Fast forward to late October 2008. I was heavily pregnant with my daughter and barely squeaking out a living writing about the placed I’d visited. I got this email from Max asking if I’d like to be a paid contributor to Eat Arkansas. I responded that it might be difficult, since I was barely mobile at that point and I might not get out again until Hunter was born. I was told “no worries” and I started to write about anything I thought was pertinent.
It took me a little while to hit my stride, but after a while I became comfortable with sharing my food-related adventures with y’all. Being affiliated with the Arkansas Times opened a lot of doors for me, and gave me a bit more confidence at a time where small market publications like the ones I’d written for before were dropping like flies. Though Eat Arkansas never earned me a lot of money, it did earn me the notice of bigger publications. And I’ve been blessed to be able to make writing my full time, self-supporting job.
It might surprise some of you to know that I don’t work at the Times office. I’ve been working off my own computer from wherever my travels land me, whether it’s from on the road or from my recliner.
I have enjoyed writing Eat Arkansas. I have people who tell me wherever I go that I have the best job in the world. I don’t tell them what I make — they’d be surprised! — but I do confirm that yes, it’s fun. It’s sometimes been difficult, especially when I’ve worked on cover stories about breakfast and pie and have consumed one or the other multiple times in a day, but it’s always been a blast.
It’s lead to bigger things. And now one of those things is a new job with a lot of new responsibilities. I find that I can’t dedicate the time I would like to researching Arkansas restaurants and cuisine and sharing it with you here. In the interest of full disclosure, my new job is with the Department of Tourism. I’ll still be telling folks just how awesome my home state is — but now I’ll be doing it in the name of the state.
This isn’t really goodbye. I still have several entries coming at you in the next couple of days, and I plan to keep contributing what I can to Eat Arkansas and the Times when it’s appropriate and possible. I’ll still write my own blog, Tie Dye Travels, the one that got me noticed here in the first place. I’ll still post my weekdaily lunch recommendations and I’ll still answer questions thrown at me on Facebook.
If you’re still interested in following me, please feel free to do so on Twitter at @TieDyeTravels. I highly encourage you to also follow @eatarkansas if you’re not already on there, and of course the Eat Arkansas page on Facebook. I know my colleagues at the Times will do great taking this blog back over, and I expect to see some of my fellow food bloggers around these parts submitting their own pieces here.
Thank you for reading and putting up with my ramblings. Dine on.