Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yanni Voices Tour in Kansas City

Yanni Voices 2009 Tour is heading to Kansas City in a few weeks on Tuesday, June 9th.

The Yanni Voices website is jam packed with more details including specific tour dates.

Thanks to One2One Network, my husband and I are going to Yanni Voices in KC. And I have wonderful news for one of you: One2One Network have offered me two Yanni Voices tickets for the Kansas City show to giveaway along with after show meet & greet passes!

Here's the quick and easy rules on the Nothin' but SocNET Yanni Voices giveaway:
1) Leave a "Why I Gotta Go to Yanni Voices" comment on this post spelling out why you should get the two tickets to Yanni Voices in Kansas City. Also, please include your preferred online way of me contacting you (email, twitter id, etc.) in your comment.

2) You must be available to pick up the two Yanni Voices tickets and meet & greet after show passes before 7:30p on Tuesday, June 9 at the Kansas City Sprint Center Will Call window.

3) The contest will close at 10am CDT on Saturday, May 30.

4) I'll pick the winner from the comments on Saturday, May 30 before noon. I'll notify the winner personally and post the winner via a comment on this post sometime Saturday afternoon pending my Saturday mommy to-dos.

Best of luck! I'm looking forward to reading your "Why I Gotta Go To Yanni Voices" comments and seeing at least one of you at the KC concert.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Horse Boy Moment

@MySpyderWeb, a powerhouse Kansas City blogger, sent me a Twitter direct message in mid-March about pre-ordering The Horse Boy book with a link to the documentary clip. I knew nothing about the book or documentary.

After watching the clip, I understood why @MySpyderWeb sent me the link. She had been experiencing little 140 character glimpses into our family's autism journey and our new joy with horseback riding therapy.

My husband and I began reading the book and nodding our heads with Isaacson's (@TheHorseBoy and yes, the tweets are from Isaacson, not a ghost twitterer) first few chapters on their family's experience with Rowan's tell-tale autism signs: the tantrums, the loss of focus, the loss of words - the feeling of losing your child more and more each day into the autism world of blank stares.

For us, the first part of The Horse Boy brought back a lot of raw emotions and an appreciation for the long, hard fought journey that got us where our family is today, but that story - our story - is another post.

A few Thursday ago, I was suppose to be flying to Chicago for the SOBCon kick off with the Chicago Social Media Club. For some nagging, mother's intuition reason I decided to book a Friday morning 6(gulp):15 a.m. flight instead.

So Thursday morning, I'm driving to meet my husband for lunch, listening to NPR and Isaacson was being interviewed by our local station, KCUR, about The Horse Boy. It just so happened he was in Kansas City promoting the book and speaking that evening at Unity Temple sponsored by a local bookstore, Rainy Day Books.

It was too late to get a sitter for the evening, so my husband and I decided I'd go alone to see Isaacson. As I was leaving, our 10 year old, autistic son "L" asked to join me. I'm not sure if my husband or I was more shocked by L's request. We explained that it was going to be an hour of the author telling the audience about his book and it would be all adults. We explained it might be boring. What we didn't know is our son had looked through The Horse Boy focusing on the pictures documenting the Isaacson family trip to Mongolia.

Our son, L, said, "I'm suppose to help Rowan. I need to go meet him."

We explained most likely it would only by Rowan's dad, Mr. Isaacson, and our son shrugged and said, "The dad will do."

So our 10 year old, high functioning autistic son and I headed to Unity. We talked on the way about autism as he flipped through the book. L told me he wasn't happy about all the "not nice" terms that some people have about autism and all the "stuff" that is associated with it, and that people think it needs to be cured.

I told him that our family felt so amazingly blessed with our autism journey and didn't see autism as needing to be cured. We just wanted to make sure he has every opportunity to live life to the fullest.

On one hand, I felt sad that he understand the label baggage but on the other I thought he's moving toward typical acknowledgment.

When we got to Unity, I said a little prayer that the evening would go ok. Ya just never know what L is going to say or do.

I was picking up our Rainy Day book before we walked into the Unity temple auditorium. Our son spotted Isaacson and walked right up to him and started talking and they conversed for quite a bit before I came over and introduced myself as L's mom and asked L to introduce himself.

"Hi, I'm L and I'm autism. I'm here to help your son."

Isaacson looked at me.

