2017 Something New: OWFI Conference!

    Worn out from last weekend’s OWFI conference, I spent the week recovering.  I’ve made so many friends over the last few years as a member of OWFI and rubbed up against so much talent, I am often in awe. 

The Enid Writers Club is the oldest writing club in Oklahoma established in 1923.  We are a group of approximately twenty members and seven of them participated in the OWFI conference this year.  Two brought home awards for their writing. 

We volunteered for several jobs at the conference and perhaps drank a little wine. 

Some of us were Ghostbusters.    

We had books for sale in the bookstore and shepherded agents from New York.  We raffled off centerpieces!    

In other words, our club worked hard – as did all the others. We then came home to the EWC annual awards banquet and end of the year festivities.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of OWFI.  I know it will be a gala event.  I look forward to the conference again.  Maybe I need a new dress for the Saturday evening festivities.  See you next year!

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2017 Something New: Pulp Fiction

    I’ve been in a pulp fiction kind of mood lately.  I’ve been re-reading Legends of New Pulp Fiction published by Airship 27 and looking at all the great writing styles.  I can’t wait to see the New King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island.  I think I’ve seen all the Kong movies. And there are so many movies lately based on comic book characters leading the way in popularity.

If you’re not a fan of pulp fiction you are really missing out.  I love fantasy (it’s the opposite of reality and who doesn’t need that now and then?), and Hollywood has really been scooping up super heroes for movies lately.  King Kong is only a small example.  Not that there is anything small about the movie originally released in 1933.  My grandfather saw that movie during the depression and was in awe all his life.  Not a man who frequented movie houses, he could not imagine how that monster was filmed.

Since I’ve been in the mood, I’ve been working on a new pulp fiction novel I hope will be finished this summer I’m calling “Flatiron Death Grip.” Again, it’s snarky.  I just can’t seem to leave the genre alone.

In my book The Apocalypse Sucks, I make fun of end-of-the world situations while studying human behavior. I based it around two women who were co-workers when the virus hit and killed most everyone around them.  They were not friends, but became family because they depended upon each other.  But the one thing they were to the end was girls.  They behaved like girls – if they weren’t fighting for survival – and still liked the things girls liked; boys, bras and lip gloss.  They were fierce warriors but with a soft side.

The book hosts a cast of characters trying to get by now that they can’t run through the closest drive through for instant gratification.  They have a problem just finding enough to eat and then the bat creatures appeared.  Who were they and where did they come from? They soon find out that the virus did not kill all its victims.  Some mutated into something else – evolved human – and not very happy about it. For them, the Apocalypse did suck.

Pick up a copy of The Apocalypse Sucks and see if you agree. If you can’t make fun of the end of the world, what can you make fun of?

Let me know what you think.

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2017 Something New: A Day of Writing

    In an intimate setting on the second floor of the Enid Public Library the coffee brewed and snacks called our name – but we were writing. The Enid Writers Club, Enid Public Library, and Enid Arts Council made possible a small group’s assembly to learn about editing, marketing and the intricacies of good writing.

Shayla Eaton of Cursiouser Editing discussed publishing your work, while Dr. DeLisa Ging of NOC taught good writing skills prior to the publishing process.  We even solved a murder!

A small group of about twenty writers gathered to talk about the love of their life – writing.  The energy was contagious. Writers are an unusual group driven to put on paper things others don’t even talk about.  Feelings. And if they don’t have a feeling about the subject, they can make something up!

I learned about the importance of editing and how important the marketing phase is of publishing your book; whether you are self-published or with one of the few remaining large publishers.  Without marketing, your book is just a pile of paper.

I helped solve a murder mystery with a few clues and then wrote a quick news report about the crime – with descriptive verbs, unforgettable character names, and similes. A crime to remember.

I’d love to have both speakers back some time to talk about other aspects of writing because as a writer I am always learning.  So many books, so little time.

