Friday, 5 p.m. couldn’t come soon enough. I was stuck at work while my friends were playing at Realm Makers in Reno.
So five seconds after 5, I bolted out the back door and headed up the mountains. Look at this drive!
It’s a short three and a half hour drive for me to Reno, but I’d decided to stay the night with friends in Susanville. This family is fabulous…like, donate my bone marrow to fabulous. And they’ll never serve me mayonnaise, which strengthens the deal.
Tunes were jamming. There were areas to pass slower trailers and semis. Then I saw it—the sign that made me pull over to the side of the road:
Der are cows in deez here woods.
I’ve seen these signs all over the rural roads (means there are range cattle and they have the right of way on the roads), but it must’ve been the fact that I was on my way to a writer’s conference for fantasy and sci-fi authors that sparked my brain this time.
Arrived at my friends’ home and enjoyed their wonderful company. Even though I stole the most comfy bed, I was up at four in the morning after having a dream that I slept in until 7. I was up and out of the door by 5:45 because I simply had to get to Reno. This was my reward on the way out of town:
A venti Starbucks and an hour and a half later:
The Atlantis in glorious technicolor! Blue sky, puffy white cloud—all was right in the world. Dodged the slot machines and found my way to the second story, right up to check-in. I just gave them my name, because I was too embarrassed to introduce myself to Ralene and Desiree.
It took less than twenty minutes to finally meet my critique partners in person. I’ve been working with these ladies for a long time now. While some of our group couldn’t make it to Realm Makers, the four of us made sure to meet up at least once. But we were like magnets and kept finding one another throughout the day.
We hail from all over. Jeb is originally from California, but lives in New Zealand now (no, she doesn’t have an accent). Jill is from Pennsylvania and De flew in from Colorado. I’ve rewritten this sentence several times, to try and describe how meeting them filled my heart with joy and satisfaction, but I can’t put it into words the love I have for them, even having spent less than 24 hours with them. Jill is the lucky one, though. She had the smarts to go to bed before De talked me into making a FB live video near midnight.
So ends my first of a two-parter for Realm Makers 2017. Stay tuned for more shenanigans. And watch out for those pesky forest cows.