Ah, Saturday...the first day the public can come in and check out how the 10,000 square foot ballroom at the Raleigh North Hilton has been dramatically turned into the land of misfit adult toys.
I walk through the hallway past the registration desk, holding up my badge made of LEGO bricks engraved with my name to show I should be allowed into the convention. And at 9 a.m., there are already several hundred walking through the LEGO creations and purchasing customized Star Wars minifigs and battle armor.
This is the group that has been given early access to the show and all of my display is still inside the Tupperware container I'm carrying. But five minutes later, the books are on the table and I've made my first sale.
"I recognize you from the Web site," says the woman.
"Well, I must be famous, if I'm on the Internet," I explain.
My six-foot-table is the only one in the entire convention without LEGO bricks; however, it my defense it does have an entire book devoted to building with them.
The next seven hours are spent talking about LEGO bricks and why I wrote the book. It could not be a better way to spend the first stop on my book tour. My dad flew down from New York City to literally spend those seven hours alongside me in North Carolina, selling the book and soaking in the convention. You should all have such fathers and I couldn't ask for a better example in my own life.
Over time, I learn about sons and daughters and fathers that are crazy about LEGO bricks, houses that are being overrun by collections, and just how many people have stepped on the stud-end of a brick.
I think I know how an ice cream vendor feels on his first day -- mine was a table doling out happiness with books that still had that new book smell.