(this is a happy snapshot (creative non-fiction tale from my life) and a book recommendation for the buccaneer blogfest in one)
This is a picture I took two years ago. That morning I felt unraveled and needed to spend a day offline to get back to basics. I told my husband: I want to read a book, but I have no idea which one. He walked to our library and came back with American Gods. It was the perfect choice, of course.
In 2003 we bought weekend tickets for the Elf Fantasy Fair for one reason: Neil Gaiman was one of the guests. I’d become a fan of his years before, thanks to discovering Sandman. I had quite the collection by the time I finally met him.
He was scheduled to be there on the Saturday and Sunday, twice on each day. We booked a place on a campsitenear by. I hardly slept the night before, mostly because it was very cold and damp in the caravan. We headed out on Saturday morning, happy as a bug. We brought a bag full of comics and books to get signed. I wore a pretty top and my trusty purple jacket. The moment we arrived at the Fair, I realized I was completely underdressed. I had never been to a fantasy fair and was completely unprepared for what I would see. I saw so many fabulous looking people, in the most amazing outfits. I knew that I wanted to wear pretty clothes the next day, but we hadn’t brought any.
After a long wait, the moment was there, I saw my favorite author for the first time. After that reading there was a signing. I queue’d up, nervous, giddy, and many things more. At the end of both signing sessions my husband and I had gotten everything signed that we had brought with us.
We were wet, cold and really didn’t look forward to spending another night in the caravan. So we drove home. I took the bath I so longed for, and then we packed up more books to sign. The next morning we drove to the festival again, this time I wore the clothes that made me feel radiant, as radiant as the people I had seen the day before.
It was a magical day. I felt so good and so Sylvia. We went to the readings and signings again. Neil signed a comic book and my husband took another picture. Neil asked if I wanted to lean in. I said yes, of course.
This picture now is framed above my desk. I love it for two reasons. The first is that it contains my favorite author and me. The second is that I love how I am completely myself in this picture. Radiant butterfly emerged 🙂
Now I am going to get you to read American Gods. It is a perfect book for me, as it has everything I love to read: mythology, road trip, a fantastically flawed main character, so many fantastic characters, humor, shock, but most of all it has beautiful writing. And as you can see in the first picture of this post, it is one of those books I can come back to at any time in my life, even when I feel like crap 🙂