Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



February 2012



Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just You?

Written by , Posted in writing

Here’s the thing about opportunities– you sometimes have to be a little forward with them. Not grab-the-cute-guy’s-butt forward, but definitely is-it-hot-in-here-or-is-it-just-you forward. So that’s what I did a few weeks ago– saw an opportunity just sitting there, went up to it, and asked for it– and Killer Tribes founder/host Bryan Allain invited me to speak at my first conference. Which is 7/8 exciting and 1/3 terrifying. (Fear not– I won’t be speaking about math.)

So, on March 31 in Nashville, I’ll be the least-famous person with the fewest credentials speaking at the inaugural Killer Tribes Conference! I’ll run a little breakout session about embracing niche writing, and it’s entirely possible that the only people who will choose to attend it are the blogging friends I have mercilessly harangued/promised to go pole dancing with/mentioned it to in passing amid subtle suggestions to bring me candy (Reese’s Cups, not Eggs).*

But I’m thrilled because just showing up to speak at this first conference means I have a start. And when you’re a little forward with your opportunities, sometimes you can get pretty far. (Ahem.)

And before we go any farther (whew, is it hot in here, or is it just you?), I want to thank you. Part of why objectively-unfamous-me gets to speak is because I can share with the Killer Tribes attendees what I know about flying my freak flag and the killer tribe that’s drawn. I can speak about you.

A tribe isn’t just a group of people doing the same kind of thing as you, thinking the same kind of way as you. A tribe is a group of people rallying around you. So if you’ve been here long enough to read my Be Warned page and have repeatedly chosen to stay, then you, friends, are a part of this crazy little TOL tribe. And you’ve been a dang good wingman.

So you probably know me well enough by now to know that not many topics make me uncomfortable. But on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, asking for money ranks for me at about a 139. It’s the worst.

But here’s the situation: My husband and I learned a long time ago that staying out of debt does wonders for staying out of divorce court (thank you, Dave Ramsey), and this gig came up without much time to build it into our budget. And although I’m being paid handsomely in experience and networking, the stupid airline hardheadedly refuses to acknowledge these as legal tender.

So, I’m taking all the cash that I’ve saved from my birthday and Christmas out of its envelope marked “Tamara’s Next Tattoo” above a sloppily-drawn smiley face, and instead of replacing my aggressively failing car CD player with an MP3 outlet, Bryan is making his belated birthday gift to me a contribution to this exciting adventure. We will cash savings bonds that our grandparents gave us when we were kids because although at age 8 you think you’ll buy a Sega game or a Rainbow Bright doll with that time-release pseudo-check, the truth is that someday you might just have to invest a little in yourself. (And if we still can’t scrape together enough between now and the end of March– well, we might just have to piss off Dave Ramsey.)

So, one way or another, I’ll be at Killer Tribes on March 31, and I will speak the heck out of that little breakout session. And if you’d like to help me get there, you can just click the button. (Ahem.)

In the spirit of not racking up debt, I’m happy to earn your help. If you have a question about writing/editing/blogging, recreational pole dancing, the superiority of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over Eggs, or anything else that I may or may not be able to answer, please ask away in the comments and I’ll work for it!

Are you going to Killer Tribes? You can use the code “outloud” until Sunday, February 26 to get 10% off registration!

*Jessica Buttram, Knox McCoy, Sharideth Smith, Tyler Tarver, Shawn Smucker, Jennifer Luitwieler, Jeff Goins, Leigh Kramer, Alece Ronzino, Amanda Williams: You know which ones you are. Get your stilettos/confections ready as appropriate.

  • http://ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman(The Barba)

    We have been living on donations and others goodness for nearly 4 years. We are totally independent missionaries. I completely agree with you. The worst part of what we do is ask for financial help. We put it off as long as we can and being out the country means being “out of sight, out of mind” sometimes. It ain’t much but I wanted to seed your future.

