February 24, 2017

LTUE - The Best Medicine

This last weekend, I attended LTUE - an annual sci-fi/fantasy symposium in Provo, Utah. I went last year, too, but wasn't terribly impressed. In fact, I was considering skipping LTUE altogether this year.

Instead, my 15yo geek child and I woke up insanely early to make the 90-minute drive down. He was going for the gaming, I was going for everything else. (Side note: my learning-permitted child drove. On the freeway. I'm still unraveling the knots in my shoulders.) I didn't expect to get much out of our single day foray.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Magic happened this weekend, folks. Pure magic.

I can't detail everything that happened since I'm still trying to process it myself. But I can tell you the results.

#1 - I came away inspired.

I've been struggling lately. Really, truly struggling. Nothing motivated me, nothing inspired me. I was at at standstill and wasn't sure how to move forward. And because of that, the funk I had been in just wasn't lifting.

The first panel I attended on Saturday stripped all that away. It was about writing part time vs. full time. Besides the fact that two of my absolute favorite people were there, it was simply amazing. I walked away with a new reward system (STICKERS!!!) and a drive to treat my writing as a career - including sticking to a writing schedule.

I implemented a few changes the very next day and every day since. I'm happy to say that I've written over 10,000 words this week -  completed my rewrite, completed a short story, and wrote two versions of this blog post. Plus I had time to spare!

Goodbye, funk. Hello, FABULOUS!

#2 - Crazy amounts of quality time with my son.

I don't see my son too much during the week. He's busy with school and homework and everything else. Lately, I've been dreading the time when he turns eighteen and is able to leave the house. He's my baby, after all!

I've also felt guilty for not taking the time he deserves to really be there with him. So many things just keep getting in the way.

This weekend, I got to see my kid beam with joy, which filled me more than I ever believed possible. He had so much fun and even though we spent our time doing our own things, the time we did spend together was amazing. We did lunch and dinner together, played with swords, hung out a bit, and had plenty of uninterrupted quality conversation. We connected in a way we haven't been able to in far too long.

Even if I hadn't gotten anything else from this weekend, that right there was worth the whole thing.

#3 - I got to see my 'adopted' family.

I've raved about my tribe of crazies before. To me, they're family. Plain and simple.

My big "sister" whom I completely and totally look up to and adore.
I wanna be just like her when I grow up. Isn't she gorgeous?
Most definitely family.

One of my younger "brothers" who plays to my fiercely competitive side
(and usually beats me, dang boy!)

As one of my good friends (who actually is a distant cousin of mine) said on Saturday, "There's the family you're born with and the family you choose."

My birthday twin who brings out the little sister in me (a role I've always wanted!)
I have wholeheartedly chosen these people to be family.

One of my absolute favorite selfie partners.
Over the past couple of years, I've essentially adopted a hoard of crazy cousins (both close and distant), the odd uncle or two, sweet aunts, and a handful of adopted siblings who couldn't be more dear to me if we were actually blood related.

Some beautiful and amazing people.

Of course, I selfied with all my "family" I could find. It's a must, you know.

More beautiful and amazing people!
And yes, that is a smolder happening in the bottom corner.
I need to work on mine so next time we can double smolder you.
That and the big hugs. Oh, how I needed those!

And so...

In short, this weekend was exactly what I needed to get me back on track in every way. I'm writing again. I'm smiling again.

I feel like me again.

And yes, I do plan on going back next year. With results as amazing as this, how can I stay away?

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