The following is my experience while visiting S. D. Smith's Green Ember LIVE. I am putting as much detail as I can remember into this post, not to brag or anything, but simply because I want to always remember as much as I can about it. :)
We arrived at the church about 45 minutes early and walked in; there weren't many other cars in the parking lot, but the sanctuary was already about 1/6th full. Luckily, there were some good middle seats left, and we took those. While we waited for the show to start, we looked around. Music from Melodies for The Mended Wood: Volume One was playing via the speakers, the lighting was low, and it was all very serene. More and more people kept arriving until the sanctuary was nearly full, save for the back few rows of seats.
Finally, 2:00 pm finally arrived, and Josiah Smith walked out on stage, right on schedule. He gave a brief introduction and thanked us all for coming, then introduced S. D. Smith as he joined Josiah on stage. Without saying anything else, the brothers launched right into singing "The Mended Wood" while the lyrics played on the overhead screen.
After that, S. D. Smith welcomed us all to the show and assured us that the atmosphere was supposed to be relaxed, and that we should feel free to sing along, leave, or even walk around if we so desired. Then, he and Josiah breezed through four more songs, including "Home, Again" (can't remember which book that one's from), "Picket Packslayer" (my favorite -- it was very bouncy!), the one that Lord Booker sings in Ember Rising, and closed with "The Mended Wood" again. The songs were all so sweet and beautiful, and the Smith brothers are surprisingly good singers! xD I wish I could somehow play my memory of the songs for you guys just so you could hear the tunes.
Then S. D. Smith read a poem (the one about stealing an apple pie, can't remember which book), and it was pretty funny to hear the sanctuary laugh during the "punch line."
Then Smith read Potter's War: A Green Ember Story aloud. It was so cool to hear him do the voices and everything, and put emphasis on words the way he intended it, and all that. Unforgettable. The read-aloud probably lasted around 30 minutes, all while coloring page-esque illustrations flashed on the screen, corresponding with what was being read.
After the story was over, a Q&A session was held for both parents and adults. Some really great questions were asked. I was surprised by how many fans, especially the younger ones, really knew their stuff! (I didn't ask a question for fear he would recognize my name after speaking with him on the phone, and spotlight me in front of the crowd xD) Smith gave some good answers, too, and revealed some new information, such as the fact that Brindle Cove is an ancestor of Helmer.
After that, the show was over, and Smith sat at a desk to sign books and meet his fans. I rushed to grab a free Last Archer poster before hopping back in line. I was so nervous.
At last, I got up to the front, and stepped up to Smith, introducing myself as “_____, from the wiki.” He paused only a moment before realizing exactly who I was, and practically burst with excitement. He shook my hand and signed my poster and my brother's poster, then took a picture with both of us (he also had Josiah take a picture of just me and him!). My brother then handed him two things we had made for him: a 3D-printed cookie cutter and a woodburned Helmer drawing (both my brother's handiwork).
We then spoke briefly, and Smith admitted that he had been planning to call me out in front of the whole crowd (called it), but had forgotten I would be attending. So, naturally, he got back up on stage and then pointed me out to the remainder of the line, calling me “one of the main people who runs [the wiki],” and added that he goes on to the wiki and learns things himself! xD It was embarrassing, of course, but it was also a thrilling feeling as I came to the realization that Smith was actually pleased to see me and wanted others to know who I was and the awesome website I was helping run! Finally, we said goodbye and he thanked us for coming. The, we left (and went out for barbecue!).
Overall, it was such an amazing experience, and so thrilling to get to meet one of my favorite authors. I can only hope all of you might get to feel the same way I did sometime. (And if you do get to meet Smith, make sure and tell him you're on the wiki! XD)
(And I know this is poorly written, but hopefully it makes sense still. XD)