Photowalking Fun at its finest! Is there a Chapter where you live? Here’s a Shared Circle of Chapters on Google+. Check for your location, Circle, and Join for a Photowalk!
We hang out regularly at fun places, talk photography/social media and take photos together. (No, you do not have to drink alcohol.) Occasionally we do Workshops and other fun events.
Every month, there’s a Themed Challenge with prizes from great sponsors like Think Tank Photo, Gary Fong, Black Rapid and more! Check out the Event for September’s Challenge, Reflections: http://goo.gl/ATX4Q
Austin, TX - Juan Gonzalez & Lotus Carroll
Canberra, AU - Martin Ollman
Casper, WY - Kallasandra Moran
Columbus, OH - Mike Chambers
Fort Collins, CO - Julieanna Crynolyn
Los Angeles, CA - Christi Nielsen
The Netherlands - Kevin van Diest
New York, NY - Seth Meyerowitz
San Antonio, TX - Jackie Burroughs Anderson & Daniel Enloe
San Francisco, CA - Michael Bonocore
Santa Barbara, CA - Devon Bell
Sydney, AU - Ana Andrés
Tokyo, JP - Holger Feroudj
Toronto, Canada - Sara Collaton & Vincent McMillen
Washington, DC - Anna Lowry
You don’t have to be on Google+ to attend these photowalks, but it helps, as we post Event items there and upload our photos to share. Please share this with anyone you know who would be interested in joining walks or leading a Chapter!
Find the prints here: http://goo.gl/QoghG
If you don’t know Lee Daniels, she’s a passionate, poetic, and sweet woman gifted in photography who has been very active in the G+ Photography Community. Lee was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and, like many photographers, does not have health insurance. Barry Blanchard, Ivan Makarov, & SmugMug have set up a charity print sale that benefits her and will help fund her treatment. If you’ve been wanting to buy prints, this is the right time and place to do it. My donation to the cause is the photo below, colorful and happy and which I hope sends a message of joy and hope. I’d love it if you purchased this or any of the prints available in the gallery – so many talented photographers have donated their amazing work. http://goo.gl/QoghG All profits from the print sales go to fund Lee’s cancer treatment.
It might be hard to pick just one, but it won’t be hard to find one you like.
Sometimes you meet the most amazing people online. If you’re one of those people that uses the acronym IRL or thinks that the people who are active online are “imaginary friends” then you won’t get this, but maybe that’s even more reason you should read it. I’ve been really lucky to have met a lot of really remarkable people through The Internet (remind me to thank Al Gore with a respectably green and energy efficient gift someday). Many of these people will be my friends forever. Some of them live deep in my heart, and I’m better for it.
One of those people is a lil’ lady who became known ’round Blogosphere Land as Moosh In Indy. That would be Casey Mullins.
I was reading her years ago, impressed with her writing and the way she just put it all out there (I tend to be drawn to those types, go figure) which really made her something of a role model to me. That’s the kind of person I have always been and wanted to continue being.
And then she went and mentioned me in a post.
And what she said about me, completely unprovoked, took me by surprise and totally melted my heart. It was pretty much one of those girl crush moments in your life when your pittery pattery heart is singing that song of “weeeeeeeeee, she likes me tooooo.” (Please tell me you’ve heard that song in your heart.)
And over the years, I’ve gotten to share moments with her when we both ended up at the same travel destinations, and many a laugh through blog comments, Facebook posts, and Twitter reply conversations. She’s a part of my world that keeps it spinning with a smile at the top and a little booty shake at the bottom.
It hurt my heart to see her struggle with expanding her family. This is a woman with so much love to give, so much creativity and wisdom to share. Her body was not playing nice with her for some time; The Universe was not playing nice with her. I was angry on her behalf.
She? Kept it real and was honest about her feelings and I’ll be damned if she didn’t still handle the most difficult of things with the most amazing grace you could ever imagine from a person trapped in a sack of turds with no sure way to see the light or open the knot at the top.
(Forgive the imagery, but something tells me Casey will appreciate it.)
And that’s what makes her not only a friend in my book, but also a role model.
Later, when she finally got pregnant, she emailed me to tell me before she posted it online. Somehow, in some incredibly selfless way, she was concerned that the news of her pregnancy would upset me (after having had 2 miscarriages).
