Over the weekend I made my second trip to the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference. This year, we met at Ferncliff Conference Center and Camp, outside of Little Rock. First off, if you've never been there, WOW! What a beautiful place! It was smack dab in the middle of the woods with lakes, ponds, cabins, chickens and goats....can't beat that. However, I was caught a bit off guard when we discovered that our room did not have a TV--you could have told us that up front, Stephanie!
Since I loved every minute of the conference last year, and soaked up so much useful info, I
begged forced encouraged my blog sista Keisha to join me this year. We hit the road on Friday full of excitement and with a van full of snacks, my two girls and a CD of toddler nursery rhymes. Welcome to my world.
The plan was to meet my mom in Conway to hand off my girls and get to the opening reception of the conference on time....but if you know me, you know things often don't go as planned. More about that later.
KEY WORDS AND THEMES FROM MY WEEKEND
Dipstick. Ladies, when you travel, please make sure the dipstick is where it should be. Apparently a loose dipstick causes transmission fluid to leak out of your moving vehicle. This leaking causes smoke to pour out of your vehicle, after which you need to pull over on the side of the interstate. This causes you to have to depend on a stranger to fix your dipstick, then wasting an hour of precious time at the Walmart auto center and being TWO HOURS late to your conference. Sadly, this also makes you miss hearing P. Allen Smith speak at said conference. Lesson learned: Keep the dipstick in tightly.
Masterpiece. Thanks to BooMama, we learned the importance of this word. See also, validity. Our blogs are valid and they are a masterpiece, no matter the subject. Be purposeful in your writing and on your blog. This is something we all struggle with, and even knowing that is comforting.
Relationships. I'm not the only one to feel this or say it. But these girls at the conference...they are something. They are all special, fun and enthusiastic. These are my people. I know that's totally cheesy, but we get each other. I'm a word nerd and THAT'S COOL. Which directly relates to the next theme.
Community vs. Competition. In a room full of 100+ bloggers, with so much in common, there is also so much individuality and creativity. Sure, there are "categories" we can put ourselves into: lifestyle bloggers, fitness bloggers, foodies, business and mom bloggers. But we all have a different story to tell. We are all going to make an effort not to compare ourselves with each other; we are instead going to be a support system and cheer the other on. Hooray!
Poop. Because, isn't it a normal thing for grown women to sit and tell poop stories? This really needs no further explanation, if you were sitting on the porch with me on Saturday night. Thanks for sharing your stories and thanks for the laughs, ladies. You know who you are.
In my next post, I'll share more links to my bloggy friends. Some old friends from last year and many, many new ones. Look at me, making friends!