Realm Makers 2017 Recap

GUESS WHO'S BACK FROM REALM MAKERS? ME. And I'm pretty much just here to dump photos all over you and ramble about how much fun I had so we're just going to skip over the introduction. Pretend I said something clever here.




B L O G G E R S











And also Liv Fisher but unfortunately I forgot to get photographic evidence, so you'll just have to take my word for it. xD 

A U T H O R S 


Kara Swanson 


Jill Williamson 


Mary Weber 

Also I met James Rubart on the elevator but no I did not take a picture because IT WAS ALREADY AWKWARD ENOUGH. XD And on Friday morning I met Jamie Foley in the bookstore but I didn't get a picture there, either. Whoops. 


O T H E R  P  E O P L E 

I tried to come up with something creative to put in that heading but LOL I FAILED APPARENTLY. 


Hann Remraf 


Elise  



Looking over all my notes, I feel like I should do an ENTIRE POST about this, but I'm just going to try and condense it all down into a list of eight concrete things. BECAUSE LISTS = MY BLOG. 

1. I learned that an author's name is a brand. I was surprised by the amount of thought that goes into picking your writing name. You have to consider how long it is, whether or not it's unpronounceable, if it's too common, or to close to another author's name. Plus you should think about where it's going to position your book on shelves- eye level, or near the ground? It sounded super complicated, but now that I've typed it out into two sentences, maybe it's not so bad? 

2. I learned that the split between the indie world and the traditional world is in our heads. (Pretty sure it was Steve Laube who mentioned that? At the editor and agent Q/A, I think. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. xD) It blew my mind just a little to hear that you can be both an indie author AND a traditionally published author. AT THE SAME TIME. Also, publishers hold no ill will towards indie authors. There was also an entire panel about self-publishing at the conference, but unfortunately I didn't go to that. 

3. I learned SO SO SO much about writing a realistic fight. The goal of hand to hand combat is ALWAYS to get away. You have to stay on your feet. You defend with the backs of your hands. If a character hits someone in the mouth, their hand will get cut up. It's not a normal physical state to be able to kill- if you character does it, you need to explain how they were able to and they need to suffer from it afterwards. 

4. I learned that content editing includes way more than I thought. Consistency issues, plot holes, errors in logic, repetition, shifting POV/tense, consistent voice, authentic dialogue, compelling plot, and believable characters are just a few of the things. WHO'S READY TO GO EDIT?? XD Also on this note, I learned that when you're editing for someone else, you shouldn't fix it if it doesn't need to be fixed, and you shouldn't put yourself into their story. 

5. I learned that a well-developed storyworld will help engage readers. I was also given a number of practical ways on how to make my storyworld feel real- by including concrete details in the first chapter, by showing my character in his normal world at the beginning of the story, and by only including details that add to my plot. 

6. I learned that part of marketing is being the best you. If you're published, you shouldn't try to be another author, and you shouldn't compare yourself to other authors. Only you have your voice- use it! 

7. I learned about how to force action and make my story more compelling. Six specific methods, actually. By making your character do something they don't want to do, by putting them between a rock and a hard place, by giving each choice risks or consequences, by demanding a sacrifice, by making their action mirror something critical that will come later, and by exploiting a fear, flaw, or weakness. It was in a session on character motivation- one of my favorite sessions! :D 

8. I learned some handy methods for incorporating my storyworld. Sometimes it can be hard to work in storyworld details without just info-dumping, but in the teen track, we talked about working your storyworld into your story.




HAHA YEAH I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING: Wasn't the previous section already a photo dump? Pretty much, yes. But this entire blog post is actually just a giant photo dump (SPOILER) so even if the heading doesn't say "THE PHOTO DUMP" you can probably just assume I'm going to dump photos anyways. 
































- Riding a simulator with Jill Williamson in the arcade


- Having Kara Swanson sign my bookmark because I didn't bring my actual book 

- Taking a selfie with Mary Weber #famous


- Going out to dinner on Saturday and having deep conversations over pizza 


-  A guy walking up to me in the bookstore and randomly offering me free earphones. I was like "HEY I'LL TAKE THEM." 

