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firstRainbowRose

I will never look at central heating the same way

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Hello All!

Once again, I find it's time to type up my experiences while camping out crazy like for a book release. As I've said a couple of times mine might not be the best point of view to base the entire experience on since I was staff, but I figured it can't hurt to give you a feel for what I went through. Also, I might ramble a bit, so sorry about that. ALSO, THIS WILL BE LONG!

So, to get the adventure started we have to rewind all the way back to the Tuesday before the release party. (Actually, if you want the true start, look about a year ago, and then the really hard core planning started about three months before the release, but I'll spare you boring details of planning and shopping). At around 11 that night we finally finished packing the car and taking care of last minute details and left from our apartment to head down to the bookstore. Not much really to tell about the trip down besides that I'm really starting to hate all that stupid construction in Utah county.

So we get to BYU, park and are walking up to the bookstore and I nearly died of shock as we rounded the corner and the bookstore came into view. I was positive that we were going to have to bribe someone to join us in line so we didn't feel too foolish -- a fact that I was dead wrong on. There, much to my dismay, was another tent all set up and stealing my spot. (Mind you, at nearly midnight I was not thinking exactly straight. After a bit of sleep I was able to see the situation with better eyes, but this is an honest report, so you get to see my bad and my good.) Of course, there wasn't much else to do but set up camp, so with the help of my little brother (who I bribed into helping us) we got everything ready to go.

During our set up the person in front of us came out and introduced himself as what I thought was Mark (and what I called him all weekend. Apparently it's actually Matt, so sorry about that!). He was very nice and offered to help us if we needed anything. Not much else to say about that night, except it's hard to sleep when you're cold.

We woke up the next morning, and pretty much hid out in our tent, where we had a nice electric heater. After a few minutes of worrying that it might melt a hole in the bottom of the tent, I realized that it wasn't quite that warm and relaxed. Nothing really interesting went on that day besides laughing at comments that were made by people who came to see our FAQs (did anyone get a full pic of that?) a few of which got tweeted. Mostly I sat in front of the heater trying to be warm and read books. That day we had a couple of great sharders show up (Zas and Link are the two I remember) as well as our first visitor who was a complete surprise -- Peter! He dropped us off a nice present to share, but more on that later...

The next big event really didn't happen until Friday when the rest of the gang got into town. Much excitement to be had that night as everyone saw touchable faces instead of just computer screens for the first time. Then we tried to set up The Keep, which was quite an adventure. The instructions weren't the greatest when you're mostly asleep at midnight in the cold. However, eventually the tent went up and there was much celebrating to be had! (And shock over the actual size of the thing. I mean, I saw the picture before hand, but the picture didn't convey just how BIG it was!) After moving all of our stuff in, we connected them to the electricity... and ended up popping the breaker or something because there was suddenly no electricity to be had!

This of course made for a very cold night for everyone involved. Our tent (the orange and silver/gray one in the pictures) didn't have the build up of heat to help us go to sleep like it had the other few night, and The Keep didn't have any sort of heat to help at all. We were all very cold, and very not happy about this fact. The situation didn't improve the next day either since it was of course the weekend, which meant that the smart people who were able to fix the problem were at home... warm... Thankfully there wasn't anyone else in line behind us for most of the day so we were able to go into the Wilk and stay warm in there for most of the day.

The problem was solved before we went to bed thanks to some great research from Will and Josh (I think) who found an outlet that did still have power. There were some concerns however since it was quite a bit a way from the main camp, but I (and others) said that as long as we taped the cords down there shouldn't be a problem. So we strung the 100 power cord through the plants, plugged in, and all sighed at the warmth. Ah, heater, I missed you so! This time 'round though we were a lot more careful about what was turned on when, because we knew we'd be screwed if we tripped the second breaker. There wasn't a third close enough.

I believe it was about the time we were all getting heat again that a new set of people showed up. Again, much celebrating to be had! After this I don't remember who showed up when (keep in mind, by this point I've been outside in the cold (with a heater, admittedly, but those only do so much. Plus, we always turned it off at night. Didn't want to have the tent catch fire while we slept) for about five days. I started to lose some information.), but for the most part assume people showed up between the hours of four and seven Monday morning.

