I'm still pretty wiped out from the Big Honkin' Vegas Convention, but it's a good, satisfied type of exhaustion. If you were there, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whole thing.
Here are mine . . .
Arrived in the afternoon after making Ryan listen to The Transformed Man in the car on the way there. Got my stuff set up in the dealer's room, and sold my first copy of Happiest Days, as well as the first Chapbook, to longtime reader, WWdN tourney poker player, Earnest Borg9 improviser, Cruisetrekker, and friend Dave Westbay. There's only one "first" book ever sold, and it was symbolic and awesome that both of them went to someone who I've known for years who has been totally supportive of me.
My performance Thursday night was my best in years. I did Blue Light Special and Exactly What I Wanted from Happiest Days of Our Lives, and read my review of Justice from the Chapbook, to the greatest audience ever. I was totally connected to the material, the audience was totally on my side and connected to me, and as a result, I could connect to them. Even though Creation gave me a terrible time slot and put me in a terrible room (where they misspelled my name on the screen, which is very symbolic, I think) it was nearly full when I started. By the time I was done, it was packed, and I even got a standing ovation! I got to say this individually to a lot of people on Friday, but if you were there, I'd like to say it collectively: "Thank you for giving me a chance to entertain you. I know there were a lot of other cool things to do when I was speaking, and I'm very grateful that you chose to spend your time with me."
I wish there was some way to get TPTB at Creation to understand that I do something unique at these shows, but considering how hard it is for me just to get invited, I'm not holding my breath for an appearance on the main stage or a time slot that's not against something else. Of course, I could also look at this another way: I'll just keep on doing the best that I can so audiences will slowly continue to build. Until then, we're, like, totally underground and indie and shit. \m/
I overslept by two hours, so I grabbed a bearclaw on my way to my table, planning to eat it when I got there. The small problem with that plan was that when I got there, people were already lined up for me. It was about 30 people deep, I guess, and quickly grew. For the entire day, the line of people who waited to meet me and get my books and stuff went down the aisle, around the corner, and in some cases (according to Ryan who scouted it out) went down another aisle and around another corner.
I never got to eat my breakfast, but I did get to sell a lot of books and meet a lot of people who were at the show Thursday night, as well as people who read my blog (hello, again!) I was absolutely stunned that there were so many people who wanted to meet me, but I was overjoyed to meet so many people who read Just A Geek and Dancing Barefoot, and wanted to get The Happiest Days of Our Lives.
Friday night, I played poker with a bunch of friends and fans. We played 3/6 mixed at the Hilton's poker room, and after about four hours the game broke. I was up 95 bucks after being down 60 at one point, mostly because I rivered a two outer against my friend Dan in O/8 to scoop a huge pot. The game was social and fun and exactly what I hoped it would be when I set it up. Ken, the poker manager there, was a great guy, as were all his dealers. It's a great room, and while I didn't like much of anything else about the Hilton, I'd encourage you to go play there when you're in town.
There weren't nearly as many people as there were on Thursday, so I got to relax and visit with just about everyone who came over to my table. I met a lot of people who are about my age, who all told me that they were inspired by Wesley Crusher the way our parents' generation was inspired by Scotty. It was all a bit overwhelming, but it gave me a great idea for this week's GiR.
When the day was over, I'd sold three and a half boxes of books, all of my Dancing Barefoots, all but one of my Just A Geek: Teh Audiobooks, 171 of 200 chapbooks, and signed so many autographs my left hand was stained black and silver. It was totally awesome.
Overall, it was a great couple of days. I got to see people I really like who I only see when I'm at a con, I got to meet new people who I hope to see again, and I got to share my writing, which is very important to me, with them all.
Oh! One of the top five moments? A woman waited in my autograph line after my performance and carefully set down a cast photo from season three. Everyone else had signed it, even Patrick and Brent.
"You're the last one," she said, eyes gleaming. "I've been carrying this around for ten years to all these conventions, and I can't believe I'm going to finally finish it!"
I signed it as carefully as I've ever signed anything, and when I finished, I looked up at her. Tears fell from her eyes.
"Thank you so much!" She said.
"Thank you," I said, "I'm honored that I got to be part of this moment."