“Congratulations, You’ve Been…”

This morning I heard the news that we lost a woman of incredible valor.   I’ve absorbed her words, envied her confidence, and admired the grace with which she conducted herself.  I had intended to share some news today, but it somehow felt inappropriate.  And then I read this quote shared on Oprah Winfrey’s site.   She said one of the best lessons that she learned from Dr. Angelou was this: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  It was then that I realized this was exactly the kind of news I should be sharing.

A few months ago, I applied for a scholarship to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara County.  A SAHM doesn’t exactly earn a salary, so it would hard to justify the expense, but I knew it was a unique learning opportunity.  I have connected with so many other writers online.  I have found mentors and support, encouragement and inspiration.

In August, I will have been writing for three years.  I have not yet acquired any certifications or attended any seminars.  I have yet to take it to the next level or monetize my blog.  With the changes in Facebook policies it seems my reach has lessened.   At times, it can feel as if what I am doing doesn’t really “count.”  But I want it to matter.  I want to build something of value, monetary or otherwise.  I want to reach beyond, to connect, to be seen.  And although my current schedule allows minimal time for exploration and writing, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My children are growing and I want to grow with them.

Yesterday afternoon, I was beginning to write when I saw the email pop up in the corner.  “Congratulations! You have been…”  I couldn’t see the full subject line but I assumed it ended with a “…chosen to take a survey.”  Or “…have a chance to win a Carnival cruise.”  And then I saw the sender: Thea@WBC Scholarship.  Holy Moly!  What?  Me? How?  AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

So, I am going!  I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to meet so many I’ve long admired.  I’m so humbled to have been chosen.  I am so excited to drink good wine…I mean…have a break from my kids….I MEAN learn from all of the talented writers that will be there.  Truly.

Thank you Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Committee.  Thank you to all of you that donated so that I can be there.  Thank you to all of you that will be sharing your insight and wisdom.  Thank you for teaching what you’ve learned and giving of what you have.

I will be sharing more about the conference when it is in full swing and as I process.  Right now, I would love to hear from those of you that have been.  Tips?  Water, spit…anything else?  Ladies, what to wear? (Have to ask)  Friends, when and where will you arrive? depart?  Most importantly, when can we toast in person?  Yay!!!!

Many thanks to the corporate sponsors that have made this possible:

Rodney Strong WBC Scholarshiptercerophoto1


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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

23 thoughts on ““Congratulations, You’ve Been…”

  1. Amazing achievement! Well deserved.
    Lady to lady:
    -Wear black…that way if you spill, no ones the wiser
    -Wear a statement jewellery piece…makes you stand out nicely, not sore thumb-ly
    but if its a necklace make sure it’s not super long. Long necklaces get annoying when your spitting out wine.
    – Oh and have fun!

    One day…


  2. Congratulations! Now, you can no longer say that your blog has no monetary value. It earned you a scholarship! I know exactly what you mean about wanting the blog to count, to matter, to be relevant. I struggle with that all the time. Why am I spending so much time on something that doesn’t even earn money? On the other hand, it has brought us to this wonderful wordpress blogging community. That alone is valuable and enriching. I’m sorry I won’t get to meet you in person. I had planned to go, but then had a schedule conflict. My son leaves for Europe on July 12th. I thought about just giving him directions to the airport, but that seemed wrong somehow. I can’t wait to read all about the conference through the different perspectives of all that are going. Congratulations, again!


  3. Had planned to go last year but family crisis prevented my participation. This year I will be (back) in class again. Anticipating 2015 as my first WBC… Will look forward to everyone’s posts about this year.


  4. This will be my second conference (#WBC12). Tons, and tons of wine. Spit, spit, spit. I am going to the pre-conference gig in Paso, then getting to the hotel on Thursday. Looking forward to meeting you!


  5. This will be my third conference and my dress has always been casual and comfortable. I, too, have asked myself the same questions as you. Is my blog relevant? I say if it makes you happy, then it’s relevant. Congrats!


  6. Alissa, this is a wonderful news! Congratulations – and I will see you there – so you can count on at least one familiar face. It will be my first WBC, so I can’t tell you what to expect – but I can answer one of your questions: to spit – yes, absolutely. when presented with large amount of wine to taste, spittoon is your friend. Will be arriving Thursday and leaving Sunday. See you in Santa Barbara!


      1. Using miles… Also, you might be smiling in the end – I had missed connections before from LAX to SBA…


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