BlogHer Conference

Having grown up in her outskirts I am stoked (yup – I said stoked) to be spending a summer weekend in NYC.   In addition to gelato in Little Italy, massive amounts of people watching, and an afternoon of theatre, oh yeah – I’ll be attending the BlogHer 2012 conference.

I found the conference quite by accident after reading a recommended piece about the founders of the BlogHer.com website.   If you haven’t been there yet, BlogHer.com is worth the look-see.  They have amassed a fine collection of bloggers who pontificate on a regular basis.  Like all blog spots there’s some fact, some fiction, and a lot of opinion in between.   The self-description on their website states:

Today, BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog: 37 million unique visitors per month (December 2011, Nielsen Site Census). Engaged, influential and info-savvy, these women come to BlogHer to seek and share advice, opinions and recommendations. BlogHer’s team works hard to bring you the best and brightest conversations, writers and speakers – online and in person. That’s what we do best.”

The narcissist in me said, “Hmmm, I came to their site – I must be one of those engaging, savvy chicks” while her counterpart, my negative nemesis, gave me, “Oh please, I think you fall under the “unique aka oddball” category”.  Either way, I’m now part of this community.  (For the record, I am leaning toward my inner narcissist)

Here’s a wee bit of information on the conference:

“Welcome to BlogHer Conferences!    http://www.blogher.com/conferences

In 2005, BlogHer Co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone held a conference to answer the question, “where are all the women who blog?” Today, BlogHer conferences bring together thousands of these women from around the world to discuss, inspire and connect with each other.”

 – BlogHer Webpage/ March 2012

For moi, the immediate gratification factor of an in person conference vs. online tutorial is the opportunity for spontaneity.  To get those tidbits of information that are not preformed, edited for content, and polished but instead drop unfettered during impromptu conversation.   It’s the chance to glean more about the inner workings of the blogosphere from those who have been there, done that, and are STILL right here, doing this.  In addition to the segments offered in structured speaker/audience format there are endless opportunities to connect with oodles of other people who spend their days pouring the fruits of intense neuron bursts out of their brains and into cyberspace.  It’s a chance to come out from behind the keyboard and meet up with heaps of other creatives who blog about hundreds of topics. I’ll equate it to summer camp for grown up geeky gals but with better breakfast foods.

Have you been to one of these before?  What’s your thought?  Would love to hear your opinions/suggestions/ideas on blog conferences.

Change of plans…

The post that I drafted yesterday is sitting in the queue in lieu of gracing this blog today.  I know, I know, the suspense of the why is killing you.  I threw it overboard when I read Christine Fonesca’s blog this morning, An Intense Life,  and was compelled to repost the quote below.   Now go out there and change the world you wild kids!

“Here’s to the crazy ones.         The misfits.             The rebels.                 The troublemakers.                     The round pegs in the square holes.                        

 The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.            

They invent.                They imagine.             They heal.             They explore.              They create.               They inspire. They push the human race forward.

 Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Computer Advertisement

A frenzied pen…

Looking for something spunky to do this April?  Can’t wait to kick off a new writing project?  Stockpile some caffeine and check this out:  30 days + 100 pages = Script Frenzy©.

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or “best” scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner’s Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.

Even those who fall short of the page goal will be applauded for making a heroic attempt. Really, you have nothing to lose—except that nagging feeling that there’s a script inside you that may never get out.” – Script Frenzy© website/March 2012

Happy writing.

Is Zombie a food group?

“Bring out your dead!”  (if you cannot identify this quote then you need a Monty Python intervention stat)

Well this is not a reblog but more of a repost – kind of.  I am not actually sure what you call it when a close friend takes a cool picture and puts it on her FB page and she also happens to have a blog and you copy and paste that picture into your own blog and then give her kudos.  Is that Refacebooking or Reposting or stealing?  Such blurry fine lines.  Anyway, this photo is courtesy of my friend Kim who you can check out at http://kfsfindingmyway.blogspot.com.  We’ll file this under books you wish you had thought of yourself.

My big fat….

Mine is big.  Some might even say enormous.  In fact it’s so huge that I often don’t know where to put it.  Conundrum, conundrum….where should I put my big fat dictionary?

That’s right – I’ve got a supersized reference guide.  A few years ago (*ahem*…*cough*…decades ago…) I purchased the greatest book of all time.  I traded some green for a six-inch thick Webster© Dictionary.  This was not just any Webster© but a tome that included definitions, bios and pictures of all the United States presidents, a section of famous quotes, flags of the world, an English to Spanish section, and can you guess what else?  No, no you can’t, so I’ll tell you: a copy of the Constitution of the United States.  Oh it’s true – it’s that awesome!

I procured this incredible treasure from a band of gypsies a.k.a. the near extinct creatures known as travelling salesmen.

Our workplace was some sort of vortex that sucked in strange sales people the way a siren pulls in sea captains.   It’s so obvious now that our office full of vixens was inadvertently sending open wallet signals into the world.   We were blind to our own powers.

Over the years we’d been plied with all manner of products from plants and paintings to food, clothing, and office supplies.   I’m still not sure why we never locked the front door.  Anyway, except for the sandwich guy – we loved him – we generally sent the rest away with a round of smiles and “so sorry, maybe next time” platitudes.

