It's been awhile that I have been up at this hour of the early morning that didn't involve insomnia, or excessive drinking. But this morning, I am filled with excitement and elation to the surprise I came home to find on my desk.
As I mentioned before, the new part-time job I have is late evenings, doing security (bouncer, ID checks, etc) at my favorite pub. Thus, my hours are Friday & Saturday nights, from about 8pm-close+. I say the plus, as at the door lock, I help finish up whatever needs done. the past couple nights, it was 3'ish before we were able to leave. Add to it dropping off my friend as well, I wasn't seeing home to 3:30 or later. This morning it was about 4am when I made it home. All without an alcoholic drink. In fact, it has been since Wednesday since I had a drink ... but that is another story.
The Daughter has come home for the weekend, it being Memorial Day. She and her boyfriend decided last minute to attend the Phoenix ComiCon today, with some of his friends. I had brought up a couple weeks ago, I just financially could not afford to go, and was disappointed as there were several authors I wanted to meet, as well as for me to purchase, then have signed, a limited edition book special for this event, called Unfettered. Unfettered is an anthology of 21 fantasy fiction short stories from well-known authors in that genre. This limited edition is a short, 5-story, is an advance uncorrected proof, that the five authors were going to be at this event. Only 250 copies available. At what cost? I had no idea. I was disappointed I would not be able to attend to get the book, get it signed by all five, and meet the authors - possibly even get a quick picture with each.
Saturday morning, around 8am I think it was, I was brought to wakefulness by something, I know not what. I had only about four hours of sleep, and if you know me, you would know I require at least six to be human, and eight to be at least semi-non-grouchy. But the Daughter was awake, waiting on the boyfriend to pick her up to head downtown. My remembrance of the short conversation went something along the lines of:
1. Have fun today.
2. Oh, hey, here is $40. If you have the chance, could you see if any of the limited 250 copies of Unfettered are available, and if this is enough, get one for me? Would love to have it signed by any of the authors that will for no cost, and here is the list of the five (writes down 5 authors - only 4 were right, and the 5th I had scratched out was right, before I changed it).
3. Oh, hey, I have this book (Peter Orullian's The Unremembered) in hardback - he's one of the 5 authors, maybe he could sign this at least, in case you aren't able to get me Unfettered.
I don't remember much more than that. I did admit I was non-functional at that point basically. I remember giving her the $40, and the book (which we removed the cover sleeve, so it wouldn't get ruined). Then I somehow made it back to my bed.
Either way, around 8pm I texted her to see if they were still there, which she replied they had already been home, but she had a surprise for me when I got home from work. I replied it would be after 3am, but she was going to try to stay awake for my reaction when I got home. I walk in once I got home, to find two books on my desk.
On top was The Unremembered, with it's cover sleeve back on. I quickly opened the cover, the sleeve was marking a couple pages in from the front. On the title page Peter Orullian had signed with a personal message. Addressed to ME! I am excited now! My heart is starting to pick up pace. I set that book aside, to find a copy of Unfettered. I made a noise. I don't know what kind of noise it would be described as, but it came from my throat, and made me think of an excited screech that was attempted to have the decibels lowered DRASTICALLY in the split second it was made. My heart has just hit cardio speed level.
I frantically opened the cover, after spending just a quick moment overlooking the cover art (done by Todd Lockwood - who does Terry Brooks' Shannara covers) to the title page. Three autographs and messages were there done by Shawn Speakman (editor and contributor to the anthology, plus author of The Dark Thorn), Kevin Hearne (author of the Iron Druid series), and Peter Orullian (of aforementioned The Unremembered). WOW! Another smothered screech from me. I am sure I am acting like an over-excited school kid, but hey, this is exciting for me. I flip a couple more pages, hoping that I would find maybe on another page the other two authors signatures (Terry Brooks, and Brandon Sanderson) but I see them not. Instead I do find the Contents page, where each story is listed with a line below each for each signature, but only the three authors had signed it. I feel a bit deflated that the Daughter was not able to get all five signatures, considering all five authors were there this weekend. But then I think, oh my! She was able to get THREE of them, at a ComiCon that is packed with thousands of people, not counting the time spent in line for each signature (remember, one author signed TWO books for me), PLUS she was able to get the actual book I wanted, too!! I am back to squealing with glee!!!
I sort of flip through some of the book, and notice that at the start of each story there is a page with the author's name, and the three that signed it had also signed their respective page. So in one book, each of the three authors took the time to sign in TWO separate spots, plus a message & signature all on one page - THREE EACH!! I'm nearly ready to wet my pants at this point!!! Each title page had a book mark: $1 for Shawn Speakman, $1 for Peter Orullian, and a bookmark for Kevin Hearne. But this bookmark, is a limited one Hearne had said was only being handed out at his appearances, so it is sort of special as well. Plus, he signed the bookmark! That brings his total signatures up to FOUR!! Oh, and I found the receipt and the $10 left from change in the front of the book. And some small change sitting on my desk next to the books. The book was only like $27 and some change, so the Daughter had even given me back all my leftover change from the $40 I had given her. At this point, I don't care if she would have spent it all!!!
I am so happy I am damn near tears this morning. Okay. Fuck it. I really am crying.
Sometimes, our children turn out so damn good. Thanks Beth, for a wonderful, early Father's Day gift.
Edit: it's hard to proof-read/edit when you have tears in your eyes.