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I am grateful for writing conferences. I had the opportunity to to attend the Life, The Universe, and Everything Writing Conference in Provo, Utah about two weeks ago. I attended the conference last year and I had enjoyed it then, and I wanted to go again for several reasons – to see authors that I enjoyed, to listen to discussions on how to better my craft, and to be among fellow writers. I was happy to learn that a number of the sessions had to do with self-publishing and the business of writing, as I am writing a book on gratitude as well as having a fantasy series in the works.
I am definitely grateful that the overall price of the conference was within my budget. There have been a number of conferences that I have wanted to attend, but the cost was prohibitive. This one was easy to afford and it was close to my home, so I didn’t have to worry about staying at a hotel or renting a vehicle. Similarly, there is an excellent chance that I will attend the Salt Lake City Fan X. It should be a lot of fun.
I write and read both fantasy and science fiction, so it was an immensely pleasurable experience for me. I was interested more in the “nuts and bolts” aspects of writing and hearing from experienced writers. My favorite speaker had to be Larry Correia – he was both humorous and knowledgeable. Once upon a time, my brother had given me a book – Hard Magic – and enjoyed it. I ended up attending a number of sessions that he either headlined or participated in. One thing that I wish that they had put in there was at least one session on blogging, but given the name of the conference, fantasy and science fiction writing was the main focus of the conference.
One thing that was surprising to me was that last year, they gave out bags along with the other conference materials. Nothing fancy – just a basic drawstring bag. This year, it was just the paper products that every attendee receives: the main information package and a couple of advertisements. The conference didn’t have any breaks for meals, so I had to skip sessions to eat properly. I ended up skipping all of the keynotes and used that time to stock up on food supplies. I’m sure at least one person was irritated as I pulled crackers and cheese from cellophane packaging during late afternoon sessions to stave off a grumbling stomach.
All in all – a great experience. I walked away with somewhere between ten to fifteen pages of notes that I still need to transcribe into a file. Although I have read dozens of books on writing, I gained additional insights that I will be putting into my writing. Not to mention I was able to create the final climactic scenes for each of the eight books that I will be writing. Fingers crossed.