Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Fun's the Thing!

 I will probably overuse the word- AMAZING! What am I referring to? I am talking about my recent weekend and the two days I spent at the OWFI conference. (For the uninitiated...) This is a writers' conference held annually in Oklahoma City for writers throughout the state (there are even writers from out of state.) 

Even though I was also running a book selling table and despite volunteering to help out with registration (it was wonderful working with Shelley Pagach.) I had more time to go to sessions this year. First, the time of the sessions was shortened just a little so that gave attendees time to visit the book store, check out the donated baskets, and just visit with other authors. The sessions themselves were wonderful. I only wish they could have been video'd so I could revisit, or see some coinciding with equally valuable sessions. 

Since I do have a little violence in some of my science fiction books as well as my adventure/historical books, I attended Tao Wong's discussion of martials arts in writing. Sword fights are hard to write, as is most fighting, and this session helped me to determine some rules about this kind of action. There was a great session about SEO's (Search Engine Optimization) and how they work by Marisa Mohi. Rob Roensch talked about flash memoirs--creating a moment and then building on it. Social Media Marketing by J Hall really added a new spin on putting your books out there, or rather creating a relationship with our fans and followers. 

I must say, I had never heard a speaker who made so many mistakes come out in such good shape. Grady Hendrix was so enjoyable as he let each of us know just what boners could be made in the writing journey. It was good to laugh at the mistakes mirroring my own, and good to know others have gone through the same thing. I attended his session the next day. 

There were sessions about book covers from Sylvia Frost, small presses from Casie Dodd, character motivation using something called Enneagram with Claire Taylor, and creating a calendar for my work

process that helps me do a better job in my writing with Marisa Mohi. I have already been doing that, but this helped to pinpoint improvements I needed. There were so many fun sessions that I could have gone to if I could have cloned myself. 

I had checked out the baskets donated for Basket Wars and bid on a couple. I won a basket! It had some great stuff in it. Can't wait to try the Oklahoma barbecue sauce, the beans, and the corn bread. Yum! 

Even the OWFI board meeting was interesting and Nick Lyon kept it short. Finally, came the Awards Banquet. It was a nice dinner, but the real prize was hearing the winners of the writing contest. So many great stories and novels that earned awards. I felt blessed to be among those.  

Shelley White getting her award for her 1st place script.

Needless to say, I'll be going next year! It was an amazing weekend!