Jessica Day George

Monday, February 18, 2008

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Hello, my cheeky monkeys!

I spent last Thursday to Saturday at Life, the Universe, and Everything, BYU's phenomenal sci fi and fantasy symposium. What's so phenomenal about it? Well, they pile up guests of honor like Orson Scott Card and Gail Carson Levine, and add to that all the local talent they can throw at you. People like Julie Wright, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Willis, and Mette Ivie Harrison. Fun people, funny people, talking about books and movies and Victorian underwear for three days.

And it's free!

Actually, that was me talking about Victorian underwear. Which I'm sure comes as a surprise to no one.  It's a little thing I have: corsets fascinate me, and I used to do research papers on them. So whenever anyone talks about Women of Yesteryear, I start talking about underwear. It's kind of a problem, I know.

But anyway.

Scott Card and Gail Levine are gracious, charming, wonderful people, and I wish I had written down everything they said in their main addresses, so that I could study it over and over. So cool.  Also, they seemed to like me, and not in a: Hey, aren't you weird but you're local so I'll be polite way.  Yay!

And I had a heck of a good time teasing Dashner about the gray in his hair, and giggling like a maniac with Julie Wright over underwear and many other things that seemed HILARIOUS at the time. I also got to eat some pretty gosh darn amazing food. I have not eaten at the Museum of Art Cafe in lo, these many years. I never ate there at all as a student because . . . I was a student! I didn't have money! But I ate there once with mom a few years ago, and thought it was good. Now, however, it has entered the realms of the sublime. They had this sandwich, served on a croissant the size of my head which had turkey, lettuce, apples, and spiced cream cheese on it. Also, I suspect, CRACK! I could eat that every day for the rest of my life!

I did a signing at the BYU Bookstore, where I have spent many hours in line myself, getting books signed by authors I worshipped.  I met the one and only Enna Isilee and her gorgeous mother.  Apparently beauty and intelligence runs in that family.  I got to talk to people who are even now working on their first books, or trying to get them published, and felt that little thrill of : some day they'll be sitting by me on a panel, I just know it!  Bravo to anyone trying to break into this business!

But at last I came home, where laundry needed to be done, and where I could retire to my couch whimpering because there is just something so EXHAUSTING about doing stuff like this. It's fun at the time, but then later you realize, I just spent the last eight hours running from room to room, essentially performing an improvised stand up routine. Wooo!

So I used my last two days well:

Finished True Meaning of Smekday and Alchemyst, both excellent. Read Austenland, which I ADORED, and am almost through with Devilish, by Maureen Johnson, which is a new level of awesome for which there are no words. Maureen: I think I love you.

ps-For those of you who don't know why BYU's thing is called Life, the Universe, and Everything, go right now and read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Go, go, go!


Anonymous said...

Why do you suspect the crack? That underwear thing was funny. :D

Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a good time! It's no surprise that you got along so well with everyone. You seem so nice, and all the writers I've met have been so gracious. Maybe I'll be able to go next time around. I only live a few hours away.

Anonymous said...

I notice you failed to mention the two weird girls hovering by your seat for 5 minutes as you chattered away to someone else... and all they really wanted was to just say "hi." I feel so left out. *sniffle*

I was only able to go to the one event where you talked about the underwear, but I thought it was really, pretty much amazing. And now my friend really wants to read your books, because she, too, has this thing with old-fashioned underwear, and figures anyone else that feels the same way toward it must be equally awesome as her. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Celes! You see, I get what's called "tharn" (it's from Watership Down) in crowds. It's sort of a "struck by headlights" thing, by Saturday I could barely recognize people I knew, and on Sunday had no memories of anything that had happened during the symposium. It wasn't until Tuesday night that I started to piece together my fuzzy memories. (And I feel kinda bad that you had to wait for me to stop blathering just to say Hi.)

Anonymous said...

You're making news! I saw this on another blog I like to frequent. Thought I'd point it out in case you hadn't seen it. :-)

Anonymous said...

You, as always, were fabulous and funny. I really, really hope that someday it will be me sitting by you at a panel discussion. Of course, I'm not writing fantasy, but still...

After LTUE I went to dinner with Jeff Savage, Julie Wright, and James Dashner. So by chance! But so very fun!

Thank you sooo much for encouraging me to go to LTUE.

You rock.

Anonymous said...

Ah! I was on your blog, twice! Ah! And I didn't know this (boo me).

Anyway. To speak of LTUE, when you were talking with my mother (technically I was there but) I realized that I barely talked. Celes can attest that I am a very talkative person. I guess I was just struck dumb by your glory Jessica ;).

It was very much fun. Very much.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I do adore that Enna Isilee. She's so awesome. And her mother is too.

Anonymous said...

Aw. Luv U 2 Q! ;)

Heh. Chatspeak, however deplorable, is sometimes fun.

Anonymous said...

Please... No chatspeak.

Anonymous said...

Okay... if you insist. ;) Are punctuation smilies okay?

(Psst. Do blog readers/Jessica have a problem with multiple posts on this blog? I know some do and I don't want to be breaking any taboos.)