Sunday was spent chatting and hanging out... until about four when I decided it was time to share Peter's present with everyone. (Well, to be fair everyone knew about it at that point. We just finally decided to sit down together and enjoy.) You see, Peter had left for us a bound copy of Brandon's fourth novel Knight Life, which I can only describe as Brandon trying to channel some Douglas Adams. It's an odd book, but very funny. So, we all piled into the keep (all being the five admins, comatose, Zas, and I swear there was one or two others. Maybe a couple of line friends?) and had a group reading with each person taking a chapter. I had to bow out early to take a nap, but from what I can tell everyone seemed to enjoy what they could get read of the book.

Now, having this be my third or fourth line I knew what to expect for monday morning and did everything I could to sleep while I knew I'd be able to. This plan of mine didn't go so well as I mostly laid in bed and listened to the conversations around me at that not-quite-asleep, yet more-asleep-than-awake point. I can't tell you half of what was said (besides Kerry shouting wiggle about five times, which made Will die laughing. Honestly, I was kind of laughing to. It was just so random!), but I can say I did finally get to sleep at around three or four... and got up at around five or six. Not a good way to start out what I knew would be a very long day. Still, duty called, so off to chat and mingle I went!

At around 6:50 I made an announcement explaining the basics of how the number handing-out would go, as well as the rest of the evening. (There was a lot of me saying "the bookstore will clarify" since I didn't know the exact times for things, but over all I think it went well.) At 6:55-ish Tami from the bookstore came out and the magic pink tickets of doom were given. I continued to help the bookstore out as I could, going inside once they were officially open (originally to get my pink slip which someone forgot to give me) and ended up helping out for a little bit. At around 8:45 I went outside to help with the last of break down, and by 11:20 or so we were on the road to take care of everything we needed to do! (Yes, it really did take from 7:30 to 11:20 to get everything packed, broken down, and into cars. Two different tents, and six different people have a lot of stuff to them. Plus, Husseys took a nap in our tent for a while which made it kind of hard to tear down. Though, I think the longest part of the process was moving everything from in front of the bookstore to cars, and then figuring out how to load the cars. Even with a wagon to help with the moving of stuff.)

The next thing on the agenda was a lunch with Brandon the admins had planned... in American Fork at noon. I was crazy worried we were going to be late since I knew how much construction and lunch time traffic we had to deal with, but we ended up getting there about five minutes before noon, so that was a huge sigh of relief. From there,great food was to be had! After a wonderful lunch (we learned so much! I'll let Eric type up everything since he was taking notes and I was more focused on how yummy the food was.) we went to Wal-Mart to pick up supplies. Most of the rest of the day was spent picking up costume pieces, candy, and all sorts of goodies. We reunited back up at around 6:30 in front of the BYU bookstore where we meet with Isaac Stewart of inkwing.com (also known as the wonderful map artist, among other things) for dinner. I decided to opt out of joining them in favor of trying to take a nap and get a few of the games planned out for the night.

So I sat in the Wilk with about ten pounds of candy on a table trying to figure out what still needed to be taken care of. Around 8 those of the 17S staff that weren't out to eat joined me, and at around 8:30 we were all together and ready to pound out the last of the details for the party!

I'd like to break in here and say that it was around this time that I found out the most shocking news of the night... the BYU bookstore actually sold out of copies of Alloy! This bodes really well for the NYT Bestsellers list, but at the same time was very distressing for some of the people who were showing up. Thankfully a lot of kind hearted souls (including our own Will) gave up a copy of their book for someone else to buy.

Details get a bit fuzzy around here because of how much was going on, but basically planning continued and once we were able to get into the bookstore we set up games and started entertaining. (OH! While we were waiting to be let in Kara of inkwing came over and gave all of the staff a free t-shirt. Both her and Isaac are so nice! So now we staff all have an awesome shirts (most of us got the "Happy Koloss head munching day" shirt) to wear.) Anyways, while games were being played I floated from each of the stations a lot to make sure there weren't any problems but I am happy to report that everyone seemed to be able to handle everything on their own. At around 11:30(-ish) Brandon came down from pre-signing books and answered questions (you can see some of this here. Everyone lined up at around 11:55 and books were handed out. After we were handed our books we went back downstairs to help out some more -- we were in it for the long haul and knew we could get our books signed at the end of the night. We had a job to do! (Also, if you've actually read this entire post (or heck, even to this point) pm me. You'll get a special secret award because you're actually dedicated enough to read this entire thing! Though, you really should finish it before pming me... after all, I can call you an awesome dedicated person if you only get 4/5th of the way through, right? Plus, there is more awesome stuff to come.)

