Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Conference Report & Canada Day Celebration Wrap Up

This has been an incredibly busy past four days for me.  I spent Friday and Saturday at the Utah Valley Lecture Series Writers Conference and had an incredible time.  (I live tweeted the event and if you're interested, you can look under #UVLectureSeries).  The keynotes were fantastic and I took tons of notes.  Jennifer Nielsen, author of The False Prince, talked about creativity and Jeff Savage, (or J. Scott Savage) author of Case File 13, talked about heroes and villains.  Let's just say he's really good at that, and I could listen to him speak all day.

My presentation was on tension and conflict in your writing.  I actually built a story with five tension beats with the audience so we could discuss how to integrate internal and external conflict, how to keep your tension building rather than sagging, and how to breathe anticipation into your work.  I got a lot of compliments on it, so I think it went well.  I also called up someone from the audience and had them stand there while I demonstrated different punches and kicks and why most fight scenes in fiction weren't realistic and how to make them better.  I think that was my favorite part.

But the best thing that happened besides meeting so many great people was this:

They had reserved parking for me!  Isn't that cool?  So fun.

Sunday I taught a Gospel Doctrine lesson about Learning by Study and Also by Faith which ended up being a really good discussion on what motivates us to learn and why we choose not to---do we feel too old, too dumb, too lazy?  Do we learn out of interest or fear?  It was a good lesson.

Monday was my Canada Day Celebration and Book Signing.  We had families from Toronto and Cardston come, and people who just wanted to know more about Canada.  I had such a great time and was glad my fellow author Jordan McCollum was there to share it with me.

We were even on the marquis!  It was a lot of fun. The only snag was I had bought a dozen red and white balloons to take to the party and forgot them at home!  I felt so bad.  But at least my house looks festive.

As you can imagine I am thoroughly exhausted, but in a good way.  I am so glad for the opportunities I have to share my books, my knowledge, and my culture, and thank you to everyone who supports me.  

So, what have you been doing while I was gone?


Debra Erfert said...

Wow! You were very busy. I loved you parking sign. Someone went through a lot of trouble for that sign. So very thoughtful. *sniffs*

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I know! They were so great at that conference. Really took care of me. :)

Jon Spell said...

First a parking sign; next a bulletproof vest.

The guy in the red shirt looks sort of familiar (in the last picture) I don't know where from.

Well, I don't know what anyone else has been doing, but _I_ have been writing again. (hallelujah chorus)

What's funny (to me) is that my stumbling block was that I didn't know how to get to the end of the story and I just wrote like 4 pages with THIS in my outline "Silver tracks Porsche, seems to have lost him." Writing is kind of fun, sometimes. Much better than my day job. "Hey, Jon, I know you were planning to take Friday off along with the rest of the company, but I'd sure appreciate it if you could work on this TPS report and deliver it to me by the end of the day. Mmm kay?"

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, a bulletproof vest would be awesome! Writing is always more fun than the day job I think. Unless you're a circus performer. That could be more fun. :)

J Scott Savage said...

Thanks, Julie. Wish I could have been there on Friday to hear you speak. Darn day job! We definitely need to get together soon.