Feb 17 2016

San Francisco Writers Conference: What to Expect

San Francisco Writers Conference: What to Expect

For two weekends in a row, I have not slept in my own bed. This is unusual for a homebody like me — who has handpicked my perfect pillow-top mattress and appreciates when all my stuff is in one ultra-organized location — but for the first half of February, I’ve been a traveling fool. We took our first-ever trip to Disneyland. And for the past four days, I was an attendee at the 2016 San Francisco Writers Conference.

I’d been wanting to go to a writing conference for years, but my teaching schedule got in the way, and then I got pregnant — twice — and then, and then, and then.

AND THEN, we moved to California, and even though I have a six-month-old, I told myself, No excuses. It’s serendipity. So I signed up. My mom flew in from Michigan to stay with P, and B came along with me. Before I went, I tried to do as much research as I could about what to expect; but to my surprise, there were very few thorough accounts of conferences past. I found a couple “What to Bring” lists, and one or two ultra-short blog posts from years ago, but nothing with the kind of specificity I wanted.

So, for any future attendees (and anyone else who might be curious about this kind of thing), I’m happy to share my experience. Continue reading

Dec 31 2015

The Stuff You Actually Wanted to Know, 2015 Edition

The Stuff You Actually Wanted to Know, 2015 Edition

One of my favorite things about being “behind the scenes” of a blog is that I get to see some of the search terms that bring traffic to my site. Prior to this year, I had no idea this kind of information was available — I was clueless about a lot of blog-related things, actually, and I feel like I learn something new at least once a week. But your search terms? My fave. Love them. So fascinating.

Many people who find my site were clearly looking for something else. I feel awful for having disappointed them, and does this mean I need some serious SEO help? Just checking.

Here are the top 10 searches that brought people to MichiforniaGirl this year, copied exactly the way they were typed into Google search. Continue reading

Dec 11 2015

Glitter, Granite, and Gratitude Yes, I am a fan of the Oxford comma.

<span class="entry-title-primary">Glitter, Granite, and Gratitude</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Yes, I am a fan of the Oxford comma.</span>

Sometimes a holiday party feels more like an obligation than a celebration — especially when it’s work-related, and EXTRA-especially when you’re mostly an introvert. But with two young kids, no family, and a limited number of friends here in California, the opportunities to really go out are sort of few and far between. For that reason, I’ve been looking forward to The Company’s holiday party for weeks. Maybe months.

A sparkly dress! Actual makeup! HEELS, for crying out loud! I’ve been in flip-flops, sandals, and flat boots for like two years straight. Plus, it wasn’t “work related” for me, as my current job involves snuggling a baby and trying (but often failing) to squeeze in thirty-minute blocks of writing during his impossibly short naps.

I’m still too much of a chicken to leave my infant with a stranger — even P has never had a “babysitter” in the true sense of the word — so it was such a relief when my mom agreed to fly out for a few days. It would be our first child-free night in ages.

The rumor mill claimed that this annual gathering was supposed to be kind of epic, and for a holiday party, I guess it was. It reminded me of a super scaled-up wedding: a coat check, cocktail attire, tiny hors d’oeuvres…and, of course, freely-flowing champagne. Here I am after half a glass:

Continue reading

Oct 22 2015

Getting Published on Scary Mommy Feels a Little Like Christmas

Getting Published on Scary Mommy Feels a Little Like Christmas

Remember that giddy anticipation you had when you were four years old on Christmas Eve? And every few minutes you’d run to the window to search for Santa’s sleigh and listen for bells? And then when your parents finally made you go to bed, you squeezed your eyes shut REALLY REALLY tight and willed yourself to sleep, but it just Would. Not. Happen?

Well, maybe it was just me. And it was me again this past Monday night. I was up for hours, and it wasn’t because of sweet Baby B — I was waiting (not AT ALL patiently) to see my first published piece on Scary Mommy.

My jitters were a blend of unbridled excitement and an almost paralyzing trepidation. MichiforniaGirl has only been live for a few months, and in that relatively short period of time, I’ve transitioned from a completely anonymous writer who was kind of terrified to share my words to a NOT anonymous writer who is still kind of terrified to share my words. For lots of reasons, the terror is almost worse now that my name and face are attached to things.

So why, then, did I try to get published on Scary Mommy? I guess it’s because, for lots of other reasons, I’m trying to push myself anyway. Continue reading

May 11 2015

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

pink Liebster Award with heartThe Liebster Award is passed along to bloggers from other bloggers. It’s meant as a way to help build up the blogging community as a whole and to enable readers to discover new blogs. Thanks for my nomination, Momma Moose — it seems like a fun way to distract myself from the fact that the movers are coming tomorrow. So instead of packing for California, I think I’ll just answer your eleven questions. 🙂 Continue reading