Blogging conferences are a crazy beast. The premise is good: get bloggers together so that they can meet face to face and hug each other and take photos of themselves together and attend sessions together and it will be a love-fest of insane proportions and everyone will walk away with a song in their hearts and a skip in their steps and will fall asleep with a smile on their face because the whole experience was so dreamy.

That happens, yes. It does. Especially if you surround yourself with people that you love and trust.

The thing is, a conference is also real life and in real life people aren’t perfect and you might act differently than they expected and they might act differently that you expected and then people accuse you of behavior that is not what you intended and you see people as the flawed, insecure people they are. And they see you in that same light.

I am an introverted extrovert which boils down to the fact that submersing myself in a conference with a whole boatload of people that I don’t know could very well be a recipe for disaster (and at moments, probably was). Luckily for me, my Blissdom Canada roommate was the ever lovely, ever rational, ever even-keeled Katie.

Me and My Roomie

She and I were up until 2:30 am one night talking about life and family and writing and everything and, yeah. She’s Good People.

Our honorary third roommate was Miss Tanis. She was across the hall from us and her roommate ended up sleeping at her own home so she and Katie and I were the Three Amigos for the bulk of the weekend.

You probably know Tanis via her online persona, but I hope that you get the chance to get to know her offline. I’ve had a bit of a tough week, Internet-wise and she encouraged me and gave me some great words of wisdom.

I remember the moment I got the mass email to all of the speakers and saw that Schmutzie and The Palinode were coming and how excited I was. It was all for good reason – I had plenty of opportunities to hang out with them and to talk to them and to hug them. They are beautiful people, inside and out.

Speaking of beautiful people, may I present Kate, Shannon and Bonnie?
Kate, Shannon, Bonnie

I (sadly) did not have much time to sit down and get to know Shannon better, but I sat in the hotel lobby with Kate and Bonnie until 3 a.m. on that last night because, well, have you ever heard them speak? It’s like magic, personified. They are also raw and honest and real and everything that I want to be when I grow up.

A photo of some of the lovely ladies:
Pretty ladies

(Tanis, Scmutzie, Kate, Bonnie and Catherine)

More photos (MANY more) on Flickr.

(Don’t hate me if I didn’t link to you – it’s not personal. I promise.)

(Other attendees are linking their posts here, if you’re interested.)

Friends aside (which is hard to do, since we were all together for many, many hours), the conference itself was pretty fantastic. I appreciated the panels I attended and I had a whole lot of fun on the one that I shared with Jeanette, Jen and Nadine (YOU WERE MISSED, ALI!). We shared our stories and talked to people attending the session and answered questions and made jokes and had a whole lot of fun. I really do hope that I get to be on a panel again in the future.

I’m not sure how to end this, really. A lot of people did posts after BlogHer and then said that they would NEVER LINK AGAIN because people would feel left out. I’ve also heard accusations of people using links as “ladder-climbing” or, possibly, FAWNING and I hate to think that people would perceive me that way but, hey. I can’t control that. I can, however, tell my story about this great time I got to spend at a conference being loved on and talk about some of the people who made that experience so fantastic and point you their way so that you, too, may experience their awesomeness.

It’s been a crazy week on the Internet for me and many others but the ladies who spent hours talking with me this weekend and other friends who have emailed or called me has been a great reminder that The Good that comes from these Internet friendships far outweighs The Bad. Thanks be.

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  1. Kami's Khlopchyk November 4, 2010 8:06 am edit

    Yay for blogging conferences! I mean, not that I would know or anything, since I never get my sh!t together to actually go but you always make it sound so fantastic!

    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..True Confession =-.

  2. @BarbaraJones November 4, 2010 9:07 am edit

    Thanks so much for being a part of our very first BlissDom Canada and I’m so glad you had a good experience. I know these events can be daunting at times but I don’t think I’ve felt the community love as much as I did in Toronto. It was palpable in a yummy, gooey kind of way. Thanks again and I hope to see you again next year IRL and continually on Twitter. :-)
    .-= @BarbaraJones´s last blog ..Share Your Blissdom Canada Experience =-.

  3. Bon November 4, 2010 9:15 am edit

    i loved meeting you. even before you said such nice things. :)

    thanks for sitting up with us that last night. i think that hour may have been one of my favourites of the whole conference. lots of raw and honest and real to go round.
    .-= Bon´s last blog ..landing =-.

  4. Her Bad Mother November 4, 2010 9:55 am edit

    I’m so happy that you were there. So happy.

    .-= Her Bad Mother´s last blog ..One Word =-.

  5. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) November 4, 2010 10:09 am edit

    I wish I had been able to make it to Blissdom Canada. It would have been interesting to compare it to BlogHer. I’ve met some of those same bloggers – and you’re right, they’re all great.
    .-= Marilyn (A Lot of Loves)´s last blog ..Red Tree- Wednesday of Few Words =-.

  6. Sherry November 4, 2010 10:49 am edit

    As someone who would have LOVED to have been able to be there (why are there never any conferences in Montreal? Or even Halifax? SOB!), I would really enjoy knowing a bit more about what you presented there. I think a lot of the panels sound interesting at conferences so if you could share some of yours (or if there’s a link available), I’d be so happy!

    I feel like I’m all gramatically scattered, which I blame upon a lack of caffeine since I’m half asleep right now.
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Flying by =-.

  7. sizzle November 4, 2010 10:52 am edit

    Ah yes, the good, bad and ugly of blog conferences. :-) Focus on the good, dump the rest. It’s usually a bunch of BS anyhow, right?

    .-= sizzle´s last blog ..Stuff On My Cat =-.

  8. Jenn November 4, 2010 8:25 pm edit

    When I read posts like this it makes me happy that I am a little blogger. Not lots of comments, but also not lots of crap.

    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Love =-.

  9. Redneck Mommy November 5, 2010 7:55 am edit

    I so enjoyed getting to spend more time with you. My little devil in a blue dress friend. You are a doll.
    .-= Redneck Mommy´s last blog ..Television and Tampons- A Bad Mix =-.

  10. Avitable November 6, 2010 8:43 pm edit

    How could you forget to write about the best part of the conference – getting to hang out with me?
    .-= Avitable´s last blog ..Boat dreams =-.

  11. Scatteredmom November 7, 2010 12:01 pm edit

    Angella, I loved that you were one of the first people I met at Blissdom. Our chat in the car on the way to the hotel immediately put me at ease, even though deep down, a teensy part of me was all fan-girl and in disbelief that I was in the same car as THE Dutch Bliss and THE Schmutzie (I squelched it fast. Honest). I wish that I’d had the chance to talk with you all (I was in a hotel room by myself! Boo!) longer but I must admit…I don’t know any of you well and…um…that can be a teensy bit intimidating.

    All the people you mentioned were (ARE!) fantastic. All were so kind, so friendly, so wonderful that I hope I have the chance to meet them all again and get to know them better.

    If you ever come through Vancouver way give me a call and I’ll take you out for coffee or, at the very least, bring you some cookies. :)
    .-= Scatteredmom´s last blog ..Sponsorific- Foundation Studio =-.

  12. Elaine November 8, 2010 7:52 pm edit

    I see nothing but “good” here. :) Glad you had a wonderful time.
    .-= Elaine´s last blog ..Ill Miss These Times Someday- Right =-.

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