- One of the sessions was a live editing demo, and Hann and I were in it. (Hann is alpha reading Library of Lies) So the lady would say "DON'T DO THIS" and I'd think "WAIT I DID THAT IN MY NOVEL THOUGH" and then I'd look over at Hann and she'd be looking over at me and it was hilarious. 



- Trying to take a #midbattleselfie in the middle of the Nerf war with Hann and Mary but failing epically (it's a long story) 

- This: 



- MARY GAVE ME A PIZZA BOOKMARK AND SOUR PATCH

 




Because I'm a teenage guy and clearly the food was important. XD The only thing is I didn't get any pictures of breakfast and breakfast was THE BEST THING EVER. It was literally just donuts/muffins and fruit, so 100% sugar. However THERE'S GOOD NEWS: Mary Horton got some reaaallly good high resolution pictures of breakfast so everyone go thank Mary on her blog for these: 

RIGHT? I'M HUNGRY ALSO. And don't question the fact that I took pictures of my food because everyone else already questioned that. (and besides, Mary and Keturah both took food pictures also so it's not THAT weird. xD)



I needed this section because I had a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. xD PREPARE FOR THE RANDOM-NESS. 

- The word debut is actually pronounced as "day-bue" not "dee-but" and I had LITERALLY NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE? One of the awards at the banquet was "best debut book" and so when they said it I literally gasped out loud. 

- Canadians don't use dollar bills? WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS BEFORE? Tracey is Canadian and she actually had Canadian money with her. Mind = blown. 

- If you want the waiter to take your plate, you lay your fork and knife across your plate running PARALLEL to each other. I laid mine down like an but the waiter still took my plate so APPARENTLY IT WORKED. 

- I was joking about how the extra knife next to my plate must be a salad knife and turns out it was a salad knife. #awkward

- No matter where you go, you can never get away from fidget spinners. THEY ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. 


(from the conference bookstore) 




Do I have to write speculative fiction in order to attend the conference? 

NOT AT ALL. I mean unless that's an official rule (which I'm pretty sure it's not but you never know) then you can definitely still attend the conference! Many of the sessions apply to mainly speculative fiction (ex, there was a session on worldbuilding), but LOOOTS of the sessions apply to fiction in general. (There were at least three or four marketing sessions, and an editing demo session, and a character motivation session, etc.) 

So even if you DON'T write speculative fiction, you can definitely still learn some things and meet tons of people. :D


Why did this post take you so long to write? 

(This isn't actually an FAQ yet but I can see it becoming one in the comments. So I'm being proactive and ANSWERING IT NOW. XD)

Graphics, people. Collaging pictures was the best and worst idea I've ever had. (best because it saves space, worst because it takes FOREVER.) Also my other excuse is formatting. Plus this was just a super long post, so I have at least THREE valid excuses. 


Who takes pictures of their food, anyways? 

Shush, I already told you not to ask that. #dontquestion 




THERE WERE TONS OF PICTURES HERE. And I obviously didn't take all of these. Most of these pictures were on my phone, but a lot of them were taken by other people, and some of them were from my Dad's phone. (thanks Dad!) Also, a few of these pictures were Hann Remraf's, Mary Horton's, or Audrey Caylin's. Thanks guys! 

Also, the mention of an author in this post doesn't necessarily mean I endorse that author or their books. Neither does it mean that I WOULDN'T recommend any of these authors- it just means I haven't read some of them and hence DON'T KNOW whether or not I can recommend them. So just keep that in mind. xD 

And we're just going to take this opportunity to say thanks to my Dad because he was willing to take me to the conference. :D 




Was this post super long and rambly and unprofessional? Yes. Do I care? LOL NOPE. However, I am all ready to get back into the swing of writing ACTUAL blog posts soon, so stay tuned for that. :D 

~ Jonathan 

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52 comments:

  1. This looks like SO MUCH FUN! I seriously hope to go to this or something like this someday... but I have too many siblings and too little time!!! XD
    Oh, well. A girl can dream, right?? Once I get a car and driver's license I bet I could manage to go!!! XD

    But I'm glad you had an awesome time! :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS. XD You should definitely try to come sometime! The location changes every year so maybe it will be closer to you next year. :D

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?

