Not bad for a fat girl


Shake That Introvert Up

images.jpegThat’s my message to myself today. You see, it’s Comicon time again, and my sweetheart has purchased the full event pass for me. Why? Because there are authors at Comicon who generously offer their insights on writing and frankly, it’s really fun.

Now Comicon wouldn’t have been my first thought if someone had asked me where to go for writing support and instruction, but a few years back the sweetheart found out that there are real live authors there, and some of them are authors I’ve met through my various writing projects around town. Cool. So we went.

I was blown away! Not just by the author events, which were terrific, but by the whole thing. Costumes, people of all sorts (yes, ALL sorts, it was glorious!), and an energy that is infectious. I loved it. I still love it. But…

I have to confess, Comicon wears me out. And no, I don’t stay all day, or sleep in a hotel next to the Convention Center, or participate in CosPlay, or any of that. I just show up, go to my sessions, wander the vendors (miles of vendors), and go home again. But MAN, it drains me.

I’m self-aware enough to know that it’s because deep down I’m an introvert. Being anywhere with a lot of people for an extended period of time wears me out. It doesn’t mean I don’t like going places. I do. I just need to recharge after I’ve been there for a while. Some of my favorite memories have occurred at large family gatherings, quilting retreats, and scrapbooking conventions. Each of them, though, takes a toll.

It may sound silly if you’re not an introvert, but I have to psych myself up for these types of events. Yes, I’m looking forward to it, but really, I love being at home in the peace and quiet. Still, I’m going to check my parking map (he arranged that too, what a great guy), grab my lanyard, and head downtown. I’ve got this! Comicon, here I come!



I Am So Not An Extrovert

introverts-unite-individually-american-apparel-unisex-fitted-tee-lemon-w760h760I like people. Really, I do. I enjoy meeting new people and talking to them, but it isn’t always the most comfortable thing for me. Still, I do it, because the world is full of really fascinating people with incredible stories. Besides, most people are actually really nice, as long as you catch them on a good day and are nice to them first.

Over the past four days I have met and held conversations with dozens of new people, first at the phenomenal writing conference I attended, then today at a Camp Fair to promote our summer writing camp. So many people. So many conversations. So much energy!

As an introvert, I need time on my own to recharge my batteries. The more time I spend in the company of others, the lower my energy reserves dip. Couple these four days with the nasty cold I’ve been fighting and the poor sleep that has resulted from said cold, and man, I’m beat.

Now I’m off to the theatre with my sweetheart, which I know I’ll enjoy, but again I’ll be surrounded by strangers. I don’t plan on speaking to any of them. Is that awful? Maybe, but I need to recharge before tomorrow, after all, tomorrow there’s school, and my students need me.



When Worlds Collide – Which Face Do I Show?



I write. Sometimes it comes easily to me and other times I struggle.

I  blog. I don’t take it too seriously, and I allow myself to be totally real on the blog.

I teach. I take it very seriously and sometimes I get frustrated with the current state of education.

I parent. Sometimes it comes easily, and other times I struggle. Sometimes I take it seriously and other times I take it easy.

This week I have the privilege of attending a national writing conference for educators, and the bonus is that I’m attending it on a full scholarship. I feel honored to have been chosen for this award, and I’m excited to mingle with and learn from my fellow writers and educators. The question is, which face do I show today?

Am I the elementary school teacher who happens to teach summer writing workshops at the University? Am I the educator/writer who has been involved with the National Writing Project in various capacities for the past five years? Am I the world-famous blogger and author of BulgingButtons? Am I the aspiring Young Adult novelist who is working on revising her manuscript? Am I the author of articles that have been published both online and in print? Am I the brains behind Soaring Pig Press? Yes. I am. But how do I share any of that with people I meet? Especially when at heart I’m an introvert?

Conferences can be difficult for me. I love them because I always learn a lot, but I’m not naturally outgoing, so the in-between times can be a little awkward for me. I feel like I have an obligation both to myself and to the good people who provided my scholarship to not only take away from the conference, but to contribute to it as well. Each voice that joins the conversation potentially adds to the experience. Each point of view, each anecdote, each shred of advice or encouragement helps to build a valuable and comprehensive learning environment. I feel that I have to be part of that building process. I have to bring something to the table, so to speak.

No, I’m not expected to give a presentation, but I do expect to push myself out of my comfort zone and make some connections at this conference. I will introduce myself as a writer, educator, and blogger, and I will listen to others with an open mind and an open heart. I will learn and I will share what I’ve learned. I will happily accept encouragement, and I will freely share it with others. I feel sure that this conference will be a positive learning experience, and by walking in with that knowledge, it can’t help but be true, no matter which face I happen to be showing.