Monday, September 11, 2017

OWFI 2018 BANQUET TABLE ANNOUNCEMENT

OWFI IS CELEBRATING OUR
50TH ANNIVERSARY
CELEBRATING OUR LEGACY, FORGING OUR FUTURE
May 4 &, 2018

Once again, I am happy to serve as OWFI’s Banquet Table's Reservation Chair Person.

There is a MAJOR CHANGE in TABLE RESERVATIONS this year!

All table reservations will be made ONLINE ONLY.

Reservations will open online on Nov 1, 2017.

The maximum number of tables a group or individual may reserve is a total of TWO.

We have a limited number of tables available for reservations. 

Table reservations are $20 per table, per night.

Table reservations are a fund raiser.

Tables are not reserved, or assigned, by OWFI officers for individuals or groups.

Every person registered for the banquets is guaranteed a seat.

You do not need to reserve a table to be seated at the banquet. My crew, and I, will personally assist everyone in finding a place. 

You may want to reserve a table if you have several people in your group who wish to sit together.

If you have extra seats at your reserved table, after your group has been seated, you may be asked to share those seats—at no charge to the guest.

If you know ahead of time that you will have extra seats at your reserved table, please invite speakers and new attendees to sit with your group. It's a great way to make new friends.

For questions or more info please contact vck@cox.net

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Story Structure Workshop

Aug 22, 2017 
6:00-8:00pm

I WILL BE PRESENTING
Story Building Blocks
The ABCs of Story Structure 
Workshop

AT
300 Park Avenue Oklahoma CityOK 73102

Monday, August 14, 2017

Speech to Text

I have this love-hate relationship with my speech-to-text programs.

I've tried several free programs. I bought Dragon Naturally Speaking for the computer. It's expensive, has a lot of commands, and is reasonably easy to navigate. Honestly, most of the free StT programs seem to work as well as the expensive ones.

The free speech to text provided on my phone is more accurate than the free one on my computer. The text I speak into the computer is not always the text that appears on the page.

Sometimes, I just want to shout, "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?"

Sometimes, the computer's translations of the words coming out of my mouth are more interesting.

The phone's StT program usually types exactly what I say. Unfortunately, the microphone goes off every time I pause for longer than 5 seconds.

The phone speech to text doesn't recognize commands for quotation marks. In fact, it doesn't recognize any commands other than punctuation and new paragraph. I can't backspace, delete, or insert words when dictating on the phone. I have to stop dictating and manually insert quotation marks, or insert them during editing.

I should not be complaining. It is better to have words to edit, than no words at all on the page. Despite all the flaws, I dictate faster than I type.

There was a time, when I didn't own a typewriter and long before I owned a computer, I wrote everything longhand, with a pen, on paper. I have a friend, L. A. Willis, who still writes first drafts longhand. She says it's more visceral. I don't need to be that primal.

The great thing about dictation is that I can do it while driving, washing dishes, or taking a walk. Of course, the casual observer might think I've lost my frelling mind when they see me talking to myself.

I picked up a good piece of advice today from Michael J Sullivan during his Keystroke Medium www.keystrokemedium.com interview. He said he wears earbuds, not attached to anything, on his walks. He doesn't dictate. He's just working the problems out, aloud. People assume he's talking on the phone or singing along with the music.

I can take that to the next level and actually dictate through the Bluetooth. If I could find the Bluetooth. Probably in the same place I lost my teeth.

If only I could figure out how to keep the microphone on when I pause to take a breath. I do need to breath. Occasionally, I need to pause and think about what I'm going to say next. I know it's hard to believe I've ever stopped to think about what I was going to say before I said it.

Pushing the mic button may eliminate the crazy lady image and maintain the illusion I am talking on the phone. At least until I start talking in different voices. My characters rarely sound alike.

It's a pain in the arse to keep pushing the button while driving. I suppose I should keep my mind on the road instead of my stories. But the truth is, I've always talked out my story problems while driving.

