Sometimes The Bucket List Delivers A Bonus… When Bloggers Meet.

I’m not generally a New Year’s resolution gal, but this year I made three resolutions:  1) to either get my novel published, or self-publish it  2) To own my game, and bring it, and  3) to meet some other bloggers face to face.  Call it a Bucket List of things I wanted to accomplish in 2014. To update you:  #1 is a lot harder than I thought (but I’m on it); #2 I’m working on, and #3 is paying off. I plan to attend the BlogHer convention in California in mid-July (a week after I get back from Scandinavia) and hope to meet a few of all y’all there. Note: sitting in North Carolina, I’m still enjoying a few of those fun local terms. If you’re attending BlogHer too, please leave a shout out in the comments and let’s plan to have a drink later this summer.

However, I couldn’t wait for July and when I decided to attend a wedding here in North Carolina, one of the first things I did was contact some bloggers I love. Emily, at The Waiting, was living not too far from here at the time I was deciding whether I could make the trip happen, but unfortunately for me she was in the middle of her big move, and we missed each other by a few weeks and a few hundred miles. Bummer, but Memphis is a kick ass city, and I would love to get back to Graceland– I’ll make my way to Emily eventually. Luckily for me, Jennie Saia who pens the blog Tip of My Tongue was in town– living only a short distance from my cousin’s house where I was staying.  When I sent her message asking if she was up for a meet and greet, she enthusiastically told me to book the trip, and we started planning. I love to travel on my own, and a good road trip… so the idea that I’d get to attend a special wedding, see some family, go on a road trip, and meet another blogger… made this trip a bonus from the start.

There are people who have expressed some shock surprise when I tell them that I have blogging “friends”… who I’ve never met. My kids have been known to tease me about my imaginary friends.

“Is that a real friend Mom, or a blogging friend?”

They sneer; I roll my eyes and try to ignore them. Oh you silly kids, there is so much about your mother, that you really don’t understand…  I’ve learned, over time, that some of the people who read my blog regularly, and share comments with me, know me and I know them, a lot better than some of the people I interact with, in person.  I share things on this blog, that I don’t necessarily chat about when I run into in person. Writing is how I best express myself sometimes, and the folks who follow along get that.  When I told a few people that I would be spending a night at the home of a blogger who I hadn’t met in person yet, folks expressed concern. “Aren’t you a little nervous that she might be crazy?”  Hmm, maybe she should be nervous about my crazy.  “What if you don’t like her?”  Well, I have my cousin nearby, and like I said: we share our writing, I felt like I knew here already.  The bottom line: I wasn’t worried.  I believe the world has a lot more good people than bad. Having read Jennie’s stories, I was very confident that she was in the first column. When you trust in the universe, and believe that if you free fall, you’ll land safely, you often do… and sometimes, there’s a bonus.  (Amazing restaurant choice, Jennie! Score bonus points)

In this case, almost everything about Jennie Saia is a giant bonus. If by reading her blog you thought she was funny, thoughtful, interesting, and gifted writer, those are the obvious things. The extras come in how she lives her life. Her home is filled with colorful artwork and interesting things from her travels and personal life. Her husband is a sweet heart, who has a signature drink and is easy to spend time with. Her three dogs are lovies, and I was smitten right away. I had read about Addie, her lovely dog from Mexico, but I was unprepared for the pleading eyes of the two beagles who cuddled up, and were my shadows until I left.  I’m a dog lover, and her dogs are sweetie pies! Jennie also has great taste in restaurants and she hit it out of the park with her selection for dinner. I may just return to North Carolina if for no other reason than to return to Bida Manda! An incredible little place that serves food from Laos, I loved every bite, and wanted to try a dozen other things on the menu!  The interior was gorgeous, and I could have spent hours longer there… and gained even more weight!

Up the big, dark staircase... into a magical bar, behind a bookcase.

Up the big, dark staircase… into a magical bar, behind a bookcase.

Jennie also has colorful taste in bars. Yes, bars.We headed out after dinner, to chat some more and have a drink.  Conversation was flowing smoothly, and we were both up for an evening out. When we entered the unimpressive brick building, off a side street, all I really noticed was that there was a killer bank of stairs in front of me, and they were showing a World Cup game– it wasn’t quite what I’d expected from Jennie, given her choice of restaurant. However, when we got up stairs, she informed me that we were not going to the sports bar we’d entered, but the bar behind the book-case. “What?” I was utterly confused. But sure enough, there was an incredibly atmospheric bar, hidden behind a fake book-case– bring it on! I felt like I’d fallen down an interesting, magical, charming rabbit hole. Great music, unusual drinks (make mine an Eastern Medicine from now on) and good company.  Score, bonus!

Make mine Eastern Medicine: it heals anything!

Make mine Eastern Medicine: it heals anything!

