LTUE 2016

    If you’ve been following me at all, you know that I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at LTUE. LTUE stands for Life, the Universe, and Everything. It’s a sci-fi and fantasy writing symposium put on by BYU every February. 

    I attended last year and it was overwhelming. I learned so much and it was insanely inspiring, but I was in a totally different place in my life. It was my first time at a convention like that, so I mostly stayed to the back and didn’t socialize very much. I was also in the middle of Rose at the time and I was losing momentum quick. I hadn’t finished a manuscript, and I thought that all the writers and editors there could see right through me and that they thought I wasn’t good enough to be there.

    After that, I took what I learned and I put it all into my writing. I finished my first draft of Powerful, and I even finished my first round of edits by the time LTUE started this year.
    But one of the most important things I learned that I put to use this year was not to be afraid simply because I wasn’t published yet. I was at LTUE to learn and to meet other writers. So I made sure to sit towards the front of each panel and to talk to others in the audience and the panelists. I learned to be myself.

    So I brought my new R2-D2 backpack and I wore my Star Wars shoes. I got a lot of compliments on them. I advertised for Scribophile when people asked about writing groups. I asked questions during the panels. I thanked panelists for coming and for everything they said. I tweeted about LTUE, and I retweeted what others posted so I could make more connections.
   At the book signing, I talked to a lot of the authors I hadn’t heard of before and I collected business cards and handouts. Most of them asked about my own writing and encouraged me to keep going. I stood in line to meet Shannon Hale, and she signed Enna Burning (again) and my copy of The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm.

   The next day, I got to attend a kaffeklatche (a small group type of one on one) with Shannon Hale. It was awesome. Afterward, I told her who I was and that I was the one who wrote the book review of Enna Burning that she shared on Twitter. If you haven’t read that book review, you can check it out here but it does contain some spoilers.
    I have been struggling with depression for years. I had some very abusive friends for a while, and I didn’t think I would ever escape. Enna taught me that I’m more powerful than I realize. Because of her, I was able to escape that horrible situation and move forward in my life. 
    Shannon Hale remembered me and gave me a huge hug and thanked me for sharing my story with her. It was amazing.

    LTUE is amazing. Every aspiring writer should take the opportunity to attend a writing conference at some point. I learned so much over the past few days, and I’m so ready to move forward with Powerful and edit it some more. Not only that, but most of the panels sparked ideas for A Fairy’s Tale and my retellings. I’m so ready to get back to work!

6 thoughts on “LTUE 2016”

  1. I loved this post. It's so honest about how intimidating cons like that can be but how wonderful they can be when you learn to overcome those feelings of intimidation. It's nice to hear how someone else's writing deeply affected you as well. I write about my struggle with depression on my blog, too. It makes us all feel less alone when we can talk about it, take it out of the shadows. Thanks for the post.

  2. I remember last year when you went(pretty sure) and at the time we weren't as close, but I remember reading your posts on Scrib and I could tell you were struggling.

    I saw you step away from writing and Scrib. And then you put Rose on hold.

    But then you came back and you poured all this determination into Powerful(which I had the pleasure of reading the very first first chapter back when you weren't sure you would even write it) and I knew you had something good going there.

    And since then you flew through your first draft and I could tell you would make it. It's so easy to see your love for writing and your story in everything you do.

    And it's great that you got to meet Shannon again after she knew who you were through the book review. That had to be awesome!

    You're brave to attend something like this, and to be actively involved. I can't see myself ever attending a writing conference, and if I did I'd be the mousy kid hiding in the back row so no one could be behind me staring at me. I'd probably never say a word either LOL.

    Great post all around.

  3. Sounds like the conference was a success! Glad you had a great time, and I love that backpack of yours.

    I haven't attended any writing cons yet, but I'm hoping to attend at least one this year, and more in future years. Scary for a somewhat introverted bookworm, but also an exciting prospect!

  4. Good on you for being yourself. It's such a turning point in life to become comfortable in our own skin. Even when we are comfortable it can be daunting to go to conferences (where everyone else seems to know what they're doing, etc) and initiate conversations. I enjoyed reading this and it makes me realise that I need to get 'out there' more!

  5. I fell behind on comments while me email was down over the past couple of days!

    So much positive feedback and encouragement! Thanks everyone!!

    Rebecca, it's so good to have someone that you can talk to about mental illness. Knowing someone who can share your feelings and struggles makes all the difference in the world.

    Kristen and Elise, you both kept an eye on me over the last year and got on me when I wasn't working. 😉 Thanks for forcing me to make it this far!

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