AGH SO REALM MAKERS HAPPENED. AND IT WAS AMAZING. I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know if the wonder that happened in those three days could be summed up in a post.
But I guess I’ll try. XD
Thursday I went to the pre-conference about writing series by Robert Liparulo which was SO interesting. I learned about the different types of series, the pros and cons of writing a series, how to plan a series, and how to market a series. It was all so informative and it really helped me, since I’m planning on publishing my first books as a trilogy! I also got to meet with some friends who also went to the pre-conference for lunch, which was SO FABULOUS.
After that, there was an opening welcome and keynote given by the RM faculty and Brent Weeks, which was hilarious and also very encouraging!
Friday was a whole whirlwind of sessions and electives and I loved ALL OF IT. I learned about writing my Christian worldview organically into my writing (Morgan Busse did this class and it was my absolute FAVORITE CLASS of the entire conference, she did SUCH a great job), I learned about writing fairytale retellings with C.J. Redwine (which gave me waaaay too many plot bunnies, if I’m being honest XD), and had a great time in Wayne Thomas Batson’s continuing sessions about balancing life and writing. It really convicted me and made me realize I need to be better about juggling everything.
I also got to hang out with some AWESOME friends! Seeing all of my friends from last year, and also some new faces was THE BEST. I wish I could’ve devoted all of my time to talking and hanging out with all of them, but I had to settle with sitting together during sessions and eating meals together. It was so magical, seeing everyone again. I LOVE YOU GUYS. <333
And then, of course, there was the big Awards Dinner, which is ALWAYS a blast! I must have taken a hundred (blurry, of course) pictures of everybody in their costumes. This was probably my favorite part of the entire conference, honestly. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, and when I got back to my hotel, my cheeks hurt.
For this year’s dinner, I decided to dress as a favorite cartoon character of mine…Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls! I was sure hardly anyone would know who I was (and I did get mistaken for a Camp Half Blood resident more than a few times XD), but I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came up to me and complimented me on my choice! I even had one of the waiters bringing food to the tables come up to me and ask me where Mabel was. XD
from top to bottom // Mary as Steampunk Ariel | Tracey as Tris Prior | Christine as Kuzco | Josiah as Phoenix Wright | Savannah as Peggy Carter (though that photo does NOT do her gorgeous outfit justice)
Saturday was the big day. At least for me. XD I decided I wanted to pitch my novel Imprint to Linda Howard at Tyndale publishing this year and my appointment actually went really well! I did flounder a bit, struggling with what to say and feeling all of my nerves strain any sense from brain right out my ears…XD But Mrs. Howard was very nice and understanding, and after talking with here, I would really LOVE to work with her. She was so kind and told me all about Tyndale’s publishing process and she even asked for more chapters of my novel! I WAS ECSTATIC TO SAY THE LEAST.
Before said pitch took place, however, I was a ball of jittery nerves. I could barely eat anything and when I had to leave mid-class (Jill Williamson’s worldbuilding session, which I was a bit bummed to miss 😦 to get to my appointment, I thought I was going to pass out from my body shooting so much adrenaline into my veins. I could barely hold my pencil and when the time came I had to take several deep breaths to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. I wasn’t hardly as nervous as my body would have me believe I was. But my body does betray me, often times during stressful situations. XD As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about and it went very well.
After another amazing session (Ronie Kendig’s class about capturing your reader’s attention, which was absolutely fascinating), and a wonderful closing keynote by Brent Weeks, I went out to Panera with my buds one last time. It was such a great time and I ALREADY MISS ALL OF YOU SO MUUUUUCH. Then we all went to the book festival together and I had to say my goodbyes. It was so SAD. Thank goodness for the internet, so we can all keep in touch!
That last day of Realm Makers was one of the best days of 2019 for me. It was such an incredible time and Sunday morning, it felt like reality just came crashing back down on me. It felt so weird, that it was just…over. But I’ll never forget it. ^_^
Vacation wasn’t entirely over for me just yet though. Me and my family got to go a bit farther down Missouri to Branson, where we got to visit the College of the Ozarks (a college I’ve been considering attending, and now after visiting, I am SO AMAZED by and interested in) and stay at the Keeter Center, which is a hotel run by the students of the college! It was incredibly nice and I’ve never stayed in such a nice hotel. I really felt like a country hick, amazed by everything in the room. XD
After staying there for a few days (going to Silver Dollar City and the Butterfly Palace), we topped off our final day in Branson by going to see Samson live at the Sights and Sound Theater! IT WAS SO AMAZING GUYS. I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT WAS. You should seriously consider going to a production there. The tickets aren’t the cheapest, but IT IS WORTH IT.
After all that craziness, we drove home. And now I’m back and just now getting over the exhaustion. XD It’s going to be tough going back to work and the drudgery of ‘normal’ life, but I think I might surprise myself. It’s always a good feeling getting home from an adventure. 🙂
That was my experience at Realm Makers, very, very briefly summed up. I could go on and on about what went on that past weekend, but we would be here for ages. XD I miss all you Realmies dearly! I hope we get to see each other again soon! And those of you who didn’t attend this year…I WISH YOU COULD’VE BEEN THERE. It really was a magical time!