Monday, August 6, 2018

Realm Makers 2018 Recap

I HAVE RETURNED!!! Not only have I returned, but I’ve come back with a gazillion Realm Makers stories to share with you guys. AND I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!

Realm Makers, guys… Wow. How do I even describe it? Before I went, I had heard some people say it’s unlike any writers conference out there. The people aren’t there to step on each other and rise to the top. And they’re not there to be ultra professional and stuffy either. No, Realm Makers is one big family of Jesus lovers with a mutual interest in all things geeky. And let me tell you, that statement was beyond true. RM was fun and quirky and full of the nicest, most encouraging people I’ve ever met in my life. When I left, my heart was full. And it still is.

I have so many thoughts. SO MANY. This wasn’t just a place where I went to learn some good writing tips (though I got pleeenty of that as well). This was an experience that changed me from the inside out. Fears and doubts and worries I’ve had for nearly a decade (no joke) were all shoved away in this single weekend. That’s how powerful it was for me. BUT. I’m not going to talk about that today, though I do hope to share these thoughts with you guys sometime once I’ve processed them all. I have so much on my heart and mind!

But today we’re just gonna have fun and I’m going to give you a play-by-play of the event with looooots of pictures. YE HAVE BEEN WARNED. Pretty much every single one of you asked for a detailed recap post of Realm Makers when I got home, SO YOU’RE GETTING IT. If this gets long, I’m blaming you guys. ‘Cause it’s not like I everrr make monstrous posts. Nooo. *cough*

Okay, but seriously, this is going to be extra long, with all sorts of info you guys may not care a lick about. But I wanted to log my adventures and remember all the special little moments, not just the big highlights. So this ginormous post is just as much for me as you. Do feel free to skim!


ALL RIGHT. Let’s get to this!





My dad and I headed off Wednesday and drove all day, got a hotel that night, then finished our drive to St. Louis Thursday. (My dad came with me due to me having some health problems and not needing to drive states away by myself, plus it was just safer that way. I was happy to have him with me! Also major thanks to him for often carrying my ridiculously heavy bag places, doing so much driving, always keeping ice and such handy in our hotel room, willingly taking pictures all those maaaany times I shoved my phone in his hand, and just in general assisting me with so much. I don’t think I could have managed without him!)

Around 1:30 Thursday, we arrived at the hotel where Realm Makers was being held and cue my heart flipping and squeals of excitement because I was THERE. My dream was coming true, and after prepping and planning since January (half. a. year.), IT WAS HAPPENING. And ooooh my word, was the hotel gorgeous. The outside looked like it had appeared right from a fairytale.


My goofy self in utter ecstasy that we had arriiiiived!

Just look at this hotel! <333

It was fitting because this year’s Realm Makers theme was dark fairytales. Which was also fitting, because I was going to be pitching a dark fairytale retelling, and I found it super fun that the theme for my first ever Realm Makers was my favorite genre ever!

After checking in and unloading our stuff in the hotel room, we went off to the Realm Makers registration table where, lo and behold, one of my very dearest buds in the whole wide world and brain twin, Celti herself, happened to be standing. Naturally much screaming and hugs took place.

At registration you’re given your badge (which was a lifesaver because often you’ll recognize someone’s face from somewhere on the internet but not know their name, or vise versa, so having everyone with a big name tag around their neck helped so, so much), and then you put stickers on them for how many years you’ve attended Realm Makers and what genre of speculative fiction you write (great conversation starters when meeting someone new!). My badge had stickers all over because I’ve dabbled in a bunch of genres. Eheh.


My badge.

Once I was all registered, the fun began! The conference didn’t “officially” start until 4, so I had some time to mingle. Celti led me down to the Realm Makers bookstore, which was a big room full of vending tables and such, and basically every book there was on my TBR, and the room was full of fellow writers. Basically the writer’s dream. The bookstore area is kinda like the hub for Realm Makers—the place you go to wander and chat with people when you’re not busy in classes or whatever. (So you’ll see me refer to it a lot in this post.) It was such a fun, cozy, happy place.

Anyways, the first book I purchased was The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder herself, and I got to chatting with her (she is a gem!) and she asked if I’d be pitching at the conference. I said I was and was really nervous, and then and there she prayed for me. It was at that moment that I realized I was in a special place. Because from that moment on, I didn’t meet a single unkind person, out of the 300+ who were there! It still blows my mind.

It wasn’t long before I started seeing people I recognized, and pretty soon I was in the extroverted writer’s heaven as I was surrounded by all my writing peeps. Celti was the only online writing buddy I had met in person before (and that was just once a few years ago). So being with her and so, so, sooo many others IN PERSON felt surreal. Honest to goodness, that first couple of hours didn’t feel real. I kept thinking I was going to wake up from a dream because there I was, with people I had only ever gotten to speak to through a computer screen. And every single one of them was the genuine, precious person I knew online. It was so weird, but so amazing, because there were no awkward “first” meetings. You always wonder if you meet your online friend in person will they be the same? Will it feel awkward and different? It WASN’T. Not at all. We were all screaming and hugging and talking 90 miles a minute. It was the best thing ever. And what was even more fun was instantly becoming BFFs with people I barely even knew.


With some of my peeps. From left to right: Jaye, Ashley, Kendra, Katie, Deborah (a.k.a Celti), and me.
(When I get overly excited my smile turns into this evil-looking grin. Idon’tevenknow.)

It’s the craziest (but BEST) feeling walking into a room and suddenly seeing someone and thinking, oh yeah, I think I follow her on twitter. Or, I’ve seen that person’s profile pic in the comments of so-and-so’s blog. Or, THERE’S THAT AUTHOR I LOVE. (I did so much fangirling, guys.) Etc., etc. OR having people come up to me and saying they read my blog and enjoy it. (GUUUUYS. You made my heart explode with happiness. I love you all so much!) Some of my very closest writing friends were there, but there was also people I only vaguely knew, or people I had never come across before. But it didn’t matter. We were all there because we love writing and speculative fiction and shared all the same interests, and it really was one big family. Those first couple of hours of meeting my beloved people in person and instantly making new friends may have been my favorite part of the conference. But I don’t know, IT WAS ALL SO GOOD.

Anyways, after meeting and greeting and gathering up “my “people”, we still had a little bit before the conference officially opened, and someone mentioned getting coffee. Well, when you even whisper the C word in a room full of writers, it’s like throwing a bag full of candy at toddlers. We all perked up. Someone said there was a Starbucks nearby, so off a bunch of us went.

