Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Book Friday, and a Recap of James Dashner's Launch Party

Good Morrow yon bloggerland. It's Free Book Friday! Find out how to enter at the bottom. They're just a bunch of questions again.

1. I went to James Dashner's launch party Tuesday night for The Maze Runner.

James spoke to a crowd of young fans. He talked about his own road to publication, and then he read an excerpt from the book.In the excerpt were the following words: bulbous creature, glistening flesh, buggin, instrument-tipped appendages protruded from its body... and undies.

If that doesn't make you want to read the book, I don't know what will. And that was only two pages.

Oh, and he also talked about two influential books from his childhood: Ender's Game and LOTF. (LOTR's lesser known cousin, Lord of the Flies). He also named a character "Newt", inspired by Aliens.

Congratulations, James! Go and be successful.

2. Afterward we went to The Dodo (I know, I'm totally boring and predictable) and that's where I found out Sara no longer tells her husband Ben what we talk about at these things. She just points him to my blog.

So, sorry if you're sick of the list of highlights, but Ben is desperate to know what went down, and Sara's not talkin'.
(Bree Despain, James, Me. I tried to make me skinnier, but then James disappeared, so I reverted to the original.)


*Emily Wing Smith talks about "chafing".

*The entire table can't believe Emily brought up the subject. They take a spontaneous vote as to who would be most likely to bring up the subject of "chafing" at the dinner table. The vote is unanimous, and it's not Emily.

*I demand a recount.

*Bree's husband Brick starts a sentence with the words, "According to the Gossip Girls..." Yes, he is a man.

*West Valley is dubbed "Jersey" to Salt Lake's "New York." I know, I don't understand it either. But apparently it's from the Tao of the Gossip Girls.

*James accuses me of buying too many copies of The Maze Runner. He tells management that if they run out, I should be forced to give up my copies.

*Nobody likes James.

*James admits he doesn't have a catchphrase to go along with his autograph. My suggestion of "Be a-MAZE-ing" is ignored.

*When I give the lady at the door my name Brodi Ashton (for the autograph), she says, "Okay. And would you like one for yourself?" Me: "Yes." Her: "And your name?" Me (thinking I must've gotten it wrong last time): "Umm... Brodi Ashton." Her: "Okay, and did you want one for yourself?" Me (looking around for the hidden camera): "Yes... for Brodi Ashton?" Her: "So you don't want one for yourself?" Yeah, it takes me that long to realize she doesn't get my name is Brodi.

*Douglas Cootey promises to paint his nails and squee in public for an Advanced Copy of Bree Despain's The Dark Divine. She agrees.

*I offer to do a jig for a copy. She declines.

*I tell Emily Wing Smith she has tiny ears. She replies: "You must have me confused with you." Yes, I get us mixed up all the time. We're like twins.

*There is a lengthy discussion of preferred underwear.

*Valynne suggests we bedazzle t-shirts. Sara suggests we stencil t-shirts. Hands down, these suggestions are the least likely to ever occur in the history of suggestions at our dinner table. Emily looks at them as if they are speaking Cantonese.

*I get a little angry when someone swipes the last two lemon bars out from under me.

*James promises he'll buy a bunch of copies of my book.

*Everybody likes James.

*Bree complains she never says anything that makes it to my blog. Can I help it if everything she says is always incredibly, over-the-top appropriate? And that would be so inappropriate for a blog such as this.

*Someone is called out for butting in line.

*Okay, it was me.

3. Check out Matt Kirby's blog for a very cool Carl Sagan video: Cosmos set to music. It's psychedelic. Upon first viewing, you think: "Oh. Sorta cool." But then you find excuses to watch it again, and again, and again, until the phrase "Not a sunrise, but a Universe rise" is running through your head like the ticker-tape on Wall Street, and then you find yourself craving the video, as if it were a Diet Coke on a Monday morning.

So, watch it with caution.

4. To enter this week's FBF (Free Book Friday) answer the following questions.

1. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
2. If you could buy a second home, anywhere in the world, where would you buy it?
3. Do you have a "cause"? If so, what is it?
4. Thing that must go.

To be fair, I'll answer them too.

