I’m attending the Wine Bloggers Conference 2012 to learn more about this strange territory into which my baby steps have led me. It’s my base camp before the climb.
While I’m not new to writing, I’m a novice in blogging. After all it was only a couple years back after retiring from the full-time work world, I stumbled upon the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop (On twitter @OKFWWWorkshop). I had always vowed that when I retired, I was going to start writing the kind of things that fascinated me. We had just finished building our home on an acreage we had purchased years prior as future retirement property and relocated back to Penticton, having lived here for a brief stint as a reporter/photographer on the local daily newspaper.
An investigative reporter at heart, I was checking out local resources for writers when I came across Jennifer Cockrall-King’s workshop tailored to food and wine writers. I had thought previously I would do some contract writing for former associates in Alberta in fund development, marketing strategy and communications planning and on the side work on a few fun pieces for an audience of one – me. I am, however, passionate about food, wine, other libations and many forms of recreation. The idea of writing about these topics was intriguing so I tried to sign up only to learn the workshop was full.
One of the tough tasting sessions at OKFWWWorkshop
My woeful reaction to rejection must have resonated with Jenn because she agreed to let me subscribe to a number of sessions that could accommodate extra attendees. Those few sessions transformed my thinking. First of all, a market I hadn’t really considered unfolded before me. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I learned that blogging wasn’t just an exercise in narcissism. Like a hiker who has only walked in meadows witnessing the new vistas offered in scaling hills, I was pumped to learn more about the medium.
In my investigation I came across the highly talented Allison Markin (On twitter @AllisonMMarkin), who is a social media maven, and stalked her for knowledge. (Okay, so I didn’t really stalk her but I did sign up for her workshop Eat.Drink.Tweet. and I follow her on twitter, Facebook and other social media tools.) It was through Allison, I learned about the Wine Bloggers Conference and that Penticton was bidding to host the event here.
Now, a citizen blogger participant and ready to tweet up #wbc12, I look forward to learning from those who have already scaled the mountain as serious bloggers. You can follow along on tweeter @WineBloggersCon. And in the true spirit of continuous learning, I anticipate I will learn a lot from other novices and I hope that I , too, can bring some value to the discussion (On Twitter @RozDB). If that’s not goal enough for this year’s conference, I also hope to make friends and entice folks to join us next year for #wbc13 in my beautiful Penticton, British Columbia @TravelPenticton and gorgeous Thompson/Okanagan region of Canada. Follow the progress on twitter @wbcokanagan.
I’d like to thank our Portland hosts in advance. Quite frankly it didn’t hurt at all that Portland was hosting this year. It’ll be great to stay in the host hotel Doubletree Portland close to the hub of activities. I love Portland and it’s been many years since I’ve spent some time in Oregon. Portland has always had a “cool” factor for me and to see how citizens are collaborating to create The Portland Plan just reinforces my notion. What makes The City of Roses sweet goes beyond the rose gardens and out to the wineries, breweries, eateries and cycling/pedestrian pathways. I can hardly wait!
To www.whichcooler.com for extending this challenge to vie for two free nights at the host hotel Doubletree Portland, I thank-you for this sweet concept. In this win or lose equation, there’s really no lose because whether or not the blow to my finances is softened by free accommodation, you’ve inspired me to take the time to reflect on why I am attending. Cheers for now, and we’ll be toasting great wines together soon!
At WBC12 I hope to brighten my wine blogging knowledge to match our Penticton sunsets!
A Quick Glimpse of Some Okanagan Wineries
At Tantalus Vineyards Kelowna
At Poplar Grove Winery Penticton
At La Frenz Penticton
At Kettle Valley Naramata
At Bonitas Winery Summerland
At Miradoro at Tinhorn Oliver