Saturday, July 21, 2007

End of the Line

I've tried, but I'm not going to finish it tonight. Despite distractions from other books, I am well and truly hooked on this book, one of my favorites of all time. But it will soon be 3 AM, and I'm the wrong sort of sleepy to make my way through the book's final revelations. These beloved characters, their battles and relationships and secrets and surprises, will all still be there tomorrow, after I've slept.

I'm talking, of course, about Heirs of Mâvarin. I really wanted to finish the edit tonight, and celebrate my completion of one unsold tome before reading the megaselling one, the volume that brought me to Barnes & Noble twice tonight. Ah, well.

My camera was on my desk at home all day and all night, so I have no pictures for you of the line that snaked around the store early this evening, the one I spent an hour following past Thomas Merton books and diet books and prep books for AP Biology. I can understand why it wasn't threaded through the YA fiction or the SF/fantasy, but it was a little annoying that I couldn't quite reach the Meg Cabot paperbacks for adults without getting out of line. Eventually I passed an end cap of books related to Pirates of the Caribbean, and picked up a title I first saw at Disneyland a year or two ago. I love books about the history of Disneyland, the whole Imagineering thing.

That was from just before 7 PM to about 8 PM, this wait in line to procure a purple index card with the number 10 written on it. I then picked up dinner at Barnes & Noble, because at that point I didn't want to take the time required for Chinese take-out at Peking Palace.

At home I watched part of Disney's Peter Pan with John on DVD - a beautiful print and a classic story, but oh, my! The Indian jokes and the attitude toward them is horrendously dated and awful, even allowing for the fact that is's meant to be a child's playtime perspective. After that I watched some Doctor Who, peaked at a few articles on Wikipedia (the Ub Iwerks article needs help, but I'm not the one to do it), and worked on Heirs until almost 12:30 AM.

Then I headed back to B&N. This time I had my Doctor Who book to read, and my purple index card, but I still didn't have the camera with me. So you won't get to see the store staffer dressed as Hagrid, sorting people into lines by their index card colors and numbers. You won't see the college boy dressed like a female Gryffindor, skirt and all, or the table full of In-N-Out wrappers from someone's munchie run on behalf of her family, or the sheer numbers of people, in and out of costume. Eh. I'm sure you can find lots of pictures of similar events around the country if you really try. Heck, you can find my pictures from last time around, if you really want to.

It doesn't matter, though. After the annoyance of the earlier line, waiting for the Purple 10 line was pretty painless. They were lining up the Purple 7s right after I got there. I only read a page or so of the Doctor Who book before I was in line myself. Ten minutes after that, I was in my car, driving home with the book. I would offer advice here about how to handle these Harry Potter release party lines, but such advice has just become magnificently irrelevant now.

I don't expect that the Mâvarin books will ever inspire anything like the Potter brouhaha, but Rowling's experience is nevertheless inspiring to me. She wasn't always the success she is now. She wrote in cafes early on, the same way I wrote chunks of Heirs and Mages in Austin's and Golden Corral. She wrote about an alienated adolescent with magical abilities, and while Harry and Rani are very different characters, still we're mining similar veins. And she had her share of rejections before the books made it into stores.

If she can accomplish all that she has, surely there's hope for me as well. I'm not looking for mega-success, after all, any more than she was looking for that. I just want to get the Mâvarin books finished, sold, published and into stores. They're good enough, really. They deserve a chance.

But first I need to finish editing Chapter 13!


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