1. I'd change my last name to Capote. Brodi Capote.
2. London
3. Yes. To get more people to buy books... And... World Peace.
4. the lard in my butt.


  1. 1. I'd change my name to Verity. Or maybe Patience, which would be even more ironic.
    2. Istanbul
    3. More hours need to be inserted into the night between 10 and 11 p.m. so that I can finish the book I'm reading and still get enough sleep.
    4. The dandelions in my lawn. I think we accidentally bought Weed Feed instead of Weed 'N' Feed...

    If I painted my nails and squeed in public (wow, that sounds wrong), would Bree give me an advanced copy along with Douglas? I'll even do a jig as well. Or at least I would if I knew how--do you think she'd consider belly dancing an acceptable jig substitution?

  2. As a child I seriously considered changing my name to Tiffany. I have no idea why.

    Somewhere warm... or maybe Japan.

    Parents actually being involved in their kids' lives/education. I've seen too many parents who want to solve things by throwing money at the problem rather than spending 10-30 minutes a day working with their kids.

    Screaming in the middle of the night must go... never seen my little one so freaked out. It was weird.

    Your recaps crack me up. I'd make my husband read them rather than tell him what happened too.

  3. First, since James influence was Ender's Game...come one! I can't really support The Maze Runner, now can I? Unless you promise me it's super awesome and then I will!

    Second, WHERE is the DODO? I thought the DoDo was extinct (no pun intended). They shut down the one at the Gateway and on 9th East. I must have a BBQ Turkey sandwhich, I MUST!

    Third, here are my answers:

    1) I would change my first name to something like Cameron or Caleen.
    2) A beach somewhere in Europe.
    3) My cause is to understand the point of my life :)
    4) Mental illness.

    Fourth, I am reading the Uglies series...have you ever read them? Not as fabulous as Hunger Games or Outlander but they are a fun read.

    Fifth, fifth, I think I'm done :)

  4. 1. I wouldn't change it now, but when I was a kid I always wanted to be Melissa instead of Alysa. I thought that M was very fancy. But now I'm good.

    2. Utah.

    3. Getting people to read more books. Whether or not they buy them doesn't matter to me.

    4. The refried beans in my baby's hair.

  5. 1. As a child I thought there were too many Sara's. I wanted something unique ... like Kimberly. What? TOTALLY unique.

    Now, I have no idea. Sara's good I think. Or Brodi Capote. I could go for that one too.

    2. Itay, for sure. Why is that even a question?

    3. I remember this question being posed to James, as in Dashner, and he said, "Not World Peace. Get rid of bullies in schools." And I thought, "James might be a genius." (DO NOT TELL HIM THAT. He doesn't need more encouragement.) I think if we got rid of school bullies we might actually yield World Peace.

    Oh wait, the question wasn't about "your one wish", it was about causes! Damn. Foiled again. Just forget all that stuff above -- world peace will never happen, James was never a genius.

    My cause is M.A.D.K. (Mothers Against Dirty Kitchens). Sigh. It's a never ending battle really.

    4. Must go: Mother Guilt. Be gone. What dirty kitchen?

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  7. 1. When I was a kid I really wanted my name to be Elizabeth...or something starting with an L (I really liked the look of cursive "L"s a gazillion times better than cursive "J"s). Now, I like my name. It's nice to know that if someone yells, "Jessica!" in an angry or accusatory way, there's at least 7 other women who could be at fault instead of me.

    2. Brazil...or possibly Italy.

    3. My current cause (which will probably remain my cause for all eternity) is to motivate my husband to put his dirty socks in the hamper. So far, I'm failing miserably...but hey, I still have all eternity!

    4. Flat Diet Coke, people who ask stupid questions, and I second the "screaming in the middle of the night" from earlier.

  8. 1. I don't know what I'd change my name to. When I was younger I always wanted to be Emily. But when me and my friends all picked secret code names one of them had already claimed Emily, so I got to be Lisa. Now I know far too many Emilys so that would never work out. Guess I'm stuck.

    2. Hawaii

    3. My cause...hmmm...convincing my children to all get along with each other.

    4. All of the calories in cheese. It's evil that something so good can be so dang bad.

  9. I love your reasons for everyone hating James and then everyone loving him. I laughed a lot.

    1. I've already changed my name several times and it has gotten me in trouble at work. So, I just go by my given name now.
    2. Japan
    3. Yes, finding an investor for my company. That counts, right?
    4. The recession. It's causing a lot of stress and worry because investors don't want to invest right now.

