So just recently, the final book in Jean Auel's Earth's Children series was released. I was stoked when I saw that there would be a book signing at Powell's in downtown Portland. Never having been to a signing, or even to Powell's, I asked a book buddy of mine how they went. He said to get there very early and try to sit at the front, because they would do the signing in order of seating... Front row, second row, third, and so on. So, I got there super early (like 2 hrs early) because I figured it would be packed. It is Jean Auel after all. I had already preordered a signed copy of her new book for my mom, but wanted to get Clan of the Cave Bear signed for her birthday as well.
So, get there super early, and there was a bunch of folks ahead of me, but only 30 or so. Powell's hadn't set up chairs yet, so folks were ranged on benches and the floor, waiting. They finally got the chairs out and I snagged a second row seat. Sweet! Eventually, all chairs were filled and people were packed in at the back, standing. I think there was around 300 before Mrs Auel started speaking. She didn't do a reading, instead talking about the research that went into the books, and how she got started writing Clan of the Cave Bear. She was very amusing, and her journey towards the final book was fascinating.
After she'd said her bit, she answered questions, and it was time for signing. Did the stupid Powell's employees get up and make an announcement about proceeding? Nope. They just said it was time for signing. It was a free for all. I got pinned between a chick that was trying to put together her phone (which she had just dropped) and a huge hippie that reeked of BO and patchouli and was munching on a granola bar with her mouth open. So not joking. Needless to say, after all my careful planning, I ended up at the end of the line. No kidding, like 5 people from the end. I waited in line for nearly 2 hours (and the stinky dreadlocked hippie was next to me... I was tempted to tell her that you CAN wash dreads. It won't hurt them. Yuck.) Didn't get home until nearly 11pm.
Anyhoo, I did manage to have Jean sign the book wishing my mom a happy birthday. Can't wait to surprise her with it. The ordeal was totally worth it for that, though I doubt I'll ever go to another book signing at Powell's. Not if they're all that poorly organized.
On a happier note, one of my vendors brought me some homemade strawberry jam this morning. Yum! My vendors are the coolest!