To the planet from the speck…a letter and a silly wish.


Okay, lovelies.

As you read this, I’m on a plane to San Diego for World Fantasy Con. Which means I will be in the vicinity of my idol, Neil Gaiman.

Random facts: The number of days I write WWNGD on my arm is far greater than the number of days I don’t, The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere are two of my favorite novels of all time, and the five or six times I’ve been compared to Gaiman, I’ve had to resist the urge to laugh hysterically and/or print out the reviews and roll around on them.

So, he’s going to be in this building, and I’m going to be in this building, and when I’m that close to people I admire that much, I get very, very shy, and chicken out (stalker FAIL), and then just sit in a corner with eyes like this: O_O

Because here’s the thing: I’m a speck. I’m a bit of writer dust that hopes to slowly, over the course of years, gain more mass and gravity until one day I matter (OMG, astronomy joke for the win, I’ve been watching way too many space documentaries). Neil Gaiman is a planet. I do not exist. Or maybe I do, maybe I’m starting to, but the simple and ridiculous ostentation of using the same word––author––to describe both of us is absurd.

And yet, we’re going to be in the same place.

So I was thinking that maybe, maybe, if some people tweeted to the planet and asked him to say hello to the speck, he might. You never know. Planets are funny things.

Will it work? Probably not.


You never know. I tweeted to him the other day, and to my (and most of my followers’ immense surprise) he tweeted back. It made my entire week. Small gestures shape worlds.

To be honest, I went back and forth on whether or not to even post this request. All last night I sat on the seesaw of tool/not tool, stupid/not stupid, silly/worth it. I stressed over how foolish I’d feel if I put this out to the blogosphere and the twitterverse, and nothing happened, and the conference passed, and the planet still had no idea of the speck.

It’s pride, you see. Sometimes we shy away from silly things because we don’t want to LOOK silly. I very much like to BE silly, but that’s a very different thing.

And then I stopped and said, HEY V. Don’t be so afraid to look silly. <–this should be a mantra, oft repeated.

So what if it doesn't work? I'm determined not to be embarrassed, because the fact remains that I'm attending the same conference as my idol, and I'm doing it AS A WRITER. Neil Gaiman and I may be different things, but we are still somehow made of the same stuff.

So anyway.

If you decide to tweet him (and really, this post is more a fan letter than a plea, so please don't feel obligated), do be sweet. Don't fill his feed with caps and imperatives and any harassment. You could simply say something like "@neilhimself There's a debut author at #wfc2011 named @veschwab and it would MEAN THE WORLD if you said hi," or "@neilhimself hey, debut author @veschwab is there at WFC with you and she is a HUGE fan and she would die if you said hi to her," or "@neilhimself There's a debut author there at WFC–@veschwab–and you are her HERO. If you find a chance to say hello, it would make her life."

Or some such.

So IF you should feel inclined at some point today to tweet to @neilhimself and encourage him to say hello, it would mean a great deal to this silly little girl. I’ll be the speck in the corner, the one with big dreams (the only kind worth dreaming) of one day having a fraction of his mass and gravity.

…and regardless of what comes of this post, or what doesn’t, I’m damn proud of that astronomy joke.

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7 thoughts on “To the planet from the speck…a letter and a silly wish.

  1. Tracy says:

    Oh my gosh! I so hope you get to meet him!! πŸ™‚

  2. Love connecting with people I’m a fan of especially writers as like you say we are cut from the same cloth. Good luck with your stalking πŸ™‚

  3. Katie says:

    I absolutely understand how you feel about him tweeting back to you + possibly meeting him. I’ve had similar situations lately with two of my heroes, Markus Zusak and John Green. Markus tweeted back to me on Wednesday, and I’m still giddy about it. And John, well, I’m totally meeting him on Tuesday.

  4. T. K. Guthat says:

    First, you’re *not* a speck. You’re a talented writer. Moreover, not that I have any personal knowledge of this, but I’d bet Neil puts his ol’ pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us.

    Second, let me tell a little story, I use to (well ok, I still do) feel my writing is fairly pedestrian. Then one day, I was walking out of a performance of “Macbeth” and bemoaning the fact that I’d never write anything even half as good as the Scottish Play or, any other of Shakespeare’s plays. At that moment, I realized that nobody else will either. In a weird way, this thought takes (some of) the pressure off me. I have something in common with basically every other writer! None of us are as good as Will Shakespeare πŸ™‚

    So walk right up to Neil and say, “Hi.” You’ve nothing to feel self-conscious about.

  5. jpmsull says:

    I totally understand. Considering I was literally trembling in Decatur when I saw you. I also sent a polite tweet to Neil Himself. Secondly, I also totally understand that you feel as though you are a speck. I think it is just part of being a writer-person to feel that way. (LOL at your astronomy joke. It is wonderfully cheesy.) But, though you may not think so, I believe you are a planet. At least, you are a planet to me, and I know for a fact I am not the only one who thinks so! Must I remind you that at the heart of many Miyazaki movies, his protagonists must believe in themselves at one point? >:P

  6. Kaye says:

    Aww, Victoria. So does that mean that if I get to make it to Books of Wonder, you will smile at me and say hi? Because I will melt – like every time you tweet me back. (In the grand scheme of things, you’re like an entire galaxy [debut author] and I’m an atom [wanna-be])

    I will tweet him RIGHT NOW.

  7. This is so cool. I can’t wait to hear if you actually meet the man himself (I share your major author crush!).

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