Monday, September 28, 2009

A Wedding in Memphis

Dr. Lobo and I recently drove to Memphis for our nephew Heath's wedding.

This was one of the most ecumenical weddings I've ever attended. Planning it must have offered good practice at making compromises, as Erin is Catholic and Heath was raised as a Southern Baptist. Heath wanted a Nazarene preacher friend to take part in the wedding--not easy to arrange in a Catholic church. But they found a priest who was agreeable, and the priest and preacher shared duties during the wedding.

Here are a few shots from the wedding (taken from a pew, which explains why a lot of these scenes are tilted). The church was really beautiful, and of course the bride and groom and all their attendants were gorgeous.

The best man, Heath's "little" brother (well, younger anyway), escorted the mothers down the aisle. He's six feet nine inches tall. (And we thought OUR sons were tall!)

The reception was held in the old Daisy Theater on Beale Street, which was a fascinating place.

Although they had a traditional wedding cake, they also had this cake. (Heath is getting his doctorate in environmental science and he studies ducks.)

We're glad we were able to be part of the celebration, and we wish them many happy years together.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oklahoma SCBWI Fall Conference 2009

It's been two weeks since the Oklahoma SCBWI Fall Conference. Better a late report than no report?

Two of my favorite writers, Susan and Darlina, greeted everyone.

Three of the usual suspects, Terry, Ruth, and Dana, arrived full of energy and enthusiasm.

SCBWI is all about connecting with people who share your passion for children's books. It's full of wonderful folks like Pati and Terry.

My friend Gwen and I presented a workshop about using the internet to advance your writing career. I wore my new shirt that says "I'm blogging this."

In the afternoon, two energetic and exciting presenters, Tammy Sauer and Cynthea Liu, led a wonderful workshop. Unfortunately, the photos I took of them were not nearly as good as their presentation, so I'm not sharing them here. Instead, you'll be able to see a few of the people who enjoyed their words of wisdom. (Next time I'll sit where I can photograph the speakers without getting other people's heads in the way.)

Here are two of our newest Oklahoma SCBWI members, Joshua and Jerry.

We had the opportunity to examine our manuscripts and "make them shine" using the guidelines Tammy and Cynthea offered.

Getting those manuscripts from merely "good" to "YEAH, BABY!" takes a lot of revision.

These two published authors, Darlene Bailey Beard and Larry Mike Garmon, understand what it takes.

It's good to have friends along for the journey.

Is it just my photography, or does this picture show what we looked like by the end of the day? Kim is still focused, but Susan, Darlina, and Patti seem to be fading out.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this yet another great SCBWI conference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Question: Where is Okie Book Woman?

Answer: Away from her computer temporarily.

I've been busy, and I'll stay that way for a while. On Saturday, I attended the Oklahoma SCBWI Spring Conference in Chandler, and I'll have a report on it later.

Dr. Lobo and I are visiting our friends Charlene and Mark in Little Rock, Arkansas, on our way to a family wedding in Memphis, Tennessee. (Yes, we plan to visit Graceland while we're there.)

Then we'll spend a couple of nights in Corinth, Mississippi and check out some Civil War history before heading back to OKC.

I'll be posting about all my travels when I return. Come back around Thursday or Friday of next week, and I should have something written.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's All Relative

Life is harder now for my last surviving aunt and uncle. Her hearing is impaired, and his eyesight is nearly gone. Because of multiple physical problems, they both move slowly. They were always sociable people with lots of friends, but they’ve outlived most of their peers, so visitors and phone calls are limited. Ventures outside their home are mostly restricted to doctor appointments.

Still, they remain cheerful and interested in life.

Aunt Wanda is my mother’s sister, the fifth of six children. Two brothers died in infancy, and her younger brother was killed in World War II. Throughout their lives, the three sisters formed a tight bond. At 87, she has now lived longer than her two older sisters.

I believe Uncle Cope is the last of his family as well. He is 91.

Visiting Aunt Wanda and Uncle Cope is a special treat. I like hearing family stories once again. I’m grateful for Uncle Cope’s interest in politics, world news, and theology; his sharp mind keeps track of current events and ideas far better than mine does. I love the way Aunt Wanda still wants to know all about me and my family. I enjoy their bickering. (Who wouldn’t bicker after living with the same person for 67 years?)

I wish I didn’t live 1300 miles away from them. I am so blessed by their presence in my life, even far away.
Here’s a photo of my nephew Jesse, who was home for a short while before starting his senior year of college. He’s an incredible young man.

Pictured here with Uncle Cope is my sister-in-law Pam, who takes such wonderful care of me whenever I visit southern California. We go back a very long ways; she was my high school friend two decades before she married my brother.

I didn't see much of my brother on this trip. He's a firefighter, and he was called out on a forest fire the week I was there. (Pam and I saw the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" together, and she mentioned that being married to Ken is much like that; he often has to leave on a moment's notice.)
I didn't get a photo of Ken or my nephew Jeremy. I saw Jeremy, but he’s 18 and you have to catch him on the run. (But if you look at the pictures on the refrigerator behind Pam on the photo below, you'll get a glimpse of them.)

I visited my sister in Colorado between the Gabfest with my friends and the trip to California, but this blurry photo of her cooking with her granddaughter is the only picture I took. We look more alike as we get older. This time we even had very similar haircuts.

I did get an interesting photo at the granddaughter's school. Every elementary school needs a sign like this.

I missed getting pictures of my brother-in-law and nephew Andy, but I did take some great pictures of the new puppy. Isn’t he cute? (Even if he does chew on the legs of the kitchen table.)

I like my relatives. Even the dog.