A week from today I will be on a crazy road trip across the prairie with my friend Val of @wagfarms. Val assured me it will be our own version of Thelma and Louise, only with our prairie mamas style.
On a whim a few months ago, as I sat in the Salt Lake City airport, traveling home from a business trip, I saw an update on Google+ (I know I sound like a tech nerd right now but hang with me…) from Becky McCray. I follow Becky in social media. I love that she lives in very rural Oklahoma, embraces it, speaks on it and even has a business on it, Small Biz Survival. Plus she is a small business owner and a rancher. Becky was reminding people that final applications for the #140conf Small Town were due the next day. I am familiar with the #140conf events, which were started by Jeff Pulver, as conference to share how people engage through Twitter. The #140conf Small Town conference intrigued me because it is a way to connect with others passionate about rural America and who utilize technology like I am.
I clicked on the link and never looked back.
While I filled out my application, I connected with Val, via Twitter, and asked if she would also apply. She did, that’s one thing true friends are good for…to fill out conference speaking applications alongside of you.
In mid-August we both received word via email, both of our applications were accepted. Celebrations via phone calls and text messaging ensued. My non-social media engaged husband was driving as I talked to Val and even he shared a bit of excitement over it. Then Val and I dealt with the “oh my” of “how are we going to get there, leave our families and commitments?”
Thanks to the support of our husbands, families and my work agreeing to me taking a few days away to participate on behalf of my community and family, the plans have come together. Val and I are road tripping together from rural North Dakota to Hutchinson, Kansas where we’ll connect with other like-minded rural people passionately telling their stories through technology. After being accepted to the conference, I found out that friend Janice Person is also attending and speaking. Anyone can attend to listen in and if you are interested in reduced cost tickets, let me know.
I can’t wait to sit in the historic Fox Theater and learn. I can’t wait to stop to see farmer friends along the way in Nebraska. I can’t wait for hours and hours of road time with Val, a mother of four and one of my true prairie mama girlfriends, to talk with, laugh with and create own own version of a Thelma and Louise road trip.
But what am I going to say at the #140conf Small Town? I love speaking. I love sharing. But I’m nervous. It’s personal and I have to stand up to speak with out any aids, no slides or notes. Just me.
|Janice Person and me. JP and Val will be my moral support.|
I brain dumped and wrote out my application in minutes when I applied. I’ll draw on those thoughts and speak from my heart just like I did when I filled out the application and hopefully someone will connect with our story.