Somebody pinch me. I think I must be dreaming.
I woke up yesterday morning and found out I was named prominently (and in a good way) in a post written by a famous blogger I really admire.
Oh my gosh! How did that happen? I hardly knew what to do. Think! Breathe!
OK, now what? First, leave a comment on her blog to tell her how flabbergasted I am. Second, finally write and publish my first real blog post — something other than “Hello World!” and “This is a test comment.”
Try breathing again. Go back and read it one more time.
During WordCamp Phoenix and PodCampAZ, I shared with my audience that I was too excited to just be “this close” to the one man who completely changed my life when it came to writing, actually helping me become a professional writer. Robyn Seaton stepped up to my challenge and connected me with the master himself. This is just one more amazing reason why I love WordPress and WordCamps!
In the next few days, I hope to connect with Alan Dean Foster and tell him thank you and hug him. Hopefully, I’ll also get time to interview him.
A Wonderful Weekend
Back up. How did I get here?
I had a wonderful weekend attending two events here in Phoenix. I spent all day Friday at WordCamp – well worth taking a day off from work for. On Saturday and Sunday, I went to the “relevant media unconference” known as podcampaz, where I attended lots of sessions on lots of topics. I wish I could have cloned myself and gone to more.
Both events were filled with the nicest and most helpful people I could imagine. It was like being invited to a big family gathering, except there weren’t any obnoxious cousins there to spoil the fun.
The opening speaker at WordCamp was Lorelle VanFossen. I’ve been reading her WordPress blog WordPress blog for a while. I loved her presentation. She was fun, full of information, and obviously very happy to spread the word about the wonder that is WordPress.
After her talk, I bought a copy of Lorelle’s Blogging Tips book. She signed it and wrote “Blog your passion.” That struck home. It’s really a wonderful book with a lot of good advice, and I know I’ll refer to it often.
I attended a couple of sessions at podcampaz that Lorelle spoke at. In one, called WordPress 201, we talked about planning your blog (Who am I blogging for? What approach am I taking? What am I going to write about?). When talking about organizing a blog using categories and tags, she used Star Trek as an example subject for a blog, something most people can relate to.
On a Quest
WordPress 201 was so good that a few of us stayed on, missing the next session altogether. Since we were talking about Star Trek, someone mentioned Alan Dean Foster’s name (he’s written several books based on Star Trek movies). Lorelle’s whole face and body lit up, and she told us how she would do anything to meet him someday. Did any of us know him and could introduce her? “He lives near Tucson, only a couple of hours away,” someone said. “You should look him up.”
“Oh, no. He travels all over the world, so I’m sure he’s not there. Besides I have to go to Prescott Valley for a few days to visit family. That’s north of Phoenix, in the other direction.”
Her passion and excitement were infectious. I decided to take it on as a challenge. Could I get this to happen somehow? At the after-event party, I prodded Lorelle to look for him. No go. We tweeted about it on Twitter the next day. Still no go.
I decided to go on a quest. The Internet is a wonderful thing. Google “Alan Dean Foster.” Hey, he has a website! Check out his bio there. Hey, he lives in Prescott! That’s right down the road from Prescott Valley, where Lorelle was going. Hey, Lorelle!
She mails me back, I might not be able to stand being THAT close to him and not meet him, but then, he’s rarely home as he travels the world. I really dream of one day getting on a plane or pausing to chat with a stranger and finding out I’m talking to Alan Dean Foster. What I would give….maybe some day.
More research. Check out his monthly update page. October 2 – He’s competing in Las Vegas at a powerlifting event in mid-October. (How cool is that?) November 1 – He seems to be on a roll with a couple of his latest books, and he posted photos from his “last” journey. I’ll bet he’s at home! His e-mail address is right on the front page of his website. Hey, Lorelle, you should e-mail him!
No response. She must be busy visiting with her family.
I can’t let this go now. The Universe couldn’t possibly have aligned itself any better. It would be unforgivable to ignore it. It’s late at night, and I tend to get a little more reckless then. I know it’s much easier to recommend someone else than yourself. So…
I write to Alan Dean Foster myself and tell him about her. I’m not going to tell her I did that, in case it doesn’t work out. I hope she won’t be mad at me.
The next morning I get a mail back from him saying he will contact her. I see a tweet from her saying that he had mailed her. They’re actually going to meet on Saturday. I’m sure you can read the rest of her story on her blog.
I think I’m almost as excited for her as she is. I feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that I played a part in fulfilling someone’s dream. As it turns out, it wasn’t all that hard to do after all. It makes me believe that maybe some of my own dreams can come true someday, too.
Thanks, Lorelle, for finally pushing me all the way into the world of blogging. I’m going to do my best to follow in your footsteps and “blog my passion.”
P.S. I learned how to use Press This to start this post. Another small step in my blogging journey.