What a day.
Today was the annual PYI conference in Toronto. I almost did not make it.
MO was up all night sick to his stomach and I felt terrible guilt at heading out - but I did.
My drive was fast and uneventful - until I had to find parking. I pulled into a $10 PUBLIC underground parking lot entrance, the garage door closed behind me and the ticket machine was not working. SO, here I am stuck in between the arm and the closed garage door, laying on my horn, shouting for help. There was a hot coffee steaming in the booth, and fresh bananas - but NO one around. So here I am, LATE already for the conference I have been WAITING for... so, after about ten minutes I backed my car up to the garage door praying NO one else comes in, I run over to the other side, STOMP on the cord to open the door, RUN back into the car and hit reverse to bust out of there. Got out, found an outdoor lot - stick my card in to pay and it gets STUCK! Seriously. Pressed the help button, they reset the machine and I was off to go...
I met up with friend and critique group member Ishta and Kari-lynn Winters with whom I got to have another little parking lot adventure (I hope you got out ok!) and got to chat about a STINKY event in Balls Falls coming this spring...
I missed the welcome address, but made it for my first workshop with Catherine Rondina. A very well-written non-fiction author and we talked about connections. The degrees of separation that separate us all - interesting. It is true though - that opportunity knocks - you just have to listen. It was a wonderful workshop.
Next up was Bill Slavin, I've been a long-time admirer of Bill's. He is famous for many things, but the Stanley books are up there. He talked about character development - check out his blog for the notes. He is awesome. I loved seeing his original art, and I love, like me, he usually draws things once.
My last workshop was with Ruth Ohi. I had a feeling we'd be kindred spirits... but when she showed her bookshelf (which looked remarkably like mine), and then some pages from the Secret Art of Dr. Seuss... not to mention that her kids are a HUGE source of inspiration for her... I knew I would like her. She did not disappoint - she LOVES, LOVES, LOVES what she does and she just glows talking about it. She shared lots of things and was uber inspiring - AND her lovely sister Debbie Ohi (who I follow on twitter) was there too, so I got to meet them both.
Our Keynote speaker was Kathy Stinson. I was in tears as she spoke of her son shaving, and packing up baby clothes and the desire for more time. She was eloquent and passionate. It was a beautiful end to a lovely day.
Thank you CANSCAIP for another great conference.