"Wanna Get Away?" - Or, The Time I Spilled Water on Brandon Sanderson

"Wanna Get Away?" - Or, The Time I Spilled Water on Brandon Sanderson

My heart can't take any more serious posts right now. In the spirit of laughter being good medicine, let me regale you with a tale of one of my most embarassing moments.

Those of you who know me know that I am a writer and, therefore, a reader. One of my favorite modern fantasy authors is named Brandon Sanderson (who I will hereby christen "Branderson" for the sake of brevity). Well, Branderson was a-comin' to Raleigh town, and I was hell-bent on getting close enough to give him a big old creepy fan-girl hug. He was, after all, one of the authors who inspired me to write my first full-length fantasy novel, and that is certainly hug-worthy.

For this particular book tour, there was this contest. The prize was that you got to be a part of Branderson's team of helpers during his visit to the bookstore. An essay and a few fervent prayers later, I was chosen as one of the team members! Hot dog! Happiest day of my life.

After meeting my delightful team members the evening before the event, I headed to the bookstore the next day, looking as cutely nerdy as I could: hair curled and wearing heeled boots to represent a certain character from the book series (Min, for those of you who are wondering 😂), and sporting my "Memory Keepers" t-shirt that was a nod to the title of the last book of "The Wheel of Time" series.

^Here I am, thinking I'm all cool and stuff.

We started by meeting Branderson. I was feeling so star-struck that I was practically fawning. As we started assisting him, I was desperate to find things to do to be helpful. By and by he was signing pre-ordered books for fans, when the bookstore owner asked, "Can someone get a water bottle for Mr. Sanderson?"

"I will!" I cried, and before anyone else had time to draw breath I had run to the cooler and plucked out a bottle.

I was feeling pretty great at this point. My chest swelled with pride at being able to get this wonderful author the water that he asked for. How useful and neat was I?

Then, in my enthusiasm, a new idea blossomed. Not only will I fetch the water bottle for Brandon, I'll open it for him, too!

So I did that thing I do: I turned the plastic lid far enough to break the seal, then left it just like that as I put it down beside Branderson.

Naturally, when one is signing books, elbows are everywhere. And, a few minutes later, as if in slow motion, I saw my favorite author's elbow bump the bottle. As it toppled against the table, the half-screwed-on lid popped off and water spilled everywhere. All over the pre-ordered, signed books. All over Branderson.

Wanna get away? Yes. Oh, yes, I do.

He was miffed. He was annoyed. He was frustrated. And it was all my fault.

I seriously could've cried, but I didn't let on that I was the one who had perpetrated this crime. Instead, I held it in for almost five years, and now I confess before you, dear reader, for your entertainment. Are you not entertained?

Oh, before I go, another embarassing thing I did on the same day: I sang a nerdy song I had written about "The Wheel of Time" for all the fans standing in line for autographs. That's not the embarrassing part; it was well-received, in fact, Branderson himself was highly amused by it. However, Branderson had not seen which of us females on the helping team had sung it, so he asked the girl beside me if that had been her voice he heard. I quickly piped up that it was me. Now, my husband knows that when I'm high on adrenaline, I get punchy and snarky. So after piping up that it was me, I said, "Did you not think it was me because I'm short? Huh, Brandon?"

Yeah. I accused him of judging people by their height at the same time I called him by his first name. Smooth, Jaimie, smooth.

I should've stuck with the creepy fan-girl hug.