Speech to text can be a powerful writing tool. Most writers talk faster than they type. Practice can help work out the kinks, and you can even become proficient in time. Lots and lots of time.

I'm still waiting for the program that reads my mind, types what I'm thinking, even when I'm sleeping, and does all the editing for me. Until then, I'll struggle through imperfect speech to text programs, and the hunt and peck typing method, one story at a time.

Keep writing,

vck


Thursday, July 13, 2017

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

My dreams are so vivid I see tiny details.

Last night I could see the style of plug on an FBI agent's computer, a modem sitting dangerously close to a fish tank, and the sweat stain on the rim of a cowboy hat hanging, on a peg on the wall, near the back door.

I could hear the creak of a basement door, the thud of someone falling down the basement stairs, and country music muddling the whine of a drunk woman, at the bottom of those stairs, crying for help.

I could smell the chicken frying in the kitchen, a threat of rain on a cool breeze, and horses grazing in a field of fresh cut hay.

Most of all, I could feel the sadness of a young woman seeing a lost love in the arms of another. I could feel the jealousy bubbling up inside her like the potatoes boiling in the pot next to the frying chicken. I could feel the anger bottled deep within her gut. I could feel the satisfaction of that anger being released, into the dark vastness of that basement, as she slammed the door.

Still, I believed her as she turned off the burners on the stove, feigned a smile, and said to the FBI agent, "No officer, I haven't seen my cousin since she started dating my husband."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Writer's Workshop

Recently, I had an opportunity to judge a local Fan Fiction Writing Contest sponsored by Southern Oaks Library. The talent exhibited by the young authors participating in the competition was impressive and humbling. 

The awards will be presented, Saturday, April 01, 2017.

As a part of the Writing Program offered by Southern Oaks Library, I will be presenting a Writing Workshop: Story Building Blocks: The ABCs of Story Structure 


Saturday, April 08, 2017

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  
Learn everything you need to know about the craft of Story Structure, and how to build ANY story in 15 easy steps. Then actually build a story, from beginning to end.  Ages: 15 & up.

Whether you write Non-Fiction, Fan-Fiction, Genre fiction, Short Stories or Epic Novels, Story Building Blocks: The ABCs of Story Structure will guide you through a Three Act Story Structure you can use, as a blueprint for building a strong foundation, for every story you write.  

Meeting Room A

Southern Oaks Library
6900 S. Walker Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73139


13 spots remaining


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Just in case you haven't heard, my short story "Guardian" won 1st Place in the Genre Category of the 85th Annual Writer's Digest Competition!

I don't know about y'all, but I'm pretty darn excited. I've only entered the Writer's Digest Contest a couple of times. Last time, I won 68th place. Major improvement; IMHO.

The prizes included a subscription to the 2017 Writer's Market. So, I will probably post a few interesting links from there in the not too distant future.

There were ten categories in the contest. The first place winners of each category will be published in an anthology. They haven't sent a contract or publication date yet. I'll post more information on that soon.

Recently, I attended a Screenwriters meeting in OKC. One of the questions that arose during that meeting was, "Why should writers enter contests?"

The obvious answer of course is money. I've won more money from contests than I've earned from sales. Winning feels great, builds your confidence, validates your effort, and looks good on your resume. If you are lucky, you might even win some constructive feedback from the judges that may actually be useful for improving your craft.

While I am a strong supporter of writing contests, I also strongly encourage researching the contest before entering. Verify it is legitimate. Search for contesst that do not require an entry fee, i.e.  'Writers and Illustrators of the Future' www.writersofthefuture.com 

Never pay more in entry fees than the grand prize pays out.

If publication is a part of the award, DO NOT sign away all your rights. Most contracts are negotiable. Don't be afraid to haggle.

I'll have much more to say on the subject of contests in the future.

Until then, keep writing!

vck