  10. I'm glad I'm not the only one on whom the Carl Sagan video had that effect.

    I literally walked around singing "A still more glorious dawn awaits..." in my head for days.

  11. Your questions don't even begin to address the issues I had with this post:

    1. You forgot to give me credit for taking the incredibly slimming photo of you, James and Bree.

    2. Chafing is a real problem, especially with underwear.

    3. It's Gossip Girl, not the Gossip Girls. This is not the BSC we're talking about.

    4. You were right the first time: nobody likes James.

    5. "Be aMAZEing" is great. Or "you're aMAZEing. Had I been there at that moment, I would have heartily endoresed the idea.

    6. Nobody cares about my endorsements.

    I think this should qualify me for FBF.

  12. P.S Sorry for the lack of proofreading.

  13. Your headlines/recaps are stinkin' awesome!

    1. When I was little and played house I'd always go by Tiffany. Though I never wanted to change it. I dont want to change it now, but if I HAD to (cause it could be that I either change my name or the world explodes) I'd go with Senorita Sexy Pants. A name given to me by my bestfriend/boy next door in highschool.
    2. I'd say some place close so I would/could actually use it more than once a year. Maine (although I've never been there I imagine its lovely).
    3. Down with cancer. It sucks. Other than that, to get people to read lots of books. To help kids in school (is that a cause if I dont have a formal name?). To help people be good/kind just because. To do a little good all over the place with lots of organizations.
    4. Insomnia

  14. Sorry I've been a little MIA today. It's been a touch stressful as far as fridays go, so if you have spare positive energy, please send it our way.

    I'm reading and responding to comments now.

  15. Your recaps are hilarious, I feel as if I were there not liking James myself (though I've never met him.)

    1. I've always wanted a name that can't be shortened. My mom had a hissy-fit anytime I was called Kim, because 'if I'd wanted you to be called Kim, I would have named you Kim.' *sigh* (Have you ever noticed that Kimberly's are always the bimbo?) So short and sweet, like Lori or Kate.

    2. On Lake Sammamish in Issaquah, Washington.(That's where I'm from and I love it up there.)

    3. Helping children learn to speak without whining.

    4. Cancer. And child abuse. And bad people. And the junk in my trunk.

  16. Jenilyn- love your #3. I'll check with Bree about the belly dancing jig... belly jig.

    Britt- I throw money at my kids all the time. You're right- it does nothing. Except make a mess in my house. (I throw coins.)

    Cam- I promise it's more Hunger Games than Enders Game. (Although I think you must have been sitting on a burr when you read Enders Game, and that's why you didn't like it...)

    Second, the Dodo is in Sugarhouse now, about 1400 east and 2100 south, just across the street north of Sugarhouse park.

    I haven't read the Uglies, but I understand it's mandatory reading for YA books.

  17. Sending positive energy your way, Brodi! Sorry today's so stressful! Is there anything I can do?

  18. Alysa- refried beans in baby's hair sounds like the worst. And I've been saying your name "Al-ee-sa". Is it more like "Al-ih-sa"? Both cool.

    Sara- lol- kimberly more unique! And getting rid of bullies is considered a cause. I just wish I'd have thought of it. James is bloody brilliant. At least about this one.

    Ruth- For some reason I first read "SIDS" as "SIMS". Like the game. I'm glad I reread it, and I agree. SIDS must go.

    Jessica- I used to obsess over the upper case cursive L too! So funny. Ditto to number 4.

  19. Thanks, Jenni. As with most things, we just have to wait. And patience is not my virtue.

  20. Karin- just reading about your number four made me want to go to the store and buy some specialty cheese. Mmmmm... Emmentaler.

    Jenni- what names have you changed to before? I agree the Economy blows.

    Matt- me too! So annoying. (At least, it gets annoying after a while.) I showed it to my family today too, and I was like, "Watch yourself. You're gonna get hooked."


