Friday, March 31, 2006

New Faces, Old Friends

Dedicated Bloggers
Dedicated Bloggers and want-to-bes

Yesterday was a real day out for me; I left home at nine in the morning and didn't settle back into the house until eight in the evening. Lots of interesting people to see and a lovely drive to Floyd in the bargain. For a change I took the high road across the ridge on the Parkway; the early spring scene and the brilliance of the sky were invigorating. I stopped off at the Jacksonville Center for a meeting. The galleries and workshops there are amazing; I didn't have time to really look at very much but the art was impressive. One gallery featured art made from recycled items; there were some beautiful pieces.

How to Blog!

One of the best parts of the day was a gathering of bloggers at Cafe Del Sol in Floyd. Mr. St. Lawrence did an excellent job of herding the group together, although keeping us all on track was probably as frustrating as herding cats for him. Walking into the group for me was like walking into a room full of people I knew. I'm really not the shy type but it was easy to be comfortable when greeted by a hug from Linda, a warm handshake from David and smiles all around.

More discussion
Discussion of the whys and hows

There were bloggers I 'knew' by reading their work: Colleen, Fred, Linda and David, and a couple that were new to me: Doug and Jamie. There were also people interested in learning to blog, which set off some serious enabling around the table. By the time the meeting was over, I think all were converted.

The group immediately broke up into separate discussions, which flowed and changed with the interests of the talkers. Colleen, Linda and I, interested in personal experience, talked most about the whys of blogging, and of our different styles. David chimed in with some help on the technical aspects. I now know what a trackback is, if I can figure out how to do one. And we also discovered the permalink, the address of particular blog entries. I finally found my permalinks this morning, disguised at the time stamp. Much easier to get to than the convoluted method I've been using to find the addresses! The prospective bloggers, Tom, Chris and Rigel, were deep in discussion with the rest, offering comments and questions that made us all think even more about our motivations and how we do what we do.

Intent on the work
So that's what that means!

It was wonderful to me to meet these special people and discover how much like their blogs that they all are. Linda is warm and witty, just as I expected, and Colleen is beautiful inside and out, just like her writing. Fred is funny, thoughtful and open; David keen, organized, and perceptive.

Floyd County is a special place, and it attracts very special people. Artists, writers and artisans abound in the communities of this part of the Blue Ridge, and blogging is one of the many ways that they are united in sharing their experience of their lives in this beautiful place. Special thanks to Mr. St. Lawrence of Ripples for putting the meeting together, and I look forward to many more discussions with these interesting people!

View from the ridge
View from the hill

I finished off the day with a nice visit on the hill with my aunt, and we accomplished some computer work. Then friend Kym came over and we took a walk down the Parkway in the evening. Walking feels so good after long days of sitting in front of the computer, and we always have lots to talk about. We came back as shadows lengthened across the fields, and headed down to a local diner for a nice dinner and more conversation. It was nice to come home and curl up in my crochet corner, and think about the day, with all the fascinating people that I talked with. An unusual day for me, but a good one.

Addendum: Lots of the other bloggers, of course, posted their impressions of the day yesterday. Follow the links under "Neighbors" in the sidebar; almost all of them were there, and the rest are green because they couldn't be there and will show up soon!

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