The Owl’s Hoot: Official Newsletter of The Ozarks Writers League: Spring 2019

2019 OWL Newsletter

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Save The Buffalo River!

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To the Legislature- “What was that all about?”

During a special session of the legislature last week companion bills were introduced in the Arkansas House and Senate which appeared to be designed to interfere with the current C & H appeal and would thus deny due process.

BRWA board members and other supporters addressed the legislature during the special session to express our concerns.  The bills went through several revisions before being passed as Act 10.

Previous versions were definitely special legislation designed to override the Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of a Reg 5 permit for C&H.  As a result of much public effort, including letters, email messages and phone calls, those versions were drastically changed. In the end we were repeatedly assured, the law in its final form does not address C&H.  A few legislators questioned the point of the whole exercise.

So why was the issue ever a part of a special legislative session?   The effort was driven by Farm Bureau in an attempt to fear monger, alarming farmers that “you’re next”.

There were mixed messages about how C&H would be addressed legislatively in the future. Some legislators indicated that they would “take care of this issue in 2019”.  We will monitor closely.

We can not over emphasize how important your voice was and continues to be in the battle to protect the Buffalo River. And, we might add, the side effect of protecting small family farms in the watershed.

Meanwhile, BRWA continues to proceed as an Intevenor in the appeal by C&H. Follow the progress here : Click on “C&H Hog Farms”.

Still confused or want more?   Listen to this KUAF report by Jacqueline Froelich.  (4 minutes 46 seconds)
“Any action that is dictated by fear, or by coercion of any kind, ceases to be moral.”

Behind the Scene Bravery?

Going against campaign funding Big Ag takes a bit of courage.  Some individuals must have worked behind the scenes to water down the final bill which became Act 10.  Want to know how your representative voted?

House Votes

Senate Votes

 07 April 7, 2018  at 6:00 PM
•Mt Sequoyah Assembly Bailey Center.  150 N. Skyline Drive, Fayetteville, AR
Putting A Face on the Rural Fight Against Corporate Farms
“… in many of the communities where resource councils have a presence, the Farm Bureau professes to represent agriculture. But we all know that Farm Bureau is actually a huge insurance conglomerate. And I don’t think many of our group members feel that they represent us at all.”

We Float We Vote, T-Shirt
Want a T-Shirt that reminds everyone that Buffalo River lovers vote?  Hurry only available until April 3.
Help spread the word by sharing the link below.

To order

A peer reviewed National Audubon report examins how climate change will impact birds and predicts that  National Parks will be increasingly critical habitat.
According to the study our Buffalo National River will become vital to birds seeking suitable habitat, especially during winter.

Audubon and National Park Service Predict Major Changes for Birds in a Warming World

Link to Journal

Link to details on Buffalo National River

Special Note:  If you wish to contact us use

Do not click “reply” to this newsletter.  Your message may be delayed or never reach us.

Please go to DONATE now to contribute and become a part of our campaign.
If you would rather send a check, please make it payable to “Buffalo River
Watershed Alliance” and mail to:

Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
Box 101
Jasper, AR 72641.
Thank you for your continued support.
Buffalo River Watershed Alliance

Copyright © 2018 Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, All rights reserved.

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The elephant in the recycle bin—Single Stream

Sent to Mayor Lioneld Jordan March 21, 2018

     I certainly hope the Fayetteville public is not being led to believe the China ban of America’s trashed recycling has nothing to do with Fayetteville. In fact we are a significant player in this game. How so? 
Fayettteville has the lowest contamination rate of most any other community in the whole darn country
    America’s recycling got trashed with single stream. Contamination rates sky rocketed with single stream. America went from clean, transparent programs run by citizen volunteers (who had direct contact with the end-users) to programs run by private companies that aren’t subject to FOIA. Companies that cut off communication between end-users and citizens.
    Instead of implementing curbside programs with trough trucks (reducing back strain and repetitive motion syndrome) most municipalities turned over control of their valuable recyclable resources to private garbage haulers. Thus valuable recyclable resources came to be handled just like garbage, tossed all together in a single compartment truck.
   City councils, city staff and city committees have a responsibility to perform due diligence. Guess that didn’t happen in Fort Smith. They still don’t even have a recycling accountability/transparency resolution, much less a legally binding ordinance. Every community needs a recycling transparency/accountability ORDINANCE.
    Hopefully EAC members have taken it upon themselves to sign up for free online information from Waste Dive, Resource Recycling, and other trade journals. Hopefully they are making note of who advertises in those publications. Who butters the bread of single stream advocates?
Lioneld,  I know you want the whole truth and not partial truth, be told to the public. Will you please be sure all EAC and city council members get a copy of the RESOURCE RECYCLING February 2017 article in which Fayetteville was highlighted, and praised for keeping glass separate. Some municipal recycling contracts were secured by private companies telling people they could toss all recycling together, i.e. single stream……then opps, when the glass industry spoke up saying single stream contaminated glass, Guess which item has been pulled all together from many programs around the country? Pulled by the very companies who secured accounts by making recycling so convenient with single stream? Would it be the same industry whose profit margin depends on continual waste generation, rather waste reduction? Were citizens told the water, energy, pollution savings that from recycling glass. Or were they given the greenwash version that glass isn’t worth recycling?
Here are more articles for those who haven’t dropped their brain into the recycle bin, for those who know it is unrealistic to think the planet will survive if SEVEN billion people consume resources at the same rate as Americans. Who will lose if we reuse? Who wins when we waste? 
And which developing countries will now be polluted since China has gotten interested in cleaning up their environment?  Upon whose shores will America’s nasty single stream recycling land now? And which American communities will end up with incinerators and massive landfills cleverly labelled by the “progressives” as WTEs and energy sources?

