Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend’s wish!
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped in to Lucid Jazz Lounge for a book reading last night. A jazz lounge would not have been my first thought as a venue for selling and signing books, but it sounded interesting; the combination proved to be brilliant. I’m still a little giddy from the coolest book reading I have ever attended.
I was drawn to the event by one of my favorite blogs, Chookooloonks, written by Karen Walrond. Karen wrote the book that was featured last night, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit. In a classic example of the way social media can enrich our lives and make things happen, last night’s event was the result of strangers meeting on Twitter. Karen tweeted that she was looking for suggestions on where she should promote her book. She got a response from Darrah Parker, who started her message with “you don’t know me, but…” and followed it with a suggestion that Karen present her book in Seattle, at a Jazz Lounge where Darrah’s husband’s band plays. Through a series of tweets, direct messages, and a real world meetup in Houston, where Karen lives, the plans that resulted in last night’s magic were set in place.
Backed by the oh-so-cool sounds of the Jason Parker Quartet, Karen read a collection of pieces from her book, and fielded questions from the audience in the band’s break between sets. When the band was playing on their own, people leaned back in their chairs, sipped their wine, nodding their heads to the beat, some even closing their eyes, while a quiet hum of conversation wafted through the room. When Karen took the stage, the band played on, but the energy in the room changed. People leaned forward and hung on her every word; conversation stopped. Eyes glistened, chemistry sizzled, and energy crackled in that tiny, packed lounge on the quiet end of the Ave.
When I was asked to write a piece highlighting 5 Fabulous Bloggers, my first thought was: piece of cake. Then I opened my RSS reader and, noting the 1274 subscriptions in there (no, I don’t read every post from every blog, but I do read quite a bit), I thought: wow, that’s a lot of cake. Every blog in that list speaks to me on one level or another. Some are written by personal friends, some are hilarious, some enlightening, some are political, some are breathtakingly beautiful, many informative on a wide variety of topics that fascinate me. How on earth was I going to identify five blogs to highlight from this extensive list? What criterion would I use to narrow the field?
I allowed these questions to tumble through my brain for a couple days as I went about my business. Then last night I left the Lucid Jazz Lounge so inspired, I knew exactly how I would select my 5 Fabulous Bloggers. There are a few blogs that I find inspirational. These are blogs that blow my mind on a regular basis. Blogs that make me stop and rethink my attitude or approach, not by preaching, but by simply drawing my attention to a little piece of beauty in the world that I was overlooking. These are blogs that remind me how good the world can be, and is. These are blogs that call me to action, blogs that lead me to get up and do something to better my world, even if it’s just grabbing my camera and taking another shot of my daughter. These are blogs that remind me that the world is made up of individuals, and every individual change makes a difference. These are blogs that quicken my pulse and set my brain spinning with ideas, that make me believe that anything is possible and that I, too, can make a difference. And I can. And will. Just you watch me. Better yet, come join me.
Goodness, am I still high from last night? I’ve become a bit of a lightweight lately, and one glass of wine carries me much farther than it used to…
Well, anyway. Onward.
Five Fabulous (and Inspirational) Bloggers
- Karen Walrond, writer of Chookooloonks. Revealing, heartwarming, challenging, funny, gorgeous photos – I always leave this blog with a smile on my face. Check out random thoughts: an experiment – applying successes in journaling to the rest of life.
- Meredith Winn, writer of the~spirit~of~the~river. Parenting, poetry, and prose, studded with stunning photos. Check out Walk the Walk – on relating to her son.
- Tara Austen Weaver, writer of Tea and Cookies. Food. Stories. Recipes. and the most amazing photographs. Tara is also the author of The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis. Check out Winter Survival: Morning Rituals – “Because I’ve been here a while, I know this is the time I year I need help—a little boost to make sure I stay on track. This is the time of year I need my rituals.”
- Britt Reints, writer of Miss Britt: In Pursuit of Happiness. What does it mean to be happy? This lovely blog is, in her own words, “about happiness. Defining it, finding it, and hanging on to it.” And if that’s not interesting enough, she and her husband and kids are selling off all their belongings, buying an RV, and setting off on an exploration of the country. I’ve always wanted to do this. Maybe someday we will. Check out Choosing Quality over Quantity – at first glance, the concept of quality over quantity is a no-brainer for me, but I had not considered this principle in regards to relationships.
- Gwen Bell, writer of GwenBell.com. It’s difficult for me to put my finger on why I read Gwen Bell. Some of her best writing has touched on losing her mother to cancer at a young age. As a woman with both breast cancer and a young daughter, these posts can cut a little too close for comfort, sometimes I even skip right past them. I’ll read them when I’m ready. The bulk of her blog covers social media, technology, yoga, and meditation. And it’s brilliant. Check out Life Planning: The Heart Behind Systems – This meditation on systems was just what I needed.
Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend’s wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.
Goodies is my review blog. I am occasionally paid to share my opinion on a variety of topics on this blog, but the opinion is always entirely mine. If you’d like to read my regular blog or learn more about me, you can find me at CoffeeJitters.Net.