a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jul, 2011

Going up?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Publishing/writing/career stuff

I thought I’d leave a little elevator pitch parked here on the blog while I was at the Social Capital Conference this weekend. I like do to this in case someone new arrives here via a business card (or a link posted here or there or elsewhere) and is looking for more information. So here goes!

My name is Andrea. I have trouble keeping things brief, tend to use parenthesis in my writing (quite often, actually) AND REALLY I LIKE TO USE ALL-CAPS FOR SPECIAL EMPHASIS. Phew. Feels good to get that off my chest. :)

Take two

The Obligatory mugshot

I’m on the steering committee for Social Capital, am speaking on a panel, and am also hosting a roundtable about blog monetization (which is just a fancy way of saying I earn an income from my blog).

This blog started out as a little project in 1999. I was a new mom with a journalism degree and web skills, so it was a perfect outlet for someone like myself. Fast forward twelve years. This blog has become my full-time part-time job. I also work as a freelance writer. My writing has appeared in a variety of national and local online publications and I’ve worked on a variety of very fun projects. I’ve written scripts for educational and promotional videos (including one for a summer camp and an explosives testing facility), feature articles about homes for various design and reno mags, one-pagers for a local television production company, and lots of articles about parenting and other family-friendly topics. I had the good fortune recently to work as a social media manager for a non-profit initiative called Know More Do More; a campaign to help promote healthy living to families in my region.

I could go on but I don’t like to seem too braggy (blog awards! photo credits! bylines! media appearances!) so you can read more here, if you’re so inclined. :)

There is a special place in my heart for photography, great design, books, movies, food, the outdoors, travelling, and going on adventures with my family, so you will see a lot about those things here. I am decidedly green and love to write about healthy and active living, but I get an EXTRA BIG thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the many hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. One of my primary goals here at the Fishbowl is to show people what a great city we live in.

If any of these topics resonate with you, you please consider signing up to receive my blog posts by email. It’s an easy way to stay in touch and requires very little effort on your part. :) You can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook, where I often post different little things of special interest to Ottawa residents.

Anyway, that’s the elevator speech! What did you think? :)

Drop me a line anytime and I’ll do my best to respond. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you!


8 Responses to "Going up?"

1 | coffee with julie

July 22nd, 2011 at 3:21 pm


It’s great, Andrea. But I think it would be helpful to have a very short one too — 30 seconds rather than two minutes. (Also, once you do yours, can you please do one for me too! Here’s a cool tool: http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/). See ya tomorrow! :)

2 | andrea

July 22nd, 2011 at 3:24 pm


What makes you think I can’t do this in 30 seconds? ;)

3 | coffee with julie

July 22nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm


You’re more of a fast walker than a fast talker ;)

4 | Mary @ Parenthood

July 23rd, 2011 at 7:15 am


Must be a tall building or a slow elevator. Or maybe you started the pitch while waiting for it to arrive… :) Have fun at the conference! Wish I was going to be there.

5 | Nolie

July 23rd, 2011 at 9:57 pm


Wait a minute. I thought elevator pitches were supposed to be short. Just bugging you. Was great to meet you today and thank you for the advice on my blog.

6 | Moneca Kaiser

July 24th, 2011 at 8:05 am


I enjoyed your presentation with your 2 friends and left feeling that mommy bloggers ROCK! I agree with you that control and freak should never be used together in relation to such as us, and humbly propose that mommy bloggers is ok if it ends with ROCK! I love imagining the landscape that is born of women like yourselves being broadcast in our community and having followers. If we are being raised by autonomous women choosing to make family their priority and finding such creative and I hope for each of you very self sustaining enterprise that makes such a great contribution to our world- I am sure our landscape will be a little greener. We know so few women artists in history relative to men and it’s because all our art goes into the children and family, such a noble vocation that is consistently undervalued. Seeing the three of you on stage presenting it seems to have found a way to pour your art into your families and our world and be supported doing it on your very own terms. You are each my heros. I love that your voices are so strong and far reaching and thank you and um, rock on:)

7 | andrea

July 24th, 2011 at 4:09 pm


Thank you everyone!

Just for the record, This is what I’d say if I was in an actual elevator. :)

I am a blogger and freelance writer. My favourite things to write about include family and parenting-related topics, especially as it pertains to Ottawa, although I also really like to write about home and reno topics, food, eco-friendly living and all kinds of other things. I also work as a web content manager and have a passion for social media and all of its applications.

Sound good?

8 | Nolie

July 24th, 2011 at 7:46 pm


Sounds perfect. You can tell me all that with me getting off on the 2nd floor.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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