Now that I am at home and can type faster than the not-so-smart phone I bought on this trip will let me do, I can give a better report. The day before, I took my older son out to lunch, and wound up giving him some Dadly advice, that he needed to chose his own direction, decide what he wants most in life, and do what it takes to get there. Afterwards I thought I need to take my own advice, when it comes to social interaction.
The night before LTUE started, I thought to check out the hotel and get familiar with the place and parking arrangements, and ran into David Farland. Last November, I attended one of his workshops. He remembered at least my face and asked how my writing was going. I was pleased to be able to report progress.
On Thursday, one of the panels that stood out to me had the title “How to Feed an Army”, with panelists Jonathan LaForce, Kal Spriggs, Brad Torgersen, and Paul H. Smith. These are all military or former military, and they talked about logistics and supply. Water, rations, gasoline and parts, medical supplies, casualties, presenting supply information so it is most useful to busy commanders, thieves, information management, and related. Since the main character in my story is conscripted into the king’s army, this was highly valuable. This was one of the blocks in my story. I wasn’t sure what he would be doing there. Now, I have a better idea and I can proceed. Kal Spriggs is the author of several works; I’ve read his “Children of Valor” series, starting with Valor’s child Valor’s Child, and liked it. I’ve only read one of Brad Torgersen’s works, The Chaplain’s War, but I liked that one, too.
I attended a “Kaffeklatsch” with Sarah Hoyt. I’ve become a fairly regular commenter on her blog, and wanted a chance to meet her. I did and introduced myself as one of her “Huns”, but she was busy and had other friends. I didn’t want to be too much of an obnoxious pest by hanging and following her around. Perhaps another time.
Friday, besides the keynote address by Jo Walton, and a panel on “Hidden disabilities”, I wound up attending surprisingly few. Most of the ones I wanted to attend were full by the time I got there, so I wound up wandering the halls. I did have a nice conversation with Jo Walton, whose work I haven’t read, although the name is familiar to me, and she kindly recommended a couple of her works. “Effective Networking for Authors and Artists” was highly useful, and I will be changing my approach my blogging and Facebook activity based on their advice. I had a chance to speak with panelist Donna Milakovic afterwards, and she was very friendly and encouraging.
Saturday, I attended a 2-hour session on medieval weapons and armor, by C. David Belt. Since had invited those attending his session to ask him about the subject, and he was fairly mobbed, I skipped the crown and went to attend the talk by Todd McAffrey, but afterward I buttonholed him in the hallway when a panel I wanted to attend was full, and he gave me some highly useful worldbuilding advice on my hero’s probable weapons, armor, and gear. The next panel I got into was on “Writing Children”, with Sarah Hoyt among others, and another one was “From Peasant to Noble: Social Mobility in Feudal Societies”. That clarified some of the rather vague notions I had about the “Now what?” after my hero kills the dragon.
I was hoping to meet Marion G. Harmon, author of the Wearing the Cape series, which I have greatly enjoyed. I did spot him and tell him I had read and enjoyed his work. He was unnecessarily apologetic about the delay in writing the next book in his series, and appeared preoccupied about something, so after telling him his series is one of my re-reads, I left him alone.
There was more, but, hey, why try to tell all? It was one of the more productive and enjoyable events I’ve ever been to. Next time I go to one of these things, I’ll be better prepared.