Several people have asked me why I’m so excited about Jack Dalton speaking at the Oklahoma Writers Federation conference May 3-5. It has become a standing joke. Like a church liturgy, every time someone says, “Jack Dalton,” I respond with “I love Jack.”
I truly do love Jack and I can’t wait for all my writer friends to meet him. I feel like a second grader during show-and -tell. “Look. Look, everyone! Here’s my friend, Jack. And guess what? He tells stories . . .and, um, he’s cute…and um, he’s a . . . he’s a RAVEN!”
God, if only. I think the coolest thing I ever took to show-and-tell was a rock with some kind of fossil in it. Looking back on it, I think it was a rock that had a bug smashed into it when my dad ran over it with a truck.
But, I digress. I do that a lot, along with repressing and stressing.
Jack + OWFI= Greatness
You see, ravens have magical powers. In many Native American traditions, the raven created earth. Ravens are a creative life force. Each of us has a magician within and a raven can show us how to bring that part of us out of the dark into the light.
Jack Dalton did that for me. I was in a dark, dark place–basement-of-the-abyss dark. I had no hope. No idea what I was going to do with my life. Simply miserable.
We were at lunch one day and I was telling him a story about growing up a redneck in the Ozarks. He laughed and said to me, “Claire, you’re a great storyteller.”
My jaw dropped. THE Jack Dalton, storyteller to the world, told me I was a good storyteller.
Then, he asked, “Have you ever considered writing?”
It was the case of the right person, saying the right thing at the right moment in time. Validation from Jack was the magic I needed. I quit my job, moved back to the Ozarks and wrote. So far, 2012 has seen the release of 2 novels and a novella. Fingers crossed, I’ll get a third novel scooped up at the OWFI conference. Shoot, Jack will be there. It’s destiny. Watch out agents and editors!
Jack will be presenting two sessions at the conference: The Friday lunch workshop (well worth the $25) and a session on cultures on Saturday afternoon. He’s also emceeing the Famous Author banquet
It is my greatest hope that the Raven will work his magic on all the attendees at the conference (no pressure, Jack.) Wouldn’t it be great if CNN covered the 2013 conference because OWFI holds the world record for having the most NY Times bestselling authors in one organization?
It’s good to have goals.
And, friends who soar.