And that’s what you call selfless and loving, kind and generous, to the utmost degree. And again, she was not only a friend, but a role model.
Are you catching this trend?
Just this past year, when my heart was in a very tenous place, she sent me a magnet. It had a saying on it that I needed so very badly to see/hear.
The Universe might be a jerk sometimes, but it often delivers the very best things just at the right time. Somehow, Casey is really good at being the vehicle of the Universe’s better side.
This woman is the kind of woman who you are thankful to call friend if you are so lucky, and who you want to be like. The kind that makes you want to be a better person, while at the same time making you laugh and expanding your mind.
Casey, thank you for being you. The world is a brighter, happier, more meaningful place because you exist.
Happy Birthday. I hope you’ve enjoyed your first 25 years on this earth. *wink* We’ve sure enjoyed having you here, my friend.
When Shannon emailed me recently and asked me to help her and Jim with a cooking class they were doing for The Motherhood and ConAgra, I was all for it. Look, I love those two, and Shannon’s email said something about food, porn and cheerleading outfits. It was pretty much absolutely and completely a given that I going to say yes.
I mean, really. Could you say no to these two?
So: I’m co-hosting an upcoming class in the Web’s first-ever virtual cooking school, Cooking Connections, and I would love for all of you to participate! So check out the information below and get ready to see Shannon & Jim cooking and being dead sexy live, on camera, while their co-hosts heat things up in the accompanying chat. (Cheerleading outfits are not required and have absolutely nothing to do with the class, but I’m pretty sure that if you wear one, it can only enhance your experience. Especially if you send me photos.)
Here’s what you need to know about the cooking class:
When: Wednesday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: TheMotherhood – here’s the link to the page where the class will be held: Cooking Connections Class with Shannon & Jim
What: The class I’m co-hosting is called “Cooking with Dad,” and it is hosted by the awesome Jim Lin, aka BusyDad of The Busy Dad Blog, and the equally awesome Shannon, aka Mr Lady of Whiskey in My Sippy Cup. Join us for a fun and hilarious class – we are going to have a blast! Jim and Shannon will be chatting via live video feed, and the rest of us will be sharing anecdotes and tips for having fun in the kitchen with Dad (and/or the other non-cooks of the family) in the text-based comments below the video. Don’t miss out on the party!
Julie – Angry Julie Monday
Mishelle Lane – Secret Agent Mama
Ashley Evans – Schadenfreudette
Tanis Miller – Attack of the Redneck Mommy
Dan Deguia – Deguia.net
Melanie Sheridan – Mel, a Dramatic Mommy
PJ Mullen – Real Men Drive Minivans
Diane – Momo Fali
Robin Sue Joss – Big Red Kitchen
Eddie Carroll – Life, One Pixel at a Time
And prizes even! Booyah.
To make it even more interesting, there’s a pretty awesome way that you can enter to win one of three gift baskets from The Motherhood and ConAgra. You need to create a short video ahead of time, so get on this now! Go see Shannon’s post for details on exactly what you – brilliant, creative, and fabulous reader – need to do to enter. (FYI, Shannon says cheating is totally encouraged. How can you not want to be a part of that?)
I hope you all decide to stand the heat and join us!
Because sometimes you just have to take the pulse of your Twitter followers. while you’re drunk and curious about what the best part of their day was and try not to laugh when people say things like “I didn’t crap my pants.”
Which, I fully acknowledge, is a total ripoff from Dora the Explorer. But I PROMISE I won’t ask your kids a question in a minute, and then tell them that I want them to say the answer LOUDER.
(What a cunt! Who authorized that in a children’s show? As if I need my kid saying ANYTHING LOUDER.)
I thought you might like to see the responses I got…
Can I just say, it’s really freaktasting hard to do all those damn image captures and links when you’re drunk? Because, um, yeah.
I’m not even going to tell you how many times I had to correct the typos in that last sentence. The first time I typed it, it said something about fromage crimpage when I’m stank. Or something of that nature.
During my quest to find out what the everyone’s favorire part of their day was, @undomesticdiva queried the same back at me. My asnwer was:
What was your favorite part of today?
