Last weekend I was thrilled to attend the Atlanta Pen Show along with a community that has been drawn to an amazing podcast called The Pen Addict with Brad Dowdy and Myke Hurley. This community raised $13,596 on Kickstarter which was nearly twice the goal in order to bring Myke from London to meet his long time co-host for the first time. This community which has grown around these two amazing individuals really taught me a special lesson this past week about acceptance.
Once I finally arrived from a 6 1/2 hour drive from Orlando through miserable rainy weather I was tired and exhausted. But seeing Brad in the hotel bar gave me a second wind. And then seeing a notice on the Slack channel that had been set up for all of us prior to the event with an invitation to join them at the bar I did just that. As most of us are I’m terribly introverted at the best of times until I get to know people but upon seeing me Brad’s face lit up like he was seeing a long lost friend and offered a hug. Even remembering this has me in tears. There was no secret hand shake. No need to prove that I belonged. I just did.
This continued all weekend from meeting up with Sherri for a little down time talking podcasts and being an introvert at these sort of events to our Friday nite party at Nockco HQ to the “Pen & Ink” session that was set up while the podcast was being recorded. We even tried to listen live to the podcast but unfortunately that was not possible.
Catching up with Lisa Anderson was also a highlight and I got three, count them three, #Lisahug during the course of the entire event.
Breakfast each morning was also a surprise. You never knew who would join us at the hotel for breakfast. I was honored and delighted to have a chance to give Myke a little present on Saturday. And hope it encourages him about the importance of even his retired show Bionic which he co-hosted with Matt Alexander which I personally use as a stress reliever during my lunch breaks. Long live VLCNR!
Then the show finished and I returned to my normal work week which included catching up on a whole host of podcast that I was behind including Accidental Tech Podcast otherwise known as ATP. The three host of this show are such a diverse group of men that I find the show educational and comically hilarious at times. Episode 113 was the huge announcement by John Siracusa that he was hanging up his Mac OS X review hat and going to enjoy his summer this year. I was terribly sorry to hear this announcement but I’m thrilled that John may be able to be involved in more podcasts. John’s perspective is unique and I enjoy his analytic analysis of everything including the Cards Against Humanity toaster reviews. Which are a riot!
John asked April 24th at 4:10 pm the following:
So I replied back to John with the following two tweets:
And the more I thought about this over the course of the evening the angrier I became because for some reason the tech community in general still doesn’t get that Women may be interested. I applaud John for asking the question but the answers he received were dominated by men giving their opinion when it wasn’t even asked for. There still seems to be a hold out in some communities including Technology that unless you are part of the prescribed audience that you must either be quiet, learn the secret handshake or just deal with lack of inclusion. Well to be perfectly honest this SUCKS!
After being part of such a vibrant pen community that didn’t care about my gender, marital status, race, religion and then to be reminded that some people still don’t get it was a terrible way to end the work week. However writing this post reminds me of all the amazing people that I came into contact at the Atlanta Pen Show. And proves definitively to me that Christmas doesn’t just come once a year when you have a community that loves and accepts you for you.
Thanks to everyone that I met along the way and for all the new friends. You’ve reminded me why I love this community all over again. And if you are wondering these are my new pen purchases. And can’t wait till next year to do it all over again.