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Characterization: A Structural Approach

This is defining a character per Nabokov’s dictum (Paris Review Interviews Vladimir Nabokov, The Art of Fiction No. 40): “My characters are galley slaves,” i.e., they don’t get turned loose to surprise the author by shifting the direction the story takes. If the author has gone to the trouble of designing a plot, he doesn’t want a renegade character tampering with it.

It’s a given that a character in a story needs to be distinguishable from the other characters with whom he interacts. You don’t want your reader to confuse characters! This can be accomplished with tags. Tags individualize.

There are four types of tags:

(1) Tags of Appearance: Bennett was of a ruddy complexion.

(2) Tags of Expression: Oliver’s voice tended to rise at the end of sentences, turning statements into questions.

(3) Tags of Mannerism: Sam tugged on his right ear lobe when puzzled (e.g., Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941)).

(4) Tags of Habit of Thought: Darrel tended to jump to a conclusion, reconsider, and reverse himself.

You won’t need to mention every tag every time a character makes an appearance in the story, but if he’s been gone a while, it would be in order to display his tag or tags again.

In addition to tags, characters express traits. Whereas tags are external and superficial, traits are internal and reasonably stable. Traits are indicative of “character.”

There are four types of traits:

(1) Human Traits: As the sermon passed the fifty-minute mark, Wilbur dozed off. He’s human; readers can identify with him.

(2) Typical Traits: Samantha stopped to pet the dog. She’s ordinary, not unconventional.

(3) Social Traits: Gustav tipped his hat to the ladies. He’s polite (and old-fashioned).

(4) Individual Traits: Howard was always in a hurry. He’s not like some others who are inclined to amble leisurely.

A character will have a Function or Capacity, otherwise why is he in the story? For filler?

If in Chapter 16 Maude needs to rescue Herbert from drowning, she needs to be a strong swimmer. That’s her Function or Capacity.

If in Chapter 22 Superman needs to find Lois Lane before the reactor goes critical and explodes, he’ll need X-ray vision. That’s his Tool or Weapon.

Here’s how to convey to the reader what the character is like:

Presentation of character:

(1) Through character’s own speech: “I am king as I was born to be!”

(2) Through character’s own action: Victoria threw the tequila shot in Ian’s face.

(3) Through character’s effect on other characters: All the maidens swooned in Jason’s wake as he passed.

(4) Through effects of others upon the character: Tears streamed down Lyle’s face as he watched the automobile-struck armadillo in its death throes.

(5) Through reports of other characters: “I saw Geraldine scoop the kitten from the precipice at a dead run.”

(6) Through author’s psychological analysis: Henry’s superego was underdeveloped and incapable of controlling his rampant id.

(7) Through author’s objective description: Wayne took the blind man’s tin cup, removed the coins, and replaced the cup.

(8) Through author’s direct exposition: Milton was a sorry excuse for a grocery bagger.

There are three kinds of characters, categorized by how important they are to the story. A Flat Character is a walk-on, a place-holder. He’s the doorman who flags down the taxi for Hortense, and then disappears into the building. The In-Relief Character visits a little, jokes, asks after Hortense’s mother, and disappears into the building. A Round character is one of the pivotal figures in the story. The story is about him or them.

(1) Flat Character: Show human traits. Don’t let him steal the show, confusing the reader, because he’s not supposed to be important.

(2) In-Relief Character: Show Human and Typical traits; he’s fairly minor.

(3) Round Character: Show Human, Typical, and Individual traits. The protagonist is a Round Character; he’s complex and can show contradictions. Likewise the antagonist. They can legitimately surprise the reader if prior hints about their nature have been dropped, and the setup prepared.

Here’s a checklist which the writer can prepare for each character, lest he reach page 400 and have forgotten whether it’s kimchi or croissants that Mortimer is allergic to.

Story Title:
Character No. 1 – Name:
of appearance:
of expression:
of mannerism:
of habit of thought:
Function or capacity:
Tool or weapon:
Presentation of character
through character’s own speech:
through character’s own action:
through character’s effect on other characters:
through effects of others upon character:
through reports of other characters:
through author’s psychological analysis:
through author’s objective description:
through author’s direct exposition:
Kind of character (flat, in relief, round):

Taken from:

Campbell, Walter S. (Vestal, Stanley) (1940). Writing
Magazine Fiction. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company.

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Zombie Nouns (per The New York Times)

Nominalizations Are Zombies, from the excellent Draft series.

Good article and analytic device!  Painless critique group!  No one need know how terrible your writing is.  For example I offer up one of my own.  Horrors!  My verbs are FLABBY!  Or to follow the advice proffered and eliminate one of the insidious “be” words, my verbs flab.  Sorry, but that’s about as far as I can go to convert an adjective into an active verb.

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Thanks, Jan!

Many thanks to Jan Morrill who kindly set up this blog for me one-handed while in the other hand she held a chicken salad sandwich.  It was quite an impressive performance.  To see what a real blog looks like, check out hers:

Jan Morrill Writes

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Hello world!

Welcome to! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

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