Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Shout Out to Butterfield Canyon Elementary

I had such an amazingly wonderful experience yesterday, I just have to share.

Butterfield Canyon Elementary in Herriman, Utah was kind enough to invite me and Anne Bowen, a picture book author, to speak at their school. Angie Wager from Barnes and Noble (mentioned previously in my drawn out back story) was the force behind it. Ya know, I've done a lot of school visits, but I never, never get tired of it.

In the afternoon, I spoke to the 5th and 6th graders together, then the 3rd and 4th graders together. In the evening, as part of their "Literacy Night", we had a booksigning. This is what blew me away, especially considering my recent post on Obert Skye and his Line of Infinity. I met kid after kid, and their parents, for over 2 hours, signing far more books than I've ever sold at a signing.

But I just have to rave about these kids, and their awesome teachers, and their awesome Literacy Facilitator, Laurie Larsen, and their super duper califrigilistic Principal, Shelly Davis. I was just so impressed and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Thanks to everyone at the school, and to Angie, for an unforgettable day. And a huge Shout Out to all the kids I was so fortunate to meet. Especially to the ones I had so much fun embarrassing in front of their classmates.

Ya know, I am so thankful I get to write for the young folks. I feel so sorry for people who write for boring old adults. Bleh. There is just something magical about seeing that sparkle in a kid's eyes as they step up to meet you, holding a book in their small hands, staring at you like a hero. Good gravy davy in the navy that sounds cheesy but I don't know how else to say it.

To know that you've somehow inspired a kid to read, or to write a story, or to follow their own dreams - there's nothing like it in the world. Nothing! I can't imagine anything being more fulfilling, more rewarding. I'm the luckiest schmoe who was ever born.

And I can't wait to do this for the rest of my life.

Butterfield Canyon Elementary, you ROCK!!!!!!!!


Luisa Perkins said...

Dude, you ARE a hero. The latest from the Perkins Corral follows.

Hope, our 8-year-old, was fourth in line to read A Door in the Woods. She finally wrested it from her brother's hands yesterday. She read a few pages, started laughing, and proceeded to walk around the house reading paragraphs out loud to anyone who would listen. (I have NO IDEA where she gets that. ;))

She's now decided that October's book report will not be on Deltora Quest #5,447, but on dear Jimmy and the first installment of his adventures instead. Thank you for rescuing her!

James Dashner said...

Now that's the best news I've heard all day. I got moved above Deltora on the ole Perkins totem pole. Sweet!

Tell Hope that I'm honored and I hope to meet her someday. She's the Dude's Cool Person of the Day.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher at Butterfield Elementary and I loved reading your positive comments about our school. We definetly believe that we live in an exceptional community and get to teach amazing students each day. We appreciate the time you took to come visit our school. We are glad you had such a great experience.

Avery Gray said...

How wonderful to get to do something you love, AND make a living at it! I hope to be like you someday!!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey Dashner,

I've got a blog award for you. Come get it!

The Whitney's said...

I wasn't much of a reader until this last year. I think I've read maybe 30 books this year alone... Compared to my *maybe* 1 book a year for the last 5 years, 30 is an exceptional number. And you wanna know who kicked it off? Jimmy. Yup. I am telling you the 100% truth. I bought the first book, read it, and went back the next day to get numbers 2-4. And after I was done with the series, proceeded to get one book after the other. I'm onto Brandon Mull's The Candy Shop War at the moment. Who knows what my next adventure will be.

Thank you for opening my reading scope ;) Please tell me you have another book coming out soon! I might be finished reading through the library the way I'm going.

Anonymous said...

Very cool Jamestown! It'll be great in uh...however long it'll be before my kid's in school...when you can come visit and he can brag about his famous uncle. ;)

Popped the new award on there for ya ;)

James Dashner said...

Dear Anonymous: thanks for the kind words. I'm assuming you're one of the teachers I met. So it was nice to meet you! I really had a fun time, and you do have excellent students.

Dear "The Whitneys": Wow, I can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you very, very much. You made my day.

And there IS a new one coming out. In fact, I know I keep saying this, but the cover is going to be revealed very, very soon on this site.

Thanks again, and keep in touch!


James Dashner said...

Wow, Tristi, I'm so . . . honored. Is there anyone with a blog who HASN'T won that award?

Avery, be careful what you wish for . . .

Sarah, looks like they used your picture of me on a little booklet they're printing with the 1st 2 chapters in it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I saw your blog, and i think the dashner dude sounds kind of odd, no offense. Anyways, I just want to comment on your work. I hope you don't hate me for this. Your novels give hope to new novelists like myself and you give messages kids with Brandon Mull and Obert Skye to read. I've read your first Jimmy Fincher novel, though it may be inspiring, I found it kind of...I'm not sure how to put it, irrelevant. Let me explain: Jimmy wheres a hat, and in the first chapter you explain about that so much it gets unrealistic if kids in Georgia would wear hats like that. Would they? I'm not sure. I hope it doesn't sound to crude, but it seems like it's saying: Oh yeah, I'm climing the tree, it feels great, Climbing the tree and it's awesome, oh yeah, I'm at forty feet, this is scary, this is phone, ole betsy is a cool tree name, i'm insane, oh yeah, climbing a tree. Oh, look, a man is dragging that woman through the trees! I think he's going to kill her!" Sorry, but it seems like that. I'm sure you've grown like an author, but I HAD to say that, sorry. Write on!

James Dashner said...

Dear Anonymous #2,

Hey, no worries, I totally appreciate criticism. Honestly, I do. In fact, if you go back and read my backstory in earlier posts, you'll see that I fully admitted that my writing was very amateurish in A DOOR IN THE WOODS. I sincerly hope I've gotten much better.

I'm not sure what some of your points were, but I think I got the gist: that the writing was choppy. Part of that was purposeful because my goal was to show Jimmy grew up quickly as more and more terrible things happened to him.

Anyway, I can take criticism, so thanks for your input. And I wish you the very best in your writing endeavors.


James Dashner said...

One more thing. Please note on the side of my blog WHY it's called The Dashner Dude. It's not just some dumb name I picked off a tree. It has a long history.

Though I admit it sounds a little silly until you know that. :-)

Julie Wright said...

cool school visit dashner . . . I bet the kids loved you!

Heather Moore said...

All writers get better as they go along. But the writing techniques James uses in his books is very common in YA fiction. My 12 year old son brings home books from English Class, and I'm surprised and both pleased with the choppy sentences and quirky internal dialogue. Paragraphs that start with an introductory sentence and end with a conclusion are quickly fading.

Unknown said...

Congratulations, James! I'm glad things are going so well for you in the promotion of the books you have worked so hard to write. You're one of our favorites when reading to my nieces and nephews.

Anonymous said...

I told the story of Grandpa Dude to a girl at work today. She kept giggling every time I said the word "Dude" lol!

Tamra Norton said...

James--you're a favorite around our house. We love your books and love the voice of Jimmy Fincher! Can't wait to get sucked into your new series.

Congrats on the school visit, you rock star!

Slackjaw said...

Hey Anonymous #2--
You must be piece of #2 to write that on somebody's blog! Who the heck do you think you are to rip on anybody's writing when you are obviously less than what you claim to be as a "new novelist". Good luck writing a novel with that spelling and grammar. Most of your posting didn't even make sense. Do you even know what "irrelevant" means?

What possible motive would you have for criticizing James's writing in his first book. You can't think that this was useful information to help him improve his book that was published years ago! Obviously, your only motive was to tell him that he isn't a good writer, or wasn't when he wrote the first book. If you read the rest of the blog, you'd know that James openly admits his writing has greatly improved since that book, but that's not the point anyway.

You said that you "HAD to say" what you said, but you didn't! Why would you HAVE to say that to someone on his blog where everyone else seems to not only appreciate his writing but be inspired by it.

If you're going to log on to someone's blog and tear him down, at least have the guts to leave your name-- don't just be anonymous!

I got your back, Jamestown-- way to take the high road and give a politically correct response to this anonymous loser.


James Dashner said...

Thanks for all the nice comments!

Slackjaw, you're the Man. But for your sake, I hope Anonymous #2 isn't a serial killer.

Unknown said...

Go Slackjaw!

Kelly M said...

Slackjaw- you have me laughing out loud. . . and I totally agree with everything you said (and with Jamestown's comment on that I hope anon #2 isn't a serial killer!) Great example of true friendship.

Jamestown (sorry, I have a hard time calling you "James")- I love the blog! And I'm totally shamelessly promoting your books down here (passing them around my Beehives) and looking forward to the new series!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Okay, I'm just about getting teary imagining that experience as you describe it.

I hope to write a book some day. I don't know what about or for who. But I think my decision has been swayed in the direction of a younger crowd.