Stuff I’ve Been Reading (Story Edition)

This week was stupid busy, so I don’t have any links to share with you.

Instead, I want to tell you some of the stuff I’ve learned about some of the people behind the blogs that I share here. If you don’t follow these blogs, you should.

  • There is way too much to write about Sonny Lemmons right here (and it will be written in the coming days), but suffice it to say that I genuinely miss him already. There are some people with whom you just connect deeply and immediately, and Sonny is one of those people. Kind, generous, funny, honest.
  • Addie Zierman, in addition to being an absolutely stunning writer, has one of the sweetest singing voices that I heard all weekend.
  • Kristin Tennant organizes kick-ass parties. She can also parallel park on the left like a pro. She also gives great hugs and shares from her heart in person with just the same level of compassion and honesty that I have loved in her writing.
  • I had the chance to meet Rachel Held Evans earlier this year, so I was excited to see her at Story. This woman used to simply be the writer that I admired most on the internet, but she has become a for-real friend, as well.  Also? Pre-order her new book immediately. I’m nearly finished reading it and it is so. freaking. good.
  • Ed Cyzewski has a tremendously gentle way about him, so it is so much fun to see his snarky side emerge every now and again. It was also fun to see him bouncing his satchel on his hip. He found my hugs underwhelming, so next time I’m going to have to step it up a notch.
  • Despite not wearing her Solid Gold dancer running outfit, Jen Luitwieler was just as sassy in real life as she is online. It was wonderful to talk to her about writing and feminism and identity. I still hope to meet her in the ‘Burgh sometime, since I’m pretty sure that would be a whole other kind of awesome.
  • Dianna Anderson made a fantastic driving companion on Friday morning. We’ve had some eerily similar blogging experiences and have some very similar publishing goals. Also, had a great laugh on Thursday when a speaker made a sexist comment and the whole group sitting around her looked at her and Danielle for their reaction.
  • Alece Ronzio truly has the most beautiful smile and was the most patient listener when she unwittingly stumbled into me going on and on about my book proposal. Also, that we pronounce our names the same delights me to no end.
  • The best texts of the weekend came from Matthew Paul Turner. He teased me constantly about my non-Mac existence, but I also had some of the best conversations about inspiration and faith with him. I managed to astonish him with the sheer amount of talking I could do, and I feel like being able to astonish MPT is quite an accomplishment.

All of these folks and so many others were an encouragement to me. There were things I heard at the conference that would be much more difficult to implement if I didn’t have their encouragement. It was a joy to be with people who understand what it is to put yourself out there on the page (or on the screen). It’s easy to be dismissive of what we do, and it was lovely to be with people who didn’t require an apology when we talked about annoying blog commenters or how much we hate platforms or how crazy we feel working on something that we love only to see it rejected.

I’ll be writing more about the conference over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, be sure to check out these amazing folks.

  • elora nicole ramirez

    I love this!

  • kim sullivan

    So glad you got to be there with all those folks and that they got to be with you!
    I will certainly check out the blogs of those you mention. Most I love already, but I see new names and that makes me happy!
    For the record, I so appreciate you “going first” so very often. As I read what you write and your comments elsewhere, I am encouraged and strengthened to genuinely be myself…to be my full and free self. Your “going first” is strength of your person, but at times it must be burden as well. I just want to say, thanks to you again…for showing me how, helping me to work my way through where I am and what I do there, before whom I should speak freely and where I should more measure and ration my words. Lots of people love me, few get what it is I must do and say well…I’m really thankful to have found you.

    • Alise Wright

      Thank you so much for this comment. It means a lot to me. I’m glad to be an encouragement – I receive SO MUCH from others, it’s good to know that it gets passed around.

  • suzannah | the smitten word

    i am thrilled you had such a great time–and wish i could have made it. also? i wanna tear it up with you and jen in the ‘burgh sometime!

    • from two to one

      Next year please!!

  • HopefulLeigh

    Love this, Alise! Glad you had such a rich time there. I’m definitely going to go next year- come hell or high water!

    • Alise Wright

      Well. I hope neither of those things come and you can just make it out. I have a feeling I’ll be there again.

  • Jennifer Luitwieler

    I. Love. You.

  • from two to one

    Love this! Hope you got some rest this weekend.

  • Kristin T.

    Alise, I can’t begin to say how thrilled I am that we were able to party, park and hug together, among other things. :) xo