This was my first time getting to explore the area outside the hotel. Let me tell you, this was such a fantastic place to hold the conference. Not only is the hotel big and full of rooms for gathering and classes and things, but it’s connected to this big plaza area in St. Louis filled with quant restaurants, peaceful places to sit outside, a water fountain, and just broad, beautiful areas to stroll around in. There’s no need to drive anywhere once you’re at the hotel, because everything you need is within walking distant at the plaza.


Here’s a quick glimpse of part of the plaza area.


At Starbucks with so many amazing ladies.

We had to leave Starbucks pretty quick to hurry back for the conference opening. They started out showing a slideshow from last year’s RM with the song A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman playing and it thrummed something deep and good inside me. As I sat there I was thinking I’m here. This is happening. And just AWK. I can’t even explain it.


Sittin’ with meh Celti for the opening. <3

The ever amazing Mary Weber was Realm Makers’s keynote speaker this year and WOW WOW WOW. Are her words powerful! She got me choked up just with her opening speech. In fact, so much of what Mary spoke about throughout the entire conference was life changing for me. But, again, deeper stuff for another post!



After the opening keynote, a bunch of us went to a delicious taco place on the plaza for supper. Then it was back to the hotel for a little orientation for those of us first year “Realmies”.


Eating tacos with Deborah, Tracey, Mary, Audrey, and Hann!

After orientation, there was an Agents/Editors Q&A panel, which was full of great info. And it helped to see who all agents and editors were there and what they looked like (especially since I’d be pitching to a couple of them in the next two days o.o). Then, right afterwards, there was a fun Flash Fiction Critique Session hosted by Splickety. Before Realm Makers, people could send in a 300-word flash fiction piece, and ten were going to be chosen to be read at the session and critiqued by professionals. I didn’t enter a piece myself, but some of my friends did and both Celti’s and Savannah Grace’s pieces were chosen as one of the ten to be read. Needless to say, we were all internally screeching. So, so proud of them both!

With that done, the first day of elation ended. Some of us chatted for a bit, and I ran into Kyle Robert Shultz (ya know, the guy who writes the Beaumont and Beasley books which I squeal about practically daily???) and got to talk with him for a bit. Except I never did get an individual pic with him  or Jenelle Schmidt or Ashley Townsend. UGH. I’m so mad at myself. But I guess it’s the meeting and hanging out with them that matters more than pics.

None of us chatted for too long though because we were all preeetty exhausted from traveling and such, and so we split ways to our hotel rooms and conked out. But the fun was just beginning!



The day things were about to really get underway!

After mingling in the bookstore where they served a light breakfast, the day opened up with some announcements, then it was off to classes!


Sitting with my dearest Tracey, Mary, and Savannah while we waited for welcome/announcements to start.

My first class was a continuing session entitled “Faith-Infused and Faith-Fueled Fiction” by author Sharon Hinck. I sat at a table with three other girls I didn’t know and they were all so nice. Sharon Hinck had us do some writing exercises and things with our table, and we all chatted so well and encouraged one another. Again I say, every. single. person. at this conference (at least everyone I encountered!) was as friendly and uplifting as could be. And SHARON HINCK. I’ve sadly never read her books (though I’ve always wanted to!), but I adored her. She made the classroom feel so cozy and fun. Her love for life and Jesus was contagious. And her messages of not writing for your motives, not filling your book with your agendas, but just being open to God and letting Him do with your story what He will spoke so deeply to me. The main theme of the class was that we should be motivated to share our fiction for no other motive than this one: Love. Such a powerful thought! The class ran for two hours, and I felt so encouraged and inspired by the end of it. I could feel God’s presence there, and it was beautiful.

Right after that class, I went to the “How to Pitch Your Novel Without Sounding Like a Robot” class by Nadine Brandes. Yes, that Nadine Brandes!!! I needed this class since I was gonna be pitching my book later that day FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. And it. was. so. helpful. Nadine laid it out so simply, and then gave us five minutes to write out an elevator pitch. I literally wrote a better elevator pitch in those five minutes than the one I had spent weeks on at home. NO JOKE. That’s Nadine’s magic for ya.

After the class, Tracey and I decided to go talk to Nadine. This was my first time talking to Nadine IN PERSON. And she signed A Time to Die for me and she’s every bit as precious and delightful as she is online and just adlkjflsdjflkjsd. NADINE!!! Before Realm Makers, I had never had the chance to actually be with famous authors in person before. So yeah, I was a taaaad excited.


With the adorable Nadine herself!!!

After the pitching class, it was lunch, and a good many of us went to a fantastic pizza place and had a lovely time! It was also fun wandering around and hearing tidbits of conversations about writing wherever we went. It seemed all of Realm Makers had taken over the plaza, and I loved it. I loved being in an environment packed with writers. I don’t have any writing friends in my town, and am not used to talking about writing with other writers outside of the internet. Having basically half of my writing online community there in person was seriously a dream. And as an extrovert, I was exploding with happiness.




With the crew. From left to right: Audrey, Savannah, Deborah, Jenelle, Mary, Kendra, Kyle, Tracey, Madeline, and me.

Some of us also briefly explored the top of a clock tower area (you can see the steps to it behind us on the above pic), which was a blast! And took lots of pics with each other.


View from the top.




Madeline! I’m so, so glad I got this pic with her, because I didn’t
get many others with her and me and it makes me SAD.








“The Three Fairies.” Deb, Tracey, and I were named that a long while
back by a friend, and it was truly magical all actually being together.

After our exploration adventures, it was back to the hotel for more classes. My next one was “Everything You Need to Know About YA” by Nadine Brandes and Mary Weber. And um YES. A young adult fiction class by Nadine and Mary themselves??? I was so excited about this one. Nadine and Mary were so fun, and the whole class was full of such wonderful information. I was scribbling out notes like a storm.


In class with mah gals Mary, Tracey, and Savannah.
We all decided we want to be Nadine and Mary when we “grow up”.


The Queens Nadine and Mary themselves!

After that, it was part 2 of Sharon Hinck’s continuing session, but I had to leave pretty early to get to pitching appointments. Which made me SAD, because I was loving this class. But it was off to the scary stuff!

My first appointment was actually a 10-page critique session I had ordered with a Tyndale editor. I had sent in the first 10 pages of Burning Thorns to her before Realm Makers, and so for the appointment we sat for 30 minutes discussing it. The appointment went really well and I felt very encouraged afterwards because she didn’t see all that much that needed improving. And this is a TYNDALE EDITOR so I was just like WUT. I was expecting her to find a gadrillion things that should be changed. But other than a few problem areas in on the first two pages, and some tiny word changes she suggested, there was nothing major she thought I needed to change. This was my first time ever to talk to a true professional about any of my writing, so I was very, very happy!

