Saturday, April 25, 2009

Droopy Eyelids and Beautiful Steel

I'm having a lot of fun here at Conestoga. Cons are always fun places to talk to people, and this hotel has great mirrored elevators, but constant dealer room duty plus the panels is wearing me down. I don't see how people like Scott Cupp can do it. Oh, well. One more day and then I'll maybe sleep late Monday. One more day of table sitting and one more panel–something about selling funny–and I can relax. But maybe at the panel I can learn how to get more laughs. A recent review said of my Emperor Dad, "There were no real belly laughs, but there were quite a lot of chuckles." Maybe I can learn to do better.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my time at my table. My position is right next to the Ziggy's West, the sword people, and I've learned a lot about both the business of selling swords, and about the various qualities of the pieces. For one thing, I've always been impressed by small knives made of stainless steel, but long blades made of it lack the flexibility for real use. For another, Damascus steel, which I'd always hear of but never seen before, is beautiful, with tree-ring like patterns in the metal as an artifact of its manufacture. People even make fake damascus steel by using laser etching to emulate that patterning. There are costume-quality swords, wall-hanging swords, and then there's the real thing. And there's a market for all of those qualities. Fascinating.

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