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Photo by Gretchen Engel

To kind of springboard off Kristen’s post about the dark side of Realm Makers, I thought I’d share something that totally surprised me but yet didn’t. That is the atmosphere of the conference and how I left with a sense of belonging. It’s the one place I can go where I’m not “the weird one”. I set this up because the conclusion of this post was written with my tongue hanging out somewhere near my cheek.

This was my first Realm Makers Conference, and I was excited about meeting people in the Christian spec fiction world. Of course, my list included meeting my favorite authors. But really I was just as excited to see my writing friends, some for the first time, including fellow NAF contributors past and present and two from my writing group, the Scriblerians. Two more the Scriblerians didn’t attend the conference but drove to see us Saturday night.

I attended ACFW in 2013 so I knew conferences are like summer camp for grown-ups. I came to Realm Makers knowing that this was a time for old friends to reconnect. With that knowledge, I sort of hung back when it came to meeting people especially the instructors and authors. I didn’t want to be annoying.

Except that isn’t the way it is at all! While those with more established careers had a lot of people wanting their time, I didn’t see any ego from anyone at Realm Makers. In fact, it was kind of the opposite. Everyone mingled. I bonded with one of the instructors over the sights, sounds, and smells of old factories. At Friday’s banquet I introduced myself to a favorite author. When she posted our picture on Facebook, I commented that I was fangirling, and she joked about doing the same thing when she recognized my name when I was announced as a finalist in the Escape contest.

That wasn’t the only ego boost I received. A couple of people told me they liked my NAF posts. One admitted it was because I wrote about food. So in case you wondered what a picture of a cherry pie has to do with this post, now you know. I have fans. And groupies.

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

8 comments on “Fangirling

  1. Food is fantastic! And more people should talk about it. Now I want to eat cherry pie, and I don’t even like cooked cherries.

    Also, I agree. Realm Makers has one of the most chilled environments I’ve ever seen at a conference. It’s fantastic. 🙂

  2. It was great meeting you in person, Gretchen, and I’m glad we got to share that trip from the airport to the campus!

  3. Glad to hear it was a great experience, Gretchen. Makes me think about going next year. Congratulations on being a finalist. Lastly, yummy looking cherry pie!

    • Thank you! I cannot recommend Realm Makers enough. If you’re 100 words into the writing world or a multi-published author, it’s worth attending. I learned a lot and met great people. I think this was my best one. I’ve been practicing my pie baking skills. The Joy of Cooking was a huge help.

  4. That’s so cool. ^ ^ I admit I was fangirling there too! So many spec-fic writers in one place!


  5. […] posts and/or Facebook page that should be obvious. If not, check out my post about Realm Makers, Fangirling, where I gratuitously featured a photo of one of my “Facebook famous” cherry pies, […]

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