Sunday, October 9, 2011

I didn't get a photo of Wil Wheaton collating paper, but I got these...

I went to two conferences back-to-back last week. Thursday was a writing conference called Book Academy at UVU, which was AWESOME. I meet some new friends, drank way too much free diet Mt. Dew, and got re-inspired to focus on my memoir.

Plus I got to meet some brilliant authors.

For example, I met critically acclaimed author, Dan Wells. If you've ever met me before, you know that you either love my personality or hate it. I daresay, in the 3 minute conversation I had with Wells, I was banking that he was member of the latter party. I thought that he tolerated me at best...until I saw this photo with his to trigger-fingers covering up the "Not" on his "I am Not a Serial Killer" folder thingy, and it changed my mind. I think we are kindred spirits after all. (either that or it was a msg for me to get the hell away from him. But I'm a barrel-half empty kind of positive thinker, so...kindred spirits we are!) Love you, Dan! heh. heh.[eyes diverted to a strange sound outside my window.]
Dan Wells and I hanging with the sequel to his I am Not a Serial Killer Series. The books are like Dexter for teenagers. Awesome series.
Kindred spirits or not, Wells recognizes Speed-Scrabble talent when he sees it.

Eat your H-E-A-R-T out, Brandi! That's a 8pt. word, btw. But I slapped it down on Double Word tile. BOOYAH!

And for Texy, a title commemorative of BGW 2011.
Here are a few other authors that I met...
Abel Keogh, author of memoir: Room for Two, which is about recovering from a traumatic event in his life (his wife's suicide). A truly inspiring story and man. He's overcome a lot of challenges and turned out to be an amazing writer. 

I've followed Lisa Mangum's career for the past 5-6 yrs. She sent me my first rejection letter, in fact. (No hard feelings though. I TOTALLY deserved it.) Anyhoo, I got the 1st book in The Hourglass Door, a book I should've gotten a LONG time ago. I'm really happy for Lisa and can't wait to read her book.

This is Elana Johnson, author of Possession, which is supposed to be a really amazing story, but since I gave it away as a wedding gift [choke of regret], I'll have to wait until my friend loans it to me when she finishes it. Hear that, Kirsten?! 

Then on Friday, I had the pleasure of going to the UCTE conference in SLC. I ran into some CUWP friends and met even more authors.

I read Unwind with my students last year and this year had the pleasure of meeting author Neal Shusterman. He was an excellent public speaker; funny, captivating, thought-provoking. The whole SHA-bang. So I bought another one of his books.

And what do you know, he made it out to my BGW nickname: Gams! I think we can add "intuitive" to the list of Shusterman's traits, right, Texy? Or at the very least, "observant".

Though, I've read Jeff Anderson/Write Guy's book, Mechanically Inclined, I had never met him until Friday. He is the most BRILLIANT public speaker! I'm not kidding. Jeff could easily cover for either Conan or Oprah without batting an eye, and the audience would thank him for it. Anyway, in an odd twist of serendipitous fate, I got to carpool with Jeff back to Utah County. We shared dog stories, recited Shel Silverstein poetry, confessed our texting-while-driving sins, and swapped Thanksgiving ideas. I think we're BFF's now. (That's my girl Chris on the right, btw. CUWPies For Life!)

Ally Condie, an excellent writer of Matched, which I just started and am totally LOVING. I'm a sucker for dystopian YA lit. And the guy is Jon Ostensen. He's vehemently apologizing for not giving me verbal credit for also being a co-editor for the Utah English Journal during the UCTE conference. He made it up to me by asking his friend Ally to sign my book so I didn't have to wait in the ridiculously long line at Ally's table.

Here's the journal, btw.

I got credit on the by-line, but during the conference, the guy in charge of thanking everyone only thanked Jon for the UEJ. I really didn't even notice until Jon mouthed "I'm sorry" from his table.

Wishful thinking! Wait, there's a bonus for that right?

Chris and Heidi, CUWPies!

The Aussie from another posse, CUWP Gary at the conference with us. I meant to get a pic with Debbie Dean too, but I spaced it.

Saturday morning, watching the Payson Temple ground-breaking in the rain. I'm furiously taking notes as I had a deadline a right after the event. [Click to read article.]

I've been really busy. Geez. I need a break.

(Oh, and if you don't get the title of this post, read the Bloggess already!)

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