<charred bit> … early to make my 7 a.m. load-in at Fan Expo 2013. Needed to keep expenses down so I booked a cheap motel in Scarborough. I was surprised to find a king sized bed in the room until the steady stream of traffic made it clear this was a ‘come and go’ establishment. My only companion was the spider I found under the sheets. Maybe he was there to keep down the bedbugs. Decided to sleep in my clothes inside the folded over coverlet so no part of me touched the bleached and slightly tattered sheets. Left the noisy air conditioner on all night to mask the sounds of cat romance outside the window – at least I hope it was cats. Getting up at 6 a.m. was never easier. At least the tub was clean and the shower worked.
Fascinating drive into downtown Toronto past many detours for closed streets. ‘Head for the lake,’ my instincts demanded and I hit Lakeshore Blvd in time to catch my first ever look at the Beaches. But who plays beach volleyball so early in the day?
Got to the convention centre at 7 a.m. exactly and headed down the ramp to unload only to be stopped halfway down by two large trucks coming out. I had to reverse my course. I don’t like backing up at the best of times but UPHILL! ON A CURVED RAMP! IN A RENTAL CAR! AT 7 A.M.! WITHOUT COFFEE! I didn’t hit a wall and I’m sure that pedestrian will recover.
Unloaded 10 boxes of books and left two in the car. As it turned out, should have done the opposite. Got to my hotel and they let me check in at 8:30 though I had to trade down to a queen size bed. I resisted the urge to crawl into it.
Worked the table alone until my wife arrived from Alberta at 6 p.m. It was lonely work – though I did get to chat with the good people at Chizine who were across the aisle.
Left at nine, thinking ‘Thursday is always for browsers.’ To bed, to sleep, up again for breakfast and the show. At least we had three people working the table (thanks Erryl) so I got to wander the hall a bit, chat with friends and see some fabulous exhibits and costumes. Finished at 7, thinking, ‘People like to browse on Fridays, too.’ Supper at Keg and lots of wine. Good thing my wife and I both have day jobs.
Saturday: 4 people on the table (Thanks, Mike!) so Liz could take a break and nurse her cold. The best costumes of the show: some so good they weren’t even there. Took photos, talked with friends. Never did get to the north building where all the celebrities were. Darn! I wanted to Hassle the Hoff! Ate Pizza and Ice Cream for the third day in a row. Don’t let people tell you I don’t know how to have fun. Supper with a bunch of the author crowd at the Overdraft. Seems like a good place for publishers to hang out if you catch my drift. Heard a tragic story about a bulldog that drowned in a pool.
Sunday – up early to load out most of our stuff in anticipation of an early departure. Sold more than any other day. Still didn’t pay for the table. Add in the hotel, the car rental, the food, the gas, the incidentals, the cost of the books… One person said it was good exposure. I replied that for what I spent I could have taken out an ad in the book section of the Globe and Mail. That’s exposure.
Still, I had some fun. Seeing the sights, making new friends. Got pitched a couple of books that sound interesting – we’ll see when they send in actual chapters. Glad I did it; doubt I’ll do it again. Certainly not next year, because I’ve already planned an August trip to England. There, I’ll… <rest is burned beyond recognition>