It’s only halfway through August, and so many super fun things have happened!
The first big thing was, of course, the Realm Makers Conference in St. Louis. One hundred and fifty fellow writers running around in assorted geek gear and talking about story? I am so going again next year.
I think my biggest take-aways were that I need to focus in on specific age markets rather than trying to write to all of them at once, and that there are ways to measure which audience your book would best please.
Also, that it’s very fun to have the awards dinner be a costume dinner. My friend Linda Burklin snapped a picture of us before the ceremonies began.
I didn’t have time this year to make anything special for the event, but I had sufficient odds and ends in my closet to whip together a cohesive look. (Several people remarked that I have a pretty cool closet.) The skirt is for ballroom dancing, the top was a favorite thrift store find, the corset-thing was a remnant from a time-and-space traveling alien costume (long story, ancient history), and the cloak was a hand-beaded creation from 2008.
Overall, going to Realm Makers was a positive experience. And after I cried on a couple people at the end of the first night, I bounced back invigorated and ready to write like crazy. Look out, world!
After the conference a good friend came up for a long Sunday hangout before my flight home. We went to the butterfly house (where I scored a fabulous scarf and some chocolate covered cashews) and oohed and aahed over lots of lovely butterflies and moths. There was one called an atlas moth that had fascinating wing patterns.
And after that we went to the St. Louis botanical garden. It was amazing and gorgeous and I highly recommend it.
The garden itself was all decked out in enormous silk lanterns in honor of the Chinese Festival of Lanterns. So there were tons of extra colors besides the usual display.
(These dandelion tufts are actually made out of cut-up plastic water bottles. )
After I flew back I had a whopping two days to repack and buy a lot of groceries before heading out to Amicalola for a five-day vacation with a group of friends. I’ve had a little writing time, but more than that I’ve had lots of laughing time and hang out time, and some really nice stargazing time that involved a meteor shower. We also attempted to hike up to the top of Amicalola falls. I got pretty close, but next time I’m wearing real shoes. Wedge sandals do not make for good trail walking. My sister snagged this gorgeous photo of the falls so I could share it with you. Two days of vacation left!