Jockey & Tide sponsored Thursday night festivities at Blissdom and it was seriously a blast. My roomies (Mishelle, Dawn, Leslie, Victoria) and I all got dressed up and headed to “the red carpet” to kick off the night. This was basically just a chance to act silly and be photographed (Malia joined us on the carpet).
photo by Heather Durdil
We ate from a variety of foods provided to us – my favorite thing was pulled pork sandwiches with a vinegar-based barbecue sauce. What can I say, I’m still a NC girl at heart when it comes to BBQ!
I was also witness to a momentous occasion: Mishelle had her very first Guinness.
We all enjoyed the food and drinks, chatted, and laughed together.
last four photos by Mishelle Lane
What a treat – both musicians put on a fabulous show. I was particularly excited to see Michelle Branch, as I’ve utterly adored her music for so many years.
last two photos by Mishelle Lane
I generally don’t go all “fangirl” and have photos taken/do meet and greets, but I didn’t pass up the opportunity this time.
photo by Jana Warnke
Once the performances were over, there was dancing…
…and then people wandered off here and there throughout the hotel to eat, hang out, and just have a great time, late into the night.
These are memorable portions of the night – the times you spent laughing with various groups of friends, catching up, sharing hugs, smiles, and silly moments.
Mishelle and her camera… she had me model for her throughout the hotel. I didn’t argue… even when she asked me to climb onto a piano. What can I say? I’m easy.
last two photos by Mishelle Lane
And of course, Diane gave me her now traditional, on-camera, one-finger salute.
It’s this kind of silliness that makes time with best friends so fun!
Still to come – Friday, Flashmob!, Girl’s Night In, and Saturday’s Photo Walk.
to be continued…
As I’ve said previously, Blissdom is a conference that completely has my heart, and my word for it is Love. While there from January 25 – 30, both my days and nights were filled with wonderful and interesting experiences.
Tuesday was a day of traveling, arriving, settling…
…random water show magic…
…meeting, greeting, hanging…
last four photos by Mishelle Lane
The highlight of Wednesday was the Photography Wisdom Workshop I helped teach. This was so much fun to be a part of – a large room full of women who wanted to get more intimate about photography with a hands on workshop. We all split up at different tables and gave mini lessons at each table about different aspects of photography.
We shared our knowledge and our hearts about this thing we truly love: Photography. Afterwards a small group of us headed out to put our photography knowledge to practice. We walked and shot, asking and answering questions, and had a generally good time wrapping up the workshop.
Wednesday night was the kickoff party sponsored by ConAgra and it was so fun. Food and drinks were shared by a large group of excited attendees, buzzing around one another. The area was full of laughter and happiness that was palpable. I was so happy to see David and Kammie from The Social Path and Luckie, and Anissa Mayhew, at the party.
Later, Leslie and I cartwheeled through the hotel as everyone was on their way to have wine, cupcakes, and watch the premier of Working Class with special guest, Melissa Peterman. What, don’t you always cartwheel through hotels? Best way to travel.
When that was done, several of us picked up Jim in the lobby and hung out at Fuse, drinking and laughing.
last nine photos by Mishelle Lane
That’s how fun-lovin’ social media/tech-geeks roll, eh? Regardless, it was so good to spend that time with them, just laughing and soaking in the rarity of close proximity to people I adore online from great distances on a regular basis.
After many drinks, we retired. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep. Oh, boy.
Thursday was the first full day of the official conference. Let me just say that I never make it to all the sessions I want to go to at a conference, and I’m finally learning to be okay with that. On this day, I attended the two things that were most important to me (personally).
My advice to you for conferences is to find the sessions that are the VERY MOST important to you personally and make sure you attend those. If you can get to others, great; if you can carve other time to truly enjoy other facets of the experience (visiting with sponsors, spending time with good friends, networking with new business contacts, exploring the town you’re in) – fabulous!
I’ve mentioned this already, but the Opening Keynote speaker was Brené Brown. Her talk blew me away, made me cry, affirmed things for me, made me laugh deeply, had me nodding, and was basically time well spent. Her message is powerful, and I highly recommend you seek her out – watch her talks, read her book. When I got home I had the renewed confidence I needed to go back and pull up a 4-month old draft and publish it.
photo by Schmutzie
After the opening, there was a roundtable meet and greet time, a fun way for each of us to connect with our “tribe” and get to know one another.
