Okay, this is the part where I realize I have only very few and very crummy pictures! I can't help but tsk at myself a little bit. Anyway... here is the author panel all set up (and my camera at it's max zoom -- I was NOT near the front)
Here is the book baby at Project Book Babe! hehe. Unfortunately I put this onesie through the dryer the next day -- idiot! *slaps forehead*
And here is all of us standing in line. Or I thought it was. It's actually missing my mom and Amey. Amey is taking the picture, and my mom is sitting on a wall trying to not get sick (it didn't work, but it helped stave off the illness until the next day).
So here is actually L to R: Pel (of Twilight Lexicon fame. Couldn't resist saying that. Yeah. We're like best friends. We've totally, like, talked a couple times.) and Be My Escape, then me holding Benjamin (who is blocking my awesome Everead shirt! which I thought I got a picture of but obviously didn't) and next is Dano and Luisa and Holly is up front.
Okay now back to the event report.
Author Panel: Was SO Funny. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't take questions from the audience, but rather had questions pre-done. Admittedly it probably saved time and I'm sure it saved quite a bit of hassle. But it also meant that they didn't bring up the house lights. You see, I was waving funny signs about at appropriate times (signs that said authors names with exclamation points, or SASSY! or LOVE IT) but I don't think anybody saw them. Also, by this point Benjamin had woken up. I think someone said something particularly funny and the audience exploded, startling the kid.
While I tried to put Benjamin back to sleep, the authors told great stories; I especially liked James Owen's story about how he retold and illustrated goldilocks and red riding hood when he was 5 and went around the neighborhood selling copies. The best part is that he was outbid for one of them recently on ebay!
I was so sad a few times that I couldn't yell or cheer (especially when Laini was talking about writers and processes, I so wanted to yell "Not for Robots!" or something) because I was holding a snoozing baby. The sacrifices we mothers make. . .
Raffle: There were SO many tickets! You know those big tubs that you can use for storage? The clear ones? We're talking 3/4 of the way full with little tiny carnival tickets. Like at least 6 cubic feet of raffle tickets.
I didn't win anything in the raffle, but Amey did. So, that was almost as good. :)
Auction: Holy cow! You would not believe how much stuff went for! Given, they were really only selling very rare Stephenie Meyer items at the auction in person (the online auction is stil going) Nothing, as far as I can remember, went for less than $1,000. J.S. Lewis seemed to be the natural auctioneer of the bunch. He was quite funny and good at getting bids. "Whoever is on the phone is gonna say yes!" and "okay I've got 31! [$3,100] Who is gonna give me 32? That's Magic Johnson's number -- who's gonna go to Magic? Got Magic, who is gonna take it to Shaq?"
Dinner with Stephenie and another guest of your choice just kept getting more and more expensive. Two bidders kept going well past $5,000. By the time they pushed it to $5,500 my mother started yelling "Two lunches!" Because, you know, if Stephenie could do two of them, that's a heck of a lot more money for cancer. While Shannon conferred with Stephenie, the bidding got up to $6,500. Then they announced that if both bidders (who weren't showing many signs of tiring) would go for $6,500 then they would do two lunches. So, yeah. Just one question: how would it feel to be Stephenie and know that you'vev got to impress someone who just gave $6,500 to cancer in order to have lunch with you?
Closing story: To finish off the event, the authors decided to tell a story. They would each contribute one sentence to the tale. Here is a video of the craziness that ensued. What you will not see in the video is that in the middle of the story the ushers started emptying the auditorium. What?! I know. The ushers were very nice and just doing their jobs, but I felt a bit gypped to have to leave before the event was over just because I was near the back of the auditorium. I resisted for as long as I could with the "holding a sleeping baby" excuse, but then someone jostled me and he wasn't sleeping anymore.
On our way out we picked up our super cool prizes -- in my case a signed book by Janette Rallison, and CDs of the artists who played at the event.
From there it was dinner and driving and talking on the phone to friends who had been able to get tickets to the private reception afterwards! All in all, it was a fabulous success and awesome experience. I've heard rumors of it becoming an annual event -- here's hoping!
Okay, did I cover everything? Anything else you want to know?