I started blogging about five years ago, when I was counting down to 50.  It was a way to keep a journal as I approached a very important birthday. As many of you, my readers, know, along the way my life had its ups and downs and downs and ups. Two weeks shy of turning 50, I lost my husband, my soulmate of 25 years after a traumatic illness.  Later that year, both my children graduated – one from college and one from high school – leaving me with an empty nest.  I had to reinvent myself.  And so I did.

Many of you traveled this journey with me through my blog. You watched me grow during my countdown to 50 and continue to watch me grow during my life after 50.  You told me in a recent survey that you read my writing because you like my authentic voice, my fun spirit, and my optimistic style.  It is because of all of you, my dear readers, that I continue to blog.  You have helped me through the bad times and the good times, through my fears and through my grief, through my mistakes and through my triumphs.

I am very proud to share some good news with all of you.  I recently applied for a scholarship to attend the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ (ASJA) 41st Annual Writers Conference in NYC.  I sent off my application along with my writing samples and my blogger resume.

“It is with great pleasure that I hereby notify you of your selection as a recipient of a 2012 ASJA Writers Conference scholarship. Congratulations! We were very impressed with the quality and number of applications we received, and yours was indeed a standout. We are very happy to offer you a place at the Conference,” said the note from ASJA’s Executive Director.

According to their website, ASJA was founded in 1948 and is the nation’s professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. Its membership consists of nearly 1,200 outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA’s exacting standards of professional achievement.

OMG!  Wow-o-wow!  OMG! Wow-o-wow!

I am one of 10 scholarship winners selected to attend the ASJA conference.  My writing impressed the writers.  In addition, I receive a mentor time with a published author.

OMG! Wow-o-wow! OMG! Wow-o-wow!

Am I excited?  You betcha, betcha, betcha! OMG!  Wow-o-wow!

I read all 72 pages of the online agenda. I want to go to this seminar and that one and that seminar and this one.  Ooh, ooh, ooh, I can’t wait to mingle with all the journalists and authors and learn from the literary. I can’t wait to be in a room full of writers.

Hold on a minute.  I, Judi with an “i,” never liked creative writing or English class in elementary, middle or high school.  I cringed when I had to take a creative writing class in college. Now, during my life after 50, I enjoy writing and look forward to putting my fingers on the computer keys.  Like a good wine that gets better with age, I too have learned to enjoy the things I disliked in my younger years, thanks to the wisdom and wit I have gained with age.

And so dear, dear readers, with many thanks to you, my writer within is emerging.  And one day, soon she may be a published author or have a paid byline in a magazine or newspaper.

OMG!  Wow-o-wow!

Am I excited? You betcha, betcha, betcha!  Hope you are too.