Really quickly, I'd like to share an awesome story and tell you all how amazing of a guy Mark (remember him? Number 1?) is. By this point I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to camp out for a week and a half in order to ever have hope of getting a number one of any of Brandon's books. Fair is fair after all: whoever gets there first gets number one. Besides, Mark was a great guy and let us borrow this little propane heater on Sunday when the heat was out, and was just over all a nice guy. But then, he did something that was truly amazing. We were waiting to find out where Brandon was going to be signing in the general line area when he stepped up to us and asked to see our copies of the books. Without even thinking about it I handed them over to him -- and he took number three. Then, he placed number on on the top of the pile, and said "there you go." I was floored -- this guy had been camping out for two hours longer than we had, and had just given up the entire reason he had waited so long. I nearly broke into tears right there I was so touched! (We tried to show our thanks by giving him one of the ARCs we had, and a t-shirt from inkwing, and pretty much anything else we could think of.) This guy was amazing, and I have to say if you ever need to have a website hosted use bluehost.com -- it's a company he founded (and I've never heard anything but good things about!).

So, back to the line. Brandon had grabbed me really quickly before we got books and said he wanted Josh and me to sit at the table and help him out while he signed books. So, as the bookstore figured out where everyone needed to be to line up I was given the assignment of flapping books (I fold the dust jacket over so it's marking the page Brandon signs. Make it easier for him), and keeping everyone from rushing him. Josh was given the assignment of making sure everyone got each of the awesome papers we had to hand out (a copy of the broadsheet, a pamphlet of the awesome stuff Badali Jewelry has to offer (fun fact for anyone who reads this far into it: if you use the code 17SHARD while checking out you can get 15% off on any of the Brandon or WoT jewelry. We'll also be posting this in a easier to find place, but I figure it's a great place to say it! And it's exclusively for sharders. Don't you feel awesome?), a copy of the WoK postcard).

There's not much else to say on my end for the rest of the evening. Though, I did find it funny how people would react when I asked to see their book. Still, no one refused me which was a good thing. At around four in the morning the bookstore kicked us out. I got my book signed, and then it was homeward time! I am still crazy glad for central heating (I swear, I can't get warm anymore! It's kind of bad) and a bed that doesn't sink to the ground every time I sit on it.

So, that's all I can think of for now. If I need to change anything, or add anything I'll do it later. I hope you guys enjoyed my ramblings. (Heck, I'm amazed you actually finished it! Go you!)

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Well, it is a week's worth of line. And that's a lot of skipping too. I doubt anyone will actually read the entire thing, honestly.

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Well, it is a week's worth of line. And that's a lot of skipping too. I doubt anyone will actually read the entire thing, honestly.

I did, though what I really want the details that you blithely promised Chaos would post.

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I did, though what I really want the details that you blithely promised Chaos would post.

Seconded. Will the rest of us get a chance to see Knight Life, perhaps? (Please?)

My favorite line: 'magic pink tickets of doom'

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You'll have to ask Brandon or Peter. I don't know if he's sending that one out to people to ask, but I suppose it can't hurt to try. It was a lot of fun, and I hope he'll consider cleaning it up and releasing it sometime.

Anyways, thanks for the post, Mi'ch - and for everything else! <3 It was awesome getting to hang out with everyone, finally. Oh, and you need to PM me your address so I can mail your bag back. Thanks again for that.

Oh, and I read the whole thing! :D

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I did, though what I really want the details that you blithely promised Chaos would post.

Indeed. The only thing approaching details was that link with the video. I've read it all though (and followed most of the links too). Maybe I should PM, or something.

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Not any longer than some of Chaos theories :)

I finished, and enjoyed, the entire post, thank you very much for writing it.

Between Monday the 1st and Monday the 7th we got a foot of snow where I live. I was thinking of you guys (even though you were in a different and distant state...)

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Not any longer than some of Chaos theories :)

I don't know, it's almost 3000 words. They don't usually get that long.

I'm working on the theoretical information, guys. It'll be up soon. Like, actually soon, not the "soon" I use to dissuade people from asking when the Ball ends.

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Because "soon" means never. The Ball will never end.

I pity you, out in the cold for so long. I DESPISE cold. So glad I'm going to South America for two years.

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Wow! Seems you had a really good time! Thanks for sharing the experience with us!

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