Monday, March 10, 2008

Change the World Tour: Day 9

I'm losing my voice. Seriously. I know this will shock those who know me, but I've never spoken so many words within the space of one week in my life. Especially in a louder-than-normal voice because I'm in front of hundreds of excited kids. My throat hurts and my voice is weak. And I'm loving every minute of it.

Today I went to Terramar, Paseo Hills, Village Meadows, and West Wing elementary schools in the Deer Valley school district. A big thanks to the awesome librarians who hosted me: Cheryl Atwell, Gail Salameh, Judy Camarena, and Lynn Dee Witteven. I felt very welcome today, and really enjoyed the students. I know I always say that, but I mean it. Once I despise the kids I visit, I'll let you know.

I have to give a HUGE Dashner Dude shout out to Virgil Cain, the Community Relations Manager at the Happy Valley Barnes and Noble. (By the way, sorry for any confusion. We ARE doing a signing at this store both nights. So I will be there again on Tuesday at 6:30.)

Anyway, back to Virgil. I'm pretty sure this is the coolest man this side of Mars. He actually went to the schools with me to show his support, and everyone at the schools knew him, which showed how involved he is. His concern for kids and their need to read was very obvious. And he treated me like a superstar, which really made my day easier. Virgil, you are THE MAN. Thank you, and I look forward to hanging with you again tomorrow.

I ate all by my lonesome at The Olive Garden tonight. I know, you feel sorry for me. For those of you keeping score at home, I had the Chicken Parmesan, and I asked them to put extra dressing and those funky light-green peppers in the salad. I ate an egregious amount of food.

The signing went great. I'm glad Virgil decided to split it into two signings so I could spend a little more time with each kid. It was extra fun tonight. I also enjoyed immensely getting to know Kirsten from Barnes and Noble, who assisted me at the table and acted as my "bodyguard." The only problem was that she was funnier than me, which made me look bad. But I forgive her because she played Tigger at Disney World so how bad can she be? Oh, sorry, she was "Tigger's friend" at Disney World. Kirsten, you're psychotic, which is the highest compliment I can give you.

The night ended with a chance encounter with one last youngster on the way out of the store, Maddie. She and her family just happened to be going in at that moment, and she had no idea who I was. But Maddie seemed genuinely ecstatic that we met, they bought a book, and it reminded me of how individually awesome each reader can be - and I hope it was fate that made us bump into each other. (Tomorrow I will read this and groan at how cheesy it sounds. Who cares.)

My next assembly starts in 12 hours. Wow. That means I can actually sleep for eight hours tonight. Maybe I should go see a movie. Nah. By the way, we never saw 10,000 BC last weekend. Has anyone seen that yet? Is it good? Please tell me it's good.

Well, now I know why so many people love Arizona. It was 80 degrees today and felt like Heaven. My bed's gonna feel like that, too. Good night!


Scoops Mangum said...

Sorry James,

10,000 B.C. has a 7% freshness rating on rotten tomatoes.

That's really bad reviews from across the board. It may be fun to see it at an MST3K party.

Glad things are going so well!


Irish said...

Glad that things are going well. Hopefully you remember to set your alarm now that your mom is no longer around to make sure you wake up in time. ;-)

The Anderson's said...

James, I have been following along with your tour, sounds like things are going really great for you and the book!
A friend of mine saw your book at Costco last weekend and bought it.
When are you going to do presentations at schools in Utah? It would be fun to come and see you.

LaFemmeSimple said...

I was thinking about you all night bro ;)

Paul and Mom both have scratchy, yucky throats. Hope you're not getting sick!

James Dashner said...

Ooh, if it's that low on rotten tomatoes, it has to BAD. Dang. I still might see it for the special effects and imagery.

Blake, I'll be in Ogden schools on Friday. That's purty close to you.

I better not be sick! Actually, I don't think I am. Just voicebox challenged.

Irish, believe it or not, I woke up without my mommy. Miracle.

Anonymous said...

I'm famous by association! And you know you loved hanging out with me.

Kid in line: Hi!
James: Hey, how are you?
*talk talk talk*
James: What's your name? ...Did I ask you that already?
Kirsten: It wouldn't matter if you had.
James: *evil look*

HA. I'm awesome. Score ten for Kirsten. =)

And the pictures we took are here. Enjoy!! =)

Angie G said...

Totally saw 10,000 B.C. last weekend. I fully expected it to be completely stupid, so I actually thought it was okay. Not fabulous, but not terrible. I've definatly seen worse.
You know.. in case you wondered what I was doing with myself when you weren't around.

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