Tag Archives: friends

Bullfighting on Twitter

This past Monday, I’d had it with Twitter. Rather than give up, I took the bull by the horns. Because that’s what we do here.

I deactivated my Twitter account @everydayepistle. Please follow me now @AimeeWhetstine if you like. 

matador, as seen in the Plaza, Kansas City

matador, as seen in the Plaza, Kansas City

Inquiring minds want to know. Why this change? Why now? Here’s the skinny:

1. Forgive me for being undiplomatic, but I hate Twitter.
Maybe I just don’t get it. People have explained Twitter to me as a cocktail party where you can chat with absolutely anyone. How cool is that?!

Eh. There’s something to be said for hanging out at a barbecue with people I already know. Dear Mr. Zuckerberg’s endless string of arbitrary changes is tiresome, but Facebook is more my speed. There’s context to Facebook—mutual friends, profiles, photos, a virtual paper trail of posts, comments, likes. Yes, some people present falsely, but only the hopelessly diabolical can keep up a Facebook farce for long. True colors shine through.

Meanwhile, Twitter is context-free. Commitment-free. A breeding ground for trolls and propaganda. It’s easy to hide behind 140 characters. Olé!

Unless you have a gazillion tweeting friends or followers, Twitter is also like an echo chamber. It’s you, standing alone in the arena, waiting for the bull to rush you. Your tweets disappear into the chaos of the crowd. Who knows where they’ve gone or who’ll read them? Who knows if anyone will read them at all or if you’ve just wasted two precious minutes of your life distilling a profound thought into an acceptable tweet. There isn’t enough time in the day, folks.

And yet, if I want to write, if I want to participate in social media, if I want to connect with people in the 21st century, Twitter is a necessary evil.

2. If I write it, my byline needs to be on it.
Ross Douthat has more than 21,000 followers on Twitter and follows 110. Peggy Noonan has nearly 75,000 followers and follows 85. Beth Moore has more than 300,000 followers and follows 50. Seth Godin has more than 260,000 followers and follows no one.

These are a few of my favorite writers. They don’t follow. They tweet and leave the following to others. They invest their time doing what they’re obviously good at and what I suspect they enjoy most. Notice it’s not Twitter.

They tweet with their own names—except for Seth who uses @ThisIsSethsBlog. It’s rather spiffy to use a cool Twitter handle, brand name, or blog title. It’s just that for me, for now, I want ownership and accountability. I’m no Peggy or Beth, but I want you to know who’s speaking and who you’re speaking to.

3. It’s time to clean house. 
The terrorist attack in Boston was less than two hours old this past Monday afternoon when a writer I was following tweeted something beyond irresponsible. I’ve told you here before that if you so much as breathe the wrong way on my child, Momma Bear will make an appearance. Well, kicking my country when it’s down isn’t a good idea either.

Liberal news outlets have carelessly, callously promoted inappropriate ideas since the bombing, but this writer was first to do it on my feed. I’d mistaken her for someone she isn’t. I’d been gored.

I've heard Spain is nice. Photo credit: Contando Estrelas

I’ve heard Spain is nice. Photo credit: Contando Estrelas

And you know what? It’s my bad. I’d assumed without knowing. I’d trusted without verifying. Her response to my calling her on the insensitive tweet showed she clearly couldn’t care less who I am or what I think or even how her tweet insulted citizens who still love America and emboldened those who hate us. (By the way, if you live in America and hate America, please consider moving. Abroad. Think of how much happier we’d all you’d be.)

That was the last straw. Within 24 hours, I’d closed my old Twitter account and started over, determined to make a fresh start. Ah, catharsis.

Between you, me, and the fencepost, I’d like to continue writing about things that are important to me, but life isn’t a popularity contest and Twitter doesn’t have to be a blood sport. Read and follow if you like. Block me if you don’t. I’ve got work to do. As myself. As Aimee Whetstine.

God bless America.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Pasodobles Españoles by Pepe El Trumpeta.

I cannot be the only person out there with Twitter malaise. Can you relate? Or if you love Twitter, won’t you kindly share a tip or two?

photo credit: Contando Estrelas via photopin cc

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Filed under America, blogging

Reader’s Choice ’12: Poetry Slam Party

Like poetry, Corey Turner is an old friend of mine.

Corey Turner

Corey Turner

Corey’s quip about turning 40 inspired last year’s most-read post, I Like My Bike. He’s a poet the same way I’m a poet—unpaid, part-time, hobbyist. We have a thing for words.

It should come as no surprise when I asked him for his Reader’s Choice post, Corey delivered it along with the words for its introduction. And so I yield the floor to the gentleman from South Carolina.

Aimee and I shared a classroom once, a rogue’s gallery of earnest and earnestly irreverent undergraduates who each of us thought perhaps we might have something to do with Poetry. Someday, anyhow.

But in the intervening years, many of us from that classroom have fallen sadly out of touch with the stanzas that spoke so powerfully to us when we were younger.

