Over the weekend, I met a bunch of groovy people, drank a lot, saw Deadpool 2, kissed my husband at the top of the London Eye.
And snagged Second Best Overall Blogger at the Annual Bloggers Bash.
I clapped for myself like a seal, and rumors of my ambivalence/sore loser status have been greatly exaggerated.
First, I want to thank anyone who nominated or voted for Gin & Lemonade . This giant, global blogging community is a wonderful thing, and I especially love you quirky, beautiful people who read me.
I started this blog as a public writing practice to get my thoughts out there, somewhere they may stick and speak to other people (I now realize that’s a gross visual. I’m sorry.)
I would still tell you I’m a writer first. It just so happens that I blog a lot about the process of not writing and avoiding the real work that goes into it.
And over the years, (HOLY SHIT, 8 in August!), this blog has become something else. A coffee shop, a pub, a place where I’ve met new friends, and then travelled to met them in person.
I took some time off when I was pregnant with Isla and blogged very little when she was younger. Sarge was always Neil and we moved to a medium-sized house in the country. Country life is more isolating than when I was growing up. I had an idea in my head about what it would be, and it isn’t that.
So I started blogging again. While I was away from the blogosphere, blogging became A THING. Something different than the online journaling it was when I started.
Most bloggers I’d befriended early on disappeared. I talked to myself for awhile, again.
And then, I found the wonderful people at Big Up Your Blog and learned about the ABBAs.
I ordered a ticket for the Annual Bloggers Bash. My first blogging convention type thing. I told people I could wait to meet them in real life. Because when May rolled around it would mean that my Isla would be that bit closer to four years old, AND I’M NOT READY.
One of the reasons I came back to blogging was for the kid I’m not ready to be four.
See, I want to be a published writer. A published non-corporate writer. For my kid. And for me. Isla deserves a mother who is not creatively frustrated or professionally unhappy. I am not-so secretly both of those things at the moment.
I came back to blogging to up my freelance game, to write things that aren’t accessibility reviews, or business newsletters.
I’ve attempted a blogging schedule, word-count goals, and written pieces that seem to have resonated with people.
I’m real and open and sometimes, a sarcastic bitch.
I’ve invested my time and my heart into this blog. Lorna the blogger and Lorna the person is one and the same. Lorna the person is more shy, and may seem standoffish, but stick around for five minutes. Hi.
Lately I’ve been wondering if it was all getting too much. If I should take my writing offline.
One day, I opened an email that said I’d been nominated for an Annual Bloggers Bash Award. Actually two of them. As per the rules, I requested to go forward with Best Overall Blogger.
Go big or go home.
I honestly didn’t think I’d get nominated for anything. To me that meant I was doing something right. That my writing mattered to people not related to me. That all this heart-pouring was going somewhere.
During the voting process I agonized over what I put out there. More than usual. Positive reading experiences meant votes and gratitude from me. I didn’t even think I would place.
And I learned some stuff:
I am very competitive. I knew that, but y’know.
People I don’t even know shared my vote link. (Thank you to EVERYONE who did)
My name is still very difficult for some people to grasp.
And for someone who didn’t think that name would even be included, winning became A THING for me.
It meant that maybe I could take my writing off the kitchen table and look my kid in the eye.
At the Bash this weekend, I learned even more stuff:
My voice, when I first meet someone, is at a register only dogs can hear. I’m sorry. Like I said, wait five minutes.
I talk about Isla A LOT. For that, I’m not sorry.
The collective noun for book bloggers is a metric fuck-ton of book bloggers.
The awards are not the Oscars. And if anyone heard me suggest, to one friend, that they got the certificates confused, that was a joke. I like jokes.
That a blog with a few followers cannot fairly compete with a blog with more than a few followers.
That it’s not about the competition, it’s about
the booze the friendships we forge through our blogs and the people behind the computer screens.
Congratulations to everyone nominated and not nominated, who placed and didn’t, who won and didn’t. FULL LIST IS HERE.
I’d like to thank the
Academy, the Committee for accommodating my wheels, and my husband, and Purple Monkey the travel mascot.
May I suggest that the next Bash is somewhere in Scotland? I know a few places.
Also published on Medium.