“Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.” – John Green
To borrow a phrase from Starkid, this weekend was TOTALLY AWESOME!
You know why? Because I got to attend LeakyCon, which is about as close to actually going to Hogwarts as you can get without magical powers. LeakyCon is a convention for people who love Harry Potter, and who love to share that love with each other. It is a convention for fans, by fans. Meaning that for four days, the Chicago Hilton was a sea of wizard robes and Pizza John t-shirts. And I couldn’t have been happier.
Since I am not, per say, a crazy wild Harry Potter fan like most of these people, I primarily attended the literary part of the convention, more my style of nerdiness. Meaning that I got to hear and meet a slew of my favorite authors, including Laini Taylor, Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Margaret Stohl, Maureen Johnson, and John Green1. Seriously, this is the royalty of the young adult genre. These people are my rockstars. It was an exceptional and inspirational weekend that made me want to writewritewrite! Their panels were hilarious and delightful, and they were all very sweet about the nerdgirl freak out I had when I met each of them in turn.
Oh, and I also got to meet the girls of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, see the debut of “A Very Potter Senior Year,2” high fived Hank Green, got to see Mary GrandPre’s original cover art, and did yoga with Evanna Lynch.
And then at the end of it all, I had a butterbeer with John Green, and we talked about how much I love his books and how much he loves writing Sherlock fanfiction3. Which is a moment I will be adding to the top ten moments of my life list.
So yeah, not a bad weekend.
This weekend, I was reminded of how not great I am at meeting people I idolize. I got incredibly tongue tied around John, embarrassed myself in front of one of New York’s most important literary agents, and was a hot mess when I met Laini Taylor4. I just have such an admiration of people who are doing the things I want to be doing. The world is full of people who want to do things, including me, so to meet people who are actively leaving their mark upon the world as an artist and creator is an awe-inspiring experience. It makes me want to be an author even more, just for the chance to someday open a bottle of champagne5 with these people, and be one of them, instead of a crazed fan with her nose up against the window of the bar.
LeakyCon was awesome for a lot of reasons, but the best part was being around people who are passionately excited about everything. There is a lot of crossover in fandoms, so people who love Harry Potter also tend to love Sherlock, Star Wars, Dr. Who, and everything else that I love. And they don’t hide it. They own who they are, and, as a result, are much more open to everyone else around them. I loved being around people who got Starkid jokes, and understood my Fault in Our Stars t-shirt. I loved being around people who loved that I loved the same things that they did. The love that Harry Potter fans have for their books and their fandoms seeps into the rest of their lives, and they seem to love everything with an unbridled enthusiasm.
Because really, at its heart, that’s what Harry Potter is all about – love.
And man, do I love being around people who know how to love things, no matter what it is that that love is directed towards.
LeakyCon – thank you for a freaking awesome weekend. Maybe I’ll see you next year6.
- I will stop talking about John Green when you show me someone more worthy of my adoration!
- Complete with Darren Criss
- More importantly, Bald John Green/Other John Green slash stories. To fanfiction.net!
- Me: Oh my gosh…..you’re Laini….your books are so…..you’re so…..pink hair…..beautiful…..I love you so much. I just met you and I love you! Laini: …………..thank you?
- Which I would then not drink.
- In LONDON! If only….