My adventure actually began Wednesday night, the day before I left. I was reading in the living room before bed and i heard something scratch across glass. I looked around but there was nothing on the windows and I was wondering what other glass I have in the living room. The fireplace has a glass screen, so I looked in there and sure enough, there was a female scrub jay that had fallen down the chimney!
I got some rags and tried to catch the bird. It was terrified of course and slipped past me. It fluttered around the living room before hitting a corner and falling down behind some of my plastic storage drawers. I was scared I’d never get it put of the house, but with it cornered I got the jay in a rag and took it outside. I put it down on the front steps and it was absolutely catatonic. I wasn’t sure if I should move the jay or not, there are a ton of stray cats in the neighborhood who would totally kill it. So I picked it up again, but then it recovered, got out of my hand (still holding it with a rag) and flew off into the tree in the front yard. So, hopefully it’s heart didn’t explode with terror. I also have no idea how long it was in the fireplace…
Thursday was travel day! I took the 10:30 southbound Amtrak, which goes train to Bakersfield, bus to LA and train to SD. The schedule was new and my train put into San D at 5:45, not the 7 o’clock I’m used to. So I sort of messed up right from the get-go. My friend picked me up and took me to the con hotel. I had ants in my room! Not too many luckily, they were just sort of aimlessly wandering around in the bathroom and on the desk in the room. There weren’t huge ant trails or anything.
Friday- Con day one! I was HORRIFIED by how tiny it was! And it was all locals that knew each other. The dealers room only had half a dozen actual dealers. The rest were fan tables pimping out other cons, including Gaslight Gathering, an anime con and an Oz Convention. So I was thinking the whole time that I had hitched my wagon to a broken horse. (Also- don’t ask me to make too much sense- I do not sleep in hotels. I just can’t. I am usually minimally functional at cons, though I cover for it well!)
But it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I sold some ACEOs (or ATC- artist trading cards if you prefer), stickers (always my best sellers), Copies of Carmine Rojas (the entire reason I went to the con in the first place!), bookmarks, book thongs, and some fridge magnets. I was also informed that my ATCs are appallingly cheap! I’m not sure I have the confidence in my art to raise the price. The dealers room was open SO late that I ate my little gluten free grilled cheese min-sandwiches for lunch and dinner. They are my main subsistence at conventions.
Saturday- I was supposed to have a table mate, but he was unable to come so I had a second day of manning the table alone. I did have a friend who came by to check on me which was nice. Sold more stuff! Managed to sell Carmine pretty well in person! Surprisingly. I also got some interest in my Carmine Rojas 90 Proof Werewolf T-shirt! I really didn’t see much of the con. I swung through the art show and it was a really good one! Very excellent art! But the two panels I did attend only had 5 or fewer people. There was a filk con going on at the same time, but it was somewhere else. There was a table of CDs for sale in the dealers room but that was all I ever saw of ConChord. I also had the best meal of the con! After nothing but grilled cheese muffin sandwiches me and y friends found a restaurant in Fashion Valley Mall called True Food! It was exactly what the doctor ordered! Nothing but healthy, organic, gluten free and vegan food! I got an excellent spaghetti squash casserole and vowed to eat better when I got home!
Sunday- sweet bajeezus I was ready to leave! Not that it had been so bad! The sales added up nicely and Carmine was doing well. But I was so tired despite getting some sleep the night before. Sunday was pretty dead, though I got a few last minute sales of Carmine. I managed to sell all but one of the customized Carmines and the plain editions. I stuck it out till three and and then we left. That night I stayed at friends to save on hotel bill- though the hotel bill was actually cheaper than quoted on the website! A pleasant surprise for sure!
Monday I left SD on the noon Surfliner. For some reason the trip home was exhausting! I was tired from four sleep deprived nights and it felt like all eternity of travel. I read a bit, played word games on my Kindle, ate yet more grilled cheese sandwiches, and FINALLY got home at 7:40. I was in time to say hello to Igor (my lovebird) and sit with him for a while before his bed time.
I made a little over $200 and already filed the tax return! I have NOT unpacked yet and I need to cook food- I’ve been really lazy since I got back. The nice part was selling 10 copies of Carmine! And I came home to another 4 star review of Carmine on Amazon!
Conjecture itself is a dying con and I think I did better than the other two authors who were there. Although I don’t know for sure. One guy had a whole series of books on conspiracy theories and cryptids (I think- I wasn’t able to look at much) and he sold some books. His books were pretty big too so they might have had a higher price point then mine, in which case he could sell fewer and turn a profit.