Giving Back: The BlogHer Tree

In January 2010, my daughter Nikki told me she wanted a trip to BlogHer in San Diego for a birthday present. 

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Of course we couldn’t leave the husbands and our grandson home, so we brought the boys along.  They played at the zoo and in the pool while Nik and I did the blog thing.  

I was a little apprehensive.  I knew no one but her.  

Nikki had introduced me to the world of blogging because she knew I loved to write, well rather, she knew that I needed to write.  I kept a journal always.  Some of them were locked up, some of them not.  

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, Nikki suggested I blog about my journey.  That perhaps I could helps someone in the future through my writing.  Blogging I thought, hmm... ok I was game.  So I started my online journaling.   

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I pretty much stopped blogging altogether for a few years when I was concentrating on learning photography so I could be a photography artist and know what the heck I was doing.  During those years I was very active on Flickr.  Uploading almost daily, posting to groups, leaving comments all over the place, getting inspired, learning what F 1.4 vs F22 and what the result of shooting at different apertures.

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I keep getting off subject, but my mind rambles like that.  

So when Nikki asked for this birthday trip, I was game.  Perhaps I would be inspired to start writing again.  Maybe I’d meet some people, like-minded people, although I am terribly backwards and extremely shy in person.  Maybe I’d form some bonds... learn things... And I did.  All of the above.

When we walked into the Expo, I was astounded.  It was HUGE!  When we went for our first meal, I was filled with a sense of sisterhood.  The feeling that I had felt long ago at the first Lilith Fair that I attended with Nikki.   

blogher soap carving by Ivory Soap

I joined BlogHer sometime in 2011, for some reason I can’t access that information on my profile.  But I didn’t start writing regularly until I came home from San Diego.  I think my very first post may have been a review of Pajama Jeans.

Unicorn cake at Sparklecorn   

I can’t remember when I started visiting Chatter, but I do remember saying hello the first time and sweet Darcie said hello and welcome and she was so sweet to me.  She is one of the BlogHer Angels.  

And then there’s Denise.  Poor Denise, I know I drove her bonkers the first few months I started to blog here.  You see, I’m a photoblogger, and I blog about my life and it just doesn’t happen without photographs.  I had the hardest time learning how to get a picture in a post, but Denise had the patience and time to hold my hand and show me what to do. 

However, I don’t think I followed her directions though... sorry Denise... I had discovered how to copy the image html on Flickr and paste it into the html box.  I still can’t use the little picture thing on the menu bar but so what.   

Denise heard my voice.  She was listening.  See, that’s the thing about BlogHer.  You know people are listening.  My BlogHer sisters, Suzie, Virginia, Megan, Robin, Melanie, Melissa, Elaine and boy I know I am forgetting a lot of you and I’m sorry but I’m focusing on Denise right now because she heard me when I was crying foul through my comments back when Komen pulled funding from planned parenthood.  She saw that I was hopping emotional and asked me to put it in writing.  I remember getting that email and just about falling on the floor.  

Someone from BlogHer wanted me to write!  

I got right down to business and pounded out my feelings on the situation going on with peoples emotions on the Komen debacle.  When I was done I emailed her and asked her if she wanted to read it before I hit publish.  She replied “of course, we are going to pay you for it”. 

Then I did promptly trip over my chin which was hanging on the floor in disbelief.

Being asked to write is an honor.  Being asked to write and getting paid for it is... um... humbling!  But inspiring too!  So I was featured, as a syndicated writer on my perspective of the Komen thing.  Thank you Denise, thank you BlogHer.  Thank you to my readers my friends my support, my community, my commune as Denise described us one day.   

So I basked in the syndication spotlight for a few days, I bragged to my parents and my family and friends on Facebook.   

I was in disbelief.   

I don’t consider myself a good writer.  Basically what you get when you read me is me.  Yep, raw and uncut, this is me.

And then the check came.   

I carried it around with me in my purse for a few days.  I took pictures of it.  I put it on the kitchen counter where I’d see it every day.  The thought of just keeping it and framing it had crossed my mind.  It took me a while to cash it.  And once I had, I put the envelope away.  I was going to do something special with this money.

My first time paid as a writer  

Today, it came to me.  A TREE!  Yes, I bought a Magnolia Tree today with my BlogHer earnings.  It is a living tribute to my voice which has been heard, and more importantly a monument in my yard.  

A tree in honor of BlogHer.  In honor of what BlogHer has done for me, encouraging me to grow, to make friends, to love.  BlogHer helped me find my voice.  Now I’m giving back.  

Thanks Girls.  I love you all :)  

My Blogher Tree

PS  all the photos were taken by Karen Sandoval (except this one..@toothdoc took it)

PSS all the macro shots are flower blooms on the Blogher Tree

PSSS thank you :) 

 

 

 

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