Greetings from Life, the Universe, and Everything

This weekend BYU hosted its Marion K. Smith symposium for science fiction and fantasy, more commonly known as Life, the Universe, and Everything. It's free for students, so I decided to go meet up with fellow writers and leech whatever wisdom I could get. My real-life classes conspired against me, but I did have a wonderful time! Here are some highlights:
  • At a panel discussing how to reconcile characters' theologies and moralities with the authors', Dan Wells continued to insist he is not a serial killer, James Dashner teased everyone, and Tracy Hickman discussed some of his novels and gave practical examples of where morality can be an issue. (I was so enthralled that I was late to class after this one. Oops.)
  • I packed an epic backpack for the Saturday sessions:
    • Laptop (with charger)
    • Cookies! (My sister made them for me)
    • My Seraphim shawl (to work on) and the second charted page
    • My Jeanie shawl (to work on when I finished the chart I'd brought of Seraphim)
    • My bottom-whorl drop spindle and 50+ g of roving (to work on when my hands needed a break from knitting)
    • Extra yarn that I was supposed to give to Chersti for her Top Secret Project (only she didn't show up :( )
    • My creative nonfiction textbook (which I did read between sessions!)
    • A novel
  • James Dashner gave the most boring keynote ever. At least that's what his powerpoint claimed. Personally, I love listening to James talk about his journey to becoming an author; it inspires me every time!
  • Toni and Shallee dragged me to a panel on families in YA literature. I didn't pay much attention, but I knitted four rows on Seraphim and Toni and I passed some epic notes.
  • I learned about political economies in fictional worlds. It's not just about money systems! (I still don't want to be an economist.)
  • I ran into Tracy (almost literally) as I was leaving.
  • Toni and I had a writing retreat in her living room.
  • Craft night and Doctor Who party convened at Toni's neighbor's apartment!
I realize most of these things aren't session-related. Part of that is because I doubt I'm supposed to give specifics, since this was a paid conference and all. That, and I didn't take notes. But more importantly, LTUE was about networking. James made a big point of that during his keynote. These conferences are about making friends and meeting people who share your passions. (Hopefully some of those people are editors or agents.) I ran into more familiar faces than you probably want to read about in a single post, but suffice to say, seeing my friends was the real highlight. Getting to geek out (and knit) was an added bonus.

LTUE ends this evening, but if you missed it, it'll be coming back next year. I hope to see you then!

1 comment:

Shallee said...

Ooh, I wanted to go to the economies panel but it was jam-packed by the time I got there. I'd love to see your notes!