I attended the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) Spring Conference in Branson, Missouri last weekend. I had a great time and made a few new friends. Our speakers were quite informative, and I took several pages of notes. There were some pearls of wisdom I had never contemplated before that I will be incorporating into my writing. I also sold a few books, which makes me happy.
We have two OWL conferences a year – one in spring and one in fall. Each one offers a contest. The spring conference hosts the art competition. I was disappointed it was only open for photography this year and limited to three entries per person, but I was still excited to enter. In past years, we’ve enjoyed a variety of categories. I hope the other categories will return in time.
The fall conference features our numerous writing contests. I love those contests. Each one has a different theme or prompt. It’s challenging to look at a random photo and create a 1000-word story inspired by what you see in the photo. Contests like this force us to flex our creative muscles. I will be starting on my entries in the next few days.
If you read my post last week, you know my husband and I went on a nature hike to our favorite spot in order for me to take some pictures in the spring sun. They turned out beautiful. I entered two of the photos I took that day along with one I had taken of a pond a few years ago while I was helping some loved ones out on their farm.
The one of the farm pond won 1st Place! My other two photos didn’t place in the competition, but I had several glowing comments about them. I think they’re great, and I’m looking for a place to hang them. I can’t decide if I want to replace something on my office wall at work or if I want to find space at home. Either way, I think they need to be displayed.
I love art. I won’t pretend to always understand all of it, and I don’t love every piece I see. However, I still love and respect the expression of oneself through photography, painting, pottery, sculpture, or pretty much any other medium. There are days, even now I’m in my 50s, that I get home from work feeling completely drained, and I pick up a coloring book or a paint brush. The moment I add color to page or canvas, I instantly feel better. That is the power of art.
I’ve always considered writing to be an artform, as well. I like to think of myself as someone who paints pictures with words. The highest form of praise readers can give me is to tell me that my words moved them. When someone told me she read my book twice because she wanted to be able to absorb every detail, I nearly cried with joy.
Whatever your art might be, I encourage you to engage in its creation often.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ozarks Writers League and our fabulous opportunities, here’s the link to our website: https://ozarkswritersleague.com/.
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