I have been blessed to be one of the shepherds, and I get to shepherd the remarkable Chuck Sambuchino--pick him up at the airport, make sure he has what he needs at the conference, introduce him at the sessions, and make sure he makes his flight at the end of the conference.I’ve read his blog for quite some time, and am excited about finally meeting him.Being a writer is more than just writing. It’s about service as well. I’ve always done something at the OWFI conferences I’ve attended--volunteering to be a shepherd at the first one before I even knew anyone or knew what OWFI was all about.
I had to miss last year’s OWFI for personal reasons, and I vowed then I wouldn’t miss another one no matter the reason short of life-or-death.
The speakers/presenters who come to OWFI conferences are highly impressed with the professionalism and personableness of OWFI folk, and it’s people like the shepherds and other volunteers that make it so.
Sometimes, OWFI is a speaker’s or presenter’s first visit to Oklahoma. It’s up to me (and the others) to make sure they leave knowing they are welcomed, appreciated, and a part of our OWFI family.
The last time I was a shepherd I got to usher the knowledgeable Josh Getzler around. I remember he had an impromptu session at the bar after Saturday’s duties were done. During our friendly talks between sessions and such, I had learned of Josh’s enjoyment of a particular drink, and while wide-eyed writers were picking Josh’s well-honed brain about the writing business and craft I was whispering to a few what his favorite drink is, and Josh was quite surprised when a refreshed beverage showed up in his hand every few questions.
Currying favor with those who are successful in our little profession is very important, not simply for the sake of self-serving desires, but because it’s the nice thing to do.
Larry Mike's Curry Mustard Salmon Patties
- 1 can (16 ounces) salmon
- 1 medium onion, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp curry
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tps garlic
- 2 large eggs, well beaten
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- Turn salmon and ¾ liquid into a medium mixing bowl.
- Flake with a fork, removing OR mashing any bones (they are edible).
- Mix in onion, parsley, mustard, garlic, curry, cayenne pepper, and pepper.
- Mix beaten eggs with salmon.
- Add enough bread crumbs, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, to make thick enough to shape into 12 small patties.
- Roll patties in 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
- In a large heavy skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter; add patties.
- Fry patties slowly on one side; add remaining butter, turn patties, and fry until brown on the other side.
The Writing Profession is a Family Business. We are brothers and sisters in a craft as old as humankind. Some of us, though, have forgotten this. Some of us have forgotten that making and keeping friends--writers, agents, editors, publishers--is important.
The best selling book rarely makes it up the list without “family” help.
To some “currying favor” is brown nosing, sucking up, and selling out.
As I writer who has had some modicum of success, I still curry the favor of others, not just for the sake of doing something to please them to meet my own means but because I’m a friendly guy with some talent and drive and I realize that I need others to help me along in my craft.
Besides, it’s just the nice thing to do.
No man is island. No writer is wholly successful solely by his own efforts.