If you talked to me for five seconds at ALA Annual in Anaheim, you had to listen to me blather on about how I was going to meet Francesca Lia Block. It was pretty much all I could think about. I had about four presentations to do at ALA (more on those later), but the 3 minutes I spent with Ms. Francesca were the most emotionally draining of the whole trip. I was just so thrilled and excited and happy and nervous and holyhellIgettoshakeherhand!
Let me just say that I’ve met lots of authors: Jules Feiffer, Ann Brashares, David Levithan, Seymour Simon, Cecily Von Ziegesar, and, don’t get me wrong, it was a great thrill every time. But meeting Francesca (can I call her Francesca? How about St. Francesca? Our Lady of L.A.?) had me quaking in my sparkly shoes. In fact, at the last second, I almost bailed. I was just so nervous. I don’t know how to talk about Weetzie Bat and her other books without sounding like a gushy little airhead, but her work means the world to me. Francesca Lia Block’s books always make me feel better. Literary security blankets. She’s just the best.
My friend Christian stayed with me while I waited in line to make sure I didn’t faint and plant my face on the exhibition floor. When I finally got up to see Francesca, I said, “Hi, I’m Ingrid” and she said, “I know you! Thanks for your tweets!” and then I almost cried. FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK KNEW WHO I WAS. I got a nice hug, I talked to her about Weetzie Bat (how I give it to adult ESOL students because it’s not babyish and can be read pretty quickly) and Pink Smog (how I give it to teens who want books about bullying). We talked about Brooklyn; she complimented me on my hair. She signed a copy of The Elementals (Um, AMAZING! Review to come!) and I went on my way. I recapped everything to Christian about 2 times (even though he was there and didn’t need a replay) and hugged my book lots and lots. And then I told strangers about how I met her.
I met Francesca Lia Block. I am the happiest librarian in town.
I can’t think of a single other person in the universe I’d rather meet. Truly. This made a great ALA Annual beyond amazing. I’m still smiling about this. I guess she has this effect on people.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid