I’m On the Road to Steemfest, Too!

Last night, once again bumbling about on Steemit far later than is healthy, I came across an initiative by @anomadsoul that piqued my interest. He offers a challenge for those of us planning to attend Steemfest 3: make a post a week from the heart, first introducing ourselves to other Steemians bound for Krakow in November, then letting them get to know us through our words. Using the #roadtosteemfest tag, we can find other posts by people we’re likely to see there, and by the time we meet in person, we’ll already know each other.

What a great idea! I think it’s a fantastic way to jumpstart the fun and form lasting relationships within the broader Steem community. Having recently celebrated my one-year Steemiversary, I’ve been here long enough to know that relationships are the key to longevity on this platform. Most of us tend to find communities of like-minded people and there we stay. This gives us a reason to stretch our boundaries. Again, great initiative! I can certainly get behind it.

I did balk at one aspect of the challenge, though. Anomadsoul calls for this to be a freewrite. Anyone who knows me knows that ain’t gonna happen. I’m a writer and editor by trade, and the blockchain is permanent. No way I’m going to publish a first draft of anything anywhere, least of all here. But I can write informally, which I think is the crux of the matter. Anomadsoul just wants to hear from us, no pressure, no pretense. And I can get behind that, too.

So Who Am I?

In the Steemiverse,

I’m one-fourth of the @noblewitness team comprised of @anarcho-andrei, @GMuxx, @SirCork, and myself. The four of us are not just witness partners but IRL (In Real Life) friends. The camaraderie between us is real. Though we have strikingly different personal styles, the four of us have one mind about the future of the blockchain—we’re invested, heart and soul. We’re not blind to the flaws of Steemit, but we understand that this platform is just one part of a much bigger picture. We have a solid plan to make our corner of the crypto-world better, and part of this will be announced at the Steem Creators Conference and SMT Summit in Toronto next month. Hopefully by November, we’ll have all three parts of our business model “stood up” and ready to introduce at Steemfest. More about that in a minute!

All four members of the @noblewitness team are part of @thewritersblock, a writing community that thrives on Discord. We all serve different roles. Cork is part of the IT team working on the project I’ll tell you about in a minute. Anarcho-andrei is one of our Executive Officers alongside @shadowspub. This means they can (and have) served as admins in the Discord when neither of our regular admins is available. And who are our two admins? Why, GMuxx and myself, of course. We worked together in the Fiction Workshop at MSP for months, until it outgrew a single channel and needed a server of its own.

The Writers’ Block is one component of a larger “Triangle” of writing and publishing resources we’re bringing to the Steem blockchain. It’s a place where writers with all levels of experience can interact with and gain insight from professional authors and editors. Next month, we’ll announce a new front-end site that’s just for creatives, designed from the ground up to ensure more visibility for writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism. Eventually we hope to add other forms of artistic expression as well, like art and music. By the time Steemfest rolls around, we intend to have our publishing house ready for launch.

In the “Real World,”

I’m the Director of a 501c3 nonprofit organization for animal welfare. I rescue dogs. Sadly, the situation where I live in rural Appalachia is very grim for animals. I won’t bring us all down by going into detail about it here, but I’ve posted prolifically about it on my blog. You can read more there and on Steemshelves.

Let’s Get Real

Those things about me are all true. And I think people need to know them. But do those things really make me me? Not as much as the fact that I grew up in the southern U.S., in the country. My best friends were animals. I’m the mother of two grown kids and this past year became a grandmother. I’m married, and he’s on Steemit as @sk43 . I spend all my time at the rescue with dogs other people threw away. I can’t bear to think of them as “unwanted.” That part of their identity and history makes me willing to sacrifice almost anything to keep their bellies full and their tails wagging.

To understand me, you have to know my spirit animal is a raccoon. I didn’t realize this until much later in life. I share so many personality traits with procyon lotor that it’s a wonder I haven’t grown a ringed tail. The rescue is located at the bottom of a wooded mountain, and raccoons are just part of the landscape here. You’d think the dogs would scare them away. Nope. The dogs and the raccoons are friends. They conspired to help one crafty creature gain access to my office last year, resulting in the mess you see below. Raccoons seem to sense I am one of them, and they take full advantage.

I have little raccoon handprints on my wall from where juveniles came down the chimney my first year living here and smeared soot everywhere. One day I’ll repaint. Until then, I keep the prints as a type of abstract art appropriate to my lifestyle. All of my windows and doors are damaged. I have gaping holes in the drywall where raccoons have tunneled in, and out, and in again. In my part of the country, there is no option of relocating raccoons. Having them exterminated is the only option. You can bet I won’t do that, so I live with the constant destruction. Ah, the things we do for love.

Well, that’s enough about me to get us started. Who knows what I’ll talk about next week. When it comes to my crazy life, I haven’t even scratched the surface.