Throwback Thursday – John Green Didn’t Forget to be AWESOME!

(Originally posted Sept. 24, 2012 in my old blog)

Saturday we had an adventure in D.C. in the quest to get Jade’s Kindle and her new copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green signed.  John Green is also the author of Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines.

Jade and another girl throwin’ up Nerdfighters signs at the back of the speaker’s tent.



Above:  Jade’s Vincent van Gogh skin on her Kindle signed by John Green, who said, “Thanks for sharing your Kindle with me!”

For you crafty lot out there, it is signed in silver Sharpie and I applied two coats of an acrylic gloss sealant after taping off everything but the signature with blue masking tape.


Will and I picked Jade up from school on Friday night and spirited her away home so she could nestle herself into her bed (the couch in our tiny apartment) and dream of meeting one of her heroes the next day at the National Book Festival.

I had a girl’s night with friends planned for a month before we even knew about her favorite author’s plans for being at the festival.  As soon as my friend Stephanie posted about the event I knew Jade wouldn’t want to miss out and so we found a way to work around everything.  Friday night she stayed home with Will and I went to National Harbor and partied until about 5:30 am with some good friends (see previous post).  Will and Jade came and picked me up about 9:15 am and we headed straight for the mall.  We got to the tent four minutes before John Green was to begin speaking.

He spoke to the overflowing tent of people (mostly teenagers) and answered questions.   I found him composed with a bit of humble quirkiness.  He seems genuine and generous of spirit from that limited experience with him.  And of course, my daughter’s enthusiasm about him plays into that since she isn’t very easily impressed.


At the beginning of the speech Mr. Green had the crowd say, “Good Morning Hank it’s Tuesday!”  And Jade said it and turned to me and said, “I can’t believe I am saying ‘Good Morning Hank it’s Tuesday!'”

John Green does vlogs with his brother Hank Green (who’s bandwidth was exceeded when I tried to view the site, FYI).   Anybody who follows their Vlogbrothers vlog on YouTube will know what the excitement surrounding that is all about.

The book-signing was to begin fifteen minutes later at the other end of the mall so we hurried that direction.  Even though we were in the back of the tent and had a fair head start from there, we were in line nine of what seemed to be about fourteen lines waiting to see him.  He sat there and signed like a madman for several hours.  By the time three hours had rolled around we had finally arrived at his table and he was very nice.  I also want to say the event itself was very organized and had lots of volunteers, all of whom seemed to know what they were doing.


“So, my hand touched his hand when he gave me back my silver Sharpie.” This is what she said to us in the car.  She, of course, was playing it dramatic, like a starry-eyed kid when she said that, but really she has a lot of respect for the man.

On the way home from DC – sweaty and tired from standing around for five hours (three for the signature) she was going on about how she was tired and couldn’t focus and wanted to blog and such.  She has a French test tomorrow and I said she needed to study.  She argued for a moment and I interrupted her and said, “John Green would want you to study.”  WOMP!

We got home, she went to the library to study her French then came home to continue studying but somehow got distracted by tumblr – and laughed out loud when she saw this (scroll to Sept. 18):

Ok – this blog is getting longer than I intended and I ended up editing several photos.  We dropped Jade off at school today so we had a long day in the car and it’s nearly midnight and I have to work tomorrow, so I’m cutting it off here.  I have lots more photos to share and I will share them later, I promise.


Will and Jade ahead of me on the brisk walk over to the signing tents.


Jade makes friends with boys in the line next to us.


I took a lot of photos of the people around us, all waiting patiently on the grass.  Many of them were reading.


This is the woman who was directly behind us in line.  She offered me some of her sunblock, which I appreciated SO MUCH – you just don’t even know!  I didn’t even bring my parasol!


Jade and Mia about to hug.  Mia and her momma knew all about the signing – that was how we found out.

Ok – SO MUCH to do.  I was actually going to post a blog today about a bunch of stuff Will and I talked about this morning.  We had such a good long and lazy conversation in bed before making breakfast.  It was all about love and feelings and appearances and confidence and kindness.  I jotted down some notes so I wouldn’t forget, so hopefully between the craft job and photo editing I will have time to do it this week.

Peace!  And DFTBA!



Philyra rests next to the books on the table, where she isn’t supposed to be.

I’m a divorced woman who spent a majority of her 20 year relationship with her ex-husband at home with her children.  When my marriage came to an end I felt vulnerable, financially.  I felt broken, emotionally.  This is a story told over and over again by women.  It’s nothing new or shocking, even if some of the details are. It’s a story of betrayal and low self-esteem.  Of things happening I wished I could change, but later was glad they didn’t.  It’s nothing thousands of women don’t go through each year, some to a greater and lesser extent.  That fact used to make me feel like a stupid statistic.  Like I’d fallen into a foreseeable trap by my own foolishness.  I see it differently now.  Instead, I feel a part of something as though that shared pain brings me closer to a sisterhood.  It means I’m not alone.

I’ve always been a feminist and an advocate for women, in part because I have daughters and in part because of my own history as a victim of various types of abuses.  And despite feeling close to all women sometimes, at other times I feel the distance, too.  Yet, I’m not always aware of it when I’m feeling disconnected.  Probably because I can be introverted in long stretches.  I think I was feeling inside my own bubble when I picked up two books in a row that re-focused my feeling of being connected to women out there in the world.  Not just the ones alive today, but all those who have ever lived.  I feel my place in the universe, one planet among galaxies of women.  With my own gravity.  With my own landscape of barren deserts and rich ecosystems green with life and beauty.  I have my own orbit and satellites in orbit around me, as well.

It started off with checking out The Red Tent by Anita Diamant from the library on my Kindle.  You can read my Good Reads review of The Red Tent HERE.  By the time I finished that, I was lucky enough that Wild by Cheryl Strayed had become available to check out.  You can read my Good Reads review of Wild HERE.

Just a couple of days after I finished Wild I decided to order it and The Red Tent as gifts for my daughters.  Paper versions.  Objects they can hold in their hands and feel the paper under their fingertips as they flip each page.  A sort of prayer that connects them to all the things that make them sisters, not just with each other, but all other women.  And probably a memory years from now when I’m gone, of what has gone before them and what they want to do to affect what comes after them.  To remind them of their connection to this world.  And also, that they don’t need to fall apart when I die.

This is the most valuable inheritance I have for them.  I lay in bed last night imaging the letters I would write to my daughters to accompany these gifts.  Should I share valuable (to me) bits of advice?  Should I apologize for my shortcomings as a mother?  I composed until I fell asleep and woke up to sunbeams on the bed with my cat laying next to me.  And I thought about Dinah in Egypt and her first experiences with cats.  Coincidentally, my cat, Kali, is Egyptian and from a long line of sacred females, as well.

Kali the Abyssinian napping in the sunbeams on my bed.

Kali the Abyssinian napping in the sunbeams on my bed.