Thursday, February 24, 2011

LTUE 2011

Last Saturday my husband and I went to Life, The Universe and Everything (LTUE), a fantasy and science fiction writing symposium. What a blast!

We started off the day with Tracy Hickman’s KILLER BREAKFAST. No food involved. Many souls killed. It’s extreme roleplaying, and players would get killed off at the whim of the DM. All quite entertaining. I did not participate as a player, but my cheeks were hurting by the end of the two hours. So hilarious! If you ever get a chance to attend one of these, DO IT! From a tavern that ends up exploding, to Castle Ravenloft and zombies that do the thriller dance. You never know what will happen between the players and the DM. Tracy Hickman is a vicious dungeon master. If you’re interested in what one of these looks like, check out the vlog of a previous event. At one point they threw two smiley face balls into the crowd. Whoever ended up with them won a book. As they were bounced around, I got hit in the head by one. Too bad I didn’t catch it instead!

Next was James Dashner’s main address. He talked about his journey as a writer. Always inspiring to hear how an author starts out.

After a two hour break for lunch, we attended the panel on Fractured Fairy Tales. I love fairy tales. This was more of an indulgence for me than a needed-to-learn-something. I love listening to Paul Genesse speak, got introduced to Jessica Day George, and ended up with a list of recommended authors and notes on how to make fairy tale adaptations fresh.

Also a cool moment: during the Fairy Tales panel, Elana Johnson came and sat by my husband! I’m a regular blog follower, and was already planning to attend her panel next. I didn’t say hi, as the panel had already started. But there was inner squeeing. And she had a copy of her book POSSESSION in front of her. LOVE the cover.

Elana’s workshop was on Pitching to Agents and Editors. I’ve never had an opportunity to pitch to an agent or editor in person, but want to be prepared if the time ever does come. She made it seem so simple! I love how she broke it down into bullet points. Easier to build a pitch from single words and phrases than trying to boil down a huge novel. I’m going to apply her 5 sentence pitch method to all of my projects, complete and in progress. Then I’ll know what to say if someone asks about my books. Rather than flubbing.

The final presentation I went to was the one I needed most. Fights and Weaponsmasters: What to do when your character knows more about fighting than you. I took three pages of notes. Got some good info on different types of weapons and armor, and their uses and weaknesses. Learned that armor use really is a skill. And learned the mentality of a Master. Did you know the average reaction time is .5 seconds, but the reaction time of a Master is .12 to .2? Boggling. No wonder it seems like they could read your mind. Was a very cool class.

I was very happy with my choices for LTUE. I had a great time. Maybe next year I’ll be able to attend more than one day. Thank you Mom for watching my boy! He had an awesome day as well, so it was a win for everyone. Smile

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