In the presence of royalty: Meeting Roxane Gay!

Today is the first day of spring, which means all of creation is waking up from hibernation and getting in that Pablo Neruda state of mind. It's time for fruity drinks, floral perfumes and bouquets, romance novels and Power Rangers on the big screen.

Winter was rough for me, and I hermited hard. But I was recently lured out of my hibernation when I got a call that wait list tickets had become available to see the Bad Feminist herself, Roxane Gay, speak in my city. So of course, I snatched up two tickets and invited my girl Alli to hear one of the most influential writers talk politics, pop culture and her new short story collection, Difficult Women.

Author Roxane Gay giving lecture on stage

It was one of the most fascinating evenings of my life. I could listen to Roxane Gay talk for hours. Days. At some point, I covertly busted out my phone for pics and to jot down notes because I wanted to remember the highlights. She read the story "Open Marriage" from her collection as well as thoughts she'd written about our current political climate. Her ideas about the importance of language especially now resonated with me.

I was really excited to hear about her upcoming projects. Of course, there's World of Wakanda, the comic series proposed to her by Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, in which Gay will write black, queer women into the Marvel canon and which she says she agreed to on the off chance she'll get to meet Thor. (Anything that brings you closer to Chris Hemsworth is a good life choice, if you ask me.) She has two novels, one YA, in the works, a mystery project with Shonda Rhimes — so much for not giving Shonda any more of my tears — and a screenplay based on her short story "North Country." She interviewed Madonna, who calls rosé "summer water" and converted New York brownstones into a townhouse complete with a private driveway and tow zone. She really wants to meet the Obamas and Channing Tatum.

Roxane Gay answers questions at a lecture

After the Q & A session, Gay was gracious enough to sign books and take pictures. I babbled like a silly fangirl about how I worship her and then asked her if she's watched Riverdale, because she's read Archie comics. She has not, "but the CW always does some interesting things." She took a picture with Alli and me and it is now my favorite photo ever.

Roxane Gay with fans

Difficult Women is out now and if you have yet to read Bad Feminist, please fix your life.