    I won’t be there to see it all go down but you’ll do great.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Ken, that you would help a crazy chick get to a conference when you have to shill for money to *minister* to people is huge and humbling. Thank you.

  • http://storywrought.wordpress.com Lizzie

    So excited for you! You’re right – this is a big opportunity. And I have a feeling all that experience and networking will pay off BIG TIME 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks! Funny thing about the networking– it’s already begun! I got to talk with Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken after a recent show of theirs– I told Sandra about the What a Woman is Worth book, and Derek and I talked about our similar approaches to art. And since he and I are both speaking at Killer Tribes, we’re planning to meet up again there. It should be a pretty awesome meeting of the minds, and it would never have happened if he hadn’t found out that a lady sitting at his show was speaking at the same conference as him.

      • http://storywrought.wordpress.com Lizzie

        Exciting just took on a whole new meaning 🙂

  • http://theunreformed.blogspot.com Matthew Shedd

    Well, I hate to be forward, but you are just not right about Reese’s cups being better than Reese’s eggs. The eggs are the greatest holiday treat invented. They have a better chocolate to peanut butter ratio. All in all, the only reason to go for the cups is that they are always there.

    And with that said, congratulations on the speaking gig! I have a feeling your room will be the only one that has people muttering under their breath all morning: “that’s what she said!”

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Matthew, I’m shocked! The ratio is the precise reason the cups are superior. The eggs have too much peanut butter and not enough chocolate. This is an established fact.

      And I wasn’t going to include any innuendos in my speech, but maybe I’ll slip one in just to not disappoint my loyal tribe. 😉

      • http://gumballgirl.wordpress.com Chrystal

        I completely agree with your evaluation of the chocolate to peanut butter ratio in the eggs. This is also why I refuse to buy/eat the “Big Cups”. Have you tried the minis? The ratio is wonderful – and they are so easy to pop in the mouth!

        • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

          Yes, woman after my own heart! The minis are absolutely perfect.

    • http://www.knoxmccoy.com Knox McCoy

      Matthew is CLEARLY in the right on Reese’s Eggs vs. Reese Cups.

      • http://theunreformed.blogspot.com Matthew Shedd

        Thank you! I am starting to see a guys versus girls situation here…and I am glad that you got my back.

      • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

        I see what you’ve done here. You take a preposterous stance against me and everything holy and then make a donation so that I can’t argue. That’s just like you.

  • http://www.lifebeforethebucket.com Adrian W.

    Congrats on speaking at Killer Tribes! So stoked for your epic opportunity.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thank you, me too!

  • http://leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    Should I be offended that you didn’t ask me to get my stilettos ready? Harumph!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I thought that was implied in our speakeasy plans. 😉

  • http://peanutbuttercupmoment.tumblr.com/ TJ

    Thanks for sharing your dream come true! It inspires me.

    It also makes me want to go test this Reese’s Cups vs. Eggs thing.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I’m so glad it encouraged you– I hope to do the same thing for people in my session.

      And go on and test the Reese’s options; there’s really only one correct conclusion. 🙂

      • http://peanutbuttercupmoment.tumblr.com/ TJ

        I went to the grocery store today and saw the Reese’s Egg…and it just looked wrong. You’re right; I’d take a Reese’s Cup any day. If I wanted that much peanut butter in a bite, I’d rather go eat a spoonful of real peanut butter. =)

        • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara


  • http://guidetowomen.wordpress.com Sharideth Smith

    there’s going to be an exclusive party hang on friday night. i’m just sayin’….

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      My husband is afraid I’m just going for the fun. Shhhhhh!

  • http://janheath1234.wordpress.com Off the Wall

    Hi Tamara, I left you a donation, wish it could be more but I am unemployed. I am so thrilled for you to be going to Killer Tribes, as you are one of my favorite bloggers and I have found so many other great bloggers thanks to you.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh goodness, you didn’t have to do that, Jan! I’m so grateful for your sacrifice. It really does help!

