So tonight around 7:25 tonight I was sitting in a church, waiting for Neil Gaiman to show up. I was also cursing myself for being nice enough to lend my digital camera to my sister, which left me camera-less when the man himself walked into the room. No one fainted. As far as I know.
To be perfectly honest, my first thought was Man, I wish I could live-tweet this. Because if I could have, I would have been tweeting something like "Holy @#$%, he's so close you could @$@@%!&^ attack the man!" I've never had the urge to live-tweet anything before, so it took me a while to figure out where this urge was coming from. After a moment I realized that it had to have something to do with the audience. We (all 300 of us) were sitting there in jaws-dropped awe as Neil (Can I call him Neil? Probably not, we're not that close. I was only in the twentieth row or so.) Gaiman opened his mouth and started to talk. And I wanted the audience to be there together, shooting rapid-fire messages back and forth about his beard (should really come off), his Doctor Who obsession (is awesome), his dog (adorable). It was weird. I am not normally a live-tweeter, but apparently the presence of the Gaiman can do that to you.
Tweeting aside, it was a lovely evening. Adam Savage (apparently of Mythbusters fame) interviewed Neil, and off they went. At times I was tempted to think they'd practiced the whole thing beforehand, as Adam pulled obscure quote after obscure quote about literature from his pocket, dropping them haphazardly into the conversation. Neil talked about his immigrant experience as it related to American Gods, about the difference between what you intend to create and what is there when you're finally through, about Daleks and invisibility and Mars bars. It was lovely. Being in the twentieth row (or so) it was exceeding hard to see the man. I had to crane my neck -- but that's what happens when you get there only twenty-five minutes early to see Neil Gaiman.
Some selected quotes:
- Regarding the weirdness of arriving in the Midwest to live: "Does this water taste weird to you?"
- Question from the audience: "Are you tweeting right now? Like, with your feet?" Answer: "I'm tweeting with my mind. With the hashtag #whataweirdquestion"
- Oddly appropriate for my WIP: "You never had to hide behind the sofa from little mermaids."
And then there was a bit about meeting a red Dalek and feeling sorry for it, because apparently Daleks can't see the color red. Apparently this would curse it to effective invisibility.
Final thoughts: lovely show. I'd see it again. I'm tempted to type in an emoticon at this point, but will abstain.
ETA: Coincidentally, I happened to write a blog post today that mentioned memoirs, Neil Gaiman, and bee-keeping. I can say almost for sure that if Neil Gaiman writes a memoir about bee-keeping, I will read it.