Saturday, 8 May 2010

John Green - Dreams & Librarian Scrums

Recently someone asked me about my John Green dream.When they mentioned it...I honestly had a blank moment. It took me a few seconds to realise what they were talking about and to mentally note that they must really know their way around Persnickety Snark (this was a post in the early, no one was reading days).

And then I remembered.

For those of you unaware this is my recollection at the time -
Last night I dreamed that John Green swung by this blog and commented about it at Sparks Fly Up.

Awesome huh? Not so much.

Turns out my inability to detect typos came into play. Dream John read one of my posts and quoted it on his blog to ridicule my poor grammar. Dream John humiliated me...and my poor typing ability. (Dream analysis might say that my role as a teacher, my marking of my students and my admiration for the real JG manifested itself in me taking the student role and JG the teacher. Or I might be mental. You choose.)

Sigh. Dream John, I thought you were better than that!

Now to put this in perspective...this was my first month blogging. I had only just realised who John Green was (completely slow on the uptake I know) and had fallen into (what I like to call) a lit crush. I define a lit crush as equal parts admiration, awe, and the need to pick their brains for a couple of hours.

Despite my lit crush, I had taken to calling John Green 'The Grammar Nazi'. I know it was a dream but it was pretty darned convincing.

Two days later he somehow found the blog (probably Google alerts - can you imagine the length of that daily email alert?) and commented. JOHN GREEN COMMENTED ON MY BLOG.

He contributed this:
At no time in a million years would I ever do such a thing! (My grammar-and-spelling house is made of too much glass for me to be throwing stones.)

Glad I could popped up in your dreamscape. Next time, I'll try to be nicer! -John

I had been blogging approximately twenty days at that point. You would have thought I'd be happy.


I was mortified.

You would have thought that it would have ended there.

Oh - - how I wish it had.

Six months later I was attending the Reading Matters conference in Melbourne. There was a plethora of Australian and international authors in attendance...including John Green. At this point I had read all his work and was pretty well versed on John Green - The Author, The Nerdfigher, The Geek.

I was attending the friendly drinks portion of the first night, meeting many authors for the first time and some of the publicists I have been emailing for months. The Random House ladies were particularly nice, folding me under their awesome wings and allowing me to feel less like a loser. It took an hour and two ladies (YA author Sue Lawson and Kristen Young) to convince me to approach the scrum that had surrounded John Green and perhaps exchange some words.

I was not confident. Reading Matters is largely attended by librarians and if I had a JG lit crush, then they were at Stage 5 of whatever is the next step up. I stood in the circle that he was a part of (I had a fleeting thought that someone might break into the worm in its centre but then I realised librarians probably don't have those kind of moves) and waited. I said nothing for awhile. Those of you who know me in real life would be shocked.

I wasn't in awe (though the man is impressive, or was impressively struck with jet lag), just biding my time. The bright moment was Judith Ridge, who was also into the mix. I do believe that she allowed me the opening to introduce myself or she introduced me to's a bit fuzzy. All I know is that Judith was a book-godsend, as she always is.

I finally had worked my way next to him and had my moment. What is the first thing I say?

You guessed it.

"I had a dream about you once."

I am blushing just thinking about it now. I sounded like a freaking obsessed stalker who probably wanted to sniff him and grab a sample of his hair.

Of course he didn't remember. I hadn't expected him to. I managed to regroup and we had a short conversation about Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (my thoughts here, I was honest) and YouTube. John was excited because he was soon going to met Natalie from the Community Channel. I knew who she was and we were able to talk about the very cool material Natalie puts out into the Internets.

But then a lady approached.

To say 'approached' would be kind. There was an aggressiveness to her approach and she did stand in between John and myself. I had probably been monopolising him so I don't blame her for this at all. John and I were still talking and she interrupted to ask something along the lines of - what's YouTube?

All the mortification that I have suffered was immediately gone when John Green and I shared a glance after this statement. Someone had humiliated themselves more in his presence than I had - the world had righted itself :)

The next day he was on stage with the fantastic James Roy and their hour long discussion of Twilight, Hunting Elephants and John's various works was fantastic. Not only that but I got to ask a question where James made a little to-do about me being the blogger behind Persnickety Snark (which no one knew about) and they kept repeating the title of the blog between them for fun. I have never been so happy to have named my blog Persnickety Snark.

I really wish I had an audio recording of that.

Later I waited in line for my copy of An Abundance of Katherines to be signed. John remembered me - "ahhh Persnickety Snark". Not as the weird spazz who'd mentioned her dream about him but as the blogger who asked a question during the panel (even though I had been in the tiered seating very far away from stage). Not only that, he remembered the blog's name.

It made it all worth it. He wouldn't remember any of this. Accumulatively this was maybe five minutes of my life. It is just cool that I remember it!

And that is the story of my John Green dream.

Update (17/8/15): This all happened prior to becoming the Program Coordinator at CYL. I have now organised three Reading Matters conferences. Weird huh?


Unknown said...

Not sure if this was ment to be funny but I almost fell of my chair laughing! :) How funny, but also amazing! :)

Ynysawdre Elderly Residents Association said...

Awesome, the post, the dream and just being part of such a fantastic blogging community. THANKS

Diana Dang said...

Haha, that's pretty cool!

A.J. said...

That is just hilarious and awesome. :D But I gotta admit, reading this gave me some second-hand embarrassment. XD

Helen's Book Blog said...

Awesome story! I am so glad that you shared it; it is at once embarrassing, funny, great, and an experience you won't ever forget! Who knows where our dreams will take us?!

Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

Too funny! Thank you for sharing this. Several of the librarians at my library went to a conference where John Green was one of the Keynote speakers. They all came back gushing about him. He must have that effect on people! :)

BookChic said...

Very funny post- I enjoyed reading about your experience with John, even though like others I shared some second-hand embarrassment for you! I have a bit of a regular crush on John Green so I was surprised that I was able to hold a bit of conversation with him without like doing anything embarrassing. It helps when you bring ARCs because then they're all "How did you get this? That's so awesome!" It's a good conversation starter.

Angiegirl said...

Hysterical, Adele. And I love that you have this story and shared it. I would have been much more bumbling, no doubt. I think I was developing the same type of lit crush as you were at that time. :P

John The Bookworm said...

Adele, this made me happy. :) I think I'd be a little happier to have an author show up so casually and post, but I felt that second hand embarrassment pretty well. ^^ Definitely shows you that your dreams have strange ways of coming true...

John Green said...

... and now I am commenting again because I am so fond of the phrase "librarian scrums." I'll remember the dream next time, I promise. (I was so jetlagged!)

Thanks for reblogging me.


Mrs. DeRaps said...

I, too, have a book crush on John Green. It gets worse with every amazing book he writes. I feel like I need him to be a little less amazing. Thanks for the crazy/awesome post.

Anonymous said...

Empathy and awesomeness from one Nerdfighter Lit Crush-ee to another!


Anonymous said...

Reading about your dream makes me think about the promising beginning of a chick-lit. Loved the post.

Robby said...

John Green. :D

silverush said...

You have no idea how incredibly jealous I am of you having met John Green, as I also have a crush on him. =)

kanishk said...

That is just hilarious and awesome.
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