    You don't have to write speculative fiction to attend Realm Makers??

    *slams fist on table* I AM SOLD. I shall be there next time. I shall. Let's make this happen.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. RIIIIGHT??? Nope, unless it's some sort of rule that I don't know about. xD There are pleentyyy of sessions that apply to fiction in general.

      YES. GOOD. Let's do it. :D

      Delete
  3. It looks like you had a lot of fun! Glad you had such a good time :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. This conference looks like so much fun. XD Glad y'all had a good time. :P

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope to go one day, but only if people I've met on blogger are going. Then I could meet them in real life and that would be fun. And I need to get the cash. And I need to get a license. And I would need to get a job to get the cash. So, just a few obstacles, lol.

    I've been reading everyone's posts about Realm Makers and it looked like it was a blast. Is it held in the same place every year, or does it move around? (As you can see, I'm not very antiquated with Writer's Conferences.)

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, it's a lot more fun if you already know some people that are going beforehand. :D Good luck with all that though!

      IT WAS A BLAST. It switches locations every year- last year it was in Pennsylvania, I think? But I'm not sure where it's going to be next year. xD

      Delete
    2. Okay, cool. Maybe one day it will come to my state (Texas).
      But even if it doesn't, I'd still like to go one day. I like the idea of meeting other writers and tips for indie authors.

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
  6. AHHH NO FAIR, but this looks so much fun! I'm so glad you had so much fun and now I am utterly determined to go next year *slams fist down*
    BUT congrats to meeting all these bloggers and authors! Thanks for sharing everything Jonathan, I saw Audrey and Keturah's post and I knew yours had to come out soon haha...

    Anna | www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YESS IT WAS SO FUN. :D Haha well good, I'm glad I accomplished that with this post. xD
      Thanks! Hehe yup, good stalking. :P

      Delete
  7. Okay, so I read Mary Horton's blog, and I read Tracey Dyck's blog, and I read your blog, and that's so weird right now because you're posting about all these bloggers whose blogs I read! :D
    Anyways, this was super fun to read, thanks for posting!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. RIGHT? It's even weirder (almost surreal) to meet everyone in person, but also SUPER FUN. :D

      Delete
    2. I can imagine!!
      (Hi, Tracey!)

      Delete
  8. Someday I shall go. I swear it now. *does some kind of blood ritual from a spec-fic book*

    But seriously. This looked SO AWESOME and I cannot wait until the day I am able to go! Looks like you had an amazing time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, someday you shall. (okay no need for the ritual though, I BELIEVE YOU WITHOUT IT. xD)

      IT WAS SO AWESOME. :D Hope it's soon!

      Delete
  9. THANK YOU FOR THIS :D IT WAS AN AWESOME RECAP.

    And what are photos for if not for dumping on others? And making them jealous of your good times? And making them hungry? And making them wish they were there too? And making them dream about when they can be there? (Btw, all the pictures were awesome :D *adds thanks to all the photographeres*)

    also, basically in my family the most common subject of photography IS FOOD. Maybe in equal amount to taking photos of people. Sometimes more. Depending on the event xD So don't think you're odd.

    I really liked the 'what I learned' part. :D And fidget spinners - they are the newest thing or something? BECAUSE I JUST LEARNED ABOUT THEM WHEN WE VISITED A GIFT STORE TWO OR THREE DAYS AGO. They had flashing lights. And then also Canada themed with maple leaves... what am I talking about? I'm totally off the subject.

    And I keep hearing you guys have a so much better system with dollar bills - because dollar coins and two dollar coins make wallets SO HEAVY AND THICK. xD

    Anyway. Glad you had such a fabulous time :D I love this post. And also I really liked how you started it: "guess who's back from Realm Makers? Me." lol

    lisa

    ReplyDelete
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    1. AHH GLAD YOU LIKED IT.

