I met The Bloggess

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Jenny and me! As she autographed her new book – Powell’s 11/14/2015

I found The Bloggess shortly after I started blogging in 2009. I was looking around this online world to see if it was a venue for me that would benefit my writing. I wanted to see what established bloggers posted.

Jenny Lawson as The Bloggess was wild, ribald, and ridiculous. I was hooked on her voice and in awe of her persona. Her topics are cringe worthy reading that produce guffaws more than snickers, and dozens to hundreds of comments by her followers were almost as good as the posts. I seldom made a comment as I couldn’t add to or improve on anything already in the threads.

Two years ago I featured her and her memoir in the Author Marketing 101 article on nonfiction personas.  Last year I featured Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on my blog.  In April this year, I shared her Bravery by any other name  post on Facebook.

So it was a really big deal for me to spend hours at the Powell’s Jenny Lawson event last night, it’s been on my calendar for months. I would be there no matter what life tossed in my way. And it was Great! A true Fan Girl experience.  And I have the picture to prove it!

However, as much as I admire Jenny as an author and businesswoman, it was meeting her fans that made the biggest impact on me. The event was standing-room-only and the floor roped off, as at the capacity limit, for hours. Jenny’s fans are real people with personal, emotional, and physical challenges who suffer with depression, disorders, phobias and manias. Now they have an example of how to step out of the shadows and help themselves and each other. Through Jenny’s authenticity and humor they have a voice, an advocate who tells it like it is! Jenny’s fans are also the counselors, friends and family who are helping dissolve the mental illness stigma.

There’s a wonderful speech on You Tube as Jenny accepts the “2014 NoStigmas Hero Award” (via skype) on behalf of everyone who shares the battle to be “Furiously Happy” in spite of horrible things.

About Doors

closet doorOne door closes, another opens – or sometimes it’s a window. I’m the type to open and close them instead of waiting for some karmic event to squeak the hinges. Sometimes I’ve had more than one door or window propped open and have been reprimanded for being scattered with too many projects in pfront door-flower potsrocess at a time. However, I’ve been blogging since 2009 so the family events; of two weddings, two funerals, three new homes, and three new grandbabies, are recorded in the posts that also include publishing two books, lots of traveling, a new dog, plus a variety of conferences and writerly business events.

It’s now the first anniversary since I held the author copies of my novel in my hands. Only one year?  It’s two years since it was published in digital but now books get autographed and placed in readers hands! It’s pretty awesome and those years while life was whirling through all those open doors and windows is now research. Plus, we have new doors!

kit doors 002We have new kitchen cabinet doors, knotty pine interior doors, and a lovely new main entrance.  Feng Shui recommends making small shifts to our décor so the chi energy changes its flow gently through our new living or working space, or we can become scattered. But this hasn’t happened for me because I was thrilled to relax and admire all the new doors and décor while working on a strategic plan for my author business.

cabin 002Sometimes doors need to be replaced or re-purposed, like my office door. This door was painted by a teen daughter. Now that full door picture of grass, butterflies and sunshine is the stand-up craft table in my “writing studio” cabin. It rests on two bookcases and I can stand and write while having all type of reference materials spread within easy reach. Having this cabin in the woods behind my home is pretty awesome though it wasn’t built for my use, or as a studio. The hinges don’t squeak when I open the door, which is daily now, and makes me feel settled.

Currently Reading: Wool by Hugh Howey (at the midpoint and it’s amazing.)

Recently viewed: Bridge of Spies (Excellent!)

More than wilderness

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The Old Faithful Inn from the walkway around the geyser. That looks like a safe distance, but the Snow Lodge is really close that I wonder if the foundations rumble.

Here’s a few more pictures from our adventure in Yellowstone. The buildings and architecture were amazing, so much so that I didn’t take many pictures.

The entrance of the Inn brings the wilderness inside.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the interior of Old Faithful Inn but this representation of the balcony supports does give a flavor of grandeur to be experienced.

The Old Faithful Inn is an impressive complex of sleeping, eating, shopping, and more (Huckleberry Ice Cream!) with an attached museum and discovery center. It’s built to withstand brutal winters, thousands of international tourists, and constant geothermal activity. I am fascinated by historical and innovative architecture and love that the collection of structures are famous more for their design than because they are located within an active volcano.

You can see professional photos of the park and buildings on the main website. My brother didn’t bring a camera to specifically buy books at the park that include stories. Still, his wife and daughter took hundreds of photos with their phones.

This picture of a clock on the rock chimney was a delight because it’s really artistic and a bit dramatic in its representation of linear time.
This picture of a clock on the rock chimney was a delight because it’s really artistic and a bit dramatic in its representation of linear time.

We learned that many of the staff are in some type of National Park Employee service organization and can choose to return for seasonal jobs or even go to other parks. It sounds like a very efficient system and many have made it their career, even as retirees. We chatted with rangers and restaurant servers who have chosen to dedicate their lives to their tasks because of where they get to live.  It’s awesome to chat with people who are clear about their life purpose no matter how long it may last, or how old they are to be doing their jobs.

Ylstn 257The Lake Yellowstone Hotel was built in a different decade and with the objective of a summer resort. It’s over 120 years old and has a historical and current list of world leaders and celebrities that have enjoyed the views and suites. To eat in the famous restaurants requires making a reservation for dinner when you book the room, or hope for an open table around nine or ten at night.

Courtesy of Melissa M
Courtesy of Melissa Markert

The pianist favored classics and show tunes. The acoustics were great for this grand piano and the singers didn’t need microphones. That’s my niece, who is a professional singer, and her brother. They had fun and other guests in the room had a great time. One was a photographer who gifted us with a group shot, of our family with the pianist, in thanks.

There’s a few more pictures I’ll share soon. The adventures have continued yet we are all trying to return to our normal routines. I expect that we’ll frame some of our life stories to be “before Yellowstone” and “after Yellowstone” because events like this trip do have ripple effects.