Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Schmutzie's Blissdom Conference, Mostly In Pictures

Before I tell you about my trip to a bizarre biodome in Nashville, Tennessee, allow me to harrass you with something I just found on The Internets, 8tracks, where I get to put together playlists for you. Hover over the picture below and hit play to keep yourself entertained during this ridiculously long weblog entry:



No, really. Hit play. You'll love it.

Now for my Blissdom '11 recap. Don't worry. I'm not going to bore you with particulars.

First, I flew to Nashville, which was warm by my standards, but the two inches of snow was freaking the locals out. I come from the land of ice and snow where we learn to pick our way along the roads like mountain goats, so I kept my mouth shut and listened to the very Elvis-y shuttle bus driver talk about the bizarre weather that resembled springtime in Canada.

on the shuttle from the airport in Nashville

Blissdom took place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort, which is like a massive biodome where there is an outside in the middle of the inside filled with palm trees and waterfalls and walkways underneath a glass ceiling. I entertained myself with claustrophobic fantasies of ceiling collapse.

Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort in Nashville

I spent the first night on January 25th helping to put together hundreds of swag bags for the first wave of attendees who would start arriving the next day.

packing Blissdom swag bags

And then the ladies started coming:

Lotus Caroll at the Blissdom speakers meeting
Lotus Caroll of I Am Lotus

Mishelle Lane
Mishelle Lane of Secret Agent Mama, who is way freaking cuter than my iPhone's Hello Kitty Camera lets on

business wisdom workshop
Carmen of Mom to the Screaming Masses

writing wisdom workshop
Ann Imig of Ann's Rants and Megan Jordan of Velveteen Mind

I know, right? And there were more:

Cecilyk and Mommy Story
A Mommy Story and Cecily of Uppercase Woman

Casey!
Casey of Moosh In Indy

Robin and Anissa
Robin of Balls to the Wall, Y'all and Anissa Mayhew of #FreeAnissa

Alli
Blissdom conference co-founder Alli Worthington

Okay, see, I can't stop now. Here are just a few more:

Brene Brown and I
Brene Brown and I

I really have to stop slouching into people who are shorter than I am. By the way, I am not all that tall at around 5-feet-6-inches. I just keep hanging out with short people.

Amy Turn Sharp
Amy Turn Sharp

DExtraordinaire and motherbumper
my Blissdom roommates Katie and Heather

Karen Walrond
a blurry Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks

Right now you want to beat me over the head with a newspaper. I get it. I really do. I just don't give a damn. These ladies are awesome:

Rita Arens and Loralee Choate
Rita Arens of Surrender, Dorothy and Loralee of Loralee's Looney Tunes

Heather and Aimee Greeblemonkey
Heather of No Pasa Nada and Aimee of Greeblemonkey

Aimee of Simple Bites
Aimee of Simple Bites

And mid-conference, Katie and I ran away to Cooter's Place and Dukes of Hazzard Museum where you can buy bumper stickers that read "I ♥ COOTERS". I bought Palinode a mug with COOTERS emblazoned on it, because what kind of wife would I be if I didn't give my husband a mug that screams about cooters? No kind of wife, that's what.

Cooter's Dukes of Hazzard museum

And, after all of that, I have told you nothing of the conference. I talked better writing, SEO, the difficult intersection of the personal and business in online dealings, clarification of goals and purpose and core values, social media for social good, and so on and so forth with other bloggers. I was enlightened, clarified, buoyed up, inspired, honed, and loved.

Despite the fact that I was at the conference as an official event photographer that had to use her iPhone camera because her Nikon decided to be a complete and utter jerkwad the whole time, I had an excellent several days and would do it all again. Although, if I had a do-over, I would get more than 15 hours of sleep between Tuesday and Saturday, because right now I am laid up in bed with a vile virus that has dug its tenterhooks into my very bones. And I keep having fevered dreams about horses. I hate horses.

But I digress. Blissdom was brilliant. I got to hang out with my cohorts from Aiming Low, I was able to connect with people who make my heart skip beats over their mad skills, and I came away clearer than ever about who I am and where I stand both professionally and personally.

And no one died under the crush of a collapsed biodome, so there's that.

----------------------------

PS.  Look who sat down to answer a few questions in the Johnson & Johnson suite at Blissdom:



GYQ4U4RZY4UB

Reading On An Airplane

Grace in Small Things: Sunday Edition #50