Archon 35

Archon 35 was held over the weekend of September 30 to October 2, 2011 at the Gateway Convention Center and Double Tree Inn in Collinsville, Illinois (one of the St. Louis Metro East suburbs). Because I-70 was torn up from Indianapolis to the Illinois state line, we decided to go by way of I-74 and I-55 and stay overnight at my parents' place. Now that my husband's retired, we have that flexibility.

We arrived in the afternoon on Thursday and checked in at the hotel. Then we went to the convention center to take care of some business. We were able to get our badges from registration, which simplified matters, but the art show wasn't set up yet, so we headed back to the hotel and spent some time on the Internet. I discovered that an anthology I'd really had high hopes for had instead turned down my story. Bummer, dude.

On Friday we got up bright and early to be at the convention center before the dealers' room opened for dealer load-in. We even had our first cartload of merchandise ready when the dealers' room opened, so we were able to get everything in fairly quickly. Being able to borrow one of the convention center's big flatbed carts also helped.

Once we got everything in, we had to get it all arranged on our tables. We ended up having to take a lot of stuff back out to the van for the simple reason that we didn't have enough room to keep it at our tables, even as backstock.

Then I got my art on the art show and made a run to the con suite. I also put some fliers for our local anime convention (Anime Crossroads) and a couple of books on the freebie table. Then I walked around looking at the other dealers' setups, talking to various people I knew.

Finally the dealers' room opened for sales. We were busy pretty much the whole time, so I didn't have much writing time.

After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we went over to the artists' reception. When we got there, the food had been pretty much picked clean, but we were reassured that more food was coming. So we stayed to look around at the art. I noticed there were a number of reserved panels that were still unclaimed, which made me wonder if some artists had backed out at the last minute.

Afterward we headed back to our sleeping room to get a reasonable night's sleep. We did do a little e-mail checking before we actually turned in, but there wasn't time for anything more extensive.

Saturday morning we had to get up fairly early to be over to the convention center when the dealers' room opened. We took an opportunity to get some backstock out of our van and add it to our displays. I also took another look around the dealers' room and visited with some of the other dealers.

Sales were fairly brisk, although we did have some lull times in which I was able to do some writing. However, there weren't many parties scheduled for Saturday evening and all of them started fairly late, so we decided not to bother with them. Instead we just went back to the hotel and took the evening easy. It did give me some more writing time.

Sunday we had to get our personal belongings gathered up and removed from our sleeping room. Then we headed back to the convention center to open our dealer's tables for the last day of sales. We actually got a fair number of sales, even if we weren't quite as busy as we were on Friday.

In the lull times I retrieved my art off the art show. None of it had sold, and the guy checking my stuff out commiserated. I told him it had been that sort of a weekend, and explained about the story rejection from the anthology I really wanted to be in.

Then it was time to start packing, so I started carrying boxes back in. In spite of starting fairly early, we still were running behind and weren't ready when the dealers' room closed. So my husband finished packing as I carried the first several loads of books out and got them arranged. Once he had everything packed, he grabbed one of the convention center's big flatbed carts and carried larger loads out. As a result, we were actually able to carry everything out in less than two hours. However, things didn't load in quite as efficiently as they had from storage, and I ended up with some additional stuff in the middle of the van -- and that was after all the stuff we sold.

After that we went to the chocolate party that was held instead of a dead dog party. They had all kinds of fancy chocolates, so much that we could only pick a few kinds and had to share a couple of the bigger ones.

Then it was time to hit the road back to mundania. At least the weather was nice, which helped make the trip more pleasant.

Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated October 21, 2012.