July 31, 2013

#BlogHer13 - TOONswag Adventures...day 1

I am Canadian (sorry). You guys know the last time I tried to go to the States I was turned away at the border for not having a work permit? That's right folks: you need a work permit to do public speaking in the USA, if you're getting paid. Who knew? I sure as hell didn't (it was my first paid gig) and most certainly neither did the company that hired me. Surprize.

Quite apart from all the speaker-prep work I wasn't going to get paid for, I'm very sensitive and easily intimidated by people in uniforms fingerprinting me, so to say I was traumatized is an understatement. I was crushed.

And therefore extremely apprehensive about getting to BlogHer. I was about to cancel and sell my ticket. And then I found out that I won the VOTY Award. But more about that later.

As it happens, I got on the plane to Chicago with no trouble whatsoever. As soon as the nice man with the American flag on his pocket gave me back my passport, the anxiety I'd been carrying since May melted away. I felt a great weight lift from my soul...

Closure is a wonderful thing, if you can get it.

This year I booked an extra day at the head of the BlogHer 2013 conference (I am smart). It was worth the extra hotel fees just to be relaxed and rested. Tracy Beckerman, syndicated humor columnist, author, friend and wielder of gold lamé thongs had invited some friends to dinner to celebrate the support she felt for her very funny book Lost In Suburbia. Gracious lady! Terrific way to kick off the conference with friends, most of whom I'd already met.

I wasted no time in toonswagging the very first person who whispered the secret password in my ear:

"I have blue-footed boobies!"

It was none other than Anne Parris, the blogger behind Not a Supermom and founding member of Generation Fabulous. She scooted into the booth across from me and I whipped out my iPad and began scribbling.

FYI Anne was on a panel at BlogHer discussing MidLife Bloggers. Did you know that women over 45 are reppin' the fastest growing slice of blogdom? I'm in there somewhere. I KNOW YOU'RE SURPRIZED, RIGHT?

Finished the toon just in time for my sushi. They had uni! Very few restaurants have it cuz it's got to be fresh.

What's uni? It's raw sea urchin and it's my favourite.

Back at the Sheraton's Chi Bar, I had to draw Nicole Morgan, blogger at Sisters From Another Mister. She and I have been innerwebbing for three years and finally met.

Man, she's gorgeous! Also she's got some great beauty tips which I'm hoping she'll vlog. Her voice and accent are silky. Hint...clunk.

Dear friends from conferences past hugged me tight. Then I hit the pillow. Hard.

Way more toonswag coming soon...maybe even tomorrow.