Did You Know Students Get In LTUE Free?! Where I’ll Be at Life, the Universe, and Everything 2016

LTUE 2016

It’s upon us! Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) 2016 begins next week, and I’m so excited to be part of this fiction writing conference.

I’ve been attending and presenting at LTUE for a couple years now, but I’m only this year realizing that students get in for free!

This conference is a great opportunity to meet with authors, filmmakers, artists, gaming professionals, and other speculative fiction creatives.

Plus, Provo. Exotic!!

Here’s where I’ll be during Life, the Universe, and Everything Symposium (LTUE) 2016.

I am looking forward to speaking on the Genre Innovators of Note panel at 12 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, 2015 (Arches room). I’ll be on this panel along with David Yurth, Michael R Collings, J. D. Raisor, and Callie Stoker. Here’s the description:

Sometimes a tale comes along that’s so startlingly different from previous works that it starts a new movement or subgenre. Jules Verne and Lord Dunsany kicked off the science fiction and fantasy era over a century ago. In the 1960’s Harlan Ellison rocked the science fiction world to its core as writer, editor and provocateur. In the 1980s William Gibson invented cyberpunk. Come learn about the Pandora’s that went before, and maybe speculate on who the next one might be.

It should be really fun, so come check us out in the Arches room.

This conference is where I’ve met many writer contacts in the past. It’s an awesome way to refocus on what matters and streamline best practices for this overwhelming thing called writing fiction!

And I mean, check out the lineup: LTUE Guests.

The Productive Authors Guide to Dictation 45For those who haven’t been to this conference, LTUE is less about dressing up than Comic Con or Fantasy Con, but if I see any awesomeness, it will be photographed and reported, as I did last year.

If you’re a writer who can’t make it, here’s my single best writing tip: Learn to Dictate! Check out my book about how I learned this skill.

Yes, dictation presents a learning curve. But it also has so many benefits, that any time invested pays off. It’s a drafting tool that can be a serious game changer for fiction or non-fiction writers, though I use it mostly for fiction.

A Couple of Poems for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month so this week I’m posting a couple I wrote.

I like poetry as a terse yet nebulous space in which to fling messy emotions. Basically, this means I write untidy poetry of the non-cuddly and free-form variety.

I enjoy reading all kinds of poetry but when I write it, I tend to want it to be like the reverse side of a cross stitch rather than the clear-cut, heart-warming front side. I want it to be a mess of threads reaching  toward a message but somehow still tangled and wild and weird, a bit like that line from Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t”.

If you write poetry, I’d love to read it! Feel free to leave a link as a comment.

Soul Lift

(this one’s about the intersection of scientific and spiritual progress)

 

Trivial as this bus is, I feel like it could become everything if it morphed into an invisible levitating ski lift system,

A Soul Lift complete with the creaking, swaying, sunny-sick sensation of a mammoth insect overhead–

Fate turned Mantis–swatting at the invisible cords that take us everywhere we need to be,

Like our legs never could.

 

Common as our legs are now, on the Soul Lift they would dangle out into the universe like dandelion gossamer

About to be whisked away for good, and as I bounce mine from the high seats at the double bus’ pivot points–

These benches packed with children squealing with delight and dismay,

As if legs should be wings,

 

Disappointed at how unamusementpark it has all turned out to be.

 

I realize that, exhausted as our legs are on a bus at 5:30 p.m. in the land of lithosphere gone to asphalt and concrete,

From our perch on the Soul Lift, legs would still be exhausted but like steam trains rusting down into the salt flats,

The saline yesteryear of it all would convince us to flaunt them like fashion accouterments

Like our legs always were.

 

But like rebellious vintage skateboards, the nostalgia of legs would be unreliable, skeetching out from under our torsos

When we demonstrated them as parlor tricks that would make us laugh, flounder, wince, and muse–

When it suited us.  Because they would still somehow represent freedom more than

Our tangible increase of freedom.

  

Carrion

(this one’s about the battle to be a writer)

 

When I am again a full-fledged Predator,

my courage applied to things real and speculative and not the past’s nit-picked hunts,

I will no longer trip over carrion carcasses like potential or security.

For too long an interim I have chosen against effecting proof,

reserved possible disaster for a fiercer soul…

And once I’d have done the faster faiths and so differently.

I’d have had the onslaught.

I’d have caught day.

I’d have had the deep flesh.

I’d have used the gums I’ve lost

from meatless gnawing at the dreamt.

Happy writing this week!

A Few Stunning Quotes About Imagination

In my experience, imagination is an important part of mental and spiritual well-being. It’s also rather handy for writing fiction!

Here are a few quotes about imagination that inspired me this week…

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I write fantasy because it’s there.  I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination.  Daydreaming.   Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places.  Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps.  It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.   Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke.  It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination.  It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.  Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales.  There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it:  in writing, in art.   Those who fear the imagination condemn it:  something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten.  Not all of us dream awake.  But those of us who do have no choice.

― Patricia McKillip

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.

― Gloria Steinem

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I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

― Dr. Seuss

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

― Sylvia Plath

I imagine that yes is the only living thing.

― e. e. cummings

Lyrics to “Young at Heart”

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on its way.

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
To be young at heart.

And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive.
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

― Johnny Richards (Song performed by Sinatra, Micahel Buble, and others)