As part of my various work and personal goals and obligations, I go to a lot of blogging conferences.
Seriously. A LOT. You’ve probably seen me at the one you went to. Most of the time I’m working at the conferences either representing a client or speaking (sometimes even both), but once in a while I get to go to a conference and just BE.
Normally I’d be representing a client, collecting cards for blogger outreach, trying to find new partners for a client or more. Sometimes I have to go hide in my room because I’m so tired of glad-handing and charming and pitching.
But not at Aiming Low’s Non-Conference.
Blessedly, I was lucky enough to attend the Non-Con a couple of weeks ago, in way-the-hell-outside-of-Atlanta, Georgia, where about seventy-five bloggers gathered to share and learn and grow. Instead of panels, there were round tables. There was chocolate and a costume party and a lot of time sitting in the sun and laughing.
It was AMAZING. Seriously. AMAZING.
The Aiming Low Non-Conference was the most enriching blogging experience I’ve had in years. I came home full-up and happy.
While I was there, I pleaded with folks to let me take portraits of them. I took tons of them, but sadly I’m not a real photographer and many of them came out out-of-focus and terrible (so please forgive me if you aren’t included here!). But some of them came out great. So I present to you, my Aiming Low Non-Con Binder Full of Women.
Anissa 1 of 19I met Anissa in 2009, just a few short months before she had two massive strokes. Just days before the strokes, in fact, I was with her in New York, teasing her about her high heels.
When she re-launched Aiming Low, she asked me to be a part of it. It was my first paid writing gig when I was in a bad, bad financial place. I cannot express how grateful I am.
I cannot tell you how much I admire this woman. Her strength, her passion she's amazing.
Find Anissa at her blog and at Aiming Low.
Dresden 2 of 19Dresden and I have been circling each other in the blogosphere for going on a decade now. We met at BlogHer 09 in person, and then I was lucky enough to have her move to my town. Two blocks from me. And now we work together too. I joke that Dresden is my "sister wife" because we've gotten so incredibly close.
Words cannot express how much I love this woman. My life would be dark without her.
Dresden's blog is Creating Motherhood.
Ann 3 of 19Isn't she pretty? We didn't have much time to talk, but I love her smile, and she was a sweet and generous presence at the conference.
Ann's blog is Mundane Magic.
Alexandra 4 of 19This woman! We met backstage when we were both getting ready to read in the community keynote at BlogHer in 2011. We held hands backstage. Since then, she's made me laugh daily.
Alexandra blogs at Good Day Regular People.
Brigid 5 of 19This woman's smile light's up a room, and she's funny. I loved getting to learn more about her this weekend.
Find Brigid at her blog.
Chloe 6 of 19
Heather 7 of 19Oh, this woman! She is so hilarious and fun. She kept saying, "I'm not a blogger! I make cupcakes!" Which only made everyone love her more.
If you're lucky enough to live near Fort Hill, SC you can stop at her shop, Cupcrazed.
Jana 8 of 19Oh, how I love this woman. She's so funny, and sweet, and warm, and kind. She makes me want to live in the south. Almost.
Find her at Jana's Thinking Place.
JC 9 of 19You know those fantastic cartoon avatars you see all the time? Yeah, JC probably drew them. She's beautiful, talented, and smart and a beguiling mix of shy and brazen. I like her a lot.
Find more JC at The Animated Woman.
Julia 10 of 19You know how I always annoyingly say y'all all the time even though I live in Philly? Well, it's Julia's fault.
If you're lucky enough to know Julia, you're one lucky mofo. I've never met anyone more open hearted and generous even though she's got stuff on her plate that would bring me to my knees.
Every day I don't see her in person in just that much more awful.
Julia blogs about her life at Kidneys and Eyes.
Katherine 11 of 19I love this picture of Katherine because she's so beautiful and does such serious work and here she is, being as silly as she is in person.
Katherine is mothering the universe and working hard to combat post partum depression.
Katherine is fierce, smart, and loves her children so much it blows me away. I love this woman.
Learn more at Post Partum Progress.
Laurie 12 of 19I first saw Laurie as she read in the community keynote at BlogHer. She is the epitome of brave. I said something to her after, shyly (hey, I didn't have pink hair and balls back then) and she was generous and kind. I think she's rather amazing.
Find Laurie's blog at Laurie Writes.
Lisa 13 of 19What can I say about Lisa? She is smart, gorgeous, funny, and exactly what you think a steel magnolia would be like in real life.
I love having her in my life. I can't even tell you.
Lisa is all over the web, but you'll find her blog at A Daily Pinch.
Liz 14 of 19This woman! Funny, smart, fierce, and has a fashion sense I envy. She's also brave, open, snappy, and a great writer.
For the record, she and I are not the same person.
Liz's blog is Six Year Itch.
Lizz 15 of 19I hadn't met Lizz before the conference, and my GOD was she a shining light. She also sports some awesome red hair, which you cannot see at all in this photo, alas.
Her story is one that is incredibly wrenching and powerful. You should read her blog.
Nicholee 16 of 19You know why Nicholee is awesome? Because not only is she kind and funny, but she also randomly rescues kittens at conferences. Really.
Nicholee blogs at Butterscotch Sundae.
Ree 17 of 19So much has already been said about Ree Drummond look, the gal is famous. But what you might not know is that she is incredibly compassionate, generous of heart, and just damned NICE.
I keep waiting for her to pull a diva move, but no luck so far. I can't think of anyone I'd rather share bar olives in rural Georgia with.
If you live under a rock, you'll find Ree's blog at The Pioneer Woman.
Sarah 18 of 19I feel like I've known Sarah forever. We've circled the same corners of the blogosphere like a Venn Diagram, but blessedly our circles now overlap and I am glad to know her.
Like all the best people I know, Sarah towers over me in height, and she's funny and warm. She also has an inexplicable passion for sports.
Find Sarah and her Goon Squad here.
Vikki 19 of 19It's impossible not to love Vikki, even though she argued with me about taking this photo. She beautiful and funny in that quiet way where you never quite see it coming before she zings you.
I have never had enough time to hang out with Vikki.
Vikki pops up on her blog Up Popped a Fox.