Friday, July 21, 2006

Virtual Press Conference Replies: Part Three

This past Saturday I held a RSR Virtual Press Conference where I threw the floor open to questions from readers. Today I thought we'd have another answer session, especially since one of the questions/answers plays into something I would've been telling you about today anyway. (Don't you love when that happens?) Today Debra gets answers to her questions. (I'll be answering questions from Carol Dean, pepektheassasin, Corky, Deborah, Michelle, Angela, and Andrea in the coming days or weeks, so don't worry, y'all - I haven't forgotten you!) Debra asked: 1. When did you start blogging and why? February, 2005. I don't remember my exact reasoning at the time, but I remember Julie and Dara were the ones who convinced me to give it a try. I even wrote a post about that a month or so after I started called "If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge." 2. Who do you read every day, rain or shine? Whoever Bloglines tells me has new content. I love using a subscription service so that I know when someone has written something new rather than having to try to click my way through all my links. It isn't foolproof - it seems to work better for some blogs than others, so if I know someone tends to blog regularly and Bloglines doesn't show an update, I'll pop over and check a couple of times a week - but on the whole it works great. 3. How do you feel about meeting bloggers in real life? Have you met anyone you didn't already know? Were you nervous? Did you have great expectations? This section is gonna get long, but here we go. First of all, how I feel about it...It's fun! I've met several people in real life who I first encountered online through email lists or blogs. That's how I met my cosmic twin, Morven. She read my intro email on a quilting list and emailed me privately. We started chatting, hit it off immediately, discovered we lived about 40 miles apart (at the time...now she's clear on the other side of the world...SOB!) and within a week we were getting together for dinner. I've also met Deirdre, Jaye, Julie, and Laume, (as well as a few other online friends who don't have blogs I can link to) and have talked on the phone to Dara and kristen. And most recently - just two days ago! - I met Dragonfly, who is the first person I've gotten together with in person after meeting strictly through blogging rather than through an email group. Dragonfly lives in Texas, but was in Kentucky this past week with her family and Wednesday we got together for book shopping and coffee. I had a fabulous time! She was fun and easy to talk to and it felt to me like hanging out with someone I'd known a while instead of someone new. Because we first encountered each other in the comments section of Joshilyn's blog, we had to take special note of Joss's newly published book. So here's a special photo of D & D: As for the last two parts of the question, the very first time I ever met anyone in person that I'd previously only met online, yes, I was nervous. Anymore, not so much. So far I've always had fun and if I ever don't...well, that's why it's good to do something like meet for coffee the first time. If you don't hit it off IRL as well as you did online, it's only an hour out of your life - not like you've committed to spend the next 5 years in a biosphere with them or something! But I've had nothing but good experiences in that area so far. My expectations tend to be in line with whatever I've come to expect from that person in online encounters. I know there are lots of people who misrepresent themselves online, but so far the ones I've chosen to meet in person are exactly who I thought they'd be. 4. Are you and your blogging persona the same person? Hhhmmm....Yes and no. I don't lie here or try to be something I'm not, so the person you see when you stop by RSR is most definitely me, but it isn't the whole me. This is the me who is talkTalkTALK (since that's kind of the point of a blog!), the me with the ON switch pushed over as far as it'll go. In person, I think (I hope!) people would see that me, but I think they'd find the InPersonMe a bit quieter than BloggerMe. They'd find that I'm comfortable with companionable silence and that I'm actually a pretty good listener. They'd find that as much as I love talking about myself here - and sure, in person too - that I also love hearing other peoples' stories, looking at their photos or scrapbooks, getting insights into their lives. And if they were around me long enough, they'd find I have an annoying-or-endearing (depending on your POV) habit of singing the oddest songs at the oddest times, often barely realizing I'm doing it. (Any of you who've met me in person want to be brave enough to comment on this??) 5. How do you party? I'm at my Partying Best in small groups of people I know well, where we can all cut loose and be silly and laugh our asses off. In larger groups, I tend to often gravitate toward smaller groups - a party within a party! 6. Has blogging changed your life? If so, how? It's introduced me to people I otherwise wouldn't have known. It's gotten me to write more than I've ever written in my life. It's expanded my ideas about the world. It's awakened a new interest in poetry and reawakened an old interest in photography. Whew! That got long! I'd originally thought I might answer another one or two today, but I think we'll call it a wrap and get back to the other questions another day. Here's today's DAT, a photo of one of my favorite daylilies - an exuberantly messy double version of a typical orange ditch lily: "Exuberant" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

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