When a couple of college kids wandered in one afternoon laden down with boxes we were prepared to usher them right back out the door with our usual grace.  That is until one of them said, “We have these surplus books…”  No idea what he said next because rainbows had burst from the ceiling, a unicorn was prancing around my desk, and the sandwich guy appeared.  Utopia was upon us (the sandwich guy is always in utopia – a girl has to eat).  People were bringing books RIGHT TO MY DESK.   FYI – this was pre-Amazon© so yeah, it was that exciting.

That day I purchased their last big fat Webster© and I’ve  been lugging it around the world ever since.    Every section has been poured over, pondered, and utilized.   My once shiny red book now sports a broken spine,  mended pages, some extra pictures thanks to my resident underage artists, and a garden of sorts made of flowers pressed between the covers of this heavy edition.   It is the ultimate “go to” book.

When my own wee little band of gypsies now find themselves in need of definitions I send them to the Webster©.   Yes, they could easily look the words up online using any one of a  myriad of websites but then the art of using a hardbound dictionary would be lost.   If you haven’t used your reference book  in a while I think it’s time you did.

Today’s a great day to learn a new word and annoy your friends and coworkers by using it ALL DAY LONG.  Developing a story and need some character or scene description?  Open to a random page, close your eyes and pick a word.  The next time you’re in the mood to palaver try the dictionary  game:  One person gets the book and picks a word and the rest need to try to spell and define it.  This can really go either way as a family night game or a drinking game.  You decide.

I’ll leave you with a little known fact about large dictionaries:  They have alternate uses such as dining table booster seat, door stop, and paper weight. You’re welcome.

Slainte!

Black dirt farms where boots catch in thick mud, a thatched roof protecting rough-hewn wooden tables, fireplaces wide enough for three women standing, and  the lingering smell of peat moss still hanging heavy after the burn off of foggy mornings….this is the Ireland I have seen.  They say that everyone is Irish today but luckily, I really am.  Many thanks to my Grandparents who kept the family line moving along.  I come from a lengthy lineage of, among other things, Irish farmers and artists and consider this a blessing in itself.  Having knocked around the world a bit, I can still say that Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been (nope, no bias here AT ALL – just keep moving along).

Because the rest of my day will be spent slow cooking corned beef and churning out Irish Soda breads (yup, family recipe passed down for generations – didn’t I mention I’m lucky?) this will be a quick post.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!

Here is my own Irish blessing for you: 

May the words flow generously from pen to pages,

May your art shine with your spirit,

May your muse dance by your side,

And may your heart be filled with the lightness of creation.

By Laura Elaro

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

I’m a winner!!!  And this is not just the mantra I tell myself in the mirror every day.  Big huge thanks to fellow WP blogger and writer Michael Olavarria (aka MikeReverb) for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you Mike!  If you click on his name you will be transported directly to his page where you can check out both Mike’s writing and links to the other bloggers he nominated.

Getting a blogging award is both exciting and validating, especially being new to blogging on a regular basis.  It answers those little nagging questions like “Hey, is anyone out there?” and “If a blogger blogs in cyberspace does anyone hear her?”.  So to those of you who read my work – thanks!

Thankfully Mike provided us the criteria for accepting the award, and I will “pay it forward” because I found it quite helpful as a “newbie” to blog awards.

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post. 

2. Share 7 things about yourself.   

3. Pass this award along to 15.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

So, here is me sharing 7 things about myself:

1.) Africa, South America, and Montana (yes, the state) are all still on my “can’t wait to check them out” travel list.

2.) One time, at band camp,…..JUST KIDDING! I can’t play any instruments – sadly not even the tambourine.  Maybe the triangle a bit if the crowd isn’t too picky.  The saxophone is my all time favorite but so far none of my offspring want to learn so no living vicariously through them. Ingrates.

3.)  I have gone apple picking every fall since I was a little girl and now live behind an apple orchard.  That is just coincidence….or fate…or destiny….or weird…..

4.) When I went to buy my first brand new, out of the showroom car my Dad talked me out of the pickup truck I really wanted and into a Toyota Corolla because it was practical. FYI – after 200,000 plus miles the Corolla was donated to a good cause.  I am now on my third truck.

5.)  I love pistachio ice cream but whenever I order it invariably whoever I am with says, “Really?  Pistachio?”  Yes.  Pistachio.

6.) I am fascinated with quantum physics.

7.) Whenever someone dies I play my own internal version of competitive funeral attendance.  This is where you “guesstimate” how many people will attend your wake, who will send the biggest flowers, and what will be served at the after party (I’m Irish – there is always a party).  Recently I found out that other people do this too!  So now I call a friend to play.  We’re morbid like that.

15 Nominations (the group below is pretty eclectic – writers, photographers, philosophers of daily life, and so on – but each one has a unique voice or view of the world and I stalk  follow them all)

Lea & Jay

Suzanne Lilly

The Laughing Housewife

All the World’s in Words

Beyond the Call

Moths to a Flame

Arthouse Photography

She Bicycles

Popcorn on the Stove

Never Contrary

Kodilynn Calhoun

Chocolate I Have Known

Sparks Fly Up

Behind the Lens

Aaron Theisen

Well I’m off to spread the wealth.   Have a grand day!