Standing in a line of people, mostly women, snaked around barriers designed to keep people in and out. No it wasn’t some weirdly designed kettle at a protest (what do those kettles even look like?), I was stood outside WH Smiths in Manchester awaiting my first glimpse of the wonderfully talented Jodi Picoult. How one says her name I’ll never be truly sure pic-oo, pic-olt? Your guess is as good as mine, unless of course you caught sight of her on television recently or have seen her say her own name. I should research this further. Anyway, babbling is my middle name, so back to the point…
I stood in the middle of said queue, between two people who seemed very interested in the things in their hands. The girl in front read the book for which she was there for, the woman behind stood so close that if I accidentally threw my arms backwards I probably would have whacked her in the face, or groin, or both. She read the newspaper, or did a crossword, I didn’t see her exact activity but I know it required the black and white pages of a daily paper.
I watched the other people go about their (long) wait (though it wasn’t that long once the whole thing began, we all arrived early). People watching can be such an enjoyable pasttime, I try to do it once in a while. Today I saw a girl with scars along both arms, not just her forearms but her biceps too, covering her skin like the black markings on a Zebra. She talked about the book having gay character, she seemed thrilled by this, my only assumption (and the vibe I got!) is that she is gay herself. A girl a few people behind her was pregnant, I couldn’t be too sure at first because she crouched down with her hand on her stomach (that’s a good enough sign really) but as she stood her protruding stomach became all too apparent.
Then we got moving, the signing began and I passed a girl waiting for her sister to bring the book their mother had received that morning for her birthday (what a lovely extra gift to get the book signed for!). The lady directing signees was very nice, she asked if I’d read many Jodi Picoult books, she took the time to find out that I was a big fan, not just a person who decided to come along for the sake of meeting a famous author.
My turn soon arrived and there she was, sat behind a table with (who I can only assume) the woman who created the voice, the songs that complement this novel. Jodi Picoult of course is American, she greeted me, asked if I was Fiona (as I’d written my name on a post it for her to write that into the book) I told her how much I loved her writing and how I wished I could be only half as good as her, then I’d be happy. She told me to keep writing. I received a copy of the soundtrack, had a photograph taken and went on my way.
Tomorrow I will come back to pick up the photo, I don’t care if I look like a muppet, it’s Jodi-freaking-Picoult for crying out loud.
I love her.
I will never not love her.
And that is the end of my story…I really do need to work on my story telling, I hope you enjoyed it all the same.