    Agree with #2, sorry about #3, lol'd at #4, thanks for #5

    Phew. I care about your endorsements, btw. Loved your blog post today.

  21. Well, when I first started working at my job almost 1o years ago, I went by Jenni. Then, I changed to Jennifer. Then, I changed to Jenni again. Then, I changed to Elyse. And finally, I'm back to Jenni for everyone except my husband (he calls me Jennifer), my dad (he calls me Elyse), and my friend James (he calls me Jenni Elyse).

    So, no official name changes other than my last name. But, my co-workers now call me Jennelysifer or Jennilucifer because of all the changes.

  22. Debbie- I always wanted to be a Tiffany, or a Brittany, or a Heather, but Seniority Sexy Pants beats all three. And a giant "So Say We All" to number 3.

    Kim (I mean Kimberly, of course)- That's funny about your mom. Does anyone call you Kim now, or does everyone say Kimberly? I have a friend, Elizabeth, and I could never imagine calling her Liz. She is Elizabeth. Another huge ditto to #4.

    Jennelysifer- almost like Renesmee.

  23. Here's hoping today's my lucky FBF day!
    1. A year ago I probably would've said Ruth. But now that my daughter is named that, I'll have to think of another.
    2. Anaheim California - aka, Disneyland.
    3. I'm with Debbie. Down with cancer.
    4. My inability to get to bed on time. Grrr.

  24. 1. Darcy, because all the chicks seem to dig him.
    2. Can I buy a first home first? Because living in boxes is crimping my style. But if I had to buy a second home, then I'd buy it on the Isle of Mann
    3. Is being a curmudgeon a cause? I do that really well…
    4. My belly

    (Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope the Free Book Friday thing works for me as well. If it doesn't, I may have to move to Free Money Friday and pass out twenties to lure people to my site)

  25. 1. I'd change my last name back to my maiden name, cuz I was tricked into changing it to my married name in the first place. It's a long story involving a free trip to New Zealand. Diabolical.

    2. New Zealand. It's totally worth getting tricked into to changing your last name for.

    3. I don't remember question #3

    4.The fact that spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "Zealand" nor the word "spellcheck."

  26. Heidi- I hope it's your lucky week too. Up with #2, Down with #3. I'll put in a good word with Smokey the Hairless Cat.

    Doug- Curmudgeons of the world unite. That is, if we could get off our arses...and stop fighting about the where and the when.

    Bree- I love that story. You should tell that story. But I bet you won't, considering you didn't even bother to re-read what number three was. :)

  27. Great recap of a fun night I didn't get to go to! Oh, well.

    1.When we played "house" as kids, I always wanted to be a Kelly. I have no idea why.
    2. Oregon Coast, but I really like your answer of London too.
    3. Read More Books!
    4.The problem with food needs to go, as in I want to have no more food stress ever!

  28. 1. I would change my last name to Van Valkenburg, because I would then be eligible for a scholarship.

    2. Wyoming

    3. My cause is to get everyone to try real camping (i.e. no running water) at least once.

    4. passive aggressiveness

  29. 1. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? - Paradox... yes, legally. It could be shortened to Ara.
    2. If you could buy a second home, anywhere in the world, where would you buy it? - New Mexico
    3. Do you have a "cause"? If so, what is it? - Anti-racism, feminism, individuality, general equality, etc.
    4. Thing that must go. - Racism and all discrimination, lack of sleep...

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

  30. Oops! Obviously I should have hung out longer at the book event! Is dinner always on the menu after launch signings? I need to budget more time on said nights then. Is Bree's the next one?

    1. I'd go by Jacquelyn, my first name, to avoid half the confusion of my life and to look more sophiscated (maybe I'll use it as my pen name)
    2. No way I could choose just one place
    4. The messes around my house that I haven't had time to get to in weeks (scratch that: months)

  31. 1. I actually HATED my name growing up, but I like it a lot more now. When I was young I wanted to be Samantha so I could go by Sam. Or Maxine so I could go by Max. I think I had a thing for going by a boy name.

    2. I loved living in China- but do I want to have to pay $1,000 for every time I want to go visit my house? Yeah, not so much. So, somewhere on the east coast. I miss it.

    3. That's such a good question. I really feel strongly about young girls self esteem. Making sure girls don't get into detrimental relationships- friendships & boyfriendships.

