Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Festival of Books 2012

I anticipate the LA Times Festival of Books like it's my birthday, Christmas, and a fifty percent off shoe sale all in one. This was my third consecutive year going to the festival and I have to say, I loved every single moment!!

The day started off early in the morning when I met up with Jessica and we hustled down the freeway to make it to our first author event of the day, an interview and signing with John Green. (cue swoon)

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Didn't I just see John Green in January at the Tour de Nerdfighting? Why yes I did, but I think you know when John Green is in my immediate vicinity, I am of course, SO there. John was being interviewed by author Lev Grossman,  who wrote an amazingly awesome review of The Fault in Our Stars in TIME magazine.

There was talk of writing, life, Nerdfighting, video games, and just all the things that make John Green awesome in general. There may have been some fangirling on my part, but I tried to keep it down to a minimum.

After the panel, we headed out into the warm April sun to get a place in line for John's book signing. Now, due to the three book limit at John's signings, it was not until this event that I was able to get my final John Green book signed! My collection is now complete! 

While Jess and I were waiting, we ran into our friend Amber, who was there at the festival with her adorable baby boy! You may remember that Amber was the third member of our little group at the epic first time I met John Green at the Festival of Books in 2010. That day was so overwhelming and exciting, that I never got a picture of the three of us together. Luckily...I always try and right past wrongs and we commandeered a Nerdfighter in front of us to snap a quick photo. (Sorry, Amber's adorable baby boy is not pictured)

When it came time to actually speak with and see John Green, I had already had a talk with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Paul, John, George, and Ringo to give me the strength to calm the freak down and speak like a normal person. Thankfully, it worked and I was able to be engaging and delightful and not spazz out like I normally do in these types of situations. Now, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I think it's obvious that he remains captivated by me. 

After bidding John farewell (chagrin), and feeding our faces, Jess and I headed on a mad dash to a few other events to see Jessi Kirby, Siobhan Vivian, and John Corey Whaley. Once we were done we Jesus walked back over to where we saw John Green to have our fangirly minds blown once again by the incomparable Judy Blume.

Ok friends, love me through this because I'm about to get real on your arses. I was kind of a lonely kid. When you grow up looking like me and talking like me, other kids either steer clear of you or they make you the butt of all of their jokes. During that time, books were really my only friends. Instead of having my own gal pal posse, I lived vicariously through The 4 PTS's from Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, and Rachel, Allison, and Stephanie from Just As Long As We're Together

Judy Blume is not only hugely responsible for giving me a love of reading, she is also responsible for introducing me to the first female friendships I ever had. Long story short, I was mother freaking excited. 

When we arrived at the auditorium it was packed and there was just general happiness and excitement throughout the room. During the panel whenever Judy would mention a book title, people would cheer like we were at a Lakers game. My absolute favorite moment came when Judy started talking about her infamous book, Forever. She said she wrote it for her daughter who asked, "Mom can't there be a book about two nice kids who do it and no one dies?" HA!

After the panel, there was a naturally epic line for Judy's signing. I was willing to wait all day if necessary because as I sort of became famous (in my own mind) for saying that day, she's Judy Freaking Blume! I was more than happy to wait my turn. Thankfully we were in line with two really cool girls we ended up chatting with,  Renée and Lauren.  Renée runs a YA blog called, Alice Marvels which is so adorable I can't even stand it! We had a great time talking about books, life, and Zooey Deschanel with both ladies and it made the line move just that much faster. (sort of)

When my turn to meet Judy came, I was so nervous I could hear the ticking of my own heart! Thankfully, my talk with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Paul, John, George, and Ringo from earlier was still working in my favor, and I managed to nervously but sincerely tell her how honored I was to meet her and how much her work has meant to me. I'm sure this experience is not at all unique to her, but it is a moment I will never forget. Please note my holding back tears face.

For the first time, I went to the second day of the festival! Sunday afternoon found me headed back to USC to meet up again with Jessica and our friend Claire for Day 2 of book nerd goodness!  I was super excited for the panel I'd made the extra trip for because it featured some of my favorite YA authors, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, Maggie Stiefvater, and Jacqueline Woodson.

I have to say, this was probably one of the best multiple author panels I have ever experienced. As a writer, reader, and a woman, I was incredibly inspired by what these amazing ladies shared with us which was everything from race to class to dirty words to their writing process. Seriously, it was amazeballs! Also...David Levithan (editor of at least two of these authors) was in the audience and milling about the signing. I didn't talk to him or anything, because frankly, I have yet to be able to form a coherent sentence in front of the man and decided not to tempt fate.

Me with Maggie Stiefvater

Lauren Myracle, author of Shine and me, wearer of douche-y sunglasses in a picture with said fab author

The perfect ending to our day was seizing an opportunity to rest our tired, festival weary legs and hop a pedicab/rickshaw ride to the exit. Fortunately, Claire is nothing like me and always remembers to snap a picture at the perfect time, so you can share in the fun right along with us!

Are we a Noxema commercial or what?

I always leave the Festival of Books incredibly happy and exhausted and inspired by the entire experience and this time was no exception. I think this year was hands down the most exciting and just the best in general fabulousness. 

I seriously cannot wait for next year.


  1. I met Lauren Myracle a couple years ago and LOVED her.

    1. K, I thought of you the whole time Lauren Myracle was speaking. And I brought the copy of Let It Snow that you got me so I could get it signed by Maureen Johnson and John Green!

  2. I really wish they would bump this festival a weekend further since it always falls on Sammie's birthday weekend. Sigh.

    It looks like you had an AWESOME time! So jealous!

  3. Looks like so much fun! I really hope I can go sometime!

  4. How fun! Judy Blume is awesome--that is really cool you got to meet her (:

  5. Yay, I finally stalked your blog and oh my lord, I love it! :)

    It was so lovely meeting you and Jessica in line for Judy! You gals totally cracked me up with your fangirl tales. I have to admit, I was skeptical when you told us of your crazy-amazing plan to be a sister wife to John Green, but those pics don't lie—he is CAPTIVATED by you. This is HAPPENING. The Yeti will deal. :)

    Can you believe how nice Judy was? I can't wrap my head around that monster line. I think I would have been snarling after like five people. She was so effing sweet! JUDY. oh my god judy.


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