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Hair of the Dog Part 1 (or Free Things You Can Do to Pass the Time Until RM2017)


We’re not even halfway to Realm Makers 2017, but I want to privide Realmies with withdrawals and provide gift ideas? There’s that saying the cure for a hangover is the hair of the dog that bit you. Realm Makers is the dog and there’s a lot of hair (fantastic Realm Makers related items).

So you attended Realm Makers 2016 and are patiently (or maybe not so patiently) counting the months until Realm Makers 2017. What is a spec fiction writer to do?


I know this is obvious, but maybe you need the motivation. We’re halfway through NaNoWriMo. That’s not an excuse. Set the bar at 25,000 words. Unless you’re doing NaNoWriMo to “win” (write 50,000 words) there’s no magic in that goal.

Not quite ready to commit to a full-length novel? What about trying some flash fiction? Splickety Magazine has monthly deadlines. They accept stories from 100-1000 words with 500 being the sweet spot. The 2017 themes are listed here. Note that Havok is speculative fiction. Splickety and Splickety Love are multiple genres and romance respectively.


This isn’t technically a “freebie” but I can’t help but promote Realm Makers authors. Sometimes there are free (or really cheap deals) also, it gives you ideas of author webpages to check out.

Of course there’s the official Realm Makers blog. It features conference updates including the 2017 faculty list as well as author interviews and speculative fiction writing topics.


Podcasts. In the early 2000s, I thought iPods were the oddest inventions. I mean after knowing cassette Walkmans weren’t exactly exercise friendly and CD ones even worse, I saw merit in a small device for playing music during exercise. However, exercise and music weren’t huge priorities in my life. Then came the podcast. At the time, there was this amazing show on TV called “Lost”. With insane plot twists and numerous references to speculative fiction books and movies, I started listening to hours and hours of podcasts dedicated to the show. I’m still a podcast fan but found myself wanting good content. There are two great ones produced by Realm Makers.

Lasers Dragons and Keyboards – Oh my goodness. It’s like a weekly dose of Realm Makers. Liberty Spiedel, Aaron DeMott, and Josh Hardt interview speculative fiction authors and industry professionals. It’s a geek’s dream show (or at least this GEKE’s). Here’s a link to LDK.

A new “oldie” is Carla Cook Hoch’s “The Geek Block” part of Along Comes a Writer podcast. It was formerly on Blog Talk Radio but is now on iTunes. Carla does both writer interviews and fight workshops. For those of you who didn’t go to Realm Makers 2016, Carla practices martial arts and taught the much talked about Thunderdome fight workshop at RM2016. Here’s a link to her show. Note that not all episodes of the Along Comes a Writer podcast speculative fiction related, but the other contributors are good too.

Next week I’ll re-post the Pinterest page and provide other “must haves” for speculative fiction writers.

What is your favorite Realm Makers free content (blog, podcast, etc.)?

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

One comment on “Hair of the Dog Part 1 (or Free Things You Can Do to Pass the Time Until RM2017)

  1. […] there were a lot of items, I broke this into two posts. Last week was for freebies. Today is my list of things you can buy for your favorite spec fiction writer without having to […]

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