      OK TRUUUE. Those are all super valid points, I'll have to remember those next time I do a photodump post. (probably not until another writer's conference, hehe.) But thanks! Glad you liked the pictures. :D

      Really? Ok good I'm glad I'm not alone then LOL. I saw food pictures on a few other peoples' blogs so I knew I wasn't the only one impressed by the food. xD

      Thanks! RIGHT?? They've been around for a while, but I actually just saw one for the firs time just before the conference. So then I saw them at the conference and thought it was hilarious. xD

      Ok but two dollar coins are a super cool idea? Tracy showed me those, also. I can definitely see them being heavy though, but we do have LOOTS of coins also.

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post! :D

      Delete
    2. @Lisa: You've never heard of fidget spinners?!
      They sell them on the side of the road sometimes, lol. They're like the newest thing for people with ADD or anxiety. I'm not sure if its something that works. I've heard it helped people who were addicted to smoking, which is good. I just think they went overboard with some features.

      I've never used one before. They are literally sold everywhere, lol.

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
  10. k so i was legit laughing over the whole debut thing also the salad fork I WOULDN'T KNOW THAT EITHER. Problems of living in Neverland or Figi I suppose. We make up our own rules and say "dee-but" plus threw out that salad fork years ago.

    plus. YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN ME THAT ADORABLE BLUE FIDGET SPINNER

    and....nah you don't have to stop doing lifestlye posts right???.. also maybe you learned some awesome stuff for editing my book? YESSSS *grins*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. SAME. (Ok but no it was a salad /knife/, not a fork. xD Even weirder.) Yup that's true I guess.

      Well if I would have told me that you liked fidget spinners MAYBE I WOULD HAVE

      I thought you wanted my beta reading post though? In which case sorry but yes I do. xD YESS I TOTALLY DID.

      Delete
  11. YASS all the pictures <3 and all the funny moments! actually just ALL OF THIS XD

    I'm so sad that I had to leaaave and I wanna go back D: it's already been TWO WEEKS :(

    But I had a great time with you and the others :D LETS ALL TRY TO GO NEXT YEAR, TOO

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yess going through all the pictures was the best part. And I totally had to include that section even though it was COMPLETELY RANDOM. (because where else would I but the "debut" thing? XD)

      Saaame. IT FEELS LIKE IT'S BEEN LONGER.

      YEAH LET'S DO THAT. We definitely all need to try super hard to go next year so we can hang out again. :D

      Delete
  12. THIS
    IS
    THE
    BEST

    *flails*

    Okay, but can I just say that I love the way you formatted this post? Really cool. *thumbs up* AND ALL THE COLLAGES EEEEK. Those are epic. (Especially that slow-mo Nerf war one...*laughs and cringes at the same time* XD)

    Haha, all the food pictures. XD I MEAN, I DON'T BLAME YOU. I was taking pics of the food, too. I just find it hilarious that you have an entire SECTION in your post for that.

    I'M STILL NOT OVER DEBUT. *cracks up* #historicmoment

    Anywayyyy. I obviously loved your post and now I NEED to write mine soon. I just had lots of other posts to write first, haha.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. AHHH THANK YOU I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT :D

      Thanks! It started out super chaotic and messy but SOMEHOW it pulled together and I have no clue how lol. YESSS I KNOW AREN'T THEY GREAT? Just super time-consuming, but it was WORTH IT. XD (okay honestly that one might be my favorite one...)

