thetillyvanilly

Awkward things.

I Met My Hero

on June 15, 2013

Yesterday I met Neil Gaiman, Mr Scary Trousers himself. I met him and it was the most amazing moment of my life. I hadn’t anticipated it would be. I’d heard good things; he was nice, very nice. That was Neil, the ‘n’ word was reserved and preferred for his crazy-haired self. But really, how nice can someone be without being fictional? People are people, they have emotions and shortcomings. People can be stupid and malicious and angry, even when that’s not who they really are. People fail big time, just by being alive. So I was scared, scared that this vision of loveliness that the internet had concocted would be as fantastical as his stories.

And guess what? He was nice. He was so, sooo nice. The word nice has new meaning now, all because I have met him and known what nice actually means. It is the feeling you get when you are alone, in front of the fire, with a well-worn friend of a book. It is that moment, where everything is right with the world, everyone you love knows that you do, and you could die and it would be just fine. Nice is comfort and fate and magic, all in one little, misunderstood word. I am not exaggerating when I say that he is nice.

Neil gives free hugs, he’s easy with his squiggles and he makes you laugh without meaning to; you can see in his eyes an awkward, accidental gleam of ‘yay’, like he’s surprised himself with his own genius. He says everything that I wish I could say, with the eloquence I never bothered wishing for because it seemed impossible. He likes people, all of them, even the villains, who he doesn’t see as such. When he looks at you, he sees you like he knows you, as if living in so many worlds and so many minds has given him a skeleton key to us all.

If you’ve ever seen or heard or read Neil’s ‘Make Good Art’ speech, you will know the power that man has to reach inside you and tug at your inspiration strings; he lights tinder that engulfs the world in flames and fairy dust; he sets procrastinators to work. Because of Neil, good art exists where before there was none. Pictures, poems, paintings and plays, stories, movies, books and songs have emerged, by magic, by him. He, to me, is the most wonderful person in the world, because he sets the dominos clattering down. The beautiful thing is that he would deny this, all of it. He is just a man, a man with an imagination, a pen and rebellious hair, a man that changed my world. And yes, I cried. 

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6 responses to “I Met My Hero

  1. That’s so awesome to hear. I adore his books. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Anthony Burt says:

    Beautiful blog! You have so much passion in you! 🙂 x

  3. Jaime says:

    GAH! I am so Jealous! Where did this glorious meeting occur? American Gods is pretty much one of my all time favorite books of… all time. And the Graveyard Book is well up there too. (Which by the way, I read in a graveyard, for true authentic goth immersiveness.) I’m glad he’s just as nice as I imagine him to be 🙂

    • I know right? I met him in Bath at a book signing for The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
      Stardust is my favourite, I’m a sucker for a fairytale!
      🙂
      He is one of the truly nice people I’ve ever met. He’s like a stick of rock, you could cut him through the middle and he’d be nicenicenice! …Though I strongly advice against it!
      I hope you get to meet him!
      Thanks for reading!
      T
      xxx

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