(Cross-posted on the WriteClub blog)
It has come about that my last two Cons of 2013 fall on consecutive weekends. This weekend I’m at BristolCon, and next weekend is World Fantasy Con in Brighton. At BristolCon I am a participant – two panels and a book signing – and at World Fantasy Con I am merely a delegate.
The usual Con conundrums apply. The first is – what to pack? For Bristol this is more crucial, since I will be performing the role of ‘author’, instead of just watching other people do it. So what outfit says ‘serious writer’ without saying ‘I’m mad as a box of frogs and you don’t want to come anywhere near me.’ Sometimes the Con involves a formal dinner that obviously involves having to pack an outfit for it. Sometimes I worry I try too hard with this issue of Con clothing. Jeans and a t-shirt is probably an acceptable Con outfit for a writer. It might be appropriate for my ‘horror writer’ t-shirt to get another airing this weekend.
Mode of transportation is also relevant to the first question. If I’m driving to a Con, I can take more stuff. But this generally only happens if I can take the day I am travelling off work. On neither forthcoming Con I have been able to do that – which means it’s easier to take the train from London than travel home, pick up the car, load it up and set off again. But taking the train directly after work means I have to take all my luggage into London, which is another factor to consider. Whatever I take has to be transported on a packed commuter train, and sit in the office until I leave.
On Friday I have to be at work for a meeting, so I will be leaving as soon as possible after that’s finished. It does mean that the smart ‘work clothes’ that will be required for that will have to be my travelling clothes to Bristol. Unless I take a change of clothing.
When travelling to a Con, the issue of having space for books also must be considered. It is impossible to leave a Con without having acquired books. Many of them give out freebies in the delegate bags, and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll buy some, too. For BristolCon, I am also taking some copies of SOUL SCREAMS for the author signing session. But I am really hoping that I will sell at least a couple of them, otherwise I have to cart them all back home with me.
I am looking forward to both Cons, and they will both be very different experiences. Hopefully they will both give me something to blog about for the next two weeks, too.
And once I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, it will be time to plan 2014’s Con schedule…