April of this past year stood duty as National Poetry Month. And via the magic of the internet, that month rapidly became something of an opportunity to reconnect with those all manner of old familiar friends on the page. Aimee’s post here was part and parcel of that, her readers sharing poems that had leapt off the page for them.

Long ago, some. More recently, others. Regardless, it was immediately apparent if they had ever leapt once, they are still leaping, those poems.

And so sharing good poetry is still, as it always was, a dangerous game. What leapt for one reader will often strike another. Sometimes in unexpected, usually in exceptional, and almost always in provocative ways.

But then again, that’s why we read and share these sorts of things in the first place, isn’t it?

Save the date, everyone. Come April, you’re all invited to a party. Corey’s Reader’s Choice is:

Poetry Slam Party

poetry sign

click to read Poetry Slam Party

readers choice

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Filed under family & friends, writing & reading

Faster Than a French Fry

french fries

faster than a french fry

Posts have been flying out of here faster than a french fry out of a Happy Meal. Here’s a recap of what’s been published where, including links you may have missed.

Back on BlogHer
Lisen and I are on BlogHer this week, fearlessly discussing biotech foods (GMOs, genetically modified organisms) and California’s Prop 37. Whether you live in CA or not, this measure has huge repercussions for food, farm, and those of us who buy groceries. Please drop by to read the point-counterpoint post and add to the conversation.

Carolina on My Mind
“The number one reason I’m voting for Mitt Romney can be summed up in two words: North Carolina.” That’s the opening line to my post Why Mitt Romney Has My Vote, featured today on Project Underblog. Earlier this week, Project Underblog featured my letter to Facebook founder, Dear Mr. Zuckerberg.

Mobilizing Moms
mastering mommy brainYesterday my guest post The Mommy Vote Counts appeared on Mastering Mommy Brain. I was honored to write this nonpartisan post encouraging moms to vote. Often we don’t recognize our own strength. “Mommy, your vote is wanted and it counts. Your voice needs to be heard in this conversation.” Read more in The Mommy Vote Counts.

Yum-O
Our recipe series of what to eat instead of hot dogs continues. We’ve cooked up two delicious meals so far, Tex Mex Lasagna and Crockpot Southern Greens. Expect more to come.

Katie Pinke, The Pinke Post

Katie Pinke, The Pinke Post

Love to North Dakota
My blogging sister Katie Pinke had a little surprise this past week. Her blog’s URL was mistakenly listed as expired and sold to someone else! Her blog of five years disappeared. Fifty hours and mountains of frustration later, her blog was restored with a new URL—just in time to launch a new series North Dakota November. Please go by and give Katie some blogging love at ThePinkePost.com. I’m so glad she’s back online.

keep calm and vote for rom

keep calm

Polar Opposites
A special thank you to those of you who subscribe. I appreciate you sticking with me through a WordPress glitch that temporarily stopped email updates. For those of you who don’t subscribe yet, it’s easy and free. As a bonus, you get to catch my misspells and typos before I do. For example, the emailed version of Should Christians Vote? instructed voters to go to the poles on November 6th rather than to the polls… Now wouldn’t that be a hoot?

That’s all the news that’s fit to blog today. Rest up this weekend. Next week promises to be a doozie!

The Lord gives strength to His people;
the Lord blesses His people with peace. Psalm 29:11 NIV

Love Me Good by Michael W. Smith.

Have a great weekend!

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Field Trip to Visit Mommy Brain

It happened when I guest posted with the cowboy blogger. It happened when I guest posted with the baseball blogger. And today it’s happening again as I’m guest posting with the mommy blogger.

Dana of Mastering Mommy Brain

Dana of Mastering Mommy Brain

I’ve written a post I think must be my very favorite so far—and I have to let it go to debut on someone else’s site!

I’m verklempt. But I can think of no better place for my little post to be today than on my friend Dana’s all-things-motherhood blog Mastering Mommy Brain.

Fly and be free, little post. Go spread your wings and do your work to bring courage to the mommies out there, left and right. They are true super heroes. Little do they know their own strength to direct the future of our country.

Please click to Mastering Mommy Brain to read The Mommy Vote Counts.

The Mommy Vote Counts

mother & son on Capitol Hill

Click to go to Mastering Mommy Brain to read The Mommy Vote Counts.

 

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Filed under America, blogging, family & friends, women's studies

Field Trip to Visit a Baseball Blogger

Jeff White, Cardinals Blogger

Jeff White

My friend Jeff White asked me if I’d guest post about baseball to help celebrate the first birthday of his St. Louis Cardinals blog Born Bleeding.

Wasn’t sure how that would go.

I enjoy baseball, however I’m not a diehard fan like Jeff. He writes his passion for baseball, and I’m proud of him for it. Plus his wife is the dearest person on earth and one of my favorite friends. I was honored to accept the challenge.

Well, I wrote the post and I loved it! It may be one of my favorites.

