I have just enough residual cellular energy to do this

Here's a conversation - or rather a composite of several conversations - that I actually had recently:

Me: Guess what I want to do for my birthday this year?

Someone else: What?

Me: I want to drive across the southwest desert in temperatures over 100ยบ for about 11 hours.

Someone else: But you just did that two weeks ago! Twice!!

Me: I know.

And I did know. Of course. I was there. Twice. But I went and did it a third time.

I had my reasons. On the occasion of my birthday, it also happened to be the release party for Brandon Sanderson's book, The Way of Kings.

Some people don't care about things like that, and that's fine. Other people, like me, do care. And then there are some, like the people who spent the weekend in a tent pitched in front of the BYU Bookstore, who care a little too much.

I knew from the moment I arrived in the parking lot
and saw this car that I wouldn't be first in line.

Members of the 17th Shard in costume and other dedicated fans.
One guy in front of me in line traveled 13 hours from Alberta to be there.

So, anyhow, because of a change in policy, I didn't have to spend nearly as much time standing in line as I did previously at a Brandon Sanderson release party, which was really nice. I think this time I spent a total of eight hours (in two sessions of two hours and six hours) instead of ten and a half hours. Still, during those two sessions, I was responsible for my own entertainment.

I was 26th in line, meaning I got book #26. Why do I think this is cool?

Unfortunately, I didn't bring anything entertaining with me during the two-hour session. I did learn something, though. I learned that there is an on-line community of Brandon Sanderson fans who call themselves the 17th Shard. Those weekend campers were 17th Shard members. Sharders? Shardies? Shardlings? Mostly they were an entertaining, well-behaved group (although they got a little hyper as the evening wore on), but a couple of them - well, one of them - started getting on my nerves after a while. I decided there should be a new community called the 17th Nerd, and that one person can be the mayor.

It's a personality thing. To me, there's a big difference between weird (which is acceptable) and loud, bossy and annoying (which is unacceptable). It's also probably an age thing, because it's true I am getting older. After all, it was my birthday. And I think with increased age comes an increased lack of tolerance, probably on a cellular level, for things like loud, bossy, annoying people.

Anyway, during the evening shift, I was accompanied first (and for a short time) by Adrien and Shannon, who gently mocked the Shardlings and suggested Brandon Sanderson go by the moniker of "BranSan". Later, I was joined by Megan, who braved the whole rest of the line experience with me, in spite of not feeling altogether well. Thank you, Megan.

We played Authors and 20 Questions, and drank delicious hot chocolate, and read for a while, and she listened to me complain about the 17th Nerd, and we took a quiz.

My answers

Megan's answers

Brandon Sanderson talked to a group of people for about half an hour, but we couldn't get close enough to hear what he was saying.


There were a few contests with some pretty amazing prizes, none of which I won (as usual), and I was just starting to think that the party for The Gathering Storm was more interesting than this one, when they started the countdown to midnight and the signing and, incidentally, my birthday.

We stood in line to get some non-Way of Kings books signed, and spoke briefly to Brandon Sanderson (I didn't call him BranSan) and to Isaac Stewart, who is one of the artists for The Way of Kings and who also did the maps and some other stuff for the Mistborn series. That was fun.

Then we hauled our books away and went home to sleep. That was also fun.

People have told me they can understand spending hours and hours in line for concert or sports tickets, or even to go to the midnight premier of a certain movie. But they think spending hours and hours in line to get a book signed is just silly. Frankly, I think spending hours and hours in line for a ticket to a sporting event is just silly. Worse still, I actually enjoy standing in line to get a book signed and think it's kind of exciting. But that's how I am, probably on a cellular level.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I may think you're crazy, but I'm glad you go so I can read your entertaining posts. Happy birthday!

P.S. my word is 'oxide.' I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've gotten a real word. go me!