My definition of “happiness” has changed over time, and I suppose this change is nothing more than the usual progression of feelings maturing. The younger we are, the more focused we are on ourselves and on our own opinions and on what others can (and should) do for us. By nature egocentric, children must develop the capacity to empathize and to understand and appreciate that other people deserve their share of happiness.
This weekend, the KH was, together with several other members of her writers’ critique group — The Palm City Word Weavers — a “left-behind.” A number of the Weavers traveled to Orlando to attend the 10th Annual Conference of the Florida Writers Association. For the KH and the other “left-behinds,” who could not/did not attend for various reasons, the weekend was not jam-packed with choosing workshops to attend, feasting at banquet tables in the large, hotel ballroom or applauding loud enough at the award-winner-announcements as to rival the decibels of a full-throttle jet take-off. We contented ourselves with more quiet tasks at home while we waited for any news from Orlando.
Finally, two little green dots in our “Chat” bars on Facebook signaled the on-line presence of two of the attendees, and the news was out! This year, the Weavers had multiple nominees and four (count ’em ! FOUR) received final awards in the FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards at the Conference. For a group that only became a group a little over one short year ago, that is a stunning achievement! The Weavers did themselves proud and deserve the congratulations that have continued since last night’s announcements.
There was a time many, many years ago that as a young adult I had to be a conference “left-behind” when a women’s group to which I belonged held a statewide conference that I couldn’t attend. It was all I could do to survive that weekend. All I could think about, instead of focusing on the awards that were won by our local chapter, was that I had missed a good time. This year was so different….
Were we there in spirit? You betcha! We attended workshops, we partied, we pigged out, we slept far too few hours and we applauded the loudest!!
Looking back on that other long-ago conference now, through the filter of time, I realize that the threads in my tapestry have been woven much more closely together over the years and that the tapestry reveals a beautiful picture of happiness: Happiness that my life path led me to the Palm City Word Weavers, Happiness for all the RPLA Nominees and for the RPLA Winners, but most of all Happiness that I can celebrate with all the Weavers this outstanding moment in their brief history!
So, Weavers, this one’s for you — for our group leader “Mama Leona” who inspires us, for the Nominees and the Winners who made us so very proud and for my fellow Left-Behinds, too 🙂 Each and every one of you brings honor to the world of writing through your dedication to the craft.
“Word Weaver” scrap-booking kit pattern from the following site: