Monday, September 24, 2012

The National Book Festival and the Time I Saw John Green

You guys you guys you guys you guys omg omg omg holy crap AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even...there are no words. But I will try.

Saturday was pretty much the greatest day of my life. I woke up early and even though John's presentation didn't start till ten I was on the metro before eight, and a good thing too, because when I got there the first three rows were already almost full. I joined the crowd up front, third row seat.

You know those times where you are with a group of people and even though you are all strangers you feel more yourself and more comfortable letting go than you do sometimes around your own family? *Nerdfighters are all that is awesome, I am telling you. When you easily chat for an hour and a half with the girls around you and the conversation naturally flows from John Green to Dr. Horrible to Firefly to Sherlock to Dr. Who to House to Castle to Sherlock to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Game of Thrones to Sherlock you know you are with the right people. There were pizza John t-shirts and TARDIS phone covers everywhere. I even heard someone singing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

And the noise when he walked onto the stage. I mean, we had already been told to clear the isles and erupted into cheers when the Nerdfighters of the DC Area group walked in with their sign, and then to see John HIMSELF? My heart had already been racing for fifteen minutes and the vocabulary of the girls I was talking to had significantly and hilariously deteriorated and then THERE. HE. WAS.

He seemed totally unphased, too, totally chill. He smiled and said thank-you and remained his adorable, jittery, hilarious, genius, slightly hunched self. I was actually surprised, and pleasantly so, at how similar he was in real life to how he is in the videos. (All the sessions this year will be posted on YouTube, and I will link it when it comes, but for now there are videos up from several years past that are definitely worth checking out.)

I did not wait in the signing line. The choice was to either spend the rest of the day in that line or spend it going to the other sessions, and so I went to other sessions. I will meet John directly one day.

All this was just the blissful, explosive opening to a literary heaven of a day. I saw, with my natural eyes, Lois Lowry and Steven Millhauser and Jeffery Eugenides and Walter Dean Myers and Colson Whitehead and Sandra Cisneros and Michael Connelly. It would be hopeless of me to try and recount what they said, but it will all be up on YouTube soon. I enjoyed just breathing the same air as these people, praying that genius is contagious.

And things like this fuel my tank too, because guys? One day it will be us.

Sarah Allen

P.S. If you have not already, watch this channel and convert to the ways of Nerdfighteria. You will not regret it.


  1. That sounds amazing!!! To be able to spend all that time seeing such amazing authors is extraordinary. And you're so right; one day that will be us :)

  2. LOVE John Green and all that he does. So glad you got to see him!

  3. SO jealous! I'd love to meet him in person someday. :)

  4. Oh. My. GOSH.

    What an unbelievably awesome day! I'm jealous on so many levels!!


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