Back after a week in Utah

Just got back from Utah, where I was at the Sundance Film Festival. My girlfriend’s step-mom edited a documentary that was in the film festival, and for some reason that was a good enough reason for me to go as well.

Really I went because I love the Salt Lake City slash Provo area. So many great children’s literature writers live out there, and I took a few days to see some of my friends before the festival started. It’s a different place out there; you definitely realize you’re not in California anymore. Exhibit one, my girlfriend saw a billboard from Healthy Relationships Utah that was all like, “Are you in a step-family? Then take a class on how to have a healthy family relationship!”

It wasn’t particularly cruel or insulting, but it definitely signaled a very different perspective from the one in the Bay Area.

I love it there, though. The people are nice. The terrain is beautiful. You’re in a valley, so you’re always surrounded by mountains. It’s incredible. I also saw some movies. I expected them all to be extremely bad, since I was basically doing the Sundance equivalent of flipping through the channels and seeing whatever happened to be on. But only one of them was extremely bad! The rest of them were good to extremely good! It was a shock. Of course the extremely bad one was the very first one I saw, so for a few hours I did go, “Oh my god, what have I gotten myself into?”