A little bit after that, I had my first pitching appointment. O___O I make a mess of explaining my stories to my own family. So pitching to a professional???? CUE THE SHRIEKING. I…honestly don’t know how it went. I personally felt like a blabbering moron and it was such a blur I barely remember everything I said. Eheh. Buuuut I don’t think it was really that bad. In the end, the person said they have a Beauty and the Beast story coming out with their publishing company already, so they couldn’t take on another one. Which I totally understood. I then asked what they thought of my story in general, was it publishable or should I try with something else? They said it looked like I had some cool concepts and should definitely keep shopping around. So yeah, I guess I didn’t completely fail. And I was very encouraged by that! Because that was a huge reason I wanted to go to Realm Makers. I had no grand delusions that I’d leave with a book contract. I mean…no. BUT, I did want to know if I’m wasting my time pursuing publishing with Burning Thorns or not, ‘cause I’ve got plenty of other stories I could try with. It was a relief to know the book market is still looking for Beauty and the Beast stories, and mine isn’t totally cliché or anything. So I call my first pitch a success I suppose. The person didn’t say my story stank anyway, so I’ll take it! XD

With that done, I took a deep breath (for now, I had one more pitch the next morning eheheheh) and got to relax a bit. I was feeling extra tired at this point, which made me sad, because this extrovert hates having to go rest when there’s people to talk to. But my body was shutting down between the few hours of sleep and lots of walking it had been through. So I forced myself to go to the hotel room, make some coffee, and reenergize a bit. Then it was time to get dressed for the…AWARDS BANQUET.

The awards banquet is kinda the crown jewel of Realm Makers. Not only is it a big, fun dinner everyone gets to go to buuuut…it’s a costume dinner! As in, us weird speculative fiction writers get to truly let our creative weirdness out and cosplay as whatever/whoever we want. I had been working on putting together my costume for a good two full months prior to Realm Makers, and was beyond ecstatic to finally get to wear it. And see everyone’s else creations.

I went dressed as…


And yes, that is me in my room days before Realm Makers, and it was nighttime so excuse the gross, grainy lighting. But I apparently didn’t get any shots of just myself at the banquet so… Eheh.

Okay, so my obsession with Alice in Wonderland is…probably unhealthy. I LOVE IT. Always have. (If you look closely, you can see an entire Alice in Wonderland setup at the top of my bookshelf behind me. The obsession is strooong.) And Alice has always, always, always been one of my top most favorite female fictional characters in the world. I also relate to her spacey, curious personality a lot. Plus we’re both blondes! I’ve wanted to dress up as her forEVER, but never really had the opportunity. The second I realized I was going to Realm Makers, I knew I wanted to do an Alice cosplay. Buuut her outfit is pretty simplistic and I felt like going as something more elaborate. Well, I adore steampunk, so why not Steampunk Alice??? It was so much fun to put together!

Everyone’s costumes were spectacular! There was actually a ton of steampunk outfits, and I loved it. (You’re about to get bombarded with pics, I make no apologies.)


That’s Lindsay Franklin as a steampunk Cheshire and S.D. Grimm as a steampunk
Queen of Hearts, guys! It was ecstatic to find other steampunk Wonderland characters.
And actual, real life, awesome authors at that. Talk about awesome.


With meh fairies. Is Tracey’s Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles
costume not the coolest thing ever??? And Deborah is the most gorgeous Princess
Kamarie from Jenelle Schmidt’s The Minstrel’s Song series.


MARY AS MARY POPPINS. This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in. my. life.
I squealed so hard when I saw her. Plus “Mary” as Mary. It’s so perfect!

My precious Savannah in her gorgeous princess-y outfit
and gorgeous hair and just…GORGEOUS.

E. Kaiser MADE this TARDIS dress, guys. Just… O___O So. Much. Talent.
(Also TARDIS dresssssss. *fangirls*)

Kara Swanson herself! And yes, she is a Peter Pan flapper. Is that not the most
brilliant thing ever? Also, I love Peter Pan as much as Alice in Wonderland
soooo yeah. I LOVED IT.


Jaye L. Knight blew us all away with her elaborate Assassin’s Creed costume.


This guy was such a fantastic Captain America. And Jeneca came
as Buckyyyyyy! So of course we had to get them in a pic together.


Nadine Brandes as Trelawney from Harry Potter. (Except I’ve only
read the first two HP books so far and haven’t seen the movies, so
I’ve yet to “meet” Trelawney. BUT I WILL.)

Mary Weber was a fellow steampunk cosplayer! Made me so excited.

It’s Eleven form Stranger Things!!!

LOOK. AT. THIS. MAD. HATTER. This girl won best costume,
and with good reason. I MEAN LOOK AT IT. Also I was so excited
a Wonderland character won! Wonderland representation. Woot, woot!

Audrey, me, Tracey, and Mary.
Audrey’s outfit was SO COOL. It just makes you want to go adventuring with her.


Ooookay, I need to stop. There were just so many amazing costumes, guys!

The whole banquet was such a fun night. After wandering around the bookstore looking at everyone’s costumes and taking pics, I went to the main eating area. At first I couldn’t find a table with anyone I really knew, then I spotted Tracey, Mary, and Savannah with one free seat at their table, so happily settled in, only to look across the table to find Steve Laube sitting next to Tracey. Ya know, big-time literary agent Steve Laube? Yeah! There were also a couple of people who worked for Enclave Publishing at the table. I was not expecting this! But I was delightfully surprised. You seriously never know who you’re going to end up with at a writers conference.

After dinner, so many of us lingered and chatted and took pics, and just had a lovely night all around. It was definitely a huge highlight of the weekend.

We’ll just not talk about how I didn’t get to bed until 1 in the morning and had to get up at 6. Eheheh.



The last-ish day of Realm Makers. *SOBS* But what a day it was!

It honestly didn’t start out great. Bryan Davis (my favorite author EVERRR) was popping in for breakfast that morning, but he came real early and I wasn’t feeling great that morning and didn’t get down in time to see him. I think I missed him within minutes too. So I was pretty bummed. But I needed some sleep since I had a pitching appointment later that morning. I was also really nervous about my pitch, so between missing Bryan Davis and feeling a little ill, I was pretty meh.

