A Gathering of Writers

Last weekend we met at a local hotel, about fifteen writers:  novelists, technical writers, poets, songwriters, magazine writers, and newspaper columnists.  It was a motley crew of people from various backgrounds, short, tall, young, younger, African-American, Latino, skinny, not-so-skinny, hairy, and not-so-hairy!
We brought our books to peddle and our experience to share.  We sold a few books–attendance was lower than expected or hoped–but we brought a wealth of knowledge and information to each other.
Since there were few people milling around visiting our author tables, we had the opportunity to hear each other give presentations for two straight days.
There were lectures and question/answer sessions on everything from the paranormal to getting into the freelance market to protecting your work to writing a song.
I brought a session on using proper grammar and spelling in your writing.  Although sessions were populated with five to twenty listeners at a time, they were interactive, enabling us to glean information to help us in our own writing endeavors.
I’m glad I was invited.
It was a marvelous time to connect with other writers, and it rekindled my spark to get busy on some writing projects.
Night Keeper the Sequel, here we go!
I must not neglect to thank George Jones for hosting the conference, and my pal Rusty Mitchum for referring me, lending his support, and entertaining us all. 


Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Appreciating the authentic story of another hinges on understanding your own authentic story. What is your story? Dr. King once stated “we are not makers of history but are instead made by history.” How has Martin Luther King Jr.’s story influenced your own?

This is today’s journal prompt from FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge.  Tough, huh?  I would like to think about how Dr. Martin Luther King’s story has influenced my own.  I was only four years old when Dr. King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but I believe his desire for equality for all people and his courage to press on in the face of opposition helped pave the way for me and every other American to pursue their own dreams.

I grew up the oldest of four children, living in a small home in the country with my parents.  We didn’t have much but we had plenty of love, discipline, and food.  I was raised on good old-fashioned Biblical principles, and I learned from my parents a work ethic that would shape who I became and carry me through my adult life.  I appreciated what little I had but I had lofty dreams.

I wanted to be a teacher from a young age.  I practiced teaching using my mom’s piano bench as a desk, old books, slate chalkboard, and stuffed animals and dolls for students if I couldn’t get my little sisters to play. As I grew older I became fascinated with nature and pretended to be a scientist.  After that I began writing and determined to become a journalist and novelist.  

In addition, I wanted to get married and have children.

Years later, here I am, living proof that dreams come true, made possible by others who dreamed of equal educational and job opportunities for women.  I had dreams, perhaps not as noble as those of Dr. King, but grand for a young poor girl from Texas.  I am grateful to say that the Lord has made those dreams reality.  I married the love of my life 33 years ago, had two wonderful children who have spouses of their own, was a teacher for 30 years, a science teacher some of those years, wrote two books, and am now blogging!

But no matter how old you get, you don’t stop dreaming.  I can’t wait to see more of my dreams come true.  What about you?  Do you have a dream?