By March 2007 I’d fallen in love with my hometown all over again. I wanted to shout about Tulsa and what it was becoming from the rooftops.
As I was considering how to best do this, I couldn’t help but remember some of the popular refrains I’d heard from kids at school: “There’s nothing to do in Tulsa,” “Tulsa’s boring,” and then, of course, the classic, “I can’t wait to get the hell out of this town.”
I wasn’t buying it.
After a chat with friends over a few beers at McNellie’s (and, of course, one of their burgers and an order of their incomparable sweet potato fries), I decided to start a blog. In my introductory post I wrote about ways to find your own fun in Tulsa, starting with swearing off highways. Rather than post about all the things I knew to do in town, I wanted to start by writing how Tulsans could discover the city for themselves.
I wrote off and on until my son came along in early 2008. I quit my day job and started blogging every day from the little desk in our living room, writing and snapping photos to show Tulsans where to have fun with the kids or which restaurant serves the best chiles rellenos, or where to make plans for the weekend. This little blog began to win some big awards, including a Tulsey for best interactive, Best Culture Blog in Oklahoma and Best Tulsa Blog in the Oklahoma Blog Awards. I was asked to join the Friday morning crew of the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley with the list of the best things to do in Tulsa on the weekends, and over the course of the next couple of years I contributed regularly to Oklahoma Magazine, TulsaKids Magazine, Urban Tulsa Weekly, Ttownmoms.com, Fox23 Daybreak and 2News Midday.
Then came an opportunity to join the staff of This Land Press, the new media company here in Oklahoma that was deemed by Columbia Journalism Review to be The New Yorker with balls. I signed on as associate editor, and as I worked on stories about one of Tulsa’s toughest bars and probably the most exciting thing you’ll ever do in Muskogee, I helped to build the events and culture site DO WHAT, loaded with info on the best things to do in Tulsa. I also teach some courses at local colleges, including blogging and social media at Tulsa Community College and a new-media journalism course at The University of Tulsa.
Best of all about this journey have been the TDT readers, who’ve pushed me and inspired me to create stories, articles, and photos that inform, compel and showcase Tulsa and what it has in store for residents and visitors alike.
Just as wonderful are my fellow Oklahoma bloggers, who fight the good fight of converting the complacent into advocates for our state.
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