BUT, if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that God’s presence is the strongest through hard times. When I was finally dressed and headed out of the hotel room, I made a quick stop to grab coffee they had in the lobby and ran into a fellow Realmie and got to chatting with him. He happened to ask if I had any pitching appointments and I told him I did that very morning and he up and decided to pray for me. (I’m telling you, the Realm Makers people are the best people out there.) That was really encouraging. Then I wandered down to the bookstore and found myself talking with Jamie Foley herself, the author of the Sentinel Trilogy, which you guys have probably all seen my flail about on here before. I LOVE THOSE BOOKS SO MUCH. And oh my gracious goodness, Jamie is one of the most amazing, encouraging, genuine ladies I have ever met in my life. Talking with her just filled me up.


THE Jamie Foley!

Those things helped brighten my mood a lot, and then, after morning announcements, I headed off to the third session of Sharon Hinck’s class. And, to my shock, she opened up by giving a personal testimony about her life and own health problems and what the Lord has done through them. I needed that, because the conference was really taking a toll on me physically and I was feeling bummed about it. Sharon Hinck’s speech spoke to my soul.

I had to leave her class early though to go to my appointment. I gave myself 30 minutes though to gather myself together, look over my pitching notes, and pray. I will still feeling ill, not to mention nervous, and was so scared I was going to make a mess of it. But I should have known God would be with me, as He had been that entire morning. Because the second I sat down for my appointment, the nerves flitted away, and I enjoyed myself. Like a lot. It was a wonderful appointment and we talked about fairytales and all sorts of lovely things, and I was told again that I had a very interesting concept for a story. And it ended with me being told I was welcome to send in a query and proposal so they can look at it all more thoroughly. GOD IS GOOD, GUYS. This probably won’t come of anything. But, again, it was so reassuring to know this story of mine may be publishable one day. Not only that, that whole morning proved to me how deeply our Lord cares for us and is with us through the trials. Yes, I missed seeing Bryan Davis. Yes, I was feeling kind of sick. But God carried me through it.

Needless to say, after the appointment I was floating on air. That was my last appointment for the conference, it went pretty well, and I could just enjoy the rest of the weekend. I also got to feeling a good bit better after that. Everything was fine!

And the rest of the day was utterly spectacular.

After my pitching appointment I just kind of chilled and talked with people and breathed a sigh of relief that I had no more appointments. Lol. (Now I know. Next time I’m scheduling any and all appointments early on the first day and getting them over with. And doing them before I’ve gone multiple days with very little sleep.) My next class was a part 2 of Nadine Brandes and Mary Weber’s “Everything You Need to Know About YA”. And again, I learned SO MUCH. This was possibly the most useful class for me of the whole conference. They mainly discussed the importance of marketing and tips and tricks, which is something I’ve been stressing about very recently here. That class came at the best time.

Afterwards, I decided to approach Mary and Nadine and get them to sign some books. Mary signed my copies of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow and Reclaiming Shilo Snow which I was so ecstatic about. I read both of those right before Realm Makers and LOVED them. It was thrilling getting her to sign them and chatting with her a bit. Her heart for people just inspires me.


Mary Weber! And yes, she was wearing a My Little Pony
sweatshirt, which I had to squee over. She’s the best.

I then got Nadine to sign my copy of Fawkes, which I had recently picked up in the Realm Makers bookstore. I WAS SO EXCITED.

Afterwards, I went to find my peeps for lunch and sat out with them in a big nice area in the plaza eating more food from the taco shop. The weather was windy and absolutely perfect that day. As someone who lives in the ridiculously humid south, I was soaking up the drier, cooler weather of Missouri.


Such a nice place to chill and eat.

There wasn’t much going on for a little while after lunch, which was nice. I got to chat with people, hangout in the bookstore, and purchase more books I wanted. I had been buying one or two books basically every time I was in the bookstore, attempting to pace myself. Eheh. I just wanted SO MUCH. But there was going to be a big book signing that evening, so I knew I needed to go ahead and get everything else I wanted.

That afternoon there was one more class-ish thing—some different panels. I went to one titled “Mental and Physical Health for Writers”. I obviously needed that one. Haha. And it was really encouraging seeing that I’m not alone struggling with physical health, and got some good tips how to balance it with writing. And then after the panel, I ended up talking with Celti and Jamie Foley, and we discussed some health problems we have, and by the end of it we were nearly in tears. We had such a meaningful talk. To this day, whenever I think of it, my heart swells.

The closing keynote was about to start, so we three headed to that. And Mary Weber did it again. This time her closing speech really moved me to tears. Like sniffling, tears down my cheeks, barely able to hold it together tears. She later said she had a different speech planned, but wasn’t feeling it and wrote this one mere hours before giving it. Which blew my mind because it sounded as if she had been working on it for weeks. It spoke directly to me on such a deep level. I needed that speech. So, so much.

With that, it was dinner time. Since it would be our last meal together (*SNIFF, SNIFF*) a bunch of us were trying to gather everyone we could. Then, next thing we knew, Mary Weber was there and asked if we all wanted to go grab something to eat. Um…YES!!!

This was one of the (if not THE) best moments of Realm Makers. It was hilarious, because as a huge group of us followed Mary through the hotel to the plaza, we kept gathering people, until we had like half of Realm Makers. We decided to go to the taco shop (why yes, I ate there 3 times in one weekend and I don’t even care), and all took our food outside. And Mary Weber and Nadine Brandes was there and so many more, and we had the most amazing time sitting out eating tacos in the lovely weather and discussing the epic weekend we’ve had. I’m grinning just thinking about it.

Half of Realm Makers trekking off to get tacos. I feel
like we scared the workers at the taco restaurant. XD

Getting tacos with Nadine Brandes!

In line with Audrey, Katie, Mary, and Tracey. My people. <3
(But again with the creepy evil grin, Christine. Whyyy?)


Sitting on a set of steps outside the taco shop chatting with Mary Weber.
That’s the top of my head on the far right. Lol.

After the amazing taco adventure, we all headed back to the hotel and to gather books out of our rooms. Because it was now time for a big book signing! Although I didn’t have an enormous stack to bring, because I had been strategically asking people here and there throughout the whole weekend to sign my books, juuust in case I didn’t manage to get them at the book signing. And so I wouldn’t have to carry an arm-breaking load of books to the signing. *grins* I’m so glad I did it that way too. Because Mary Weber’s line went on for THREE HOURS. o___O She’s just so nice and sat there and talked to each and every person for like ten minutes. I got to skip her line though since I had gotten her to sign my books earlier that day. Bwahaha. (I mean…I hope it was okay to get people to sign my books before the official book signing. I think a lot of people were doing that, and none of the authors ever seemed to mind, so I think it’s a good strategy.) I did scoot over to Nadine’s line though to get her to sign my last two Out of Time trilogy books even though I had already approached her twice to sign books. *sheepish grin* But this way I got signatures on all four of her books! IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. And she seemed delighted by it, so I think it was fine. I liked doing it one at a time throughout the weekend better than coming up to her with an armload of books for her to sign at once. Lol.