Thanks Shayla and DeLisa for your expertise and willingness to share.

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A Day of Writing

Reverse Perspective

I’m off to an event, A Day of Writing.  What an idea! Presentations are available but the core of the event is just writing together, making time for our art, and supporting each other.  I hope if you’re in Oklahoma you will consider dropping by.  Here’s the info:

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2017 Something New: Easter Lilies and the World

    It’s Easter, a time of resurrection brought to the world each year in the spring – another time of resurrection. Whether you’re Christian or not, everyone enjoys spring and the resurgence of nature.  My iris are blooming and the hostas have reemerged.  It will be a time of bounty again in home gardens.

Just last week the US dropped a bomb on a hostile area and now we cruise near another in a threatening posture.  North Korea has a nuclear arsenal – how great, we can only imagine – and they threaten to use it. Once again, the world has a lot to learn about peace and finding middle ground. A nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.  And I was naive enough to think we had turned the corner and done away with those weapons of mass destruction. Just when the natural world once again becomes beautiful, mankind can screw it up.

But still, it is Easter.  A time of hope. I hope the world finds a way to deal with its neighbors before ash and fallout kill us all – even the ones who dropped the bomb.  I hope your garden grows tall and lush and you can enjoy it with your loved ones. It is hard to reconcile with those who hate or don’t agree with our culture, but it is imperative for the lives of our children that we learn.  Still, I have no idea how to diffuse the world – and I am not alone.

Each year nature gives us another chance.  Let’s not ruin it. 

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2017 Something New: Viking Fest

    I skipped the Heavener Runestone Viking and Celtic Festival this spring.  And I’m going through some withdrawal symptoms. Mostly I miss the people – they’ve become family.

The first time I traveled to the Heavener Runestone Park, we were taking a weekend and driving the Tahlimina Drive.  I’d seen a program on Discover Oklahoma that talked about the Viking lore of the region and I had to see it.  An idea was born – and so was the Oklahoma fairytale, Glome’s Valley.

Having made a point of attending and signing books at this event for the last few years, I made a business decision last fall.  I could only attend once a year.  Besides I had nothing new for sale.  My Enid Writers Club is hosting a Day of Writing workshop at the Enid Public Library on April 22 and the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. annual conference is May 5 & 6.  I will be attending and working at both events along with some of the best writers in four states.

But I’ll be back in October with at least one new book and maybe two! I have several writing workshops this spring and fall is not so busy.  And the forest is so beautiful in the fall, it is hard to resist. So, look for me in October.

I wish the festival at the Runestone Park the best this weekend and promise to see all of you again in the fall.

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2017 Something New: CASA

    The Garfield County Child Advocacy Center has a great way to help abused and neglected children.  Adopt a child!  Well, not really but you can adopt one of several for only $25.00 each and dress them.  They are then displayed on the Garfield County Courthouse lawn during the month of April. 

I spent some time with them before the children were adopted and helped bring the wooden children up from the basement of the Care Campus and prepared them for adoption.  A little physical labor is good for me and I might have burned a few calories.  The children themselves were made by volunteers who cut out the wooden children and then painted them in preparation for the April event. Each one is different – just like real kids.   

This year there were 241 children representing the same number of abused and neglected children in Garfield County alone.  That number is down from 332 last year – progress?  I hope so.  But still a long way to go. 

The Child Advocacy Center https://www.volunteermatch.org  runs on volunteers and people who love what they do. They train volunteers to represent children who might otherwise fall through the cracks.  They are always looking for more volunteers.  Training is provided for ten weeks, sworn in before a judge, and then the volunteer is paired with the family.    They represent them in Court and meet with them once a month to see how their lives are progressing.

Check out the Garfield County Courthouse lawn and see the children in all their spring finery.  They are a sight to behold and guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings to see the number of children they represent.  Check out CASA and see how you can help.  Maybe you’d like to be a CASA volunteer.

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