Blog No. 184
What the heck London Ontario? Seriously. No banks are open on Saturday? Only one, but it’s on the far side of the city? Who does that help? What do business do if they run out of change? What is a person who is running a table at an event supposed to do if he runs out of change? What is this, the 90s? Is it just a London thing, or is it weird that Windsor banks are open Saturdays? I’m blown away. Of all the things that happened last weekend, that one was the most shocking—and I was at an event called Shock Stock.
Last week I did a split post about going to Shock Stock and being in a commercial. I thought it would be good to write about both of the major things happening to me. I figured I could just do this one as s split post too, but now that I’m back, it may be better to just stick with one and leave the other for the next post. Which is what I’m doing, right now. Since I’ve already started with my rant on London banks, I may as well stick with the convention.
As mentioned before, Shock Stock was a number for firsts for me. First out of town event, first multi-day event, and first horror convention. I was excited to go, both for the con, and as a trip. Even spending a weekend a couple hours from home was something, especially since I had the opportunity to sell some of my books, and meet new people. Plus, I like road trips, no matter how small. On Friday, Christian picked me up and we loaded his car and jumped onto the 401. It’s a short drive, but can be tedious if you’re not careful. We managed to make the time fly, talking about the Alien and Prometheus movies. As a couple of sci-fi, writer, nerds, we had a lot to talk about.
Arriving in London, I was pleased to find I remembered a great deal from my short stay there several years ago. I may have misjudged the distance of a particular street, but I got us to the hotel with no trouble. We stayed at the Residence Inn. It wasn’t our first choice because it can be expensive, but with all the things going on that weekend, we didn’t have many options. Besides, it was quite nice, the staff was helpful, and they upgraded us to a double king room. (Christian joked that they must have heard the books selling kings from Windsor were in town).
After we checked in, we loaded up our things and headed to the convention (five or so blocks away). It was scorching hot, so I was a sweaty mess almost instantly. I put up with it though, because driving to the venue wasn’t an option. Happening at the same time, completely surrounding the building, keeping all vehicles at up to two blocks away, there was a street hockey tournament. I like hockey, but this was a whole new level of suck. Hundreds of people, huge metal barricades, and the hot sun, kept people from coming to Shock Stock, limiting the number of books we sold. Carrying all our stuff, we had to fight our way through the crowed. I doubt a lot of casual visitors would do the same.
Luckily, we managed to meet some cool people and make some new contacts. (Something I’m working on). There were vendors there from all over Ontario and at least one from as far as New Jersey. While horror is more Christian’s thing, the type of person who likes horror shares a lot in common with the type that likes sci-fi. Most like both. So making friends was easy. I thing many of them pitied us too, because on the last day they broke down and bought some books.
On Sunday, after spending three days sitting at a table and two sleeping in hotel beds, we loaded up Christian’s car and hit the road for home. I’m still tired (and a little bummed I’m out so much money) but something is only a waste if you let it be. I had an adventure, learned some things, met some people, and 45 people have my book who didn’t before the trip. So that’s something.
Next, I’ll be at the Cottam Town Wide Yard Sale on June 4th. Apparently it’s a crazy day with tons of people and tons of stuff. I may buy more than I sell, but I hope to have a good chunk of the books sold by the end of the day.