Voices of the Year – BlogHer 2012

Blogging affords me a certain level of comfort. I can tell you a personal story and string words together to make you feel something while keeping myself at a safe distance. I might be overcome with emotion when writing and might even cry but those of you reading won’t know because the only gauge you have are the words I give you. You can’t peer through the screen while I’m writing and see what I’m feeling.

I was selected to read Ministrations at BlogHer’s Voices of the Year.

When I wrote that post in April…I cried.

I cried because I still have moments when I am tired of being different, moments when I wish I could blend, moments when I judge myself too harshly. But, I also shed tears because I am so relieved that I have the insight to recognize those moments and dare myself to be braver.

Writing words on a page and reading those words to a roomful of people are very different things.

When I stepped onto the stage to read, I was visible in a way that I have not been since I began blogging. I stood there looking so very queer and read a piece about coming to terms with that.

I wasn’t nervous about reading the words.

I was nervous about feeling them.

And I did feel them and the earth didn’t swallow me whole.

I can’t imagine a better audience than the one at Voices of the Year. A roomful of bloggers cheering for you? I’ll take it.

I appreciate every single person who came up to me afterwards with kind words and all those who tweeted their support. I’m still high days later.

Thank you to Deborah, the best blog wife ever, for recording this and sending it to me to post.

Also, thank you to Polly who introduced me. I was struck by the fact that Polly and I met and became friends in Minneapolis in 1993 but lost touch after she moved to California. We met again through blogging and, last Friday, shared the stage.

Check out the rest of the readers at Voices of the Year (links to the original posts unless otherwise noted):

Elizabeth Jayne Liu: To the Person who Stole My Gordita Fund

Lori Volkman: Fish-Infested Waters

Jenny Feldon: Life Lessons in the Seafood Section

Arnebya Herndon: Walk This Way

Liz McGuire: On Being Nine

Neil Kramer: The Poet at the Genius Bar

Issa Mas: The Horror of Mealtime

Susan Goldberg: It’s Always Something

Dresden Shumaker: Welfare Queen (Video taken at Voices of the Year)

Jane Byers Goodwin: Dick Clark and Our Sofa

Suzanne Barston: You’ve (not) Come a Long Way, Baby

Barbara Becker: The Swastika in the Neighborhood

Varda Steinhardt: Holding Hands

Shari Simpson: The Best/Worst “Female” Story You Will Ever Read

 

STILL TO COME: The wacky BlogHer recap! You know I have stories to tell!

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35 Responses to Voices of the Year – BlogHer 2012
  1. Deborah
    August 8, 2012 | 8:02 pm

    A more proud blog wife there could not have been!! Your beautiful, well crafted words touched hearts, and they were only slightly upstaged by your hot rack and your snazzy shoes.

    • Vikki
      August 8, 2012 | 8:33 pm

      Too bad none of those cleavage shots came out.

  2. Meg
    August 8, 2012 | 8:08 pm

    Brought tears to my eyes! Very nice!

  3. @creativespin aka Cat
    August 8, 2012 | 8:14 pm

    Loved your reading–thanks so much for sharing your experience. Great to meet you

    • Vikki
      August 8, 2012 | 8:36 pm

      Hope you had a good conference!

  4. Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac
    August 8, 2012 | 8:24 pm

    I loved meeting you this weekend! Your story was so wonderful and your writing style so crisp and detailed.

    • Vikki
      August 8, 2012 | 8:36 pm

      Loved meeting you too. Your raspy voice only added to your already beautiful piece.

  5. Blazer
    August 8, 2012 | 8:28 pm

    I so loved that piece when I first read it. Love it even more hearing those wonderful words in your own voice!

    • Vikki
      August 8, 2012 | 8:37 pm

      My high, sometimes shaky voice :)

  6. Kaitlin
    August 8, 2012 | 9:56 pm

    Aw! You did an amazing job delivering such a personal piece of writing! Plus, you look like Brandi Carlile in your vest!

