The full name of the event is Life, The Universe, and Everything: the Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy, but we just call it LTUE. This year was the twenty-sixth, and it was a much bigger, better event than any of the last four I've attended. Kevin Wasden's main address was about sketchbooks, and he did a good job of convincing me that I need to be carrying mine around with me everywhere. In that spirit, the illustration accompanying this blog post is something I doodled at the event. Kevin has a page for his cause - go to www.up-art.com, and learn about his "give a kid a sketchbook" philosophy. Then, the next time you're out, spend a couple of bucks and buy a sketchbook for a kid. Any kid. Seriously. Orson Scott Card's main address was fascinating. His topic was "Why so many fantasy and science-fiction authors are Mormons." I can't do the topic justice myself. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the address, and am every bit as happy with my religion as I was before Card spoke. I missed Gail Carson Levine's address. On a happy note, I sold a lot of books and t-shirts. I shared a table with Brandon Sanderson and Bob Defendi, and while their business didn't boom quite the way mine did, we ALL did much better than we have in years past. My one gripe about the event... I went into it having shorted myself on sleep for two nights running. I was exhausted the whole time, and never really caught up. Sandra tells me that nobody else noticed, but I felt like I didn't give 'em my "A" game. This is a bad precedent to set with the first convention of my nine-month season, but I figure I'll learn from it, and sleep well before the events that are coming.