology at the Fort Stockton Public Library on Monday night, Nov. 18th.

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An early review: “Reading anything that Jody Bailey Daywrites is like coming home—and like home, there are fusses and fights, and a lot of suspense and drama built into Joy Express, but faith winds through it. It draws you to toast your hands over the warmth, and hug yourself with the blazing joy she brings to everything she writes. I don’t often read faith-based fiction, as writers can sometimes get heavy- handed. You can tell by this book that Day writes like she lives, with the warm fire of faith in every word. I have read everything she writes, and wait eagerly for her next. Every. Single. Time.”

Lisa C. Hannon
Author, “She’s Thinking Out Loud”

Poetry

August Newsletter Poetry Corner: Pearl Light

Pearl Light

by Jody Bailey Day

 

The light slips pearl-like

Through the window in my room,

The soft, first light of day…

Hallowed time, a moment

Before the coming noise,

The quiet, first light of day…

The Dove sings His songdove

Of love into my heart,

The precious, first Light of day…

Father whispers to His child

His way of life and Word,

The Holy, first Light of day.

 

 

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June Newsletter: Shug

“Shug” ~ By Jody Day

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 1.43.31 PM     My dad sat me on his lap the night before my first day of school. “Keep your mouth shut. That way you’ll know everything you know, and everything they know, too.”

I didn’t listen. But it’s a wonder I got a word in edgewise, because he loved to talk and tell stories. Born in Louisiana, the family eventually settled in Jasper County, Texas. They had a maid named Arvetta, and she gave Daddy the nick-name “Shug” as in “Sugar.” Dad talks about being just a tyke standing on a box flipping burgers during the depression. He had an ornery streak. Their Christmas stockings were full of fruit and nuts, and maybe some penny candy. Daddy would wait until everyone ate all their goodies before he started on his. His siblings would beg for a piece, and he loved saying no and having them all watch while he ate his. Such a nut!

He had debilitating asthma but joined the army anyway during WWII. He ended up in Hawaii, where most of his pictures show him on the beach. Not bad, but they had to send him home. His brother was killed two weeks before the war was over. Daddy didn’t talk about it much.

He worked for the railroad, but multiple sclerosis made him a stay-at-home dad, while my mom worked as a telephone operator. He loved to cook and make lunch bags full of goodies for my grandchildren. He would throw his head back and sing his favorite song. “Down in old Joe’s bar room, at the corner ooooooof the square…”

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My dad always told me I could do anything I wanted to do if I worked hard at it. He was right. He gave up drinking, and then smoking in his later life. He loved to freak the grandkids out by taking out his teeth. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. We all miss you.

Poetry

April Newsletter Poetry Corner: Red Impatiens Wait for Me

Red Impatiens Wait for Me

by Jody Bailey Day

 

The red impatiens shriveled up today

And all but gave up hope

That I’d remember.

 

Their leaves clung bravely to the stalk

And hopeful buds strained

flowersTo hold their color.

 

When I finally saw their thirsty faces

And knew that they were

Near a drying end,

 

I left the sustenance of squash and

The needy green tomatoes

For the water hose.

 

The sweet red maidens will give to me

Another day or two of glory

For my eyes

 

And while I tend the required food

In the square kitchen garden

I’ll remember

 

 

Used by permission Christian Devotions Ministry