#OWFI14 (Part 1)

Too busy tweeting and Facebooking this past weekend to post on the blog. Was at the OWFI Conference for the third year in a row. It’s not an overly large affair but it draws a variety of writers from the region who are adept at various genres. It is really nice to attend a well-organized conference put together by a caring and supportive writer’s group.

For me, it was an opportunity to get together with old Kansas friends and new Oklahoma friends and, of course, make new friends. It really makes no difference what your age is or how many books you have published. When writers get together, they are all friends.

This year’s conference was especially rewarding as well as particularly challenging. My mother passed away the day before. Several people were surprised I was in attendance. But since my parents had always supported my writing endeavors, my presence was as much to honor them as it was to further my prospects.

It is always fun to be around my publisher, Dan Case of AWOC.com. He’s fun and funny and, more important, perceptive. I trust his instincts. That is important for a writer to have that kind of relationship with his publisher.

Now, before we get to the nuts and bolts of the conference itself and the great faculty they had, we’ll start out with a story that, fortunately, did NOT set the tone for the weekend. I got up at 5:40 am on Friday morning with the intention of working out at the hotel’s facilities. By 5:50 I was in the elevator which came to a bit of a thud on the first floor. I recognized that it was an unusual sound, so much so that it didn’t surprise me when the door didn’t open. I just pushed the call button.

The glass wall of the elevator was in sight of the front desk. I saw the security guard come over to the landscaped area on the first floor. I had to mime my cell phone number because I couldn’t hear him through the glass. Using the kind of logic that is employed by overseas tech support call centers, he instructed me to push a series of buttons. Like, all of them. This brilliant move did not work. I was advised that it would be about fifteen minutes before the maintenance man came.

Well, it was nearly three times that long. Forty minutes later, 6:30 am, the maintenance man extricated me from this tomb and apologized. The security guard apologized. The front desk staff apologized. I indicated that I expected more than just an apology. They comped my room for one night and three in a goody basket of munchies and snacks.

By the time I got to the gym, the ellipticals and treadmills were already in use. Fortunately the conference was much better than its dubious beginnings.

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