Tuesday, May 23, 2017

inside the labyrinth walls

It's been a heady, exciting week. You know, I'd almost forgotten what it's like to get a New Book and excitedly read it and discuss with other people who are excited about the New Book and venture outside my comfort zone. But that's what the past week has been!

Last Tuesday I dressed with extra care. I thought my hair had a nice little Queen of Attolia vibe. My lipstick was on point. Fashion was, once again, my armor against anxiety. Why was I anxious, you ask? Because many, many months ago I decided that if I ever bought a book, I would go to the local indie bookstore to do it. (It's called The King's English, by the way, and it's a nice place.) And then the news of the New Book came out and I knew I'd have to buy it. Even though I don't believe in buying books in general (I mean, libraries exist).

Everyone at the bookstore was very nice but it was still very anxiety-inducing (I stood at the shelf for 5 minutes, holding the paperbacks of the rest of the Queen's Thief series, until I got up the courage to ask someone where the new book was).

Anyway, success was mine, I made it out of the store with all five books in the series. I set them in my lap so that on the drive home (which was HORRENDOUS, I live very close to the bookstore and it took me forever to get home) I could give them little hugs every once in a while. I do that with long-awaited library books too. Books deserve hugs too.

And then I took pictures of them and set them on the table for the next few hours while I spackled the walls. Here's the picture:

Almost certainly filtered. It's on Instagram.
Is now a good time to talk about the Queen's Thief series? I don't think I've straight-up ever mentioned that they're the books I'm talking about. They are one of my most favorite series of all time. And it is impossible to talk about them because everything is a spoiler. Gen is a thief and he does things and things happen to him? That's the best I can do.

I stayed up WAY too late reading Thick as Thieves (the newest one), couldn't finish because I started way too late at night. And I made the righteous choice and didn't bring it to work to read "during lunch" because I've learned by now that means I read it "all the time" and sometimes it's nice to actually work.

And then I couldn't even get back to it until late Wednesday night! Two late nights in a row! It was like those previous times in my life when the company of a boy was more scintillating than the idea of sleep. It was just like that! Except it was a book. There were boys in the book. Not quite the same though.

(My review: I hope eventually I'll like it better. I like it fine but I don't love it like I love the others. But that is a usual feeling for me, it's happened with all the other books because they're all so very different. So the outlook is promising.)

Then I decided to get active in the online community of Queen's Thief fans. I made a post that, as of today, has 71 comments on it discussing my insights and questions (and a fair amount of off-topic rambling, I guess that's normal). This is a series that is great for discussing.

I also immediately started rereading Thick as Thieves, in hopes that further exposure will help me love it sooner. Time will tell.

Saturday night! Saturday night I made a big huge leap and decided to go BACK to the bookstore because the author herself, Megan Whalen Turner, was going to be there and so would Shannon Hale (who is great. I love her. I love them both!). When traffic isn't horrendous it turns out the bookstore is only 10 minutes away, then I spent another 10 minutes looking for parking. And then I found the place it would be held and discovered that 15 minutes early is not early enough to get in the front.
I'm going to add pictures from my Snap story to this post for those few that don't check my Snap story. Weird.

I ended up sitting next to a girl from the same online community as me (though of course we don't know each other), so that was kind of fun! And just look at how many people love MWT and the Queen's Thief (and maybe also Shannon Hale)!
I stole this from Shannon's twitter. I am visible in this picture. x
Everyone was pretty excited. It was a good energy (and a beautiful night). I took some bad quality pictures the first few minutes (the only kind my phone knows how to take) and then remembered that I can also take video, so I recorded the rest of the evening. I don't know if that was gauche or not. I wasn't the only one.
There they are!!! So exciting! They're telling us they're not going to talk about children.

Pixelated authors
I am ashamed of myself for laughing as loud as I did when Shannon made that quip.
Anyway after that was when I started the video. It is a 45-min video. The video quality is not good but the audio is sufficient. And I've just listened to it again and it's entertaining! So you can watch if you want. (I thought about just clipping out parts that I thought might be more widely enjoyed, but it's hard for me to know. Lots of bantering and talking about YALLWEST and also no spoilers about the books.)

After we finished we all joined the signing line. There was a little something on the event that said people who bought their books from The King's English would have priority, but that wasn't true. It was fine though. The line was extremely long (I have some pictures of the line but they are not all that interesting).

I finally got to the table and awkwardly (as is my wont) put all my books down on the table, jostling it right as she was about to sign my hardcover. I forgot to mention that I brought all the Queen's Thief books I own (except for The Thief, which I lent out). I didn't want her to sign them all, just touch them. Because I feel like I can have cred when I tell people "The author touched this book. You'll enjoy it." So she did. She thought I was weird but she did it anyway. What a good egg.

This is the first time this has ever happened to me. And probably the last.
Yep, here's the rest of my books. Yep, I toted these around all night while looking for parking and walking from parking and standing in that super long line.
It was a great experience! I don't usually want to go to new scary places by myself but I did and I had a good time. It helped that I really, really wanted to do this. And that none of my friends invited me to do anything that would conflict. I'm glad I went.

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