EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN

DEAR ABBY: I'm a working mother trying to balance my family life with my career. Like so many millions of other women, I've discovered that encouragement is a huge motivator, whether it comes from someone I know or someone I don't. I'm writing to you because this month there are many extraordinary women coming to Texas to share their experiences through their work or through their words. On October 1, White House adviser Karen Hughes and ABC News analyst Cokie Roberts headline the Texas Conference for Women, a day-long forum in Austin featuring influential women and their perspectives on topics such as financial security and health and well-being. October 9-12, Annika Sörenstam, whose participation in a men's professional golf tournament, the Colonial in Fort Worth, triggered a spirited debate about sports and gender, will be defending her title at the Samsung World Championship LPGA tournament at the Woodlands. You know this, but for those who don't: Dear Abby will be giving a speech in Houston October 14 (Abby's column is written by Abigail Van Buren, otherwise known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips). And author Margaret Atwood ( The Handmaid's Tale ) will read from her work at the Empire Theatre in San Antonio October 16 and teach a class on short fiction at Gemini Ink October 17. I know I'll find these events reenergizing. Please print this so that other women may too. (See Austin: Other Events; Houston: Sports, and Other Events; and San Antonio : Other Events.)

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