Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meeting the Spirit of Blogging

The ghost of Mary Lee

Many bloggers, especially those who have been posting for a number of years, have had an opportunity to meet and greet an actual person that has a blog that they have been reading. While I was fascinated by this social activity, as I would read about the event in the many other blogs, I often felt that it must be something like a blind date... exciting in the beginning but usually somewhat disappointing at the end. We all have images and expectations of these bloggers that we think we know from regular reading of their blog, but to put these expectations to the test I felt would only result in somewhat of a failure. What we see through the blog can be revealing, but we are complicated individuals and I think we only see a ghost of that person since we are not able to read any body language or hear a tone of voice in the sometimes superficial ongoing digital conversations that we have.

I had an opportunity to meet a 'blogmate' recently and was filled with a little dread in the beginning...would they like they really know m I know them?! I mean this wasn't just a lunch date, I actually invited her to spend the night. I live in an out-of-the-way place and when someone visits it means they have an hour and half drive to the activity that brought them to this area in the first place if they decide stop by my house as part of their travels.

I wrote Tammy about this potential meet-up
to voice my concerns because she meets bloggers fairly often, many of them involved in her mission in life. She encouraged me to go for it and insisted that I would not be unhappy with the meet-up at all. While I realized I should take her advice I also took it with a grain of salt knowing that Tammy is a really nice person and I cannot imagine her meeting anyone that she would not be able to adapt to or like.

So when Mary Lee Fowler emailed me that she was coming to give several book talks in my area and wanted to see if we could meet and also asking how close I was to several nearby cities and towns where she would be, I offered to drive up for a coffee or lunch. Then I threw caution to the wind and also asked if
she would like to come down my way. I explained that it was a lengthy trip and she should plan on spending the night if that could be worked into her schedule. She accepted! Of course, the closer we got to the day, I became a 'little' nervous wondering about her expectations and mine. Some of the few readers of my blog may be wondering about my maturity right now...but I am a little anal and want things to go fairly well or not at all. (ML is probably smiling at this revelation as she reads this.)

Well, of course, the meet-up went very well. We were in sync on politics and religion and didn't have any tension in talking about the things for
which we feel great passion. We also both love the out-of-doors and worked in a long morning wooded walk to a small beach, which is a great activity for someone who has been sitting in a car for over 10 hours. She had to leave by early afternoon which gave us just enough time to not get tired of each other. I cannot help but think how brave she is to drive alone almost 600 miles to meet a stranger and spend the night in their house! I don't know that I would have that fearlessness. I certainly hope she sold a lot of books.


Next post I will write about her book which I read.


  1. I agree that bloggers reveal a lot about themselves. It is also true that it doesn't replace face to face interaction to really know someone. However, you already know you share some feelings through reading each other's blog and it's a good starting point.

  2. I am proud of you. Have a great day. Wish I lived nearby. You are to far away for me.
    Every thought you had - I would have.

  3. I'm so proud of you! We do learn so much about a bloggers spirit when we follow a blog.

    I'm anal too and still get nervous, but it's worth it.

    Bloggers all over the US, Canada, Australia and France have supported me in my walk. It is too darn cool!

    Thank you my blog friend!

  4. As bloggers, I think we are all kindred spirits - even if we don't share opinions closely. As you know, I've met quite a few bloggers, and I have enjoyed every minute of all of them. There is the sense of already knowing someone (even when we don't really know them) that makes the getting together easier. A blogger is going to spend the night in our home soon, as he is coming to a party thrown by another local blogger.

  5. Anonymous7:47 PM

    So when are you coming to Floyd?

  6. hmmmm....i left a comment which is not showing up here. (twice this has happened now.)

    my husband and i met patry and ted when they were in seattle. it was a wonderful experience. we had a delicious seafood dinner and a fun evening with them (but we forgot they arrived on EST, and we kept them up far too late!). it felt like i had known patry for many years, conversation flowed easily, and i hope they will return soon to spend some time with us.

    there are a few other bloggers who have mentioned meeting. one i am sure i will meet. 2 i doubt i will. sometimes you just know when to listen to your gut. there are some with whom we share some superficial interests, but core values differ enough that real frienship would have no foundation.

    i am so glad you had this opportunity to meet and enjoy each other. she was indeed brave, and what a treat it turned out to be! i am eager to read the post about her book.

  7. Anonymous1:21 PM

    I flew around the globe from New Zealand to Michigan to meet up with a lady I "met" on a forum. I stayed 12 days.We two 'girls' had a great time, and she has since visited me in New Zealand and stayed one month.

  8. Kiwi, you are one friendly woman! I actually don't know if I would like to spend a month with anyone I know!

  9. Tabor, you are such a dear! It's amazing that we were each thinking the other brave - and I still know that you were by far the braver opening up your beautiful new home to someone you'd never met. I want so much for you and your husband to return the favor. My husband (and our Cody) would love it.


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.