What an excellent question. I'll be in San Antonio, Texas, for a full week, and if I'm not loading or unloading enough stuff for a whole exhibit (see below), I'll be running around like a goon, from panel to panel. There will be eating and drinking, for sure, but over the years, I've gotten pretty good at knowing my limits and packing accordingly. Like many preppers, I too have a pre-built bag that I throw in the car with me at a moment's notice. The main difference is that I'm actually going to USE all of the things in my bag, because it's set up for a big-ass convention and not the Zombie Apocalypse...even if those two things have an awful lot in common.
I will likely be adding to this list, but for now, here's what my punch card looks like:
This is important. For some reason, the con staff prefers that I wear pants. Pfft. Whatever.
--Peripherals (laptop, Ipad, smart phone)
--Extra T shirts (it WILL be hotter than a kiln in San Antonio)
--bathing suit (in case I get a chance to hit the hot tub)
--toiletries (normal sized ones, at that)
TRAPPINGS OF THE PROFESSION:
This is also important. Thanks to the trusty Ipad, I can use it as a second brain.
--all of my readings on the Ipad
--extra business cards (I treat these like ninja stars and fling them in clusters)
--extra pens (both gel and sharpie, because you never know what people are going to ask you to sign. I once had John Hollis, a lovely British character actor who played Lobot in The Empire Strikes Back, sign the side of my head. One day, I hope to sign the side of someone's head. And so, the Sharpie.)
--traveling cables for cell phone, Ipad, and laptop
--a flask (for the necessary sips of adult beverages throughout the day)
--My Copy of Lone Star Universe (so I can get T.R. Fehrenbach to sign it. He's showing up for a panel on Alternate History Alamo stories. Genius!)
Over the years, this part of the kit has gotten bigger and bigger. When I was sixteen, it simply said "Masking Tape." Now it's a separate shopping list.
--moleskin (for blisters)
--breath strips (con food is disgusting)
--Aspirin (no explanation necessary)
--Alka-Seltzer (see above)
--NyQuil (to offset Convention Crud--and also, to knock me out)
--energy bars, high in protein (for between panel boosts)
--multi-vitamins ("for men" which is code for "the prostate.")
--EmergenC (you know, that fizzy stuff that you gulp down with water?)
--a refillable Nalgene Water Bottle (critical to survival)
--Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges (because, let's face it, I'm a talker)
I'm in charge of the Robert E. Howard exhibit in the main hall. It's flattering to be asked, but the amount of stuff I'm driving to San Antonio is starting to overwhelm me. This will include:
--select items from the REH collection at the Cross Plains Library
--select items from the vaults of Paradox Entertainment
--select items from my personal collection
--select items courtesy of Dark Horse Comics
--a plastic warhammer (I don't want to get rough with any of you, but still...)
--at least one bottle of special libations to be shared as the weekend unfolds
There will be Mark Finn related merchandise on hand at WorldCon. The 2nd edition trade paperback version of Blood & Thunder will debut there at the REH Foundation Press table, and at a reasonable price, in case any of you would like to see the new book. Joe Lansdale, who wrote the introduction to the book, will be onhand as well, so you can get both of our illegible scribbles on your book.
Also premiering at WorldCon is Ray Guns Over Texas, an anthology of Texas science fiction edited by Rick Klaw, and I just so happen to have a story in that book for your edification.
Some of the dealers will no doubt have copies of the other books I've done for Dark Horse, Wildside Press, Monkeybrain Books, and others. But if you're coming to see me, it's best to bring copies of what you own, if only so that you can embarrass me.
Here's the Exclusive loot:
-- a few copies of Road Trip, my Cupid and Elvis novella (I'm very fond of that story) This is the "director's cut" edition, with slight changes and corrections. $12 each.
--36 signed and numbered copies of On:REH, "a miscelleny of ideas, observations and tomfoolery from author, essayist and raconteur Mark Finn. Learn exactly what REHupa is, and marvel at its complicated (and improbable) history with Finn pulling all of the strings; find out what happens to authors after they die; get a front row seat at The Last Book Sale; take a ride with Sailor Tom Sharkey and Kid McCoy to El Paso, Texas, and more!" It's a one of a kind item that will not be reprinted and it's exclusive to WorldCon. Only $10 a copy!
--Tingler Larvae (you heard me. Tinglers. As in, Tinglers. Play your cards right, and I'll include some Blast-Ended Skrewt eggs, too)
As soon as I know what my schedule is, I'll post it next.