Please visit Jeff to wish him a happy blog birthday, share your baseball memories, and read my post:

Baseball America

baseball close up

Click to go to Born Bleeding and read Baseball America.

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Field Trip to Visit an Inspiring Friend

It’s that time again for a field trip on the blog. Our itinerary takes us to Pinke Post for a special story from my friend Katie.

Pinke Post

Pinke Post

I roomed with Katie, Leah Beyer, and Nancy Grossi at the BlogHer conference earlier this month. Katie, a discus thrower in college, vowed to be my tall, blonde bodyguard should the need arise in New York. Thankfully, I didn’t have to take her up on that offer, and we went shopping instead.

Katie has blogged at Pinke Post for five years. She is the mother to three beautiful children and the wife to her prince charming. In her professional life, she works in agriculture for state government.

Today she breaks her silence about her time as a food stamps mom.

Katie Pinke in Tahari

Katie Pinke in Tahari

It’s an inspiring story from a beautiful woman with great determination, incredible work ethic, and the blessings of family and faith—the stuff of real hope and change.

Plus she can rock a Tahari dress like nobody’s business. Please give it up for Katie Pinke and her true story Food Stamps Mom Breaks Her Silence

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17 NIV

Don’t Give Up, snappy new tune from Kevin Rudolf.

Click, read, and meet my friend Katie Pinke.

 

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Filed under America, family & friends, women's studies

BlogHer ’12 Tips

I’m excited to be headed to my first BlogHer conference next month.

New York purse

look! it’s me & Ella in New York!

Decided to go on a whim. Not sure how it happened. One email led to another, and soon I’ll be on my way to New York City.

I’ll be an itty-bitty blogger among the big guns at the BlogHer conference. Martha Stewart is a keynote speaker. THE Martha Stewart. Somebody pinch me.

The last time I was in New York was 20 years ago. Now that I’ve lived in Chicago and St. Louis, I’m ready to make strudel out of the Big Apple!

Lucky for me I’m rooming with two wonderful women who make killer strudel in real life. Katie Pinke of Pinke Post and Nancy Grossi of The Wife of a Dairyman are gracious to pull me in at the last minute.

Amy Heinz

Amy Heinz, Using Our Words

I look forward to meeting other online friends at BlogHer like Leah Beyer of Beyer Beware and Amy Heinz of Using Our Words and Disney Baby. Amy’s been to BlogHer before. She was kind to answer my most burning questions:

Q: You mentioned business cards are a must. I have a very simple business card, and I’m worried it won’t be flashy enough. Do I need to redesign and reprint cards?

Amy: No doubt whatever you have is fine. A simple card with your name, blog, and website is plenty. A lot of sponsors will collect cards so they can email you. I highly recommend being sure it’s really a brand or prize you care about before dropping your card in a bowl.

Q: What do you do at this conference? Do bloggers just go around meeting each other, exchanging cards, and talking about their blogs? I better get my 15-second interview answers ready!

Katie Pinke

Katie Pinke, Pinke Post

Amy: Last year they opened with an activity where you had 30 seconds to talk to people and exchange blog info. I probably got to about 10 people. It’s really smart to have a 15-second description. There are other opportunities for meeting people like meals, smaller sessions, hallway chats.

Q: Are you expected to read and follow all the bloggers you meet? What’s the etiquette?

Nancy Grossi

Nancy Grossi, The Wife of a Dairyman

Amy: You’ll meet a lot of people. Too many to follow them all. I recommend giving yourself a system. Put a dot on the cards of people you meet who you think you’d be most interested in reading and following. Make notes about your conversation with each blogger on their business cards.

Q: I signed up for the Thursday sessions. What are they like?

Amy: I haven’t been to those, but my friend who went Thursday last year loved it. I think it’s great to get there early and dive in.

Q: Can I choose which sessions to attend at the big conference?

Amy: Yes, you can go to whatever you want and pop in and out of the sessions. It’s very low-key. Some sessions are really popular. Map out what sessions you’re interested in beforehand on the schedule.

Leah Beyer

Leah Beyer, Beyer Beware

Q: This is the most important question. What should I wear?

Amy: It’s business casual. Be yourself and be comfortable. I usually bring casual dresses because they’re so comfortable and easy to pack.

During the day, wear layers and comfortable shoes. It can be really hot outside and really cold in the conference rooms. The sponsors alone take up multiple floors, so there’s a ton of walking, just within the hotel.

For evening parties, wear cocktail attire or a step up from daytime dresses.

with love from New York DKNY

with love from New York

Q: Anything else I should know?

Amy: It’s fun to dive into a world where people think what you do is really cool and oh-so important. See you soon!

Thank you, Amy. Read more from Amy at Using Our Words and Disney Baby. And be sure to visit the blogs of all the talented women featured in this post.

A gracious woman gains respect. Proverbs 11:16a NLT

I can see your face in All the Right Places, by Zach Heckendorf. Smooooth.

What tips do you have for getting the most out of industry conventions like BlogHer?
What are your must-dos when visiting New York?

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