In the first SockKids book, Stretch goes back in time (via the pesky spin cycle) and ends up on the foot of President Lincoln during the Gettysburg Address. I didn’t have to go nearly that far to attend BloggyCon 13–just down Route 2 west to Sandusky, Ohio, and Cedar Point.
This was the first bloggy conference I’ve attended, and frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would everybody else know each other? Would they all be full-time bloggers who’ve monetized their sites into a cottage industry? Would they all be older than me? Younger? I was delighted to find a welcoming, madly diverse, cool bunch of bloggers. I met women who write about parenting, faith, hippy homesteading, kids’ philanthropy, Disney travel, simple living, home schooling, fashion, travel, relationship counseling, how to save money, coupons, and more.
BloggyCon was a deliberately family-friendly conference. My husband and daughter went with me so we could make a little family vacation out of it. As a writer, I have a natural tendency to introversion. I like to be by myself. This may surprise some people who know me because, over the years, I’ve learned to put on the face of an extrovert. (I’m not an extrovert, but I play one in real life.) I was at the conference to let people know about The SockKids books. So when we arrived on Friday night and saw the line of people waiting to register at Hotel Breakers stretching around the lobby, I put on my Big Girl extrovert face and struck up a conversation with the woman in line ahead of me. She was going to the conference, had been to a couple other blogger conferences, and was really nice to talk to. We met one of the speakers and other attendees while we waited.
Friday night’s opening party was supposed to take place outside, but strong, cold winds sent a lot of us back indoors as soon as we had eaten. Unbowed, we regrouped and I dragged the family down to the TGFridays located at one end of the hotel. We hung out for a while, then my husband took our daughter back to the room for bedtime. And I cowgirled up some courage and went to talk to a bunch of BloggyCon women at the bar. It turns out any trepidation was unnecessary, as these women turned out to be incredibly welcoming, funny, and, even better, quite interested in children’s books about time traveling socks.
Actually, that was the response all weekend. It was really gratifying to meet so many parents who really liked the book. And as a huge lover of books as well as a writer, I had a great time giving people copies of The SockKids Meet Lincoln and hearing stories about writing challenges and families and marketing strategies and, yeah, just life stuff. When the weekend was over, I was left with an overwhelming sense of having become part of a community. I look forward to staying in touch with the people I meet this week. I’ve started checking out my new acquaintances’ blogs and there is some fine writing out there with great advice and insight.
I’m looking forward my next BloggyCon!