Each tribe is headed by one or many “Tribe Leaders.” (I was one of the Photography Tribe Leaders.) This is an interesting new way to make sure nobody feels alone during the conference – no matter what, you will have a tribe to check in with! There’s even a “No Niche” Tribe. *wink*
After a superb ConAgra lunch, I wandered out into the expo hall, talked to the Purex Rep (who was totally awesome) and as I was wandering on, I suddenly realized that HOLY CRAP IF YOU ONLY SLEEP FOR 3 HOURS AFTER YOU ARE RAGINGLY DRUNK BY MIDDAY THE NEXT DAY YOU ARE SOOOOO DONE SOCIALIZING. Like that, I hit a wall, and I knew it was time to go to my room for a little bit.
Also, someone made me spill tea all over myself and I almost went back and decapitated him later just out of spite. This was totally a sign that I needed a nap, as I am generally a “punch them in the neck” kind of person rather than an “off with their heads!” chick. So I went to the room and slept like a goddess on soft fluffy pillows, fully dressed, for an hour. Then it was up and to the next session!
The Innovative Writing Session with Leslie, Jim, and Amy was fantastic – creative, informative, and hilarious. I really wish you all could have been there. You can see the presentation in this post at Jim’s site.
I think the most important thing they shared was an amazing piece put together by Shawn Burns for presentation during the session, something that he’s worked hard to get across to the community for some time, and Jim, Leslie, and Amy realized this was the perfect opportunity to help it spread. Even if you didn’t get to attend, I really think you should benefit from Shawn’s message. Now go to Jim’s site and pay close attention as you watch. You will thank me.
It’s like you were there, right? You can thank me in the comments. (Heh.)
to be continued…
On Tuesday, January 25th, I flew to Nashville to speak at and attend Blissdom, a Women’s Blogging Conference hosted by Allison Worthington, Barbara Jones, and Paula Bruno.
A few years ago, I was sitting in Alli’s kitchen, having coffee with her while my son was surreptitiously crayon-decorating her kitchen cabinet. We had several moments like this, two moms enjoying one another’s company, talking about motherhood, life, blogging, and dreaming of the future. These playdates were like therapy for me; each visit was a refill for my sanity. Girlfriends: Life’s Prettiest Meds.
Okay, maybe not always the prettiest. But definitely the most fun?
Back then she talked about wanting to do things on her website to help mothers, and women in general. Eventually, she shared that she dreamed of more than the blog; she wanted to go further, help more people, chase bigger dreams. During one of our visits, Alli asked me, “So, what do you want to do with your blog; what is your goal? You want to rule the Internet, right?” I didn’t have dreams of Internet Domination, though, and I said, “Well, no… I really just hope that people will read and enjoy my content.” Alli’s response? “Oh, no no no, honey. We have to build a Kindgom!” She made me laugh, but I could sense her drive.
That was Alli – big love, big dreams, big plans. Add in all her hard work, and it equals big success, and there she is now. I’m so proud of her, and so excited to see her dreams coming to fruition. She’s worked damn hard to make it from Mrs. Fussypants to co-hosting her own blogging conference, and she’s worked her arse off for it every step of the way. You know what she’s also done, every step of the way? She’s kept the love, the genuine caring, and the desire to help others and support women a core part of her agenda and personality.
I had to say all this before I even start talking about the specifics of my trip. I saw her, before all of this Blissdom stuff, as a mom and woman, a girlfriend, in her home. I talked to her on the phone about her dreams, plans, and eventually – progress, while we also gabbed about daily life and motherhood. As months and years danced past us, making our children older and our hairs a little grayer here and there, we’ve floated in and out of emails, twitter @’s and Skype conversations. Alli is a friend, and someone I trust.
I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “Is she really the nice person in real life that she seems online?” My answer is always Yes. Is she perfect? Nobody is perfect. Is she flawed? Of course she is, aren’t we all? She’s not a “mean girl” or a ruthless backstabber. Alli is a genuine, kind person, and I’ve never seen her as anything else. I’m glad her big dreams and hard work have paid off for her. Walking into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville on January 25th for the 3rd Blissdom Conference, I was excited about the week ahead, and, as always, proud of my former playdate partner and girlfriend.
In the coming week, I’ll post several photos from my trip (as well as some taken by others that show things I didn’t capture) and give you some of the highlights of the conference (from my experience), but I had to share this post first.
photo courtesy of Rachel at Southern Fairytale