At the LA Festival of Books, I saw that she was signing copies of her children’s book, “A Suitcase Surprise for Mommy,” and so I tracked her down at booth #577. Introducing myself, I told her as someone raised by lesbians I appreciated her representing queer families in the mainstream.

I wondered if I shouldn’t perhaps have used the word queer-she had french tipped manicured nails. She seemed southern and polite. It was awkward.

Later I thought maybe part of the challenge of being a writer is making small talk with strangers- maybe she just didn’t know what to say anymore than I did.