      YES SEE. Most everyone was taking pics of the food. I'm just the only one thorough enough to actually discuss the food, obviously. *coughcough* xP

      NEITHER AM I. I think I might still be in denial but not sure on that

      YES YOU DO NEED TO WRITE YOUR POST SOON. *pushes you towards your blogger* Finish those other posts so you can work on your wrap up! :D

      Delete
  13. Hey Jonathan, great post! You mentioned that making collages is a pain. Have you heard of Pic Stitch? It's an app that you use to make collages. Also, PicMonkey.com you can use. I've used both and it was super easy. Hope that alleviates your collage woes!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks! I have heard of PicMonkey (it runs suuuppeeeer slow for me) but not of Pic Stitch... typically I use Canva. *nods* I'll have to check out Pic Stitch though, thanks for the heads up! :D

      Delete
  14. 1. I always knew it was pronounced "day-bue" *cough*
    2. I AM STILL SO KINDA JEALOUS YOU ALL GOT TOGETHER but omw SO 'SPENSIVE. *squints* we need to plan a thing where all the blogger people get together
    3. epic photos (and honestly, I wouldn't have even been as dedicated as you to take pics of almost all the food you had XD)
    4. epic post and THAT NERF BATTLE LOOKED LIKE SO MUCH FUN XD

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 1. OUCH. Well I'm sure /someone/ else thought it was "dee-but" because I can't be the only one. xD
      2. OKAY it is kind of expensive but it's WORTH IT. YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO IT.
      3. thank you *bows* (hahaha well I became more dedicated because I told everyone I was going to collage the food on my blog so I knew I needed pics of it)
      4. YES IT WAS SO MUCH FUN :D

      Delete
  15. I loved seeing all the pictures!! Now I want to go to Realm Makers. Maybe it'll come to somewhere that's not ridiculously far away from us. :)

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    1. The pictures are my favorite part, tbh. I've just been stalking all over the blogiverse searching for more pictures LOL. Yesss you definitely should! At some point it has to come near-ish your area, right? :D

      Delete
  16. Dude this post was soooo amazing.

    It's super long but I enjoyed ALL OF IT.

    You should add a Food section to every post...just saying.

    I really want to go to Realm Makers and I might possibly but I've never had any speculative fiction ideas.

    Also...random question... did you graduate or is this your senior year???

    {bookstagram} @eliza.noel.writes

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Aahhh thanks, glad you liked it even though it was super long. xD

      Also true I should but I don't take pictures of food all that often? #sorry

      YEEESS YOU SHOULD THOUGH. See FAQ #1. xD

      Nope, I didn't graduate, so this year is my senior year woot!

      Delete
  17. I LOVED THE PIC DUMP. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. I'm just over here poring over everyone's Realm Makers posts living it through you guys. XD

    BUT THIS WAS GREAT. You got to hang out with Tracey and Mary! AAAAHHHHH! MY GIRLS. And the AUTHORS. You were with Jill Williamson!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVED your list of things you learned. Such informative things! I actually even jotted down #7 because it was so great!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. (Maybe I can go next year. MAYBE! *crosses fingers*)

    P.S. Food = LIFE. Obviously you had to take pics of all that amazing food!

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    1. YAAAY I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT. I've actually been doing the same thing. xD

      YESS I DID. We had tons of fun and I shot Tracey in the Nerf was (once) so that was awesome. :P Jill Williamson is suupppeeer nice and easy to talk to/hang out with.

      Thanks! Aahhh yes #7 was great. *nods* The lady who did that session was one of my favorite speakers- she also did the editing demo which was OBVIOUSLY fantastic.

      Yeeesss you DEFINITELY NEED TO TRY AND GO NEXT YEAR. You'd love it and I'm dying to meet you so if you try super hard to go then I'll try super hard to go- AND WE'LL BOTH BE MORE LIKELY TO GO. #logic xD

      Delete
  18. EEEEE *flops* It looks like you had such a blast! I'm super jelly. And YOU GUYS HAD A NERF WAR THAT IS JUST SO AWESOME ASKDJFLHAKSDJFH. *flails forever*

    Thanks for sharing! And like, dude you should do a full post on "making your story more compelling" cause IT SOUNDS LIKE THAT WAS AN INFORMATIVE SESSION. Also that food though o.o and ALL THE WRITER/BLOGGER FRENS AHHHH.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yesss I totally did! AND WE DID HAVE A NERF WAR AND IT WAS JUST SO AWESOME ADFADSLKFJD *ALSO FLAILING* XD

      Thanks for reading! Oh truuue I should. *nods* I'll add it to my to be written pile. xP
      RIIIGHT? SAME.