Anyways, I got a bunch of other books signed as well. Including my copy of The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson!


With Mr. Batson himself! (And yes, that is an Alice in Wonderland
book tote I have. I HAVE A PROBLEM, OKAY???)

It was so epic talking to him and getting him to sign his debut for me, because I had read and loved that trilogy when I was much younger, and I really admire him.

The whole night was magical talking with authors, getting books signed, hanging out with everyone, buying more books even though I thought I was done doing that. *cough* And celebrating with Audrey who won the free conference registration in the raffle. *SQUEALS* It was amazing!


I came home with 19 books total. Guess I should have gotten one more. XD

Once the book signing wound down, they started getting ready for the famous Realm Makers Nerf war. (I told you guys this is not like a normal writers conference.) It’s a tradition to end RM with a big Nerf War. Unfortunately, I was muuuuch too tired to join in, even though I would have really liked to. But I got to watch a bit which was fun.


Nothing like a bunch of writing nerds shooting each other with Nerf guns.

After watching for a few minutes, Mary, Tracey, and I found somewhere quiet in the lobby to chill and talk for a bit before Tracey had to go to bed since she had a super early flight home the next morning. There may have been many tears shed saying goodbye. But it made me think of the Winnie-the-Pooh quote: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Those words were so, so true for Realm Makers.


With Mary and Tracey for our last night. Tired face but full heart.

I crashed that night, sad the event was basically over, but so beyond happy it happened. Though I wasn’t quite done.



I was so scared I was going to miss saying goodbye to everyone, because I didn’t know when people were headed off, but I went down to the lobby that morning to find it full of my people. We all got to hang out for about an hour before most people headed out. Thus many final pictures were made.


Mary and Savannah! These girls just make me so happy, you have no idea. <3


Kendra is such a delight. XD Hanging out with her was the best.


JAYE L. KNIGHT. I adoooore her Ilyon Chronicles books, so getting
to befriend her and hang out was the dream. She is seriously the sweetest person.

Katie Grace. Only the most precious bean in the whole world. Can I keep her?


Jeneca is such a spectacular girl, and getting to know her at Realm Makers was the best thing.

It was really hard saying so many goodbyes, but goodness did we all have a wonderful time together. I honestly can’t even express how much each friend I met and made at Realm Makers means to me. Those people are the epitome of kindred spirits. I feel so blessed to have them in my life! (If only we didn’t all live so far away. *sobs*)

After hugging everyone and trying to hold it together, I headed off to the last bit of Realm Makers—the post-conference FightWrite workshop with Carla Hoch.

I am so glad I decided to sign up for this workshop. I literally have zero clue how to write fight scenes, and yet I put them in my stories alllll the time????? This class was a ginormous well of information. Carla Hoch was so much fun and demonstrated a ton of fighting techniques. I actually took more notes in this class than any of the others! Not only did I learn a lot of great methods to help me write fight scenes better, I also just got a lot of great tips for self defense in general.


Carla Hoch using poor Ben Wolf as her assistant.

But my favorite part of the class was when we started discussing how to combat atop a dragon. ONLY AT REALM MAKERS, GUYS. And Carla Hoch talked so seriously about it. It was the best. And actually insanely helpful since I have a whole SEVEN BOOK SERIES about dragon riders with like a gazillion fight scenes atop dragons. You just never know what great stuff you’re gonna learn at Realm Makers!

With that, Realm Makers was officially, officially over. But, thankfully, my sweet Mary was still around and she and I and my dad went and had lunch together before saying farewell for reals. We also ran into Olivia, another sweet Realmie, who joined us for lunch.

We then headed back to the hotel for the last goodbyes. Then Dad and I loaded up into the car and headed out.

And thus my first ever Realm Makers ended. But my heart was utterly full, my head brimming with inspiration and motivation and ideas, and my soul nourished. It was so, so much more than a writers conference. It was seriously a life changing event. And though there were a few hiccups and health problems, I honestly keep forgetting about those, because the good was so good, it completely outweighed the bad.

I hope more than anything I get to attend again next year. Which, by the way, will be held in the exact same place and same time!!! Just for any of those who were thinking about going next year. *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*

Like I keep saying, there’s so much more to the story. So many revelations from God and thoughts and ideas swirling through my head. Once I process it all, I’d love to share it with you. But if you’re even sort of considering going to Realm Makers I have to say: DO IT!!! I promise you won’t regret it.


Goodbye St. Louis. You were a dream come true. <3

But GOOD GRIEF. This may be my longest post ever, which is saying something for me. o.O Maybe I should have split this up into two posts??? Eheh. Sorry about this. If you read this whole thing, you get alllll the cookies because wow, what a monster. Thank you for putting up with my maaaany ramblings and pictures.

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH AND IT WAS SUCH A DREAM COME TRUE MEETING SO MANY OF YOU AT RM!!! Thank you for being on this crazy writing journey with me. <3



You’ve made it to the end of the Godzilla post! CONGRATS. Now I want to hear from you! Who’s making it to Realm Makers next year??? Have you ever been to any other writing conferences? (This was my first.) And did I bore you to death with my ridiculously long and detailed recap? Because, seriously, this is embarrassingly long. *cough* Okay, but I miss talking with you guys. I feel like I’ve been gone for ages even though it’s only been a couple of weeks. So how are you doing? What’s going on? LET’S CHAT!


  1. So exciting! I really enjoyed reading the whole thing, even if it was a bit longish :).

    1. Thank you, Sophia! And yeeeeah. *nervous laughter* I may have gone overboard. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This is so so so amazing! What a time!! I'm so glad you had such an incredible experience. Are you planning on going next year? (I really want to attend next year, so I might see you there! ;)

    It's so amazing how God works through difficult experiences like health issues. I'm so glad you felt His peace during the conference.

    Also, I need to comment here more often!! I've missed reading your lovely words (& seeing your lovely face in this posts' pictures! You're so so beautiful.) I'm hoping to re-immerse myself in the writing craft this year after having taken a break due to various things. I'm excited to reconnect!

