Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Couple Of Cans Of Food Storage...And I Became Con Lore

The story's out there, in fact, I had several people come up to me today and ask, "That was you?"

There's a famous line from The Untouchables, that talks about bringing a knife to a gunfight--not a good idea. Well, I did something that has absolutely nothing to do with that line.

Earlier this week I got a package of books, the first order of Chaser. I was excited because of a literary convention this weekend I was asked to attend. And I would be able to bring a huge stack of new books to unleash on a hungry populous.

At last, the day came. The convention, "Life, the Universe, and Everything", or LTUE, has a mass book signing on the Friday night of the convention. It's well attended and many wait until Friday night to make their book purchases. Yesterday afternoon I loaded up my car with boxes of my short story compilation, Speckled, but I was most excited to show everyone Chaser. 

Off I drove. It took twice as long to reach Provo Utah, because of the rush-hour traffic--it stunk. But, I didn't really need to be there until 7pm, so the thirty miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic didn't bother me too much (a rare thing...). 

Finally, I reached my exit. I maneuvered my little car to the convention center--even found a close parking spot. I unloaded my boxes, wheeled them into the center and found the table where I ran into my publisher. He had not seen the final product.

"Did you bring your book?" he asked. I proudly and excitedly say, "Yes!"

I opened my first box, my copies of Speckled, then I reached for the second box, the bigger box, the box I spent a couple of hundred bucks to get in time for the convention. I couldn't wait to reach down, grab a copy of Immortal Work's newest publication, and show everyone just how cool the book is.

One problem.

When I opened the box, I didn't see thirty copies of my book.

I saw three cans of food storage.

Yes, my books, the ones I'd waited for and needed for this very moment, were sitting in a box at the foot of my bed sixty miles to the north, and there was no time to go get them or to have someone bring them down. We hadn't put the food storage box into the basement with the rest of them, and when my books came, I set the box right next to the other.

I couldn't believe it. I had a choice. I could fuss and get mad, or I could laugh it off and enjoy the evening. Sure, I didn't have my book to show off, but I had fun telling people who asked where my book was, what happened. My friend, David J. West, took a picture of the box and posted it on Twitter. As I walked around the room, people were asking me if I was the one who left my books at home, not quite believing it actually happened.

So, no I didn't bring a knife to a gun fight--I brought food storage to a book signing. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it. But it makes for a great con story.


  1. Good thing there's no such thing as bad publicity. :)

    Years from now when I hear this story passed to the next generation as folklore, I will proudly declare, "I was there!"