If You Don’t Mind My Asking …

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 (bascha3870@yahoo.com). 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 (bascha3870@yahoo.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.

Annie

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. 😉 )

 

 

 

 

81 thoughts on “If You Don’t Mind My Asking …

    1. Savannah! I don’t think I knew that. My daughter and her husband wanted to honeymoon there, but couldn’t. They now have their first “baby” – a sweet mutt, named “Irma” – after the hurricane that rerouted their honeymoon.

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  1. I’m here in the oh-so-Germanic town of New Ulm, MN, USA. The town was built as a German settlement, so it’s no surprise that we have the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country. We’re near Sleepy Eye and Mankato, both of which names you might recognize from Little House on the Prairie. Actress, Tippi Hedron (The Birds and mother of Melanie Griffith and grandmother of Dakota Johnson) was born here and spent her first few years living in an even smaller nearby town – Lafayette. Outside my front room window, I can see what was once the 2nd largest bronze monument, Hermann the German. In 1985, Oregon replaced it with the most current 2nd largest bronze monument. The largest? The Statue of Liberty! It was actually 157 years ago TODAY that New Ulm withstood its 2nd attack in four days from the Dakota in the Dakota War of 1862. There were 303 Indians sentenced to death for their part in the attack. Historians says President Lincoln was appalled when he heard of this and commuted the sentence of 264 of them. Unfortunately, it was too late for 38 Dakota men who’d already been hanged on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota; it was the largest mass execution in United States history. It was also during this conflict that W W Mayo spent time in New Ulm in medical service. He also attended the mass hanging with the intention of securing a cadaver for medical research, which he did. And I’d heard nothing of this hanging until I moved here! During WWII, there was a German POW camp here. Prisoners were sentenced to labor in the German community, where they shared stories of the homeland, One couple was fined $300 for taking one prisoner. These POWs returned to Germany much healthier and better fed than the POWs returning from Russia. Many of them returned after the war to marry a sweet girl they’d met during their imprisonment! New Ulm was also supposed to be where New In Town took place, but the filming was actually done somewhere else. I’ve lived here for 22 years and still can believe it when it snows before the LAST snow has melted! And I still can’t believe I live in a town that plays polka music downtown during the work day. So, yeah…that’s where I live.:) It’s kinda neat here, don’tca know!

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    1. The one last year was surprisingly fun. The elderly lady that I expected to be a big yawn (Oh me of little faith!) had us all on the edge of our seats talking about when she and her husband had smuggled Bibles into Iron Curtain countries and ended with a poem that had us all in stitches. (“Butt Prints in the Sand.” – check it out.)

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      1. Hello to you also, Ann. I got out of place because I couldn’t pass up talking to another Okie. I’ve loved this subject and you have great response. Fun mentally following along the map.

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    1. I expect it will be fun. Last year was the first time, and I didn’t invite many people, because I wasn’t sure they’d enjoy all those speakers! But it was a blast, and a guest who had told me she’d have to “slip out early” for another engagement kept hanging around for one more speaker. When I mentioned the time, she said, “Naa, I can be late..” and stayed til the end.

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  2. My hometown was Cincinnati Ohio but I became a country dweller overnight in rural Kentucky which is near the Northern Kentucky area! I miss my city and sometimes take my kids back to tell stories and show them where I grew up. But nothing beats fresh air, hills of land, and unlimited amount of beauty! I grew close to God out here away from the noise and love that I have place to grow a garden. I have a desire to visit Michigan one day I have a few cousins that live in Detroit. I’m Janet by the way but my pen name is J.S Giles.

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  3. After 40 years in Florida, my husband and I now live in Ohio. We’re practically neighbors! I couldn’t help but skim through your commenters, to see where your readers are from. It IS fun to belong to a global community isn’t it?

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  4. I’m in Houston, TX. I’ve only been blogging for 5 months. It’s been slow in terms of views and gaining followers. I thought about quitting blogging. I went back and forth with the decision. I’ve shared my blog post on social media thinking I would have community that would be supportive. It takes a lot to share of myself with people that I know in real life, overtime I realized that just because “those” who did not want to read what I was writing about doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share my story.

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    1. Hi Kim! I think when I had been blogging for five months I only had about 20 followers. Since then I have found that the more I read other bloggers’ posts and comment, the more other people see my comments and “like” them. When I see the “likes” I usually go see what they’re writing about and “like” or comment on theirs, and we end up followers. I’m not talking about comments like “Amen!” although those are encouraging, but comments that contribute to the conversation and let people know you’re a reader with some thoughts of your own. This is how bloggers “find” one another. (Forgive me if you already know all this.)
      I was about to give up at about the same stage you are now, but then what I thought would be my last post, I was “liked” by someone with 7,000+ followers, and I took that as a sign I should keep writing. I have about 240 followers now, which I guess isn’t huge by some people’s standards, but as you can see, I’m hearing from all over the world – and consequently getting some interesting perspectives. Often my response to someone else’s blog will inspire me to write my next piece, and so thanks to these dialogues, I am never without inspiration.
      All that to say, yes, keep sharing your story, and keep visiting other blogs and add your “two cents’ worth.” 😉

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      1. Thank you so much and for sharing your tips with me. I’ve had no clue as to what I was doing so I’ve been doing some research on how to grow my blog and I’m just now understanding the importance of commenting on other bloggers post. According to Problogger “leaving a comment gets you seen. Leaving a good comment can make people pay attention.” I’ve become more intentional on commenting on other blogs. Every time I think about giving up blogging I get an word of encouragement from talented writers such as yourself encouraging me to keep sharing my story and it inspires me to keep going.

        I started writing first and foremost for myself, but I thought if I write it then people would come. My response to other blogs sparks ideas for me as well. I am really enjoying dialoguing with my blogging community. I wish I had done this sooner. I look forward to more of your blog post and I invite you to check out my blog as well. Thank you for allowing me to stop by! God bless!

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