    Again, so happy that you had such an awesome time at Realm Makers! <3

    1. Thank you! It really was incredible. And it is my greatest hope to go next year! I certainly can't say for sure if it's happening, but I'm absolutely going to try. THAT WOULD BE SO AMAZING IF YOU GOT TO GO. *squeals* I hope it works out!

      He is so, so good. It definitely wasn't easy, but He always got me through it. I'm so grateful to Him. :)

      D'AWWWWW!!! YOU ARE THE SWEETEST THING. But I understand not always having time to comment. I always want to comment on every single person's blog but there's sadly not enough time in the day for that. :( Still though, comments mean the WORLD to me, and I'm so grateful for yours. <333 (And thank you for the compliment of the pics! But goodness, I feel like I look so haggard in all of them. I was running on such little sleep, I was a mess. XD)

      That's thrilling you're getting back into writing! That's what I've done too. Last year I took off almost the whole year, but this year I've been back into it and it's been lovely. I do hope all your writing ventures go wonderfully!

      Thanks for everything! ^_^

  3. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. *hugs this post and you* I LOVED THIS POST SO MUCH. I don't know how you gave such a detailed account of it because I was sooo tired I forgot a good deal XD (good thing I journaled lol). But wow. Ugh. I'm speechless and I keep tearing up thinking back on the conference. God did SO many amazing things there bringing us together and moving our hearts. Just wow. And it was AMAZING to meet you in person, Christine! *hugs* <33

    1. AUDREEEEY. YOU PRECIOUS BEAN YOU. <3 Thank you! But I hear ya! I had to look back at the schedule and through pictures to remember everything. Lol. It was definitely a blur!




    I think all my feelings were expressed well in that first sentence! ;) If Realm Makers really is going to be in St. Louis again next year, there’s a very good chance that I’ll be going! *cue squealing* Except I’m already kind of nervous about it for some reason..........

    Anyways, great recap, and maybe I’ll see you next year!

    1. *SQUEAK* THANK YOU, NICOLE! That makes me happy to hear! Because I was scared you'd all disown me after a post this big. XDDD

      OH MY GOODNESS. That would be AH-MAY-ZIIIIING if you get to go next year! I don't know for sure if I'm going, but I'm going to try my HARDEST to be there again. It would be the BEST meeting each other! :D And I understand being nervous. It seems so overwhelming and terrifying the first time. But trust me. The second you get there you're going to realize how friendly the people are and how amazing the entire experience is and LOVE IT. Plus it's all pretty casual. You're not required to go to every class or anything. It's all up to you what you do! It's seriously the best. I do hope you get to go!

      Thanks again, girl! <3

  5. I'm going to be honest...this post was the brightest spot in my day today. I had to work an insanely long shift at work and got only one break, and as soon as I sat down I was like "ooh, I bet Christine has her post up!" So I read this post at work, but I'm only getting around to commenting now. Oh well. XD

    YOUR EXPERIENCE SOUNDS AMAZING. I'm in love with all these photos, and while I'm sorry that you had to feel yucky on Saturday (that's the worst :P) it sounds like it was all worth it. You got to see Tracey! And Deborah! And Madeline! And Mary! And Savannah! And all the people I'm forgetting to mention!

    I really hope I'll be able to be there next year. I'd love to meet you face to face--that would be incredible. So many people I'm thrilled with the prospect of seeing. It sounds brilliant. <3

    (and we'd never disown you for a long post. I love the length of your posts. :))

    1. Awwww! *huggles* I saw on Instagram that you had to work 9 and a half hours. YOU POOR THING. But that is the sweetest you used your only break to read MY post and thought of me. I FEEL WARM AND FUZZY AND SPECIALS. <333

      IT WAS AMAZING! So, so, sooo amazing! And yes, every bit of it was worth it, even the hard moments. It was maaaaagic meeting all our beloved friends. Everyone was so fantastic.

      YES YES YESSSSS!!! That is so very exciting you may go next year! I'm gonna try my very best to make it next year as well. IT WOULD BE SO UTTERLY THRILLING MEETING YOU! I am beyond hopeful that this will happen.

      (Tehehehe. Glad to hear it!)

      Now get some rest, girl! You've earned it! <333

  6. SQUEEEP!! I have been looking forward to this post, and I LOVE all the pictures! This was a blast to read, and it didn't seem too long at all--I got to the end and thought, "Finished, already?" :-) :-) :-) And I totally want to go to Realm Makers now. (Also, I was praying for your energy and stamina during the conference.)

    And how wonderful that your pitching sessions went so well! AND THAT COSTUME IS THE BEST!!! Seriously, it's amazing!!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing all this with us! And it's good to have you back in the blog world, too! :-)

    1. D'AWWW!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed my monster of a post! I was thrilled to finally be able to share my adventures with all of you. And oh my goodness, girl, thank you SOOOO much for the prayers! I could feel God with me through it all, and it means the WORLD to me that I had friends keeping me in their prayers. You are such a gem! <3333 Also you NEEED to go to Realm Makers one year. YES. You'd love it!

      EEP. Thank you! I was so relieved to have survived my first ever pitches. Haha. And it was so fun dressing up!

      *HUGGLES* Thank YOU for your sweet comment and prayers. I'm so happy to be back in the blogging world with all my dear peoples. I've missed you guys! <333

  7. I don't mind that it's long- this is an awesome re-cap!
    Wonderland and steampunk just seem to go together so well! There were so many impressive costumes that night.
    You came back with 19 books, Christine? Really? Just 19? I'm kidding- I told myself to just buy two. Of course I caved a little, but not by much.

    1. That's good to hear! It was really fun putting the post together and reliving the adventure. ^_^

      I agree! There's something so fitting with a steampunk Wonderland. All the clocks and keys and things work perfectly. And YES. Everyone did amazing with their costumes!

      *griiiins* Yep. Only 19. Obviously I behaved myself. *cough, cough, cough* But WOW. I admire you for just getting a few. I should have had more self control!

      It was so, soooo amazing meeting you there! I do hope we end up there together again sometime! <3

  8. Realm Maker's was amaaaaaaazing. It was so good to meet everyone, and there was so much to learn. And so many people to hug. So glad I went ahead and went, even if it was a bit of a stretch to afford it.

    And you're the sweetest, Christine. The sweetest.

    1. Literally EVERYTHING you said! The whole experience was a dream, and totally worth it, despite the immense amount of funds it sucked away. Eheh. But wow. What an amazing time!

