Monday, October 4, 2010

GoH gofer go!

Apparently I am both awesome and organised. How about that?
Back from VCon, where I set up the SF-Canada table, which was fiddly but not difficult, and followed Cherie Priest about, which was fun. I was unsure how officious and flunky-like to be, but she is among the least diva-like people imaginable, and by Sunday I was just waving as she went by and asking 'Need anything?'.
So, y'know, it was mostly a matter of not screwing up majorly, which I can often manage, though I did splash dumpling-filling over myself at the Shanghai River (which is a restaurant). Mark and Cherie ate a good deal of a rock cod, unfazed by its head and outspread fins.
Should I be chronological? Can I do that and still skip the boring bits?

Let's see.
Thursday: I packed like mad. Took 1pm sailing to Tswawassen, then bus and skytrain to Richmond. Walked to the Marriott. Found VCon people, found that Cherie had been safely picked up and was sleeping in her room. Helped carry stuff to art room. Helped carry stuff to hospitality. Went off with Michael Walsh (the man with the Daffy Duck tie) to haul stuff from their place to hospitality. Hung about in lobby waiting for people to show up. Introduced Dave Duncan & Cherie Priest to each other. Went for dinner at the Mad Greek with guests of honour and concom (this for being liaison/gofer for a GoH). Cherie Priest and Heather Dale are good raconteurs (raconteuses?) and Cherie told ghost stories plus amusing stories of personal injuries.
Returned to hotel, found husband setting up his tables, in midst of considerable confusion over how all the dealers tables would fit in the room and question of whether hotel was really going to supply the tables originally requested (request having been lost and hotel disclaiming knowledge). Situation not aided by dealer coordinator walking off with one and only layout map several times. I am encouraged to take one of the tables and set up, so as to be harder to dislodge. Do so. This works, although table is several times moved, finally squashed into corner which does have advantage of providing vertical visibility for SF-Canada banner. Books are brought, accumulating to a lively display. Every single one of the plate-stand book-stand thingies that I bought and that Mark lent me is eventually used, as is every one of the DISPLAY COPY slips that I printed out. About 1/3 of the table is dedicated to display copies, with notes about where they can be purchased at the con.
Friday: more setup of table, and rearrangement as it is moved. Registration is having trouble connecting and setting up. I make roughly calligraphed signs saying PRE-REG and REGISTRATION but wickedly do not bother to pick up my registration packet until much later when the computer setup is mostly working and the nasty big pre-reg line has died down.
Registration is supposed to have Cherie's schedule, but cannot find it in the database. I borrow Johanna-the-lovely-Media-lady's programme book and mark all of Cherie's panels in the pocket program, then deliver a marked copy to Cherie. Later I meet Pauline who has a thumb-drive with the schedule in it. She gives me printouts and a tent-card to deliver. Do so. Run into Dave Duncan who is off to dentist to have tooth glued back in.
Attend opening ceremonies possibly first time in years. Go for dinner at Shanghai River with GoH and own husband. Terrifying tales of book launches and book fairs. Attend Heather Dale concert.
Saturday: breakfast at hotel's buffet, mostly okay. Knock on Cherie's door to find her working on article for Subterranean. She comes for breakfast and chat. Terrifying tales of deadlines. In between table duty and rearranging books as more arrive, and hearing rumours that Chris and Shannon are on site, I attend You Suck! No, You Suck! panel on workshops; GoH interview; How Did That Get on My Cover?; Draw Me This!; and am invited onto the Vampire panel by Sandra Wickham, which is very flattering. Finally find Chris and Shannon at that panel. Mark, Chris, Shannon and I go for a family dinner at No. 9 restaurant. SF Canada party and bed, in that order.
Sunday: breakfast at hotel buffet. Check schedule with Cherie, who now knows her way around the hotel better than I do. Final bids on art show (trying for another of Danielle's cool little shadow boxes). Make it to panel I really want to attend - History is my Playground. Pretty good. Book takedown and packing, pick up art show wins, sneak some time at Turkey Readings, yay!

Clever things I did: asked my niece Piper to cat-and-house-sit.
Found two small red tablecloths, so I could put one at each end of the SFC table, with the white cloth in between suggesting the Canadian flag, PLUS the two contrasting colours meant a book could always be put on a surface that let it stand out (yes, I totally planned this, and it had nothing to do with the first two tablecloths I pulled out of my someday-I'll-paint-this box. Nothing.)
Married a man who would lend me almost a dozen stands for books so they could be visible from a distance.
Asked my BNF friend Betty about the duties of a gofer.
Made up flyers with text swiped from the SFC website.
Went to bed by midnight each night.
Got almost all the money and leftover books back to someone responsible by the end of the con--except for those needing to be mailed, which remain with me.

There was a multi-author book launch Friday, in a room with rather definite acoustics. And just for Terri, here's a little film of one table, with Dave Duncan and other members of SF-Canada:

Lately, as my regular readers will expect, I have been beset by apples (which as a phrase is very nearly a googlewhack), to add to which I inexplicably brought home two large buckets of apples from my brother's trees. So, I've been processing apples to make apple crumbles, and when I have sixteen or so in the freezer I'll move on to pies. I'm feeling somewhat paranoid about getting done with the apples, since I'll be away for very nearly 3 weeks from the end of October, when they'll be dropping like mad.
Which is to say that I've been processing apples most nights, interspersed with packing up stuff for a sales-and-display table at VCon, trying for 600 words minimum each morning (which seems to be my comfortable rate for an hour's work). And trying not to worry about prep for the trip to Golden Swan, or about how to pack for both World Fantasy and hiking about in the UK in the rain.
Which is to say that I probably could have been more organised, but things went reasonably well nonetheless.


Terri-Lynne said...

I'm nearly falling over with envy! Cherie Priest AND Dave Duncan.

I got my tooth glued back in (on Thursday) last week too!! Just like Mr. Duncan. It's kismet. I think we're destined to be friends. ;)

Sandra Wickham too! She and I had an unofficial contest to see who could finish a first draft first. She won. Freaking finished in something like two months! I'm still working on it. To be fair, her mss is only about 50K words. To be even MORE fair, I'm still only at around 80 or 90K. Buggers!

Thanks for the short film! He's so cute!! Just what a grown, accomplished man wants to hear, right?

batgirl said...

Sometimes there are advantages to being on this coast - it makes up for all those times I'm sighing about not being able to get to something in Boston or NY.
Sandra's going to be at WFC, I think, too - we have to have a meetup!

Terri-Lynne said...

Oh, YES! Many meet-ups are going to be had. Egads, this is going to be a whirlwind-weekend! What day do you come in?

batgirl said...

Thursday morning, 8:40 am - which reminds me, I have to reply to that 'volunteering at WFC' email I got recently.
And I meet Caitlin at 4:30 on Friday - yikes!

Terri-Lynne said...

Oh, that's so exciting, B!!! I just got chills for you.

I won't be there until around 5 on Thursday. First night, dinner with Eric and a few other HRB authors, but we'll be hanging around afterward. I'm going to spend the whole freaking weekend wherever everyone gathers. I don't want to miss ANYONE!