>I’ve added an entire slew of new links on the sidebar to the right. Some are Etsy shops links. Some are new blogs I’ve found and the stories written range from funny to tragic, but all are honest and tell the tale of real life.

One of the new links is for Bliss Dom ’09, a blogging conference to be held in Nashville.

I didn’t even mention it to my husband because I know we don’t have the extra money for me to go. I had wanted to go to a Christian writers conference last year on our way back from the beach, but the extra money for the conference, a hotel room and feeding us/eating out wasn’t in the cards.

Not to make my husband sound like The Bad Guy, because he’s not. I’m just being honest and am “keeping it real” a la The Pioneer Woman. The early bird registration fee is $100 (that expired on December 31st, then the prices go up). Then there’s the cost of getting there, the cost of the hotel room, and the cost of being there (eating, cab fare, etc.). It all adds up to too much for us right now.

The reasons I would like to attend the conference are:

* I’d like to meet other bloggers whose daily or weekly posts I read. I think it’s neat to make the “in real life” connection after following someone’s story.

* I’d like to learn more about making my blog more. I want my blog to have meaningful content, to serve as perhaps a spring board for bigger ideas or writing projects.

* I’d like to learn how to appeal to a broad audience. This is really tied to testing the waters of writing… not sure if that would mean magazine articles, short stories or a full-fledged book/novel, but for so long I haven’t pursued the dream of writing because I don’t think anyone cares about what I have to say. Plus, I’m not sure I really write anything that profound.

I read blogs like Rocks in My Dryer or Bring the Rain and I’m like, “Wow, I’d like to do something like that.”

I’ve talked a lot the past few months about wanting more. Part of the “more” that I want is my own creativity via writing and improving what I think is a God-given talent. I’m not even saying I’m that good, but as far as gifts and talents go, I can’t think of any, despite my pondering about it thanks to Angie’s posts about Kindling Your Defining Moment.