Great Norman Galaxy of Writers' meeting this morning.
Contest winners read their winning entries. Wow. Some of the stories blew me away; Especially, Katherine West's Short Story— "A Good Hand" filled with enough dark humor even I had to laugh aloud during the death scene.
Shelley Anne Richter's Nonfiction Article—“Saddle Dwellers” taught me a few things I didn't know about cowboys. I grew up around rodeo stars –my dad was one of them. He was a calf roper and bulldogger. When he wasn't riding in the rodeo he was breaking horses for other people. We always had horses and I learned to ride –Western style- before I learned to walk. I have a friend that rides –English style- and trust me it's an entirely different type of horseback riding.
I thought I grew up as a cowgirl but Shelly's historical view of the real American cowboy tarnished my previously glamorous image of the olden day cowpoke and enlightened me to the harsh reality of what it was like for real cowboys. It gave me a whole new understanding to the term 'dime store cowboy' which was considered an insult to the cowboys I grew up around. But the truth is, even the guys I've always thought of as 'real cowboys' were only well polished imitations of the real thing.
Barbara Shepherd's Nostalgic Essay—"Colonel Bourland Commands Attention” provided an insightful look at a historical figure that I had never heard of before. Colonel Bourland's beautiful home served as both shelter and sanctuary, to his family and neighbors, during numerous territorial invasions and local wars. Its loss as a Historical memorial, when it was bulldozed away to create more convenient road access to Lake Texoma, was a terrible oversight.
Ann Champeau's “Money for a Mitt” shared first place with Katherine West's “In Old Sweden One Summer” in the Children’s Fiction category. Both stories equally entertaining and exhibiting unique talent deserved the honor. Lisbeth L. McCarty's humorous Rhymed Poem “I Thought I’d Feel Older” hit home with me like a hard hit fastball punching me in the stomach. I thought I was the only one whose mind wasn't the same age as their body. And Shelley Anne Richter's Unrhymed Poetry entry “Harold’s Helper”, which also took the BONNIE SPEER CRÈME DE LA CRÈME AWARD, made me cry.
I am always humbled by the talented writers I am honored to call friends and colleagues. I read their work and wonder what ever made me think that I could write. Luckily I can turn to them for guidance when I'm feeling less competent than my wonderful group of mentors.