      AWWWW! GIRL. I miss you! Meeting you was one of my highlights! I do so very hope we'll get more chances to be together in person. *HUGS*

    I've missed your posts! The whole thing just seems like a blast, I really want to try and go next year.
    You got to meet so many cool people and authors, thanks for sharing this with us. I like getting the rundown so I know what to expect. YOUR ALICE COSTUME <333333 You rocked it, I can definitely see you as Alice! I have a bit of an obsession with it myself. 19 books is quite a bit XD
    Seems like such a good experience. I must go, being around other writers. Not to mention Christain writers must have been so cool!

    1. *beams* I've missed you!

      Oh my goodness, Skye, I so, so, soooooo hope you'll be able to go! And we MUST go the same year sometime because meeting you is practically on my bucket list. IT WOULD BE AMAZING!!!

      Everyone was just the best! I'm glad you enjoyed my rambly rundown. Hehe. AND THANK YOU. I had a blast putting my costume together. I needed you there to take your awesome photoshoots for me! ;D

      Yep. 19 books. In my defense, I had preordered two of them, and got three for free. Buuuut still. Yeah, I have a problem. *cough*

      IT WAS! So magical. It was the nicest group of people. I felt so encouraged and loved every bit of it!

  10. Loved reading this! It was almost like being there again... :) Such a great experience and a fun weekend.

    Sad that I missed the clock tower!! I usually explore my surroundings more... I think I was a bit of a frazzled bundle of nerves and shyness... I was trying not to be... but new experiences do that to me.

    It was awesome meeting you!

    Sadly, I don't think I'm going to be there next year... which I'm a bit bummed about because I love that it's in the same place and it would be awesome to go and know my way around a bit... but maybe 2020.

    1. Also, I can't believe we didn't get a picture together! At least we have the big one from after pizza... but still!!! I took so few pictures... I'm so mad at myself!

    2. Awww, thank you! And goodness yes. The BEST experience!

      I wish you had been there! D: But I understand. Everything was so, so crazy and overwhelming, especially for us first years! But hey, next time we'll be pros, right? ;D

      IT WAS THE BEST MEETING YOU. And I can seriously kick myself for not getting pics with you. I was sad we didn't have much of a chance to just talk and such. Maybe another time!

      Awww! That is sad. :( But yes, maybe the year after! I honestly have no clue if I'll get to go next year or not either. I'm gonna try but...well, life. So we'll see!

      And boy I understand with the picture thing. I thought I was getting a sufficient amount of pics, but then I got home and realized I should have captured SO much more. A few of these pics I got from friends because I didn't have everything I wanted. At least I'll know for next time!

  11. EEEEEE IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAD SO MUCH FUN!!! I was fangirling with you almost the whole time I was reading this post. Realm Makers sounds SO COOL!!! And your costume is beautiful! I love it. <3 I would love to go sometime... I will have to add it to my bucket list. ;-D

    1. I DID! IT WAS THE BEST! That is so sweet you fangirled alongside me. It really was a magical conference.

      Thank you!!! I had a blast putting the costume together. I'm already thinking about my next costume. Hehe. Though I've yet to have any ideas...

      It would be AMAZIIIING if you got to go sometime! Adding it to your bucket list sounds perfect. I'm just sure one day you'll get to cross if off! :D

  12. The longness added to the epicness. ;) I loved seeing all of the pictures! It looked like so much fun!
    A small plan is stewing in the back of my mind to go next year.... But we shall see!

    1. Oh goodness. *grins* That is a relief to hear! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

      EEP. That would be the coolest thing! AAAAHHHHHH!!! I HOPE IT WORKS OUT! *crosses fingers*

    2. Thanks! I hope so to! *crosses fingers*

  13. Yay!! Welcome back, Christine! Glad you had an awesome time at Realm Makers!

    It sounds super fun, hopefully I'll be able to attend some year! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Kara!!!

      EEP. I hope you'll get to go sometime too. That would be amazing! It's such a spectacular conference!

  14. I just love everything about this post *squeals* I've absolutely loved reading everyone's wrap up posts, its been so much fun! (Never, ever stop writing monster posts, Christine!)
    I honestly feel like that taco shop is famous. It's pretty much all I've heard about for a week now. :P They were doing insane business during Realm Makers!
    And everyone's costumes were so cool (especially yours!) and the speakers sound amazing. I'm glad that you had such a fantastic time and that God kept you supported the whole time)
    (And its sooooo exciting that your last pitch went so well! I'll be praying that something comes of it :D)

    1. *squeals back* Chelseeeeea. That makes me so happy. Thank you! I'm glad you guys don't mind my monster posts. Hehe.

      The taco shop! Oh my word, yes. It was like the highlight of Realm Makers. I was thinking as well about how much business they got that weekend! So much. o.o

      Thank you! I LOVED seeing everyone dressed up. So much creativity. And yes, the speakers and just everything was wonderful. God is good.

      Aaaahhhh! GIRL. You're making my day left and right. That means so much. Thank you! <3

  15. Loved reading this post and AGGGH it was so wonderful meeting you in person!! :DDD
    'The Three Fairies', I love it!! It totally fits! ^_^
    The banquet night was AMAZING. SOOO many neat costumes! Your steampunk Alice was EPIC. <333 And oh my word, your book haul. XD I had to control myself, so I think I ended up with around 5 or so. I WANTED TO GET MORE THOUGH. XD This was such a wonderful experience, I really hope to do it again!! :D

    1. IT WAS THE BEST MEETING YOU!!!! I so, sooo hope we'll end up there together again!

      Tehehe. Thanks! :D

      IT WAS SO AMAZING. Except I didn't get a pic with you at the banquet, and we were both steampunk too! I loved your costume. UGH. I'm so mad at myself. Next time I'm going to go pic crazy. XD

      I SHOULD have only gotten 5 books! I admire your self-control. I need more of that. XD

      YESSSS. I'm holding on to hope that this is the first of MANY Realm Makers we get to attend!

  16. I'm glad you had such a great time! It looks like it was a ton of fun! Those cosplays are totes AMAZE!! I love them all!

    And 19 books in one go?! Yeah, I totally need to get myself there next year. Totally.

    1. Thank you, Sarah! It really was utterly amazing. And wasn't everyone's costumes the best??? I was blown away by all the creativity!

      *sheepish grin* Yeppp. I may have a problem... *COUGH*

      It would be the best thing ever if you got to go! EEEEEEEE!!!! I hope that works out!

