>The bookstore at the BlogHer conference will carry Off the Beaten (Subway) Track!!!!! And I get to do a signing!!! Man, I am so excited I can barely sit still. This is just the cream cheese icing on the moist carrot cake without nuts! (Since I am no cannibal, I try to avoid nuts in my baked goods.)

Details: The signing will take place at the BlogHer conference at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco's stupendous Union Square on Friday, July 18th from 2:00-2:30.

This means more to me than just the first book signing of my first book. Not long after I started blogging, my friend C. (who is also going to the conference this year! yay!) told me that I needed to hook up with an awesome site for women bloggers called BlogHer. C. didn't blog, but she went to the first BlogHer conference in 2005 and had a blast. I checked out the site, liked it a lot (someone wrote about buying a wipe board that is installed in her shower because she gets so many ideas while in the shower and needs to write them down or else she'd forget them - me too!!!), and joined up.

Not long after that, BlogHer transformed into a its next phase of life and sought contributing editors. I looked at the various categories that were available and applied for Travel & Recreation. I figured that I went lots of places and was writing about them, and often before I headed on a trip I read what other bloggers were up to at that destination, so it would be fun. Let me reiterate that I had essentially zero track record as a writer and a blogger, but Lisa Stone read my nutty stories about the degrees of stench one might encounter in airplane bathrooms (a recurring theme to this day) and crazy rants about underwear in Paris, and she gave me a chance. I wrote about travel for six months before switching over to feminism & gender. (Currently, Pam Mandel is the amazing contributing editor for travel.)

That the debut of my first book will be at the BlogHer conference just feels so right to me. The wonderful people behind BlogHer could understandably have told a newbie like me to buzz off when I inquired about writing for them, but they didn't. Now BlogHer is offering me another opportunity to branch out. Elizabeth from Table for Five patiently worked with Barnes & Noble and Cumberland House to ensure that Off the Beaten (Subway) Track made it to this year's conference bookstore, despite some logistical snafus. My gratitude toward everyone at BlogHer is immense.

Feminism & GenderIncidentally, I'll also be leading the Birds of a Feather Meet-Up for Travel, since Pam is unfortunately unable to attend the conference. This session will take place from 12:45 - 2:00 on Friday, July 18. I'm getting as much insight from Pam as possible, so it should be a great conversation.