BlogHer 12: Life at Hogwarts

I read Mel’s post today and I realized that BlogHer ’12 was sort of my Hogwarts experience.

As a blogger, I often feel different. Not better or worse than anyone else, just different.

BlogHer ’12 was my entry into a magical world of unicorn cake, absurdity (toilet paper photos), incredible opportunities (President Obama, Martha Stewart and Katie Couric spoke to US!) and meeting other “wizards” from all over. At one point, Momo Fali introduced us to a blogger from Sudan, Maha El-Sanosi, who had just barely made it out of her country to attend the conference.

Instead of owls, we had Twitter.

And like Hogwarts, life was not perfect. I ran into my own Draco Malfoy.

But then I also had my own incredible community, my Gryffindors, at my back. Justine, my roomie, who was an Energizer bunny, crackling with life (she got up every morning to run at 5 AM!!) full of wry observations and down-to-earth advice. Lori, who was a calming and soothing and thought-provoking presence: just hanging out with her was like meditating, even in a room of 5,000 people. Kathy, who was so much fun and so articulate and sweet: like the longtime friend you always wanted but never had. Kristin, who moved me to tears as she told me the stories of generosity formed between her blogging friends. Emily: who was smart and sweet and lovely. Kir: hilarious, glamorous, sharp as a tack and kind. After reading her whole blog, I thought she would be like Meg Ryan but in person she reminds me of Tina Fey. And last but not least Mel, whose kindness, humor and advice I will never forget. She made me laugh and provided much-needed context to the publishing world.

Last year, I remember watching the Twitter stream of people writing about BlogHer ’11 and feeling left out. This year, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about my fellow wizards who weren’t there. It tempered the joy with sorrow.

When I left and hugged everyone goodbye, I was holding back tears. It felt as if I was going back to the Muggle world. I love my friends and family and my awesome husband, and I missed them terribly. And I have wizard friends here. I am so lucky to have that. But it was as if this invisible, parallel world created by the stroke of a like-minded wand was closing, maybe never to return.

This month, along with R. Sativus, I will be doing a Commentathon. I want to read as many blogs as I can and just soak up the summer days. If you want to join me, please let me know. Also, am I reading your blog? I want to! Please let me know if you are a new reader and what your blog URL is.

21 Comments

Filed under Blogging, writing

21 responses to “BlogHer 12: Life at Hogwarts

  1. TheKirCorner

    Oh you!!!! Honestly meeting you was such an amazing thing for me. I love your smile, your laugh, the way you put everyone at ease and how introspective and caring you are. So friendly, so open and sooooo pretty. Being with you never failed to make me smile and saying goodbye was very bittersweet. I hope I can get to the west coast SOON!!!!! So I can hug you again. Thank you..for changing my life!!!!! Love you oodles!

  2. Mel

    The Hogwarts analogy is perfect. That is exactly what it feels like because the wizarding world is not a perfect world, but it’s a damn cool world.

  3. LOVE this analogy! Awesome! I hope I can come to Hogwarts next year!

  4. I’m glad you mentioned the toilet paper photo thing, I was kinda wondering when I first saw the pic *g*. I got my first taste of a (local) blogging conference just last month and now I’m sorta hooked, I’m sure I’ll hit at least one of the big ones soon!

  5. I wanna go to Hogwarts! Awesome analogy and I hope to attend Hogwarts with you all next year. I’m kind of like Hermione w/ a good dollop of Luna :-)

  6. I *love* this analogy. Though I can’t believe that hundreds, nay, thousands of people will now see my face on a background of toilet paper. ;)

    I feel so lucky that I made the train at platform 9 1/2 … and wish that I hadn’t been sent home so quickly!

  7. Perfect analogy!!! I hope I get to go to ‘Hogwarts’ some day!

    **raising my hand** I’m a new reader of your lovely blog. I’d love it if you popped by my little hobbit-hole. :)

  8. I love this analogy and am so glad that we got to meet in person this weekend at BlogHer `12! I had so much fun with you — from sitting next to you at dinner on Thursday evening and getting to chat a lot to dancing up a storm together at Sparklecorn on Friday night! Thank you for your kind words. I too felt like we were old friends, as our conversations flowed so easily. Whether it be at a future BlogHer annual conference or for some other reason, I believe that we will have other opportunities to spend time together at Hogwarts with other Gryffindors and I look forward to that. xoxo

  9. Pingback: BlogHer`12: Time of My Life

  10. There’s a Draco Malfoy everywhere, isn’t there? It sounds like you had a productive conference despite him/her!

  11. Brilliant post, brilliant analogy, and I’m so damned glad I finally got to meet you.

  12. Hi! Fantastic post, I loved reading it. Thanks.

    School me: What is a Commentathon? In the Olden Days of blogging, we used to do Carnivals, where one person would do a wrap-up on a bunch of blog posts on a given topic — I was always in the politics and law carnival group. How does it work?

    • Hi Lisa! Thank you so much. And, congratulations on the conference: a sitting President, Martha Stewart and Katie Couric? Wow. Just, wow.

      The comment marathon is me wanting to give back for the month of August after participating in NaBloPoMo in July and not commenting very much as a result. I love reading blogs (blogs are the new books, right?) and I thought for the month of August, I would enjoy just soaking up people’s writing and showing them love.

      On a more formal basis, I love to participate in Stirrup Queen’s ICLW events…I have made about a dozen good friends that way!

  13. Jealous!! (Even of the toilet paper background, lol.) Perhaps someday… Glad you all had such a good time together.

  14. So nice to read this post and get a little insight into other bloggers that I follow. I’m a new reader and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know you through your blog – thank you for the comment you left on mine. BlogHer does sound like Hogwarts – so glad you got to spend time with your Gryffindors.

  15. Pingback: Downloading BlogHer12

  16. Great analogy. I wasn’t staying at the hotel and missed out on some of the bonding. However, because I shared this life changing time with all of you, it is an instant connection. BlogHer gals are my soul sistahs!!!!

  17. I feel the same way! What a great analogy. I think Kir is the only one I know out of everyone you mentioned (so far).

  18. Sigh…this post makes me miss you all over again. It was so great to meet you and just be with you. I’m honored that you said such nice things about me, and I think you were spot-on about the others.

    I can hardly wait to see your anthology in print. We can think back to some of the BlogHer12 moments and have a chuckle.

    XOXO

  19. BlogHer sounds like fun! I am new to the whole blogging thing and it’s so nice to find a community like this! I’m also a new reader of your blog too! Pop on over to mine if you feel like it!

  20. Pingback: BlogHer`12 Day 1: Great Expectations

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