  7. Fearless Formula Feeder
    August 8, 2012 | 9:58 pm

    You have no idea how inspiring I found your post. I thought you read it beautifully, and with such strength. The part about body image and weight made me all teary, because I unfortunately relate to it so damn much.

    Anyway, it was a total honor to read in the same ceremony as you.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 12:23 pm

      An honor for me to read with you! I was ready to tackle anyone who dared to boo you. Glad it didn’t come to that ;)

  8. Missy
    August 8, 2012 | 10:38 pm

    Beautiful reading! Great work! And the piece stirs self-reflection and empathy though our braids are made of different fibers.

    Also, how do you manage all these wives?!? Awesome.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 12:24 pm

      I only have THREE wives! I like to think I manage them well ;)

  9. Varda / SquashedMom
    August 8, 2012 | 10:51 pm

    Vikki, I loved hearing you read your piece from the backstage wings. Your words rang so true to me, so honest, so full of heart and punctuated with gentle but pointed humor. Thank you.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 12:25 pm

      It was lovely hearing you read your piece as well. How do we top this experience?

  10. Kelly
    August 8, 2012 | 11:11 pm

    I am always in awe of your courage and voice. You are amazing.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 12:25 pm

      I feel the same way about you.

  11. jana
    August 9, 2012 | 12:23 pm

    Your reading was amazing. VOTY was probably my favorite part of the conference… and not just because my name was on the list of honorees! I’m honored to be in the company of amazing writers such as yourself. Here’s to more inspiration and more flowing words.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 2:34 pm

      Thank you! Congratulations on being honored as well.

  12. Laurie
    August 9, 2012 | 12:25 pm

    I am so happy for you, still, and happy you could let yourself feel something so strong and good.

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 2:35 pm

      Thank you for all your support leading up to the big event.

  13. Casey
    August 9, 2012 | 2:00 pm

    I can relate to being afraid to feel the feelings of your post. While you were reading, I felt a wave start to crash over me of I have been in this place. I am in this place. I retreated to twitter for a quick escape and to get my bearings (and tweet about what a great job you were doing).

    Thank you for this post, so I can dig into this a bit more when I’m ready. And for the links to the other readers. I love it when other bloggers do the link work for me. :)

    • Vikki
      August 9, 2012 | 2:38 pm

      Why do you think you found me sitting all by myself outside of Sparklecorn? ;)

  14. leigh
    August 9, 2012 | 7:35 pm

    i am right there with you vikki ! great job ! thank you … peace & love … leigh

  15. leigh
    August 9, 2012 | 7:38 pm

    not literally right there – in spirit after listening & watching the video of you reading your piece ! <3

  16. Neil
    August 9, 2012 | 7:43 pm

    Was an honor to stand up with you at the end.

    • Vikki
      August 23, 2012 | 7:35 am

      Same here. Maybe you could write a poem :)

  17. Arnebya
    August 21, 2012 | 8:21 am

    It is a wonderful feeling to become comfortable with oneself (even if it still sometimes becomes a fleeting comfort). Yours was one of my favorite posts read, because you made me feel your words and made me happy that you seemed happy to acknowledge them.

    • Vikki
      August 23, 2012 | 7:34 am

      I loved your post as well AND had the added pleasure of hearing you read at LTYM. Now I know that you can be both thought-provoking and hilarious.

  18. G
    August 22, 2012 | 9:04 pm

    I really love your writing, and it was an interesting experience to listen to you read this versus me just reading your words on a screen. It’s amazing how your voice actually made it more emotional for me. Thanks for representing, yo.

    • Vikki
      August 23, 2012 | 7:36 am

      I was worried when your said it was an “interesting experience”. ha ha. Thank you.

  19. Katharine Malaga
    August 24, 2012 | 9:53 pm

    Congratulations on the reading at BlogHer.

  20. […] of getting. I also got to bond with my fellow geeks like Dresden. I watched friends read their Voices of the Year posts, which are always phenomenal. I got to watch a super fun and emotional movie called the Odd Life of […]

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