There was lots to chat about in the blogging world. It’s a place that our spouses and “outside” friends don’t necessarily understand. If I try to tell Smart Guy about some on-line mystery, or the wild and wooly happenings with another blogger, or the dissolution of a big tent that we all played in, he just rolls his eyes… or when he’s being careful, he asks questions that only make it clearer that he doesn’t really get it. I don’t blame him, but what a joy to talk about blogs we love, bloggers we’ve met, and the world of writing publicly. Each time I post a blog I’m putting myself out there; we all are. It’s a vulnerable thing to do, but if you’re a writer, it comes with the territory. I don’t really expect my friends and family on the outside to get it. Sitting with another blogger was a joy. Jennie got it, and we had a great time connecting over posts that we both remember and happenings we both experienced. Suddenly the world of blogging, felt that much realer, sitting there in a hidden bar.

When we got home, we sat around for a while longer and shared more stories. Jennie’s a story-teller and she loves to say: “tell me/her/us the story about…” It was a little surreal as she referenced things that I’d forgotten I’d written about. See: we put it in writing and sometimes people are actually paying attention. What a treat! A new friend, who had so many of the blanks already filled in. We saw big lightening criss cross the sky on our way home, and some fire flies on our walk, before bed. Serious bonus bonanza!  (I must note here: I was nearly as fun while having our photo taken… and clearly looking a bit wiped out by this point. Jennie, however, was having a blast! It may have something to do with her attraction to our photographer… )

I slept like a baby in Jennie’s guest room, surrounded by art and colors that made my heart swell. We both have a mermaid bathroom; our taste in art and colors is very similar; our thoughts about the past, writing, and some other key life topics are similar too. I felt like I’d known her for so much longer than the six hours between when we met and when I crawled into bed. Each time I meet another blogger, my beliefs are reaffirmed, that the world is filled with great people. It’s just a bonus that some of them blog, and I get to meet them in person!

PS) If any of you bloggers are in Iceland, Denmark, Norway or Sweden (the last two are not finalized yet), I leave on Monday. Give me a shout out and we can share a skøl!

*     *     *

If you enjoyed this post, please hit Like and then leave a comment; I love to hear what readers have to say.  Check out Tales From the Motherland’s Facebook page (my goal is 400 likes this year), and Twitter, where I struggle to keep it brief.

© 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, blogs, Daily Observations, Friendship, Honest observations on many things, Life, Musings, Tales From the Motherland, traveling alone, Women, Wonderful Things, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Sometimes The Bucket List Delivers A Bonus… When Bloggers Meet.

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Jennie is a darling, that’s for sure. I hear my name came up in conversation — do reach out if you want any advice/to hear horror stories/success stories.


    • Thanks Helena…. of course your name came up. How could we talk about fabulous bloggers, and leave you out? 😉 I’ll probably be in touch. I leave for Scandinavia on Monday, so it will be fall before I get to any of that! xo


  2. How fun! Lucky you! Will get to your gorgeous corner of the world one of these days. xo


  3. I have met only one other blogger in real life.

    My wife.

    And she sits across the room from me.

    Does that count?


  4. Dee says:

    Dawn- I have to admit to being very envious a) of a Blogher meet-up – has this idea crossed the pond yet I wonder? and b) that you have already met some very lovely bloggers on your travels
    Thinking I’ll have jump on a plane or catch Sandra when she is next on land!!!


  5. Jennie Saia says:

    Holy Fireflies, was it really only six hours??? I think we must have entered an alternate dimension where time flowed around us in colorful ripples and we actually spent a full day talking, laughing, and breaking a few minor traffic laws.

    Thank you for taking a chance on me being the “good” kind of crazy! Your obvious appreciation and delight made it a joy to show you a little slice of Raleigh. As for the rest, I often wonder if my inner workings are clear in my external way of being… your post makes me think that they are, and that’s a gift from you to me. 🙂

    Someday soon (I hope!), I’ll wake up in your guest room looking over the water, and we’ll have our second date! In the meantime, please pass around hugs from me to the good folks at BlogHer, and dance!


    • No kidding! It seemed like much longer, and I still wanted more. (There’s another little gift 😉 ) My guest room is always open to you and J; I’d love to show you around, and you’d both love it here!

      BlogHer seems so far off right now, but when I get home, I’ll have a week to get ready! I still don’t know who’s going and who I’ll dance with. :-/ Hoping to hear some shout outs, soon. xo


  6. Jennie Saia says:

    Reblogged this on Tip of My Tongue and commented:
    Blog writing isn’t happening this week (but other kinds of writing are)… in the meantime, I’m selfishly going to send you over to Dawn’s blog, Tales from the Motherland, both so you can read about her visit to my hometown and – if you don’t know her already – discover one hell of a fascinating, insightful lady (who is also a hell of a writer).


  7. Oh, this is gorgeous. So happy to read of your connection and delight. Would love to join you one day. xx


  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Ah, spoken like a true extrovert. 😉

    Glad you had such a wonderful experience. Good on you both!


  9. Psychobabble says:

    Are you flying down to CA….or driving through Portland???????