"L is high functioning and was diagnosed at 2 1/2. He's 10 now. Looks like L and Rowan have a lot of similarities. And L loves horses as well."

Isaacson talked with us, well actually he and L chatted about horseback riding, Mongolia and their family journey. Isaacson (looking at me) asked L if he'd like to bring his family to their family horse camp outside of Austin. I nodded.

L said something about it being too hot in Austin in the summer but absolutely in the fall. Isaacson agreed, with a smile, that the fall would be much better. It appeared that he had become just as smitten with L as we are. I just stood back and watched our son's magic and took in the moment.

We broke away so Isaacson could take the stage. L asked a few insightful questions during Isaacson's talk. Afterward, we went to stand in line to get Isaacson's autograph in the book. L asked why we needed another book and I said we would give it away. Then I realized I hadn't taken any pictures so I began looking in my bag for my camera not noticing that L was writing in our book.

L said, "He's giving away all his books, he needs a book."

Still digging through my purse, not looking up, "No, really, hon, he has plenty. This is what an author does...signs the book he wrote for his readers."

"Um, Mom, I'm giving him this one. I wrote him something."

I look up, "Let me see"

L had scribed (and I wish I had written it down so I could get this exactly right):

Trust in
your son
Trust in
your heart
your troubles
will be

The search for my camera went bye-bye and I just tried to keep my eyes from welling up, "Ok, son, I think that's a great idea."

When it was our turn, L very proudly handed the L inscribed book to Isaacson, "This is for you."

Isaacson, "Oh, L, will you sign it and I'll give this to Rowan."

"Good idea because I'm here to help Rowan."

Isaacson asked for contact information so we could stay in touch. He said he only knew me as L's mom. I handed him my business card, showed him my twitter handle and put my personal email on it.

L and I walked (or I should say floated) to our car as L was on cloud nine...I think I was on cloud eleven. He was talking a mile a minute about how he was the only one that gave the author a book and how cool that was and how much the author needed that book and how he was going to help Rowan. We called my husband and L went on and on about the amazing time we had. After about five minutes of chatting, L handed me the phone and the tears started coming, "Oh, hon, I wish you could have been here to see our son. I can't talk now or I'll start crying (and added for L's sake) happy tears."

L said, "Mom, I agree with Mr. Isaacson"

"On what, sweetie?"

"Autism is an adventure."

And that - those four words from my son's mouth - that's why I needed to stay in Kansas City that Thursday night.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SOBCon 09 Recap - It's a wrap

I'm ending my SOBCon trilogy post with Ramsey Mohen's (@ramseym) video. The guy knows video storytelling and is as nice off camera as he is on.

SOBCon 09 Recap

Still working the listening angle, there are so many amazing SOBCon posts from the many bloggers that attended so I'm highlighting a few SOBCon attendees with this second of three recap posts.

A fantastic conference set up with a glimpse back at SOBCon '08 and highlights of '09 from Barbara Rozgonyi (@wiredprworks).

Steve Fisher (@stevenfisher)from Network Solutions provides a solid yet brief, day-by-day overview.

I related to Terry Starbucker's (@starbucker)Digilogger post because integrated marketing and communications is a passion of mine.

And finally, Glenda Watson Hyatt's (@GlendaWH) recap is the perfect one to end on and yes, folks her presentation did rock the SOBCon house.

And for even more SOBCon session coverage, see the SOBCon compilation link list.

We had plenty of fun at SOBCon, including the elevator pitch flash mob. Cheryl Smith (@cherylsmith999) jumped right in on cue.

Cheryl Smith's Elevator Pitch at SOBcon from David Murray on Vimeo.

And now you know where the SOBCon phrase "The ice man cometh..." originated.

Monday, May 4, 2009

SOBCon Recap

What did I learn from @lizstrauss's and @starbucker's Successful and Outstanding Bloggers School of Business Conference (SOBCon09)? To listen more and talk less.

In that vein, the next series of post are going to be from some of the outstanding bloggers I met over the weekend. Some will be pulled in from their blog, video post, etc. - some will be guest posts. Let me know what you think!

I chose @jenchicago's recap of Day 1 first because heck, we were in Chicago, it's Day 1 and Jen is an amazing videoblogging who lives social media. Jen made an immediate impression on me as someone who knows the ins and outs of promoting yourself and your cause online authentically.

With video you are always listening, you also have to know how to get the story out of the teller. Jen does both really well.