Chronicles: Risen wrap-up

So, this past weekend "Chronicles:Risen," the second installment in Wichita's sci-fi/gaming/anime con, was held at the La Qunita Inn on the east side of the city. Now that a few days have passed, I'd like to let you know how it was for me.

First off, yes, there was some behind-the-scenes drama at the con. I won't go into details; I'm a nice guy, and I don't want to get into trouble. Let me say this: it seems the hotel wasn't prepared for the con; but instead of adapting and trying to make everyone's experience as good as possible, it feels like they went the other way, causing problems for the staff and some attendees.

I spent most of the con in the vendors' room, just as last year. I'm pleased to say that I doubled my sales from last year; from 4 books sold to 9! It may not be my best sales day ever, but it's nothing to sneeze at.

Which leads me to the observation that attendance was way up from last year. I know the goal was to get 200-300 people to come. Though I didn't see that many where I was, the two days I spent last weekend were much busier than the three days I spent last August at the first Chronicles con. I hope that a good chunk of this year's crowd had fun, whatever the final numbers were.

One thing that Chronicles had that I hope other cons pick up on was the "Achievement List." On the back two pages of the program book were a list of things to do during the con. If someone did them, a staffer or guest was to stamp the box next to the listing. The idea was that the person who got the most achievements would win prizes.

Sadly, I was so beat by late Sunday afternoon that I couldn't stay to see who won or how much they did. (Note for next year, guys: don't go so late, especially Sunday.) To me the idea of the achievement list, and rewards for completing the list, is a really good one. It encourages the fans not to camp out in one place and spend the whole con there. Instead it encourages circulation and taking in as much going on as you can. This is something I want to see Chronicles keep doing (maybe with a slightly shorter list), and that I hope other cons will try as well.

I was also happy that a couple people showed for the writing panel Todd Hunter and I did; we weren't sure if anyone would. I think the staff did a pretty good job, from where I was and what I could see. I got to see some people I hadn't seen in a while. Overall I enjoyed myself.

That leads me to a bit of advice for any fans reading this who were there, too. If you had a good time at Chronicles, talk it up! The best thing you can do to make certain there are more Chronicles is to spread the word about it. Yeah, I know there's going to be more publicity next year. Word of mouth is still the best for of advertising anyone or anything can get. So make your plans and tell your friends, and support your local con!


When Was It Fun To Be Sick?

To those few who follow this, sorry it's been so long since posts. I caught a cold at the Wichita Train Show (I think) and though it's mostly over, the cough still lingers. I don't enjoy being sick, and I especially don't like this cold, since its distinguishing feature has been the cough. That got me thinking: when was it even fun to be sick?

I thought it was fun when I was in school; I suppose we all do. Then I pondered that some more. For any of you younger followers, that would have been in the 1970s and early 1980s. There was no internet. Cable came in during the latter part of that period, and at most you'd have 12 to 20 channels. Video games came in around that same time, but were low-tech, sometimes cheesy, and were usually better with friends. VCRs also came in at the end of that time period, but there really hadn't been enough time to build much of a library. Pre-recorded tapes at that time were $50 or more ($75 or more in today's dollars).

So, what was there to do while you were home sick? Read, but that wasn't always fun (homework, remember). Listen to the radio or watch TV (what little was on). Mainly, though, I recall sitting around and resting or sleeping.

Rarely did you get to see your friends. If you had something catching, their parents would keep them away from you because they didn't want their kids to catch what you had. If you didn't have something catching, well, you wouldn't see them for long anyway, because you had to rest and they wanted to play.

You couldn't even go outside if you were sick. Not because someone might see you and you'd get in trouble. No, you were stuck inside because it was easier to stay in and suffer than get up and do much.

So, having had colds, knee troubles, and even a kidney stone, I can make the startling revelation here at my blog that it wasn't fun to be sick then, and it still isn't all that much fun to be sick now.

Till next time (when I hope this cough is gone)...