(Concluded from part two)
When I was done a few minutes later, I walked back to the hotel -- which was only about 100 yards away -- and stopped into the hospitality suite for some pretzels and water. Normally, I'd grab a beer and unwind after a show, but I'm having sinus surgery next week, and I've been on doctor's orders to have absolutely no alcohol, pain relievers, vitamins, or fun for the last two weeks, so I'd have to unwind the old fashioned way: geeking out with my fellow nerds about various geek things.
Or so I thought. When I walked into the hospitality suite, they were playing Rock Band. Oh yeah.
I played a few songs, and left when I realized I was at that point where I'd either stop, or keep playing for another four hours. Since it was already after ten, I'd gotten little sleep the night before, and I had a big day ahead of me on Sunday, I chose responsibly and went upstairs to bed.
It was pouring rain when I woke up on Sunday, but that didn't keep anyone away as far as I could tell. By the time I was in my seat at 10, the vendor's room was already filling up with people, and lines were beginning to form at my table by 10:30.
Sundays are always slower than Saturdays, though, so I got a chance
to visit with the indie publishers and artists around me. As I talked
with them -- mostly with Daniel from Steam Crow -- I realized how much
I've changed since I started blogging.
In Just A Geek, I recalled a trip to San Diego ComiCon in 2001:
ComiCon was nothing like I had expected, and the truth is, it was a horrible experience. I went there expecting to sell hundreds of autographed pictures to hundreds of adoring fans, but hardly anyone was interested. I sat in a cavernous and undecorated area far away from the main convention floor, surrounded by people who were definitely on the downside of their careers.
While talking with Daniel, I noted that we were talking about publishing costs and marketing strategies. We were talking about about building our respective brands, and how much more fun and rewarding it was to do this stuff on our own, rather than the so-called "traditional" (I call it "old") way of doing things.
"Just a few years ago," I said, "I rarely came to conventions as a guest, because I felt like I was trying to hold on to whatever fading celebrity I once had. I didn't do it because I wanted to be famous again. I did it because, at the time, it was all I could do, which was so much worse. But now, when I go to cons, I feel good about it. I look forward to it, because I feel like I can share the Star Trek thing with people who love it, but I'm really here as an indie publisher, just like you."
I thought for a second and added, "You know what it's like? It's like -- "
"Don't say 'rising from the ashes' while you're in Phoenix! Don't say 'rising from the ashes' while you're in Phoenix!" My brain screamed at me.
"It's sort of like rising from the ashes for me, in a way, which is a pretty lame thing to say since I'm in Phoenix."
"Do you even listen to me anymore? That's it," my brain said. "I'm out of here."
"I am so lame" I said. Daniel and his wife assured me that I was not, but we all know better, don't we?
Shortly after that, the con was over. I packed up my stuff, thanked everyone who brought me out for the show -- especially Matt, who runs the thing -- and got a ride to the airport.
One annoying game of Airport Madness! and a pretty bumpy flight later, my wife picked me up from the airport.
"How was your trip?" She asked me, when I got in the car.
"It was awesome," I said.
"Did you have fun? Did you get your geek on?"
"Yeah, I totally did," I said. "I can't wait for next year."
I leaned over and kissed her.
"I'm happy to be home, though," I said.
"Yeah, I missed my husband," she said.
I still love it when she calls me "her husband."
"I love that I'm your husband," I said.
"Sorry. I do."
"I like that a whole lot." She said.
"Yeah, it's pretty awesome."
She pulled out into traffic, and we drove home as the rain began to fall.