      Delete
  19. THIS WAS AN ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR POST!! It looks like y'all had such an incredible time, wow! And I totally want to screenshot all of those things you learned. I'd never even thought about all of the thought you have to put into picking your author name! Excuse me while I go overthink that for the rest of my life...

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    1. THANK YOU. :d We did have an incredible time... or at least I did? I'm assuming everyone else did but they had to hang out with me sooo maybe not. :P
      RIGHT? I'm doing the exact same thing. Like is my name good enough? *bites nails* xD

      Delete
  20. SO JEALOUS RN. I wanted to make it to this years conference so bad, but due to some family issues and a ton of home projects, I was unable to find the time. *huge sigh* Maybe next year. It looks like you had gallons of fun, and thank you for sharing some of what you learned (writing tips are ALWAYS helpful...even second hand ones ;) and photos. :)
    The chance to meet those bloggers and authors is probably what I'm most jealous about, but I'm glad you had that chance. :)
    Thanks for the post! It was awesome to see a little glimpse into what your amazing conference experience was like. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Looks epic! Feeling a little envious, here. I must try and attend next year!

    I remember it took a little while for me to get used the fact that Americans didn't use 'toonies' and 'loonies'. 'Dollar bill' isn't quite as fun to say.

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  22. Ahh! I love seeing all the Realm Makers pictures and posts! It looks like you had a blast!

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  23. I don't know if my comment worked?? But basically I'm super jealous of all you Realm Makers peeps haha and it looks like you learned some amazing stuff!

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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  24. Wow! Looks like it was loads of fun!
    Hahahahaha! I used to think that Debut was pronounced "dee-but" as well! But a couple years ago, I realized the error of my ways. XD
    A NERF WAR! SUCH FUN! So jealous! You guys OBVIOUSLY had waaaay too much fun there. XD
    Loved this post! The pictures were fantastic. You can never take too many photographs of a fun time.

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  25. HOW DARE YOU POST THIS AT MIDNIGHT FOR ME. *cries* I didn't get to feast on the photos all over again immediately. So sad.

    BUT SERIOUSLY if I ever go to realm makers you guys are going to have to like explain EVERYTHING to me, because I realised that so many of those photos have things in them that I LEGIT HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY EVEN ARE. Like the food. Was that breakfast?? How can you eat that for breakfast? *confuzeled look* I would probably spend half the time being alternately disgusted and delighted at the strangeness of American food.
    I would also accidentally start talking in an American accent and be annoyed at myself about it 90% of the time.

    Oh and DUDE. If you have any more detailed notes on that editing session PLEASE I NEED THEM. Like, they'd be so useful. *puppy eyes*

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  26. This is awesome! I loved seeing all the photos of you and all the people you got to meet! ;)

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  27. AHHHH THIS IS SO FUN AND NOSTALGIC. *sniffles because memories* I know Mary already mentioned it, but I really like the format! Figuring out how to organize allll the things for a post like this is hard. XD

    Oh, oh! The things you learned section--number 2 has really been on my mind the last couple years, because I would love to end up being a hybrid author one day! Traditional AND self-published. The best of both worlds, right?

    Okay, but it's still so weird to see myself goofing off through someone else's camera lens. At least you didn't actually snap that picture of me with chocolate all over my face. XDDD BUT ALL THE PHOTOS ARE SO GREAT.

    Free...earphones? Were they used, though?! (Sorry, I must ask.)

    I still can't get over the debut thing either. Same with the Canadian currency conversation! But okay, we DO use dollar bills--just not ONE dollar bills. (I'm pretty sure that's what you meant anyway. *cough* Stickler for details over here. :P)

    Haha, anyway, it's been so fun reading everybody's recaps! *high fives*

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  28. Looks like soo much fun, Jonathan!! It's super cool that you got to meet all those bloggers. :D
    Loving the photo dump. ;)

    Sophy

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  29. Don't know if I should be jealous of you or happy for you. . . . I'll opt the second because it's more biblical. :D

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