Going to Queensland with ProBlogger Darren Rowse? We’ll know soon!
As an Art Predator, Wine Predator, Bikergogal, and Compassionate Rebel, I prowl the world for the aesthetic (that which engages the whole soul according to Coleridge) to publish exciting wine, food, and travel adventures to inspire readers and subscribers to leave the sidelines to become involved participants in all the wonderful challenges and experiences life offers.
Sometime in the next few hours, I will find out whether I will be joining Darren Rowse of Problogger fame and nine other bloggers in Queensland Australia for an amazing five days exploring the rain forest and the Great Barrier Reef, meeting the native plants and animals (and possibly some poets and cyclists!), and taking two blogging workshops with one of THE names in blogging. They are supposed to post the winners sometime Monday, April 23…eastern Australian time which is quite a bit ahead of Pacific Standard Time. UPDATE: They now plan to post the winners on Tuesday, April 24 AUS time.
My WordPress stats say my highest readership was 18,533 page views Sept. 2011 on my Art Predator blog when I was posting photos, news, stories and poems live from the 2011 Burning Man Festival in the Nevada Desert. I average over 15,000 or more page views a month on my various blogs; my readers come from all over the world, with most of them from English speaking countries.
The contest closed to submissions less than a week ago, Tuesday August 17, and according to a tweet from Darren Rowse, some 800 people applied to go on this itinerary. In another tweet, he said he was looking through the applications and he seemed impressed with how stiff the competition was. We were asked to provide some information about our blogs, our audience, our social media use, links to sample content, and to write 150 words about how we would approach the project.
Thoreau: “In Wildness is the preservation of the world.”
As an ecopsychologist, college writing teacher, and blogger, I know stories create meaning and turn “spaces” on the planet into “places” in someone’s imagination, places to bring family, explore, preserve.
I will enthusiastically use my social media “Klout” to share stories about rainforest and Great Barrier Reef biodiversity, artists and poets like Oodgeroo Noonuccal, efforts to be green, and cutting-edge cuisine. Discovering Queensland’s growing wine industry and opportunities for hiking, camping, and other family friendly adventures are also topics of great excitement to me.
With my MA in writing and BA in environmental studies, I write with knowledge and flair about land and people developing stories that “engage the soul” and inspire readers to make their own stories, to discover their own wildness…in Queensland!
As a bonus, I learn to be a better blogger!
Wondering about that “Ecopsychologist” bit? I’m working on a PhD at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Community, Liberation, and Ecopsychology! If I am selected, I could do my field work about and in Queensland Australia, preparing for the trip by reading everything I could get my hands on then writing in “depth” about it. In particular,
my fieldwork project focuses on how social media can be used for social good–specifically, to tell stories about the land
I will read much more widely and more deeply, and write more and with more depth and imagination about the topics related to our travel in Queensland. I will be spending closer to 400 hours on this project from now until mid-September: about 100 hours in the region, about 150 hours reading, and about 100 hours blogging and using social media to tell these stories about the land. The greater benefit of the project is that I will be helping readers, consumers, families and the brand itself understand these more complex ideas as detailed in this proposal including the mythic dimension and the importance of the connection to the land.
I listed all of my blogs plus my Klout link (steady in the top 5% with scores from 54-56 for about six months or more), plus facebook groups and pages, LinkedIn and flickr. Below are links to sample content from which I submitted three links. (Which three do you think I submitted?)
This isn’t the first time I have submitted myself to the tortures of applying for this sort of contest. Some of my longtime readers and certainly my friends remember when I applied for the “Best Job In the World” winter of 2009. I blogged steadily about the Great Barrier Reef and made the video posted here; over 30,000 other people also applied for the job. While my friends and family were convinced I’d get it, and my friend Imre Juhasz helped me make a super professional video, the finalists were, for the most part, all young things without families and photo op ready bikini bodies. Some of the posts I published at that time continue to be super popular here including this one about kids activities related to the Great Barrier Reef, and this one about Oodjeroo Noonucall an aboriginal poet from Stradbroke Island.
Then when Murphy-Goode ran a similar contest for the “Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent,” my friends convinced me to make another video and apply for that so we adapted the video we did for the other contest and added more footage and I blogged away about wine for a few weeks but Hardy Wallace won that gig.
You’d think I would give up, but no! In November 2009, I submitted a 200 word essay and won an all expenses paid trip to Portugal with Enoforum; for this trip, publicist Jo Diaz made a video about me!
Then spring 2010 I competed to be part of the WBC-or-Bust wine blogger bus. I wrote a number of posts about Washington wine (usually paired with food) which I posted mostly on Wine Predator; I was rewarded with a spot on the bus.
Since then, I’ve spoken at the Women’s Conference in front of 10,000 people (October 2010) and been on a panel on wine and food blogging at the International Wine Blogger’s Conference (November 2011). I’ve also been listed by Jo Diaz for the past two years as an influential and important wine blogger, and was included on another list of wine bloggers to read. I’ve also been included in two wine blogging documentaries and been featured in stories in the local press.
I’d like to think there’s a way that YOU, dear reader, could help send me to Queensland Australia, because while I would be the one having the adventure, you would benefit also as a reader of my blog since I would be posting here while I am there! I would also be tweeting and facebooking sharing the experience in real time.
But this, fortunately, isn’t like those other contests that egg us competitors on to send our friends and family to some site to “vote”. My guess is they’ve already decided and possibly contacted the winning bloggers. Just in case they have not, please send me your magic juju! You might also “like” or comment on this blog post. And of course, it is always awesome when readers become subscribers!
I couldn’t do it without you–THANK YOU for reading Art Predator –and my other blogs too!