My Realm Makers Experience

Photo from Lisa Gefrides

Last week I spent several days with my family Indiana. Realm Makers is a different kind of family time. People with whom I share no blood but are bonded by a common faith and love of the written word. And much of the conference is about relationships for me.

Each year as I attend, there are more people to catch up with, deeper friendships, and new people to meet. I calculated that with 250 attendees, it would take over 4 hours to have a 1-minute conversation with everyone. I learned at my second Realm Makers that I couldn’t meet everyone and keep my sanity.

Now, I focus on circles. My closest friends – my Scriblerians critique group, the committee, and a handful of people I must catch up with. Of course there is game time and stalking authors for autographs.

I’m figuring out how I can make the best use of my barely-extroverted social energy that can’t get properly charged on a few minutes of downtime and limited sleep. I had to make conscious decisions. This year I exchanged the Toon D&D campaign to meet with two of my Scriblerians and the Nerf war for deep conversation. The final one was the hardest. I spent less time seeking out those “1-minute conversation” relationships. Alas that bit of “pruning” was rough but allowed for me to meet some really cool people and deepen existing friendships.

How do you maximize your experience in social situations?

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

2 comments on “My Realm Makers Experience

  1. So many conference posts are starting to appear and I’m still in zombie mode! 😉 I also prefer deep conversation over shallower interactions. Though if it’s with someone I really want to get to know better, I suppose I take what I can get.

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