Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Knowledge Aflame

I'M A LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE KNOWLEDGE EXPLORER'S GUILD!

I love unearthing gems of information through talking to people, reading, attending conferences, joining museum tours, and on and on and on.

Here's the scene of the last treasure hunt I went on.
   — Actual rooms at LTUE where I found an immense stash of knowledge!





Doesn't it just give you thrills? 

To think of the vast store of knowledge just out there waiting for us to discover it—now that's a thrilling adventure. — And one of the reasons I love LTUE so much. Such a variety and depth of classes, you can't help but learn scads! 

Among my favorites are the student presentations on papers they've written, and classes that are worlds away from what I write. I find the best sparks there! —Here's a great example— 

Last year at LTUE, at the last class of the day, there wasn't a class I was especially interested in, so I attended one titled Lovecraft. I figured even though I didn't write romance, I could learn something
   I settled in, the presenters spoke, and WHAT DID THEY JUST SAY?! Lovecraft is a horror writer?! Seriously? Lovecraft?! Unbelievable! 
   I almost left the class since I don't write or read horror, but I stayed for that spark, remember. And I'm so glad I did. The panel wasn't anything like I thought it would be, and I took a page and a half of notes. AND—I used a spark of an idea from the class in my current novel! Yes! 

So in your knowledge expeditions, don't push away the places that look odd, despicable, boring—dig for the sparks! 

Oh, and I have to tell you— 
ONE OF MY FAVORITE PRESENTERS IS CLINT JOHNSON. 



He's brilliant! If you ever get a chance to attend one of his classes, run! And be ready to catch all the sparks. At his presentation on Voice & Style last year at the League of Utah Writers Conference, he urged us to do something we'd never done before, something we'd never had any desire to do. 
Like say, you've never had an inkling to watch a demolition derby—GO DO IT! It'll enrich your life, your writing, and your understanding and enjoyment of the people around you. 

Here's Clint's website—jump on over and say hey!

And go do something, read something, listen to something you've never thought of before.

AND WATCH THE SPARKS FLY!





8 comments:

James Duckett said...

Great post!! And you are right, your writing can only get better when we step outside our comfort zone.

And then this year we find you in the class for "Why we love horror." You'll be writing some up before you know it!

Critique Sisters said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! And I couldn't agree more, exploring something we may not think to explore can be so beneficial.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Though I might not pay my dues regularly I am likewise a member of that guild. I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. The internet can, at times, feed me days of just unadulterated information

Nicole said...

Your story about the Lovecraft class is very cool! I love it when unexpected inspiration hits us out of the blue.

i'm erin. said...

It was a great time! I think Clint is amazing and I'm definitely going to be sending him some stuff. It was fun to see you there.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love the pics of the rooms! And you're right-- great learning comes from so many different places.

And I think Clint is awesome, too. And so knowledgeable! I sent him my first 15 pages and query before I sent it to agents. He was such an incredible help! I'd recommend him to EVERYONE.

Nick Hight said...

Oh yes, all that potential for knowledge :) I love learning new things about the craft.

I've never really been into horror - but, hey, one day I might accidentally take a class on it and love it forever after! We'll have to see about that :)

Danica said...

This is so inspiring. I love learning new things especially in mysterious places.