  • http://www.newlifecalu.com Kim Wilson

    It’s party time! Well, almost… Your investment will be very worthwhile, for sure. Looking forward to being one of your groupies. You may be least-famous to some, but I know more about you than the others, so that makes you most-famous in my book. 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Aw, thank you, Kim! Being really known beats being “famous” any day. It will be great to meet you!

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com ed cyzewski

    I love this. You really do need to go out there and ask, risking rejection, pride, and a host of other yucky things. Blessings to you as you prepare to speak. You really do have a killer tribe… I mean, if I crossed you, I think I’d have to go into hiding! 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks, I thought it was definitely a lesson worth sharing here since I was so grateful to learn it myself. And yeah, I think the fierce loyalty goes both ways around here. 🙂

  • http://www.leanexecution.wordpress.com Redge

    Congratulations, I always enjoy your posts and I’m sure participants are in for a real treat – pun intended!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks, Redge! Maybe I’ll bring candy just in case. 😉

  • http://rasjacobson.com Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Excited for you and this opportunity. Jealous you will get do many peeps in person. Certain you will shine like the light on the Chysyler Building.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks, babe. Some day soon it’ll be our turn to hang out in real life!

  • http://thegboatdotnet.wordpress.com The Joseph Craven

    I fully plan on showing up to hear you speak and then just falling asleep in the back of the room, only to wake up later SUPER embarrassed.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara


  • http://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com reconciling viewpoints

    You’re going to have a blast at the conference! It would be nice to get out there and drop in to hear you, but that ain’t gonna happen… at least not this year.

    I may take you up on that ‘earn the donation’ stuff…. I’m trying to get a self-hosted site up with a pretty significiant redesign, would love to get your opinion on a few things once it’s done. (It’s taking too long… I’m trying to design the page myself and I’m more of a user than a programmer.)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh my goodness, I am blown away by the generosity of your donation, my friend.

      I can’t wait to see your new site and help however I can!

  • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Leanne Shirtliffe

    Only you could ask with this must style. Wish I could Skype in to the conference. Or beam myself there. Someday!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Aw, shucks– it was just the only way I could sort-of stomach doing it.

      I wish SO MUCH you could be there! Some day, somehow, somewhere…

      And now I have West Side Story in my head.

  • http://up2randomthoughts.wordpress.com Phil

    Congratulations! I’m sure you’re gonna rock. And don’t sweat the math stuff. 3 out of 2 people struggle with math and fractions…

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Ha! Thanks. 🙂

  • http://www.nomadwayoflife.com nomadwayoflife

    Heh..recreational pole dancing..hey, don’t knock it. I hear they make six figures easy 😉


  • http://www.theisleofman.net Kevin Haggerty

    Just donate 10 bones and shot ya a RT on Twitter. I’d do more but I’m a broke ass teacher. 🙂

    • http://www.theisleofman.net Kevin Haggerty


    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That is plenty! Thanks so much!

  • http://twitter.com/ThePaulSims Paul Sims (@ThePaulSims)

    We chipped in. Any advice you can provide about finding your niche and sticking with it would be greatly appreciated. And tell Alece we said hey when you see her. She’s one outstanding and gutsy lady!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thank you so much for helping out! Without giving away my whole speech– 😀 — I’ll give you the same advice for finding and sticking with your niche as I recently gave a friend who asked about flying your freak flag, because it’s pretty much the same thing:

      Step 1: Own it.
      Step 2: Don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.
      Step 3: Repeat.

      But one more piece of advice on finding that niche– and something you can see that Alece does well– is to find what it is that you want to pour yourself into, and then pour only and always your real self into it.

      • http://twitter.com/ThePaulSims Paul Sims (@ThePaulSims)

        Yeah; you posting your entire breakout session would defeat the purpose of your fundraising activity. 🙂 You’re welcome for what we threw in the hat. Thanks for being bold and putting it out there.
        “Own it” I’m sure has several implications – commitment, sacrifice and refusal to back down. Am I on the right track?
        Step 2 is my downfall. Gotta work on that and eliminate validation as a motive.
        You are so right about Alece. She is real through and through and it’s one of the reasons my wife and I think so highly over her.
        Thanks for your advice on this. Wish you the best on the conference!

        • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

          I do think you’re on the right track.

          Owing it is also, and first, about acknowledging and embracing who you are/what you’re about/what you do. And not giving a shit about what people think has to be grounded in a confidence about Who has made you to be who you are and to do what you do.

          From there it’s your choice, and you have to make it: Will you cater to the opinion of people or will you live in response to your Maker?

          And if I say any more right now, I’ll have to refund everyone’s donations. 😉

          • http://twitter.com/ThePaulSims Paul Sims (@ThePaulSims)

            I would not want you to do that! You need to deliver this message in person. You’ve been a TREmendous help. I think need to do some more sifting. I’m getting close, I think. But at some point figuring it all out first just becomes an excuse to not give it a shot. I know you will kick butt in Nashville. Thanks again for your encouragement!

          • Anonymous

            Great advice Tamara! 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Love your steps one two and three! Letting that sink in!

  • http://www.accordingtoaletheia.com aletheia

    so i wanna say, BRING IT GIRL…but i know you will…so, how about–have a blast? blessings to you…WHAT a great thing to celebrate!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I will and I will– thank you,. Aletheia!

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

    Oh, sweetie pie – this is so cool! Glad to give you somethin’ to help get you there without breaking the bank. Good for you – you’ve got a pair and you use them well indeed. See if you can get someone to video you and post it later (if they allow that…) Would love to see you in action. :>) (though I’m guessing you’ll be leaving the pole at home?)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Oh my, thank you so much for your generous donation. I am overwhelmed.

      I’ll see what I can find out about video going up after the event because I know you and a few others can’t make it but are really interested. If nothing else, I can just make a short video with my key points when I get home.

      And I’m sure I can find a pole in Nashville. 😉

  • http://happyhippierose.wordpress.com happyhippierose

    Oy Tamara, we’re moving next month and my hubs is getting out of the USMC (hooray!).

    So the money, it’s tight for us. I did want to just post here and say congrats though. What an awesome opportunity for you, and for those attendees who will get to hear you speak! How awesome!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Please, no worries. I don’t want anyone to feel any pressure at all– I will get there. And the support I get through everyone’s comments and shares means so much to me. So thank you for being a part of that!

  • http://buddybagwell.blogspot.com Buddy Bagwell

    Knox in stilettos??? Hummm

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Fingers crossed he figures out what’s what about Reese’s Cups. 😉

  • Pingback: Killer Tribes or Bust « EduClaytion()

  • John Lewis

    Can I donate in Monopoly Money? 😀

    Remember when you said on Twitter that you can’t pay my airfare? Well, now I’m paying yours 😀 (well, some of it. That in-flight magazine? Yeah, that’s all me!)


    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Aw, you! Thank you so much!

  • http://asoulswalk.wordpress.com asoulwalker

    I haven’t worked for a year, so my donation isn’t that big. But I finally got a job so I donated something. Wish it were more. You’ll do great. Cheers.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Congratulations on your new job! I’m so humbled that you would help me out at all. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o08IcEcXwAA Andrew

    Blogging question for you. When you first sit down to write your post do you have a conclusion in mind or do you just write until you come to one? Trying to figure out which is best.

  • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

    Great question, Andrew! (And thanks so much for helping me out!)

    Whenever I start writing, I always have something I want to talk about, and I almost always have somewhere I want to go with it. But a lot of times, the writing takes me to a different conclusion than I imagined, and when I get there, I feel it. So I have to let go of the idea in my head and be satisfied that what’s come out on the page is what really needed to be said. It’s a scary-awesome feeling because it makes you realize that your writing is something outside of, or at least more than, yourself.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o08IcEcXwAA Andrew

      Cool, thanks and you’re welcome!

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