Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Posts tagged ‘Jack Dalton’

Jack Dalton–the Raven

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.

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Oklahoma Writers Federation–OWFI 2012 Conference

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with the lovely Linda Apple. Linda is the president of the Oklahoma Writers Federation (OWFI) and I’m the conference chair. I’m really, really excited about the upcoming conference (May 2012.) The speakers are dynamic and we have some extremely unique and interesting ideas for panel discussions.

Several NY agents and editors are attending the conference and taking appointments to meet with attendees. They will be announced later. Get your elevator pitch and face-to-face pitches ready. I have a funny feeling that OWFI members are going to stop the agents in their tracks. We’ve warned them to be prepared to be blown away!

Signing up for Editor/Agent Appointments

The Keynote Speaker is Steven James!!!

Critically acclaimed author Steven James has published more than thirty books of nonfiction and fiction, including the bestselling thriller series The Patrick Bowers Files. Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” Suspense Magazine says, “He sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Each novel has received wide critical acclaim from reviewers, bloggers, and the general public. The Queen, number five of the eight book series, is due out September 1st, 2011.

One of the speakers is Jack Dalton. Yes, THE Jack Dalton, Yup’ik storyteller, playwright and poet. I can’t wait for OWFI members to be wowed by his talent. He’ll leave you speechless and inspire you to write the most FANTASTIC stories you’ve ever written. It’s truly a coup that he’ll be joining us.

Rooted in Naparyarmiut (Hooper Bay), born in Bethel and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Jack Dalton has grown up an ambassador between two worlds, his Yup’ik and European heritages. A professional storyteller, writer and teacher, Jack has been honored by the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education as a Distinguished Dignitary, and considered by many people around the world, to be “The Storyteller.” He was chosen as one of Alaska’s Top 40 Under Forty, one of the top forty business people in Alaska under the age of 40. He also received the first Expressive Arts grant from the National Museum of the American Indian to co-create the first Yup’ik opera with friend and world-famous Yup’ik music group, Pamyua co-founder, Stephen Blanchett. He’s created and produced five theatrical works of storytelling, written a book, several plays and created curricula used in all levels of education. Performing throughout Alaska and the US, he has also performed in New Zealand, France, Denmark, Australia and headlined the Scottish Int’l Storytelling Festival in Scotland. At residencies in schools across the country, he teaches the importance of storytelling to the continuation of all cultures and works with students to create their own stories, thus, continuing the tradition. He also speaks Swedish fluently and carries a great deal of wisdom for one still considered young. Raven Feathers & the Wind is based in Anchorage, where he has called home for most of his life.