    That & the social pressure to potty train children. Can't they just stay in diapers until they can wipe their own bums? I'm just saying.

    4. Children pulling off their own poopy diapers, sinks full of dishes, & Spiderman t-shirts that cause two-year-old temper tantrums (all of which I'm elbow deep in tonight!)

  32. Suey- I so agree with #4. If I ever make a buttload of money, I want to hire a chef, to cook me and my kids healthy food every day... Ah, dreams.

    Becky- A scholarship is a great reason to change your name. And number 3? A noble goal indeed. I'd pay money if you could get my husband to try it.

    Ara- good causes, good things that must go. I've never been to New Mexico, which is a shame because it's not that far away from Utah.

    Nikki- You and me both on 3. The more people love fiction, the better chance we have of getting published.

    Olivia- So funny you mention potty training. Just this week, Kid B started to take off his own poopy diapers AND wipe. Something is very wrong with this picture.

    One more step, and I can teach him how to change his own diapers completely... mwah hah hah.

  33. Do people call me Kim or Kimberly? I can tell when someone really knows me or pays attention because they will call me by my full name. It doesn't bother me to be called Kim, I'm used to it. There are three Kimberly's in my ward now, but I'm the only one to pull out the long-version.
    All of my kids purposefully have names that cannot be shortened!

  34. 1. I've been fond of the name Persephone recently. Not that I am that I consider myself anything like the goddess of fertility or the queen of the underworld. It's just pretty. :)
    2. I would like to have a second home in Portland. My husband and I traveled up there once and there was so much hiking and beautiful scenery! Plus, I always hear about YA authors from Portland. :)
    3. Well, I just gave some money to St. Joseph's Institute for the Deaf. A friend of mine is a speech pathologist there. Basically, the kids have cochlear implants and they have regular lessons along with lessons designed to help them speak clearly. It's pretty amazing.
    4. I'm with Jenilyn. My lawn needs help. All weeds must go.

  35. 1. When I was a kid, I used to practically worship my best friend, whose name was Michelle Elaine. We named all our barbies that. I always wanted to be called Michelle Elaine.
    2. Hawaii or somewhere warm. Then again, I'm still in apartments, so I need a first home still.
    3. My cause? Get people to read more. Get kids excited about reading. And watch less TV.
    4. The clutter in my apartment. Guess there aren't any elves or brownies or something I could hire to take care of it.

  36. Kimberly- people always ask me if my name is short for something. I always say it's short for 'Brodina', even though it's not short for anything.

    Also, did you email me with your book choice?

    Cari- Persephone is my favorite myth. I always loved that name.

    Melissa- That's why I wanted to be a 'Heather'. Heather was a cool girl I knew. Ditto on 2,3, and 4.

  37. 1. In 4th Grade I thought the name Eden was too unusual, so I wanted to be called Daisy. I'll stick with Daisy for my name change.

    2. I love Jerusalem, but the South of France might be nice.

    3. I think everyone should be nice!

    4. Pundits--I could do without pundits!

  38. 1. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?


    2. If you could buy a second home, anywhere in the world, where would you buy it?


    3. Do you have a "cause"? If so, what is it?

    More Stravinsky, less Hannah Montana

    4. Thing that must go.

    Baby Talk.

  39. Eden- I'll call you Daisy, if you want.

    Leena- I always say, "A day without Stravinsky is like a day without..." oh nevermind. I've never said that.

    But I'll start!

  40. 1. When I was little, I wanted to change my name to Chrystal for some reason. Not so sure about it now...

    2. The Mediterranean, probably Greece.

    3. I definitely believe North America should adopt this whole "siesta" idea.

    4. People who can't seem to keep a consistent speed while driving.

  41. I love it, Brodina. Should I call you that now?

    I emailed you on Monday, did you not get it?

  42. lulabell- #3. Yes! Yes! Siesta!

    Kimberly- Now I'm a little confused. I announced the winners last wednesday, and you said you emailed me Monday. Was there a monday in there I missed? Either way, email me again and let me know your choice.


  43. Thank you Brodi. I am honored and grateful to know that you post your recap of weekly shenanigans just for me.