  17. Good for you for going this year! (And to pitch at your first-ever conference, too - that takes a lot of bravery!) I haven't been to Realm Makers, but I've gone to two other writing conferences (Writer's Digest Conference in NYC, and Muse & The Marketplace in Boston) and still remember the magical feeling of going to one for the first time. Oh, and the other magical feeling - meeting people you've met online in real life! I can relate to all of that. :)

    1. Thanks! I was sooo nervous to pitch, oh my goodness. XD Glad I survived!

      Oh wow, the Writer's Digest conference and one in Boston? I bet those are huge. That's awesome!!! It is definitely a magical feeling. And meeting online friends in person is one of the greatest blessings EVER. AWK. It's the best!

  18. Oh man, Realm Makers looks AMAZING. I found out just a month or two before it that it was really close to me and I was so disappointed that I didn't know about it sooner. So I'm super excited that it's going to be at the same place next year because I might be going!!! And gosh, it seriously sounds so incredible. I went to one writer's conference before, and let me just say that you definitely wouldn't have found people praying for each other there. So I'm ecstatic about (hopefully) going. :D

    Also, I just discovered your blog a while back and this is the first post I've read! Nice to meet you. ;)

    1. IT IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I'm so sorry you weren't able to make it this year. But YES. It'll be in the same place next year and EEEEEEE!!! That is so wonderful you might get to go! I do so hope it works out. Everyone needs to experience the magic of Realm Makers! Because yeah, I've definitely heard it's different from any other writers conference. Haha.

      D'awwww! I am honored you'd stop by! *hands you virtual cookies* It's so nice to meet you too. I love finding new bloggy friends! ^_^

  19. That hotel really does look like something from a fairy tale! AND YOU GOT A DRAGON STICKER!

    I was praying for your critique/pitching sessions! I'm so happy for for all the good things you heard for Burning Thorns!

    I LOVE your Steampunk Alice costume! It's so cool and whimsical (and those shoes!) and I love the idea for it and you looked amazing!

    It sounds like you had a fantastic time and I loved reading all about it! Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

    1. Isn't it pretty? The actual rooms were surprisingly small, but I think just cause it's an old hotel. It was still clean and beautiful. And YES. The dragon one indicated I wrote fantasy, so of course I had to put it at the top of my badge. ;D

      Oh my goodness, Jameson, the means the WORLD to me! THANK YOU!!!! Seriously, that is the nicest things. <333

      EEP. Thank you! It was really fun to put together.

      So happy you enjoyed reading about it (despite this post being a mile long haha). Thank YOU, girl! <3

  20. Ahhhh! I am just now catching up on everyone's Realm Maker posts, and it sounds like it was such a grand time! Just reading about you and the others getting excited about their writing is making me pumped about writing. :D I am so glad you had such a great time, and I loved seeing all your pictures!

    1. *squeaks* Thank you, Abbey! Your enthusiasm is catching. It was definitely the best place to get encouraged and inspired to write. AWK. I want every writer to experience the magic that is Realm Makers!

      I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the post. Thanks so much, girl! <3

  21. I'm so happy you had a fabulous time! Realm Makers seriously has the best people! I'm hoping to attend next year, depending on how things go. That hotel looks amazing and I've still got to meet you in person. ^ ^

    1. Thanks, Tori! It was sooo amazing, oh my goodness YES.

      EEP. I really, really hope you'll get to! I was so SAD you weren't there this year because I WANT TO MEET YOU. But at the same time I'm ecstatic for your Iceland trip! :D But I'm going to try to go next year too so we might get to meet yet!

  22. Oh my goodness. This post honestly made me feel so happy and warm inside and like I THINK I NEARLY CRIED. . .? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS CALLED EMOTIONS. NO. GO AWAY. XD

    Realm Makers sounds like it is absolutely MAGICAL, and I am so happy you got to go this year, Christine!!! Hopefully I'll be able to go next year, too! Now that I know about it in advance, it just might be a possiblity... (it's only 7 hours away, too.... XD [lol, "only". XD])


      YOUR ALICE IN WONDERLAND COSTUME!!!!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!! *flails for 3,000 years*

    2. KENZIIIIEEEE!!!! You are so precious! That makes me really happy that you enjoyed it and it wasn't just totally boring. Lol. EEP. THANK YOU!!!

      Oh man, it is. IT IS. I keep calling it magical because, like, there is no other word to describe it! It truly felt like magic! And oh my goodness, you might go next year? *SHRIEKS* THAT WOULD BE THE BEST. I'm going to try my hardest to go again as well which means WE MIGHT ACTUALLY MEET. THIS COULD BE A REAL THING. *shrieks some more*

      *BEAMS* Aaaahhhhh!!!! THANK YOU! I had so much fun gathering pieces for my costume and putting it together! :D

  23. I LOVED THIS POST!!! AMAZING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!!! Can't believe that it's taken me this long to get on and actually read it. :P #busymomlife But just ABSOBLOOMINGLUTELY AMAZING! I'm so glad you got to go!!! Also... I'm insanely loving how one of the tags for this post is "pizza." :D

    Don't apologize for the loads of pictures. I LOVED THEM ALL! It was awesome to get to experience your trip through the pics!

    BTW, I saw a pic of you in your steampunk Alice costume on Facebook that Realm Makers posted and I squealed soooo much!!

    1. AAAAAHHH!!!! I'M SO GLAD. I had so much fun putting it together and reliving the experience, but I was scared I was going to bore you guys to death. So happy it was fun to red about! (And yes, of course pizza was involved. ;D)

      Thanks so much, Kiri! And EEP. I didn't realize they posted one on FB (because I don't have FB and miss out on these things...). I saw one on their Insagram account with me in it, and I was making the worst face ever. XD And I just stalked their FB account and saw it was the same one. LOL. But I'm glad you liked my costume. It was such a blast putting together!

  24. Oh dear, I'm so late - but I HAD to say, I beamed over every word. My heart is full. I am delighted you got to go, Christine - I had prayed that you would be able to and this post makes me so happy!! <3 <3

    1. But a wizard is never late. ;D

      Awwwww! Your comment is making MY heart full. You are the sweetest bean, Alli. And you prayed for me? My heart is brimming! Thanks so much, girl. You are a gem! <333

  25. *GRINS* My sister actually said there are elements of Gandalf that remind her of me. Ahem. :)

    Yes, I prayed that you would be blessed and be able to go! <3 I'm so grateful that you did!

    DAW. *hides face* You are the sweetest; a treasure. Thank you, Christine. :) <

    1. I can totally see that actually! Lol. You're totally an awesome wizard.

      OH GIRL. I seriously can't express how grateful I am. That is such a blessing to me. YOU are a blessing to me. <333333


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