Blogging and bloggers have been compared to many things by many people, so my comparing reading blogs to watching a good television show may or may not be a novel idea, but if you’ve already read it or said it elsewhere, then leave a link in the comment section for extra credit. (If I were to start finding and adding hyperlinks to some of the bloggers who have written about the multifaceted phenomenon of blogging relationships, there’d be a long list of links to posts better than this, and I want you to stay here and comment, okay? Because today? I’m feelin’ like a comment ‘ho.) What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Blog reading is like watching a good television program. There are funny posts (like sitcoms), posts about travel, art, environmental issues and animals (like documentaries), posts about movies, cooking, parenting, social issues, and books (like talk shows), posts about dieting, gadgets, and laser hair removal (like infomercials), and posts about sex, marriage, and relationships (like cable). But reading blogs is really better than watching a good TV show because the characters are real people (even if some have a nom de plume). And yet? Just because the stories are about real people, it isn’t like reality television. The challenges aren’t staged, the audience is likely to be nodding in understanding because the experience posted about is shared, and there is no big cash prize at the end – unless there is a book deal, of course.
When I first started blogging (in June 2006) I. Had. No. Idea. that there we so many other bloggers out there blogging. Prior to Blog This Mom!, my writing mostly stayed in Word files, although sometimes I emailed stories to close friends or relatives. At the end of every year, I would spend a ghastly amount of time culling my favorites from those stories and would package them up in some sort of holiday greeting newsletter, comic strip, photo essay, or similar. And then I would spend another ghastly amount of time printing, folding, stuffing, sealing, stamping, and mailing envelopes. Every year. For the last thirteen years. Tom loved it. Then Blog This Mom! came along and gave me a place to post stories, thoughts, photos, and Other Stuff. And? It’s free. No postage. But I didn’t realize just how many other people were doing the same. I read a few blogs, and I mean a few. But this one time? I stumbled out into the Blogosphere, and I found myself intrigued, amazed, and, well, downright entertained. So I kept going back for more.
When the opportunity came up to meet some of these entertaining bloggers in person, I was all over it. And it was good. Last April, when Bossy came to town, a bunch of San Diego bloggers gathered and began a girl-love affair, started a group blog, held BitchHer 2008, and are currently looking for a parcel of land in a rural setting (near many fine restaurants, theaters, spas, shopping, and a with a very reliable ISP) on which to build a compound where we can reside happily ever after.
A couple of weeks ago (pokey posting is another documented side effect of DIPTSD), I found out that one of my favorite bloggers, Kalynne at The Philosopher-Mom would be in Anaheim. So I put dealing with my DIPTSD on the back burner by repressing only the painful memories of Disneyland. I grabbed my camera, but suppressed the urge to bring an autograph book, although I felt like I was about to meet a star. Because? Kalynne is a star to me. In fact, I think that about all of the bloggers whose posts I read regularly. ‘Cause, jeepers, if I didn’t think they were stars at what they do, I wouldn’t be reading them regularly.
After reading The Philosopher-Mom for many months (and going back through archives too), I expected an intelligent (like, yo, totally smart) woman with boundless energy (she totally does everything) and beauty (yeah, she's totally hawt). But I also expected someone who had just traveled across the country, spent the day at a conference where she had a slew of academics dancing in the aisles as she presented a paper, and who would be traveling home the next day to prepare her nine (yes, nine) children for the start of the school year, to be a bit, I don’t know, distracted. But she wasn’t. She was fully in the moment, with a manner as warm as her accent.
And it was nice to also meet in person that petite powerhouse of a woman who’d arranged this gathering, JCK at Motherscribe. I’d only recently been introduced to her blog. She’s elegant, but not stuffy. She’s accomplished, but unpretentious. She’s sweet, but not ooey gooey. She’s cultured, but can rock a pair of Levi’s like no other.
Although I’d already been up close and personal with her, the evening was really a three-for-the-price-of-one if you count Jenn at Juggling Life, who rode up with me. And who wouldn’t count the level-headed, big-hearted, perfectly coiffed Jenn?
What happens at blogging gatherings stays at blogging gatherings, unless bloggers are there. All I am saying about the conversation between these folks who'd never laid eyes on each other before is that the range of topics included everything and anything. If you haven’t already, click over and check out The Philosopher-Mom, Motherscribe, and Juggling Life, where every
Note: Blog This Mom! will be unplugged until September 1 or so as she