I don't remember it, but it all started with I Was a Teenage Fairy.
First of all, let's get it out of the way that I love Francesca Lia Block. I think I can honestly say that she is my absolute favorite author, and have little to no regrets about it.
More than any other author, I come back to her books and stories again and again and bask in the beautiful, sad, wonderful adventure of the senses that her books so commonly are.
While I only currently own lots of her books, I have read many more than that, as well as some of her stories, and can't wait to read her newer work.
A growing adoration of all things faerie led me to pick up I Was a Teenage Fairy when I was a young teenager, and while I didn't really fully understand it (or appreciate it), I loved it anyway. Years and years later I somehow discovered Weetzie Bat, then Witch Baby, and I fully entered the world of FL Block. Over the course of the last few years, I read, re-read, and immersed myself body and soul into anything I could find written by her. It's slow going; snagging them all one by one from used bookstores, but there are few things as exciting as walking into the local buy/sell/trade bookstore for the fifth time in a month, pouring over the Teen Fiction section, and finally seeing a copy of one of the books I don't have.
I love the mixtures of magic and realism. The blends of the beautiful, the horrible, the depressing, and the magnificent.
However, in all my readings and research and web-browsing for information about the Block Books, there's one thing I've never really been able to find; How to Live Like Weetzie. Or, really, how to live like any of FLBs vibrant characters.
Most of FLBs stories are fascinating combinations of realism and fantasy, but her characters almost always strive for a life full of beauty, taste, scents, sensuality, and- most of all- love and affection. Her characters live without judgment or prejudice, and thrive on so many sensual experiences (later, I'll make a list of how many times food is mentioned within Weetzie B alone) that just reading them makes you dizzy!
Now, I hope nobody's going to try to sue me, because I'm saying now that I don't own any of the Francesca Lia Block stories/books/etc, of course. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this blog. But I am, and I don't have any rights to FLBs stuff.
I write this out of a desire to do something. A need to express my own thoughts, opinions, and hopes about her works, and how I think if we all lived a little bit more like Weetzie, Witch Baby, Ruby, Tuck, and Primavera, maybe our lives - and maybe even the world- would be a little better.
A little nicer, a little more accepting, a little more delicious, a little more loving; a little more beautiful.
It's a guilty pleasure of mine that I love "How To" and FYI books, lists, and web pages. On any given lazy day you can likely find me on Instructables or WikiHow looking up completely random things to make my life better, stronger, or just more productive.
Imagine my chagrin when I could not find a single page on how to live, eat, or beautify my world like Weetzie Bat. I searched around and found sites like the FLB Shrine, FLB Experience Page, and the FLB LiveJournal site, but none of it was what I really wanted.
The biggest problem I've seen in "How-To" pages is the way often list-maker's simply pull things (particularly objects) directly from the text/movie/what-have-you and transferring it right over to the list. There's not a lot of thought put into it, just a lot of looking and finding and copy/pasting, instead of really thinking about the characters and putting thought into how they act, live, and love.
The one I can most often think of that demonstrates this is one I stumbled onto out of curiosity after a trip to the local classics Theater to see Breakfast at Tiffany's for the ba-zillionth time.
How to Be Like Holly Golightly is a pretty decent (exhaustive) list of the attributes of Holly Golightly. Mostly physical things, but still great and fun to read.
What I dislike, however, is the little ones like these:
"Pink ballet slippers, to be kept in your refrigerator", "A guitar or failing that the soundtrack from Breakfast at Tiffany", or "Old fashioned black telephone- to be kept in a suitcase".There's aren't the positive attributes and bits of lifestyle of Holly's that I want to imitate. They're charming, yes, and some of the things we love so much about the movie, but not what I'm looking to copy. I want what she's like, what she does, what she enjoys. The way she talks and eats and lives. The things she does and that surround her that make her her.
I like to imitate life, not because I don't have my own personality, but because my life could be so much more than it is, and the right fictional characters can remind you how to make things more beautiful, more loving, more enjoyable. How to be who you actually want to be, instead of wishing every now and then (or even every day in those little ways) that you did more/were more adventurous/knew more/loved more/ate more interesting food/cooked more interesting food/were nicer/had more fun/whatever! So, really, I don't want tocopy Holly, I want to know how to be like her in my life.
I'm not sure how I plan to do this- after all, I just decided to make this blog this afternoon- but I know a lot of what it is I want to do. It's like a research paper, here in the form of a blog, mostly for me to have a place where I explore what I'm finding, thinking, adoring.
Whether it's making lists of the foods characters eat, or the places they visit, or the things they own- or giving each important character (or groups of characters) their own posts, describing them in excruciating detail and theorizing about what makes them tick- or even compiling multiple books' quotes to create mini-stories about life and sadness and beauty- or finding pictures, movies, songs, recipes, or projects that reflect what I think a FLB created world would look like, I think I'll find a way.
I hope that I can write in a way that's interesting, maybe even entertaining, and- most of all- helpful. I want to make my life better, looking through the lens of a Weetzie Bat world. Let's do it together.