After following the same line of cars up and around, and around and up looking for a parking spot that never appeared, I parked on the street in a two hour parking zone. Then, I walked into the Provo Marriot and stood in a long, curvy line. I checked my belt. I checked my texts. I chatted with the lady-writer in front of me. I got to the front of the line and received my ever-classy name tag and walked to the first session of my second ever writing conference: Life, The Universe, and Everything.
Lots of people. (A few of whom were in capes.)
I got to see Megan Whelan Turner in the flesh and hear her talk about writing her short stories. (Basically, a writing contract fell in her lap, along with a nice little recommendation from Diana Wynn Jones. Who does that?) There were other authors, but I'm not going to mention them because MWT is the main attraction for me. (Her initials are the same as Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday. Or Thursday. Hmm.)
I learned about cryptology, which was fascinating, but had nothing to do with the kind of stories I write. I also learned about creating good, believable villains, how to write for a specific audience, and how to avoid writing one-dimensional characters. Sometimes I felt like I was back at University. (Yes, there was some wistful nostalgia in that sentence. Maybe some hopeful planning for the future too.)
I'm ready for more. Tomorrow. And the day following.
I love that it's close. It's cheap. It's educational. And I get to hang out with other half-wits like me who think writing novels is a fun use of time.
If you're in the area, come. It'll be, like, so totally hot.