Monday, October 17, 2011

So long Blissdom, Hello Florida!

Blissdom Canada Cards
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Last week, I wrote a post about my goals for the upcoming Blissdom Canada conference I was getting ready to attend. When I was writing my post, I was quite nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I’d fit in anywhere, given how spotty my blogging has been over the past few years. On Friday morning, upon arriving at the Toronto Hilton to register, the nerves disappeared and I jumped in with two feet.

Following the advice of those who’d gone before me, I introduced myself to as many people as I could and I handed out the neat little cards which had arrived just-in-time from Mabel's Labels. With the exception of one "commerce track" session, I attended all "arts track" sessions and absorbed a lot of information. Not everything I heard applied to me but I took some good notes and will be looking through them probably over the weekend. The collection of business cards I acquired also needs to be reviewed.

Overall, I’d say that I really got a lot out of the sessions and very much enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people. The whole weekend was very organized and I was impressed with how everything kept on schedule. The only blip in the whole weekend for me was the registration on Thursday afternoon. In the generated schedule I printed from the website, it indicated that registration was open until 7 p.m. I didn’t get checked into my hotel until 5:30 p.m. and by the time I got over to the Hilton to register it was around 6:30 p.m. and I'd missed them. I was pretty disappointed but was also pretty pooped (I'd been up at 4:30 a.m. as per usual that morning) so I took my sad butt back to the King Eddy, grabbed a sandwich at Tim Horton's, threw on a Marc Maron podcast and had an early night.

There were things which surprised me about the weekend and some that didn't. I was surprised by some of the elaborate booths/display areas that the very generous sponsors had. I wasn't surprised that a lot of what they were promoting didn't interest me (not being a "mommy blogger" I don't have a lot of need for toys or diapers – but I took them all the same and will be donating them). Being able to have a professional headshot done was a wonderful surprise and I’m very grateful to Corel for that. The biggest surprise of the weekend happened when we were about 20 minutes outside of Kingston. I noticed a tweet that said I'd won a trip to Florida courtesy of Chevrolet Canada and Visit Orlando. At first I didn't think it was true but I was in touch with them this morning and it is true. Over the next few days I think I will get all of the details about the prize. I am pretty excited about it if I'm honest.

At the moment, I feel like I'm still processing the weekend and I suspect that I'll have more to say about it in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Twas the night before Blissdom Canada

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here over the past few weeks. Sitting down right now, with a few minutes to reflect upon the last little while (while I wait for the washing machine to finish spinning) I can't even really pinpoint anything specific we did. There wasn't anything new or weird or strange or different going on, just more of the usual stuff I guess.

Work is very busy right now. It's been busy all year though. Ordinarily, during July and August, it slows down a bit but this year I didn`t notice that happening. When September hit, and things really ramped up around the office, part of me didn't feel very organized. If I'm honest, I still feel that way but after today, it feels much better than it did yesterday. I didn't realize how much I had missed not having a couple of weeks over the summer to get my head together and sort myself before the busy time hit us!

Recently, I was offered a second job. It isn't even a part-time job. It's more a quarterly thing. I'll be doing some proof reading for a magazine which is published quarterly. I've done some transcription for the editor in the past and really love working with him, he's awesome. Last week, I was expecting to get a few pages to start on and see how things go. The pages didn't arrive until yesterday and, what with trying to get ready to head out of town for a few days, I felt a little panicked about that too. One section is due tomorrow. I think I have it completed correctly. The rest of it will have to wait a few days until I'm back from my conference. I feel super accomplished to have gotten through the past couple of days in the office in addition to proofing pages in the evening. Oh, and it's a short work week!

So, the conference. When I wrote about it last month, I had every good intention of writing here more regularly. As you can see, that didn't happen. What did happen, in admidst the whirlwind, was I started to connect with some of the attendees via twitter. What a treat that has been. I haven't had a lot of time to spend on twitter but at least I feel like I know a little bit about some of the women who are attending.

I've learned a few things from already:

1. they are just as nervous about it as I am!
2. some of them are newbies to this as well!
3. everyone is super excited (me included)!

I'm still feeling like a bit of a poseur. I read a little post on the CBC website which referred to attendees as professionals. I'm not a professional at this by any definition but hopefully I can fake it for a couple of days!!

I have a little pile of stuff sitting in my office waiting to be packed up. Power cords, USB cables, gadets, print offs for stuff I'm attending, hotel confirmation... it's getting kind of big. I haven't actually sat down and made a list yet of what I need to bring with me but I guess that will happen when the laundry is in the dryer.

As far as clothes go, I have no idea what to bring. I want to be comfortable during the day but I'm not staying at the hotel where the conference is so I also want to be dressed appropriately for the evening events I'm going to. There is a big "red carpet" party tomorrow night which I am not yet certain I'll get to. My train doesn't get in until quite late in the afternoon. By the time I get to my hotel, check in and settle in a bit, I may not be able to get my registration stuff. I also realized that I probably didn't order enough "business" cards but I'll make due with what I have.

The small stuff shall not be sweated by me this weekend. My goals for the weekend are pretty simple:

1. have fun!
2. introduce myself to as many people as I can
3. get inspired to write here more often and not just stuff, but more interesting stuff.

Wow. I feel much better after having dumped that all out. Now, to get the laundry into the dryer and start on that to do list!!