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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2017 Something New: Glome’s Valley

    Spring in Oklahoma has sprung.  And nowhere is it more beautiful than in the southeast portion of the state.  The forests are magical and made the perfect setting for a Peter Pan-type Oklahoma fairytale.

When Ethan came to Heavener, Oklahoma he didn’t believe in ghosts, fairies, or smelly trolls.  He never had a sword fight and never helped rescue a princess.  But there was a first time for everything.

He was sure he would be bored on this trip and missed his friends back home, but he quickly made new ones.

While his father tried to solve the mysteries surrounding the Heavener Runestone, Ethan was solving his own mysteries and exploring the valleys surrounding the area where his dad was working.

The Festival of the Full Moon was right around the corner and Ethan and his new friends had to rescue Hilda from her flowery prison before the trolls came for her.

But Loki was working his magic and Ethan’s father might have to summon Thor’s help with the app on his phone that converted ancient Futhark into English.

Check out Glome’s Valley on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, in paperback or e-published.  It is also available at the Heavener Runestone gift shop.  Check it out at the upcoming Heavener Runestone Viking and Celtic Festival April 8 & 9, 2017.  In Heavener, the forests are magical – be sure to watch out for trolls!

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2017 Something New: Renewal

    I took this picture in my friend’s yard. To me, it was a symbol of renewal. I don’t know what bird built it or if it will ever be used again, but it was beautiful in its starkness.  There is beauty in simplicity. 

Spring begins, by the calendar, this week.  The weather has been unseasonably warm this winter.  And with the good always comes the bad – wild fires.  They have devastated western Oklahoma lately.  But what is devastating to the farmer is a time of renewal for nature.

In keeping with the title of my blogs this year, Something New, I watch nature with a keen eye.  My jonquils are dying as my tulips are blooming.  I’ve done some spring cleaning in the gardens, but my aging body doesn’t work all day like it used to.  I must do it in shifts.  Unlike the burned prairies, I doubt my body will renew itself. 

A friend and I walked the block-long Art and Food Truck Festival on the still-bricked Maple street in front of Creative Arts of Enid and Leonardo’s. We soaked up the art, sunshine, music, and food as we browsed our way along.  I met many friends along the way.   

I came home to geranium plants on the front porch – a gift from a neighbor who said “they were on sale.”  Thank you, I know they will be lovely all summer.

My husband and I sat on the patio late in the afternoon – dragging out last year’s lawn chairs we sat out back in the sunshine until time to cook a late supper.  He’d been traveling for most of the last week and it was a time for renewal for our relationship.  The brilliant red of a cardinal on the fence stopped the conversation. 

Renewal.  Spring is a time when winter has ended and the hot winds of summer have not hit.  It is to be enjoyed to the fullest. Time a for a renewal of the spirit.

What did you do this first weekend that was almost spring?

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