After a three-hour trip, I arrived yesterday in Indianapolis at a Hampton Inn and met my friends Eric and Darrin, who were both attending Gen-Con. (I was glad I an audiobook of Moby Dick with me). Darrin was kind enough to get us a room. I must say, I’m not used to staying in a hotel. The last time I did, if I remember right, was in 2004 on a college-sponsored mission trip to New York City, and it was a barely passable motel. To be honest, I feel like I’m being treated like a king at this hotel!
Anyway, Eric and I went to the Indiana Convention Center to pick up tickets and set up. Like last year, hauling my boxes of books was a workout that left me with a sore lower back, albeit briefly. I met a few of my neighbors, although not as many as I did last year. The writer next to me is a gentleman I call “Captain Charisma” because he sells his books like an auctioneer who was once a used car salesman. He’s difficult to compete with.
After setting up, I met Eric and we wandered back to the parking garage, taking a little time to listen to a free Five Year Mission show in a beer tent (no, we didn’t drink, but I did contemplate getting a Tribble drunk. Yes, I’m a nerd, and I think about such things!.
We returned just in time to get the pizzas Darrin ordered. He got four because there was a special. It was way more than we needed, so we’ll be eating the leftovers all weekend. We played a few games of Space Alert, revised some HeroScape custom figures Eric and I created, and went to bed.
We were all so high on excitement, we could hardly sleep.
After eating a better breakfast than I’ve had in months, I dressed in my first cosplay, Capt. James T. Kirk, complete with communicator and phaser. We made excellent time getting to the ICC, though we did have a long walk.
The doors opened one hour early at 9pm. Sadly, I don’t have much to say about my sales today. Almost everyone today didn’t buy anything from anyone. They either didn’t have money or wanted to peruse before buying. I only made two sales and donated one novel to an auction a group is doing to raise money for a food pantry. I did, however, get many people interested in Children of the Wells, including a fellow author who was so intrigued by it, he kept asking me questions about it for 10-15 minutes.
My highlight today was meeting Walter Koenig, an actor best known for playing Pavel Chekhov in the original Star Trek and Bester in Babylon 5. I was surprised to see he was so soft-spoken, I could barely hear him, and he himself seemed to be a little hard of hearing. I got an autograph, but like last year, I wanted to give the celebrities free copies of my books. I asked him, “Do you accept gifts from fans?” He replied, “Yes, yes, yes!” while pretending to gobble up food. I gave him copies of my books, showing him where I had signed Pandora’s Box, saying, “Thanks for the memories! Keep going boldly where no man has gone before!” He saw that the book was dedicated to my mother, which he said was “very nice.” I took a picture with him, and he held my book up to the camera. Finally, I asked him, “Who’d win in a fight, Chekhov or Bester?” He said, “Bester has certain advantages.”
(I wish he had said what Nick Hayden said, “Bester. He is a nuclear wessel.”)
I went a writing seminar taught by Michael A. Stackpole on writing in the digital age. I realized I went to the same one last year, but the material was different. It was reassuring to hear things had changed for the better for indie writers like myself.
From 7pm-9pm, I played a game I used to play every Saturday with friends in college: Epic Duels. But instead of it being Star Wars-themed, it was a custom version made for the anime franchise Mobile Suit Gundam. I had a great time talking with the players about animes and Epic Duels variations.
I finished the day by briefly watching Eric kick butt at the board game Monsterpocalypse and playing in a card draw Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tourney. In this game, our characters are selected by drawing names from a hat, essentially. I didn’t usually get characters I was good with, so I lost in the first round.
Meeting up with Darrin and Eric, we drove back to the hotel.
Expect more pictures after the con!
(Continued in day 2).
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