  10. have a wonderful time, I’m awed by how much you fit in when what’s on my mind takes up so much energy !! 🙂


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  12. jgroeber says:

    Massachusetts ever? Because that sounded like a blast. And while my four kids would attempt to suck out all the fun, I could get a sitter! (Loved this post!)


  13. 1. Fun post – thank you.
    2. I love meeting my fellow bloggers. I’ve met three, so far.
    3. I went the self-publish route, and, as a result, I am now a published author.
    4. I’ve been to Iceland a few times on “business” and always enjoyed myself when there.
    5. Pleased to make your acquaintance.


    • Navigator1965, thanks for your fun list, and welcome to Tales From the Motherland. I’ve met a few other bloggers now too (5 total) and have enjoyed every single meeting. This year, I wanted to make it a goal and actually work to meet more. Thanks for the tips… pleased to make your acquaintance too. I hope you’ll stop back and share your thoughts again; the effort is much appreciated. 🙂


  14. I think I need to meet other bloggers. A few days ago one of my closest friends (but not one who reads my blog) posted some spiritual stock photo on facebook. I suggested a blogger he might like if he liked that sort of self awareness. Another friend then suggested he should blog. His response was
    “I loathe the thought of being a “blogger”…better to act and share face to face with people. So sick of this anonymous world where everyone vomits their thoughts on social media. Nothing positive can come from it. Just dust in the wind.”
    Of course, like I said, this comment was made on facebook ( a social media site) but I refuse to split hairs with him.

    I gotta say though, this blanket ignorant statement pissed me off pretty good, mostly because he is a very close friend. I understand not everyone “gets it” but you expect your closest friends to at least try (or pretend like their trying)

    When I see him face to face I am going to “throw it up” at him.

    Thanks for listening. I’m in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley just an hour south of Washington DC. I don’t have a guest room but you ever know what can be worked out. 😉


    • Dawn, I totally understand your frustration. How insensitive of your friend. What was he thinking?! It’s insensitive in the least, and very judgmental. I always find it “interesting” when people make a stand against social media, and the increasingly less personal world we live in (I agree), ON Facebook. I’m sure your friend wasn’t thinking about how you might feel, but I’m sure you’ll enlighten him. 😉 If I’m in the DC area, I’ll let you know.


  15. etomczyk says:

    Dawn, so happy to hear of you up and about again. Wonderful! Hope you have excellent travels. Also, if you want to publish your book, do what you have to do to make it so. Don’t wait on people who don’t know you to determine that goal. Cheers!


    • Thanks Eleanor! I’m hearing that a lot… from publishing people, writers and laymen. I’ll figure it out, when I’m done with this crazy good summer! Off to Iceland, Denmark and Sweden tomorrow… then, CA for BlogHer… I’ll rest in the fall. Oh, wait, no… I’ll be publishing a book! 😉


  16. Mike Lince says:

    Meeting other bloggers has been a treat for me, too, as you know. Too bad Blogher is in San Jose. I will be in L.A. at that time, but I still look forward to a rendezvous in or around Bellingham in early August. We have much to share since the last encounter! :0 – Mike


  17. Jana says:

    It’s always fun to meet fellow bloggers! So far for me, we’ve only exchanged virtual hugs across cyber-space, but I’m so looking forward to meeting people in their human form at BlogHer! I’ll be looking for you (in a friendly way 🙂 )


  18. I am so jealous that you are getting to meet other bloggers. Meeting other bloggers is on my bucket list as well. And what a bonus that you got to meet Jennie Saia who I am sure is as authentic in person as she is on the page. if you do come to memphis to meet Emily, I’m here too!! Maybe I can horn in on the meet up!


    • If I make it to Memphis, it’s a date! Jennie’s the best; I’m so grateful we got to spend some great time together. Thanks for taking the time to check out this piece,Mindful. I hope you’ll read some others and share your thoughts. 😉


  19. Eli Pacheco says:

    1. I think there’s a stigma attached to anyone you meet from online. It’s not the same as when you new someone just from chat and a chat handle. Even though you’re Tales from the Motherland or Just Being Emily, it doesn’t mean you’re not to be trusted!

    2. The structure of the blog conversation is awesome. We visit, we read, we give the floor to one. Then, we take turns with our take. We read others’ takes. We see the writer’s reaction to all takes. In real life, everyone’s just waiting for you to take a break so they can start to talk.

    3. And there must be a six degrees of the blogging world, some way that all of us are connected through a common set of readers. I love to come to a blog and see familiar names and faces – blog names and avatars, that is.


    • Seriously, on all counts. I have tried to tell my family/friends that many of the people I follow in blogging, or have become “friends” with, know me much better than some people think. They read my blog; they get to know me and what’s important to me, over time; they share in my experiences… and they come to care. I think it makes for some very meaningful connections.

      As always, thanks for taking the time, Eli; it’s much appreciated. 😉


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