Scourge of the Mall Wedding, A Booksigning, and Kim Visits Some Shoe Stores

Today was really fun!  The same friend that likes my maternity pants, Dawn, invited me to a book signing for a debut author she happens to know from college.  I’m a sucker for a book signing.

In fact, Brad Meltzer may or may not be the father of my oldest child.  I went to the 2001 signing in Boonsboro, MD with my Noraholic friends, talked a load to Brad (yes, first name basis) in March, popped out a baby in December.  I love booksignings. A lot.

We meant something to each other, once upon a time… Okay, not really, but he’s a really cool guy.

So, fast forward to present day and Jeff Salyards was signing at Barnes & Noble in Oak Brook Center (IL) this morning for his Fantasy debut “Scourge of the Betrayer”.

Jeff Salyards, like Brad Meltzer, has no hair.

It isn’t something I’d normally choose to read, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book.  My friend has been talking it up my TBR pile for a bit, and I do love an opportunity to buy stuff  support a new author.  I bought my copy and Dawn, Joyce and I roamed the store.  Joyce pointed out that Dolores Umbridge was working incognito, having left her pink suit and collector kitten plates back at Hogwarts.  I wasn’t quite seeing it, so I asked her a question about the signing.  It was Dolores!  Hateful witch.

BN can benefit from some friendliness sensitivity training in some locations.

So, we made our way over, not knowing what to expect.  I enjoy the two different audiences at signings:  the fans who love the work, and the writers who love the craft.  This signing was an interesting mix of both.

These are the sorts of people you’ll find at a Jeff Salyards signing.

It was neat to see the trickle of people who wandered in.  There was a guy front and center who talked and talked.  He wanted balloons, kites, caterpillars and a love story in the second installment.  He was funny, and helped keep the flow going.  Turns out, I think it was Salyards’ uncle.

Uncle Buck was also an uncle.

A BN employee came in late, on her day off, because she was enjoying the book a lot.  She said another employee recommended it.  I loved her comment that she was always the lone geeky girl playing D&D with all the boys.

The Dungeons and Dragons woman must have been the one taking the picture here.

Another guy in the front row sounded like a fellow booksigning junky.  He previously worked at a bookstore and had met a bazillion big name authors.  All of them.  He’s even met me.  He had great things to say about Scourge.  He compared the writing to a lot of names I’m unfamiliar with, seeing as I pretty much only read cereal boxes and smut the classics anymore.  I heard George Martin thrown around a lot, but I haven’t read “Game of Thrones” yet either.

Ah, yes, I did get a pic of him. There he is.

There was a couple there, with the dude writing some legal handbook for family law.  Maybe something else, not sure.  It sounded like blah blah yadda kjhewrj snooze.  I didn’t immediately see how it applied to me and let my mind wander.

There were a few other people, then the three of us.

Dawn knows her books. She says the character development in this one is stellar. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore…or whatever. Walk if you want. Seriously — I’m not going to know.

Beginning authors don’t have big publicity machines filling seats, so he probably set the signing up and did all the legwork himself…plus a full-time day job and a wife and three kids.

Something like this, but not a groundhog. If this groundhog writes a book though, I’ll attend his signing too. What’s not to love about a groundhog one man band? (One hog band? You know what I mean.)

Jeff talked from 11 to 11:45am, and I was disappointed when he said he was going to wrap up the talk and start signing.  He was really funny, which is a hook for me.  He spoke about his process, and how it was an on and off, ten-year race to the finish.  He spoke about how he had to edit out @ 250 pages, and how working with agents and editors altered the end product.  I find all that fascinating.  Actually, I had a lot of questions but didn’t ask.  I hate that.  I should have spoken up.

But this is how it feels. So I don’t usually.

Though this is his first book, he spoke about the contract being for three books, but he’s picturing a four book story arc.  WTF will we do for book four?!

My biggest take-away was to study screenplay writing for help honing dialogue skills.  As a wannabe, my dialogue skills pretty much suck.  I’ve said before that my characters really just enjoy a good companionable silence.  They just sit together, quietly.  Not talking.  Sort of like a silent film, but in book form.  I rock it, hard.

Sitting in Silence. I wrote this book! These are my characters! Why won’t they talk to each other???

Anyway, my friend really loved the book.  If there’s one thing I know about her, it’s that she knows her books.  Her recommendation goes a long way with me, so I was happy to pay for the hardcover *and* Kindle version.  I think you should too.

Scourge of the Betrayer. Google the title for reviews. I’m not even quite sure yet what it’s about, but it sounds great!

