Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Am OWL



What could have been an ugly day turned into an uplifting experience. I constantly have to miss things anymore, have my plans changed by responsibilities or weather or something. Friday night I was ready to throw in the towel on getting to Branson to the Ozark Writers League (OWL) for the last meeting of the year. I had already missed the Friday banquet, was it worth the four hour round trip for the Saturday session?

But DH arose at 5:30 and said GO. We packed up dog, coats, gloves, water bottles and such and hit the road. Snow was coming down fast furiously. Big, fat flakes that would have accumulated into fluffy piles had the ground not been so warm. The temperature was hovering at 34 which could have been nasty had it dropped, but the weatherman promised the day would warm. The snow faded away near Branson and the sun tried to peek out. We arrived early enough to have a half hour opening for breakfast which is DH’s favorite thing. So he considered the day a success at that early hour.

      New OWL officers headed by Diane Yates of Fayette, Missouri

The OWL group has had a terrible year of reorganization and disappointment and change. I was not in the know about it all, and I don’t want to know. What I did know was that a number of steady members were trying to reorganize and save the day. I wanted to be supportive if nothing else. While I have not done a great deal in the group, I hope it stays strong, will be there when I need it, and that I can help in small ways. The minute I walked into the room on Saturday morning I could feel warmth and welcoming floating around the room.

                                Author Rodgers speaks on writing fiction 

I was interested in the Fiction speaker who was Kathleen Rodgers. To be honest, I had not heard of her before. However, she had a lot to say about perseverance as a writer. (She has been contributor to Family Circle and Military Times.) She talked about her prize-winning second novel Johnnie Come Lately published this year and how she came to write it. I enjoyed her talk anda felt newly inspired to come home and pound the keys!
For more about Kathleen Rodgers check out her web page at www.kathleenMRodgers.com.

                  Brenda Black and me speaking with author Kathleen Rodgers

I have to admit the day was totally sweetened by my name being announced as winner in four categories of the autumn writing contest. Believe me, after a really dry year of acceptances, this is the way to end 2015. I won first place in the Romantic Short Story, and three third places in Poetry, Western Short Story, and the Gene Andereck Short Story. I was awarded a golden OWL, my first!

Writing can be a lonely business and it is helpful if you have some way to connect occasionally with other writers. I am so, so grateful for the writer groups that allow me to be a part of them, even from a distance. If you do not belong to OWL, I invite you to join up. Dues are $25 a year (before February), and while the meetings are beneficial, you still are kept in the loop of news and networking if you can’t attend the meetings. Check out the OWL website and look for the new things popping up—like an OWL shirt that is great!
http://www.ozarkswritersleague.com



Dog, Man, and Writer Wife all came home yesterday evening tired but happy. 

8 comments:

Sioux said...

Four awards at one conference? Wow! Congratulations!

I'd say it was well worth going...

Elephant's Child said...

Huge congratulations.
You must have been floating on air.

Patricia A. Laster said...

Congratulations! The one year I joined OWL and entered lots of contests, I got NOTHING. That was the end of OWL for me. That where/ when I learned the name, Jan Morrill. It's a bit far unless the meetings happen at the same time I'm in Eureka Springs. In the photo, are you the one with her back to the camera? Again, congratulations.

Merlesworld said...

Congratulations, It's always good to win once but 4 times that's great.
Merle......

Terra said...

I am smiling as I congratulate you on your awards. I am a writer too, and it has its lonesome moments and plenty of rejections, which makes your awards extra sweet. How good you attended.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Giant congratulations! Happy that your hard work and talent is being recognized! And what a great way to kick off the holiday season. :)

Susan said...

Claudia! How totally wonderful! Oh my goodness, all those accolades for your super writing! So, so happy for you. That was definitely worth the drive! Kudos to you, my friend. Susan

Rebecca said...

Congratulations, Claudia! And kudos to those who put the time and effort into the revitalization of OWL.