One thing I was not expecting when I started blogging was how the blogging community is … well, a community! Having followers in other countries was something I hadn’t expected, and I get geeked at the thought of connecting with people all over the world through my writings and theirs. Many of the places I hear from are places I will likely never visit in person, but it’s good to know that distance doesn’t keep us from sharing our ideas and inspiration. I’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half, and I feel as though my global perspective has broadened quite a bit, thanks to you.
I want to ask all of you a favor, because I would like to have a mental picture of how my followers are spread over the globe. Some of you have your location clearly stated on your home page, others are a little harder to figure out. (I just found out that a blogger I assumed was American all this time is actually in South Africa!)
So, if you are willing, please let me know where you are writing from. You don’t have to be that specific, unless you want to be. If you’re in the U.S., you might just tell me what state you’re in. If you’re in another country, you can just tell me what country, or be as specific as you want to be. If you’re uncomfortable posting where you are, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). And if you aren’t comfortable telling me where you live, that’s fine, too. I don’t want to be “creepy,” as my kids would say. I just want to know my blogging community a little better. (I can see myself getting O.C.D. about it and covering a map with little pins showing where my followers are. … Yeah, I’m weird.)
I love dialoguing with people in faraway places, but I also love finding out I have followers who live close to where I am, and that there’s a possibility we might actually run into one another sometime – or meet intentionally.
For those of you in the Great Lakes area of the U. S. or Ontario, if you are anywhere near Port Huron, Michigan, around September 21, I want to invite you to an “author’s event” – a catered luncheon, speeches by guest authors (including yours truly), and an opportunity to meet, ask questions, purchase books, and get said books signed. I attended last year, and the sheer diversity of authors made it a very interesting occasion. (I wrote about the event and about an epiphany I had there in my post “Who’s Prejudiced Now?” – October 12 of last year.) I think I came home with a copy of every book that was sold there. Who knows? If you live close by, maybe you could end up being one of the featured authors next year!
Port Huron is a beautiful town about 50 miles north of Detroit, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Huron (at the base of the “thumb”) and across the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia, Ontario. It’s also about 60 miles east of Flint, Michigan. The author’s event is at the Griswold Street Baptist Church, 1232 Griswold Street, Port Huron, and will go from noon to 3:00(ish).
If you are near Grand Rapids, Michigan – on the other side of the state – around October 8, consider attending the “Prologue Writer’s Night” at Baker Book House, 2768 E Paris Ave SE. I’ll be speaking at 7:00 about “Harvesting the Stories Around Us.” Following a 20-minute talk, there will be a writing time until 10:00. If you come earlier in the day, you can meet me, as I will be signing copies of my first four books from 9:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. I would love to meet some fellow bloggers, especially ones that I feel I already know! This event was set up by a former student of mine, who now works with Baker Books. I’m sure she would love to meet some of you, and of course, it’s always nice to get together with other writers.
If you are able to attend either of the Michigan events, please drop me an email (email@example.com) and let me know. I’ll get back to you with more specifics. The people putting on the luncheon on the 21st would like reservations to be in by August 31, if possible.
If you are too far away to attend either of these, of course I understand.
Again, I am thrilled to have such a broad circle of friends – and I do consider many of you my friends. You have shared pieces of your lives with me and allowed me to share pieces of mine with you. Some of us have prayed for one another on occasion, and that is certainly my definition of “friend.”
Blessings, and I hope to see some of you soon.
PS If there’s a name you like to be addressed by that isn’t in your blogging title, let me know that, too, so I’m not just calling you “hey you.”
PPS. I am Ann, or Annie (or “Mom” or “Nana”), in Kentucky half the year, Michigan the other half. (You can probably guess which half. 😉 )