I love downtown cities—old buildings, styled signs, little hole-in-the-wall restaurants with the best authentic cuisine in the country. A cousin of mine gave me this tip—if you want good Chinese food, find a restaurant full of Chinese people.

She knows where to spend her money.

I’m in downtown Provo (or at least I was when I wrote this in my handy old-fashioned notebook) at a little restaurant on Center Street by the Provo Marriott, practicing my left-hand chopstick skills so that I can still write while I eat.

I’m a writer. I define myself that way to define what I do. I will be published by the end of the year. It’s one thing to se the goal then hole myself up in the basement with my notebooks. It’s another to introduce myself to other writers, publishers, AUTHORS and say that I’m a writer.

Milling around at the thirty-first Life, the Universe, and Everything Conference, I started out just staring at everyone. The second day into it, I’m still staring, but now that I’ve met a few people, I’m smiling, too. Writers are community people. We write because we want to connect on levels that other arts don’t reach. We also like to connect in person.

I’ve been very grateful for Lehua Parker hanging out with me. She’s pretty humble about it, but I think she makes a great professional author and I want to be just like her when I grow up!

My Chinese food is gone and I have to grab the fortune cookie and go.

It takes more than a good memory to have good memories.

Really? I thought it would be better than that.

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