My Gen Con Report

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Yesterday, the last of our after-the-convention guests departed and now I reflect on the wonderful madness of the past week and a half. There is so much to tell. I might have to break this into two parts.

First, let me say that there was a part of me that wished I could stay home and not go. I’ve been to a lot of them and, well, I’m just tired. But, I knew that our friends from Australia, Tash and Tony, would be there. That motivated me more than anything else. Then, there was the KODT Live Action Series premiere. I knew I had to be there for that.

This was something I was dreading, to be honest. Most people know about the mess that became of the Kickstarter that was run by D20 Entertainment, so I won’t go into it. But, the emotion and strain of dealing with it was almost overwhelming to me. Thanks to some lovely people at Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, we had some of the actors for the KODT movie there at the premiere. But, I was mostly worried about two things: whether backers would be able to get into the premiere, and how I would react upon seeing this person (and how he would behave). I have never felt such severe stress – to the point of my body wanting to just give out on me. I felt like I might collapse, or be sick. Arriving at the premiere, however, the fears were allayed a bit by seeing all of the people there that I love: our fans, the actors, and the partners at Kenzer and Company. Still, seeing Ken was terrifying to me. It wasn’t until my “guru” Dave Kenzer came and gave me some wise, encouraging words, “Forgive,” and heard the actors say, “We’re right with you” that I felt strong enough to walk through that door.

And, my fears were very much allayed from that point onward. The premiere went better than expected. The movie, itself, while rough and unfinished in a few places, was really very good. The audience was laughing throughout, and it was so great to see that the hard work had paid off.

It was so wonderful afterwards to see some of the actors signing autographs for fans. Their faces were glowing with pride. It was a true high moment.

Afterwards, thanks to ZOE, we were able to throw an after-party, one that Ken had canceled. Mikey Mason, the musician and comic, entertained, along with our friend Cahira, who belly-danced. The room was filled with happy conversation, music and laughter. Vendors at the convention, having heard about our distress, donated items to give away to party-goers.

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So, the biggest event at Gen Con ended well and I saw just how rich we were, with people of good will, loving us, supporting us, and banding together to help. I cannot thank ZOE, Gen Con itself (which donated a hotel room and more), and the vendors for their amazing care. It warmed my heart.

The main part of any convention for us is manning our booth in the Exhibitor’s Hall. This year, we had an amazing squadron of four young ladies, Dave Kenzer’s daughter, Samantha, and her friends, to help us work the booth waiting on customers cheerfully, in costume, each day. They brought a lot of joy and light to the booth.

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Another highlight of the convention was meeting the 7-year-old daughter of our friend Craig. They shared our room, and I was so moved and delighted to have this young sweetheart in our lives for awhile. I even had the honor of playing tooth fairy to her while they were out playing a game. My wallet and heart was lighter thanks to this opportunity. I even included a pink Sharpie so she could sign autographs. She was dressed as Link throughout the convention, posing for pictures with other costumed attendees, and so she needed to sign autographs. It boosted her spirits to have a feeling of being someone people would like to remember. During the convention, she bought a stuffed armadillo that she named Smiley. Jolly and Craig and I would do silly things with the armadillo to make her laugh. She has a wonderful laugh. Jolly ended up buying another one, and calling it Arden, claiming he was Smiley’s brother. Text photo messages of Arden in differing poses and of Smiley, have continued to flow back and forth ever since.

We were graced with tickets to the True Dungeon by one of our fans, and big Kickstarter supporter, Luke Heller. It was nice to be able to take our group through this event, even though I was extremely tired and achy after having worked a booth all day. My body was not as willing as my spirit. But, what I liked about the activity was the fact that it was given in love and enjoyed thoroughly by our friends.

As Gen Con drew to a close, more hard work loomed over us. We had a booth to take down (and thanks to the volunteers who helped we broke it down in record time). We had a truck to load (waiting in the queue was a bit of a patience tester, but Jolly was able to spend the time visiting with the wonderful Larry Elmore). Then, we had to pick up our dog, head home with the truck and unload it. It was a long, long day. The next morning, we were up to turn in the truck and await our special guests from Australia, who honored our house with their presence for two days. Our friends from Idaho, Carolyn and Chris were able to stop by for a night as well.
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So, in spite of the stress, hard work and sore feet,the entire Gen Con experience was an overall triumph for us. As we now buckle down back to our regular work, we are excited for what the future holds for the products we hope to put out for our fans to enjoy and the conventions we will be attending, such as Game Hole Con and Gary Con. See you all around the game table soon, I hope. Until then, thanks for the great memories.

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