Windycon 40

Windycon is the Chicago area's big fall science fiction convention. This year it was held in the Westin in Lombard over the weekend of November 8-10, 2013.

Because dealer load-in begins at noon on Friday and we knew it would take us a long time to get everything in, we came up on Thursday. However, in the haste of getting on the road, some important things got left behind. As a result, I had to figure out some awkward workarounds, but at least I could make do.

After supper we headed over to the main hotel. Since this was our first time at this location, we wanted to take a look around and get some sense of our logistics. We got an opportunity to talk to some of the people running the con, which was also helpful. Then we headed back to our room and took it easy for the evening. I did some work on a story, although it took several times to catch elements I'd forget.

On Friday we headed back to the main hotel. We went early in hopes of getting our badges, but registration still wasn't open. However, the dealers' room did start letting us load in early, so we started hauling everything in. We didn't have a lot of space to work with, so getting set up was quite a challenge. We just made it in time, and I still needed to get my artwork on the art show.

I picked up the necessary paperwork and took it back to the dealers' room to fill out between customers. Then I took it back and got my art set up. Since they print bid sheets up on computer, I tried my best to put everything in the proper order to simplify the process of getting the bid sheets on the correct artworks.

The rest of the evening was fairly slow, and we were rather disappointed with our sales. We tried to console ourselves with the idea that it would be slower than an anime con, but it still left us wondering whether we'd made an expensive mistake.

After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we headed over to the con suite to grab some food and hang out until the parties. We talked to some friends I hadn't seen for a while, and I did a little writing.

Windycon has always been a really good one for parties, and that was something I really missed during the years we weren't attending. Several of the local and area conventions had parties to promote them, and they had enough good food that I ended up eating more than I'd intended. By the last couple of parties, I was feeling full and icky, and was talking with a friend about how we just aren't as young as we used to be, and can't do some of the stuff we used to do without a second thought, like staying up all night partying, or pigging out on the party food.

We headed back to the other hotel to get some sleep. At least by the next morning I was feeling enough better that I could eat a hearty breakfast from the hotel's complimentary spread.

Then we headed over to the main hotel to get our dealers' tables open for business. Sales remained pretty much steady, and we were beginning to have some guarded optimism about the possibility that we'd do well enough to return in future years. However, sales were still slow enough that I had time to write.

We headed over to the con suite to have supper. However, I was still feeling rather off after the previous night's indulgence, and I found the chicken sandwich I'd brought for supper did not appeal. I tried to force it down, but each bite got harder, until it was literally repulsive. I finally ended up having to toss it.

As a result, we decided not to stick around for the parties, even if it did look like we were going to have an interesting night, what with a mundane wedding party sharing the hotel. We headed back to the other hotel so we could turn in early and get some serious sleep.

On Sunday morning we ate breakfast, then carried our stuff out to the van. Then we headed over to the main hotel to get our dealers' tables open for business. I also needed to retrieve my unsold artwork from the art show.

Sales actually picked up on the last day, after people settled up with the hotel and the art show and knew how much money they had left to spend. However, we had a long drive home ahead of us, so we started packing the slow-selling merchandise early.

We were able to get everything packed without too much difficulty, although we did have some hassles over the hotel's issues with carts on their carpet. Then we hit the road for the long drive back home.

Copyright 2013 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated December 6, 2013.