Welcoming the Challenge

I’ve heard so many people say that they’re thankful when rejection or challenge hits, but it takes months or years until they get that perspective. “Getting hacked was the best thing for me. I’ve learned so much about security since then.” “Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. I started my own business and now I have the freedom to do what I want.” “I’m so glad that girl dumped me. I would have been miserable with her, and I’m so much happier now.” There has been a lot of talk about rejection, conflict, and trauma lately. Everyone I know is going through some kind of challenge requiring them to think differently about their life. It can send us into emotion …

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WordCamp Miami

I had so much fun at WordCamp Miami. The FIU campus was beautiful, the organizers were amazing, and the volunteers were so helpful. The speaker reception was at Dave and Busters. We had great fun playing games and letting off some travel steam. We ended up visiting South Beach that night and saw some things. I am not sure I’m done laughing. The Wordfence table was extraordinarily busy. Lock pick sets disappeared quickly as novice lock pickers found their way into each lock, learning how to Think Like a Hacker. (The thought being that once you think like a hacker, you are better able to defend yourself online.) When we sponsor, day one is typically insanely busy and we get a break on day two. …

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LifterLMS Podcast: Securing your site

A few months ago, I did an interview with Chris Badgett at LifterLMS. I had met Chris’ business partner, Thomas Levy, at WordCamp LAX, and we had some really empowering conversations. Thomas is a force of nature. If you ever get a chance to meet him, jump at it. Chris, too, is amazing. He’s done so many unique things in his life, and he brings a level of community to LifterLMS that makes it an amazing ecosystem.

WordCamp Phoenix

WordCamp Phoenix 2019

It was my first year contributing to WordCamp organizing. I noticed that WordCamp Phoenix put out a call for organizers last summer. Sure, why not. I’m new here, I love WordPress, might as well contribute while meeting people. I had no idea. These people work so hard. They’re amazing. They think big and do what it takes. Rockstars, all of them. Planning and organizing the event has been quite an experience. I joked that it was much like planning a wedding: by the end of the weekend, someone is going to get married, but Uncle Bob is probably going to do something embarrassing. For this event, anyway, the role of Uncle Bob was played by the convention center. Some less than ideal things occurred, but …

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Failing Forward

One of the worst failings I have: I see the best in people. Sometimes, I see in people things that they cannot see themselves. I see their brilliance, their pure selves. I see their potential. My college speech coach, George, would tell people that they were “wallowing in their potential.” I saw it too. And I loved people through the wallow. I still do. It is a failing because when I encourage people that they can do better, they respond to me with rebellion. After all, they are wallowing for a reason. If they wanted to break out of their resistant patterns, they would have done so. They have to do so in their own time. I’ve lost friendships because I call things like I …

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2018 and what’s next

This year has been a year of monumental changes in my life. I’ve moved my family to a new state, suffered through unimaginable heat over the summer, started attending and speaking at WordCamps around the country, made a ton of new friends, deepened some friendships, and lost quite a few others. Overall, the end of 2018 has landed me and my family in a much better place, though I miss the big mountain and her mysterious skies. With all of the positive changes, I am finding myself stretching still into new places and new roles. I’ve decided that social media, at least my use of it, needs to change. Toward that end, I’m rekindling my publishing here. After all, this is my space. No social …

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Somehow, it goes on

I woke this morning, went on a walk with Max and Bodhi, and out to breakfast with Claire and Mark. It has been a great day. Even though the weather in Phoenix refuses to simmer down, we’re finding ways of coping. The air conditioner has only quit on us once, so I consider that a blessing. My heart and mind has been focused on friends in Mount Shasta and the relentless fires and smoke that have plagued that region of the country. Though we left Mount Shasta before the first fire, I’m still checking fire updates daily and checking in with friends who are suffocating in the blanket of smoke. God, how I remember. It was last summer’s smoke that drove me to finally capitulate …

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defcon26

DEF CON 26

I returned home yesterday from DEF CON in Las Vegas. I attended with my teammates from Defiant. As we are a remote team, this is our annual get together for some face-to-face meetings, hacking escapades, and some fun. I knew there would be a lot of people there. I was woefully unprepared for the sheer crush of humanity. I brought my kids. After living in Mount Shasta, they haven’t traveled a ton lately. They had never seen Las Vegas. Mark took them around to sightsee while I did work things. We also got a badge for Max to attend DEF CON. Of course, Claire was jealous and wanted to see too. So we swapped badges for a bit so she could visit the R00tz Asylum …

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Someone Moved

We moved to Phoenix in mid-June. I don’t yet feel at home. The oppressive heat has been wearing on me, but I can see an end to the furnace-inspired onslaught soon. I find ways to stay positive and adapt. I like the skies here.  Last night, a dear friend from Mount Shasta called. Before I could even lament the heat, he said, “I know you’re homesick. I know it’s hot there. But if you were here, you’d have to deal with the heat AND the smoke. When the winds are from the north, it’s smoke from fires in Oregon. When they’re from the south, it’s smoke from Redding.” The fires have been giving me a strong case of survivor’s guilt. My heart is still firmly …

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On Writing; the Drought of 2017

A new acquaintance asked me why I stopped writing. “Life. Work. Kids. Mostly life,” I answered. “Well you have to have all of that if you’re going to have something to write about,” she replied, knowingly. I had promised that no matter what came along, I would not stop writing. Promises made to ourselves in the quietude of a perfect Sunday morning never get kept, you know. They are the red-headed stepchild of promises. 2017 wasn’t one of my best years in many ways. I lost my dear beloved Alex though I tried valiantly to keep him alive. He acquiesced quietly and obediently, suffering through lymphoma until I was ready to say goodbye. My readiness was fleeting during the pre-dawn hours of a Saturday morning …

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