I have lost my ability to even

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations," - a pretty good writer in an ok book

About a month ago, I was sitting in the bathtub when I got an email on my phone. (I always take electronic devices into the bath. It just seems smart.) That email was from Hank Green, who asked Daniel and I if we would like to come join him and John at Carnegie Hall and read a scene from The Fault in Our Stars. I… freaked out. I called my mom. I squealed. All from the tub.

This mirrors the first time I read TFiOS, which I started in the bathtub last June. (I don’t really take that many baths, but apparently great things happen when I do, so maybe I’ll start taking more.) I got all prune-y in the bath because I completely lost track of time as I was absorbed into the world of Hazel and Augustus. I read it in preparation for VidCon, where I knew I would finally meet Hank, and also John. I could never imagine that half a year later I would be onstage with them at Carnegie Hall, with guests like Neil Gaiman, reading from this incredibly beautiful book. Or that the reason I would get to be a part of this one of a kind event would be because I was cast in a web series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice a year ago.

I don’t ever want to forget the magic of walking onstage in front of 3,000 screaming nerdfighters at Carnegie Freaking Hall. I want to remember the way my heart swelled in my chest and I felt like I was on fire, in an exciting, non-burning kind of way. I want to remember the electricity in the air in that very large, special room. I want to remember the energy and camaraderie backstage amongst people like Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Daniel Vincent Gordh, John and Hank Green, Kimya, and Neil “Donkey Balls” GaimanI want to remember reading from this extraordinary book in front of a crowd that laughed, applauded, and cried. I want to remember singing and dancing along with The Mountain Goats and not caring if I looked silly in front of thousands of people because I was just having the best time.

Last night was an evening I will treasure, always. I don’t know how to begin to express what it meant to me to be included, or what it feels like to be able to participate in this extraordinary community and be so warmly welcomed. What John and Hank have built is difficult to fully understand, but not difficult to enjoy. I am extremely grateful to both of them for including me in their amazing celebration, and especially to Hank for giving me a job that made the people in that audience actually want to see me. The whole evening was just such a gift.

A big congratulations to Hank and John for their triumphantly awesome evening, 1 year of TFiOS success, and 6 years of Nerdfighteria. You are a very special breed, and the world could use more of you.

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    Neil “Donkey Balls” Gaiman.
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