A Convention on a Tight Budget

Or, Fun for Tightwads. T. Lee Harris, Samantha Lopez and I went to Marcon Alternative Reality Convention this weekend, representing the Southern Indiana Writers Group. We did panels on Blogging 4 Writers and Kindle, Smashwords, POD and Other Dirty Words.

The best budget move we made was to stay in a hotel down the street, not in the convention hotel. Even with the convention rate, another hotel was cheaper. MUCH cheaper. Quieter, too.

The next best budget move was to take our own food. Not only was it cheaper, but one of us is gluten-intolerant, and the hotel’s breakfast bar was all about baked goods. We took our own gluten-free bread, meat, cheese, fruit and snacks, and never had to worry about food allergies or aversions, getting to the hospitality suite too late to find any food other than popcorn skins, or high blood pressure from paying for what the food court had on offer. We did treat ourselves to one food court meal, but one was nice; all would have been feeding bankruptcy.

Conventions have dealers’ rooms, where folks rent tables to sell stuff. You have to go through the dealers’ room because a lot of the stuff is really cool, and all of it is really cool to someone or other. We spent more time watching people enjoy the stuff they found than we did finding stuff. We spent more time talking to the dealers about their work than we did buying. As people who sell our work, we know that sales are great, but it’s also a pleasure to talk to people who are receptive to our enthusiasms. We did buy stuff, but we focused our enjoyment on things other than acquisition and spent less than we might have.

It was a wonderful experience, and I will post pictures.

This being Tuesday, I’m posting at Fatal Foodies about cooking for a Memorial Day crowd, which was THE DAY AFTER I GOT BACK FROM THE CONVENTION.

WRITING PROMPT: Send a character to a convention with less money than is convenient.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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