So, I haven’t read “Scourge of the Betrayer” yet, but the reviews are excellent.  I’ll keep you updated, random blog reader, what I think of the actual story, but the cover is beautiful.

Jeff Salyards was a fun Saturday morning date with friends, and I hope he has more local signings so we can go back and listen some more.  I hope I’m not pregnant again.  My mom never did have the talk with me, so it’s all kind of a mystery.

Salyards in action. Booksigning? Nailed it. Can’t wait to see how his story unfolds.

Anyway, in addition to the fun talk, on the way out of the store and into the open air main part of the mall, there was a wedding.  A wedding!

The bride wore some trashy blue shoes, people were stopping to watch, strollers strolled by, some weirdos were taking pictures.  It was…odd?  I don’t understand why a woman would decide to tie the knot at the mall, unless she was in a contest for least romantic place to shackle yourself in matrimony while wearing ugly blue hooker shoes.

Mall wedding. Nailed it.

I thought about that a bit while strolling the too-expensive-for-me shops.  I went into two different stores that were just shoes, which was life altering.  This past year I wore my Keens every day except maybe three snow days, from last summer to present day.  I realized today that I can wear other shoes, not just my lesbian hiker shoes.

I bought two shirts and two tank tops!  They aren’t from Target!  My sister didn’t pick them out!

I’m making all kinds of progress as a human being.  I was out with friends.  I bought clothes.  I was inspired to write more.  I was locked out of my house.

Oh yeah.  Thanks to Kelly for helping me get back into my house without having to throw a brick through the window.  If your husband hadn’t shown up, I was going to wet my pants.

Just like that.

The Fort Must Be Defended Against Alien Forces

So I just posted about E’s joy.  Now I’ll post about N to keep balance in the universe.

Different kids find their delight in different places. Read the rest of this entry »

11.11.11 @ 11:11:11am

N’s Math Games class is having a moment.

They are cheering.

For a moment.  For a minute.

He’s not staying up late to do it again though.  🙂

It’s a Wonderful Life!

E is a kid who likes to celebrate.  He likes to get excited about stuff and get mired in the details of things he enjoys. There is a reason Jeff tagged him as our Enthusiast…he’s quite Enthusiastic when he chooses to be.

There’s always that caveat.  He is, after all, a Beeler.  We are a mercurial bunch. Read the rest of this entry »

“Simon Says: Pick Your Butt With Your Finger.”

The good news is that N feels better after a weekend bout with either food poisoning or a food allergy.

The bad news is that N feels better after a weekend bout with either food poisoning or a food allergy. Read the rest of this entry »

My Future Daughter-in-Law Might Be A Cheeseburger

After sleeping through the opera and later missing MRU as well, the boys and I decided to salvage the day by getting Halloween costumes figured out.  I wish I could be one of those moms that whips something together and the kids look cute/clever/scary/funny/etc.

More Like Bologna

They’d just look and feel sad if I did though, so off to Halloween City we went to shop the spoon-fed, previously imagined, mass produced, cute/clever/scary/funny/etc. polyester looks.

First we needed sustenance.  We wound up at Baker’s Square so E could stalk spend some quality time with his girlfriend, Barbie.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Sunday Afternoon Nowhere Near the Island of La Grande Jatte

It was a weekend of dividing and conquering.  Jeff took the kids camping with Scouts, and I had “me” time with some friends I adore.

Jeff on camping: “It was really windy.  It was like we would never be warm again.”  Later in his re-cap: “And then it started to rain.”

Read the rest of this entry »

I Will Never Learn

No joke, I don’t even know what to say about today.

E started in about the Halloween decorations before I was even out of bed.  I told him I needed to wake up first and clear out the cobwebs.  Before I was even to the bottom step downstairs he was already asking “Are you awake yet?”

I had to explain that I wanted to get the house cleaned first, then we could continue decorating.  Then he was all about cleaning.  It was enjoyable to finally be on the same team with this kid.  Too bad it only lasted 8 seconds, kind of like a bull ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween Decorating… Like Christmas But With Bodies in the Yard

It’s that time of year again and E is up to his eyeballs in Halloween spirit.  We got a late start and he’s making up for lost time with a new level of Type A decorating behavior.  I’m already burnt out and we haven’t even opened some of the many bins of ghoulish treasures. I’m not sure I can survive this kid.  He asked for an electrician to come to the house tomorrow!

He’s a lot of work, that E.  (pics follow) Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

I was planning to do a weekly wrap-up of our previous week, but I can’t remember most of the details of what we did. Read the rest of this entry »

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