New Friends, New Experiences

This past weekend, I attended the Realm Makers conference in St. Louis. For those of you who are not writers, this is a conference for Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy writers. This was the third annual convention, and it rotates between Philadelphia and St. Louis.

It’s weird for me because I’ve never been to a writers conference like this–ever. One where there are agents and editors there. I’ve been to conferences, sure, but they were always geared for mystery writers and more about forensics and technique than anything. And there weren’t agents and editors.

Of course, I came at this whole publishing thing completely backwards, so this was one area I didn’t avail myself of the opportunity to participate in, because I have the amazing Grace Bridges of Splashdown Books working with me. And we roomed together. That, in and of itself, should scare a whole host of people. Especially since every night we were together, it was 1AM or later before we went to bed. 😉

I digress, as usual.

For someone who considers herself on the fringe of the science fiction/fantasy genre, this was a perfectly lovely conference to attend. Many of the attendees I’ve known online for several months all the way to several years. Other than Grace and Suzanne Hartman from Castlegate Press, I’d met no one in person before, so this was an amazing chance to meet numerous people for the first time when I already felt like I knew them.

What’s more is the fact I hadn’t gotten away from my family–ever. This was the first time in nearly 13 years of marriage where I took a few days away from my house without my family.

You cannot imagine how I felt about that one. 😉 (I’ll give you a hint–it was a great feeling. And I was so busy I didn’t even have a chance to miss anyone! Of course, with everything I’ve been through in the last few years, I think that part of my brain is broken…)

The camaraderie of the weekend only slightly overshadowed the things I learned about my craft. And the things I learned will definitely make an impact on me in the following weeks and months. But the friendships…I think that’s the best thing. I deepened several friendships, made a LOT of new writer friends, and came away with contacts I hope to capitalize on in the coming years.

Realm Makers was so worth it.

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