|Image Source: Jude and the Walrus|
For someone who spends a majority of their day blogging and reading blogs…I’m a terrible personal blogger. I get so caught up with blogging for public consumption in the entertainment world that I forget to document the little things around here. To catch you up quickly, I completed my first year of teaching. I honestly have never experienced anything as stressful or as crazy busy as the life of a first year. I can only hope that my second year this Fall is significantly less insane. I attended the world premiere of Divergent in Los Angeles back in March. My family and I traveled to Maui for a week back in April. I was a bridesmaid for the first time last month. Lots of fun stuff.
Once I was able to take a step back from the teacher insanity and remembered that I still had this blog, I briefly considered giving this blog a facelift, maybe a new name or something. But in the end, I think the title “Messy Milestones” still rings true.
On the one hand, it kind of falls in line with my life as a pre-k teacher. Many milestones are reached in the Pre-K year and if you know a four or five year old, you know that those milestones often come with a trail a messes. Kids are cute. Messy, but cute. But my blog title works for me in more ways than just a reflection of my teaching life. I’m still young. At 23 years old, I’ve got years of life and adventures ahead of me. I have career ambitions, personal goals, and an ever-growing bucket list of things to do in life. So to get a little philosophical here, I’ve got plenty of milestones ahead of me and the path to get there may end up being a little messy, a little crazy, but at the end of the day, what matters is that I get there.
It’s been a trip in the works since May when Veronica Roth was announced as the keynote speaker but finally the time arrived for me to head down to Charleston, SC for YALLFest 2013. YALLFest in a Young Adult Book Festival created by bestselling authors Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, and Melissa de la Cruz. This year’s festival included 50 fantastic authors with New York Times Bestselling Authors Veronica Roth and Rae Carson as the keynote speakers. I attended with my friends Sarah and Jenna who I have known for over three years but had yet to meet in person until now.
|L TO R: Myself, Sarah, and Jenna|
The day began early at 6:45am as we stood in line to receive our wristbands for Veronica Roth’s signing line. They were only giving out 500 and we needed to get lower wristband numbers so we wouldn’t miss out on Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs’ Coffee Talk session. We love them. Luckily, we were issued wristbands below #50 so we were able to head straight up to the signing line after the keynote speech was over.
Meeting Veronica Roth was actually very cool for me. Although I’m still a little perturbed with Allegiant‘s ending, I really am a big fan of her series. Having created my fansite Divergent Nation (now merged with Divergent Lexicon as of Oct ’12) in June 2011, I’ve been a part of the Divergent fandom almost since its inception and yet I had never met Veronica Roth! She told me loved my site (and my shirt!) and said she was bummed that she was not able to make it to the Divergent set in May when I, along with many other fansite reps, descended on Chicago. Success!
|Getting my book signing by Veronica Roth!|
Following Veronica’s signing, we headed around the corner to Coffee Talk with Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi. Both are New York Times Bestselling Authors and happened to married to each other. If you follow them on Twitter, you know they are hysterical. Let me just tell you that they are SO entertaining in person!
Watching these two talk and hearing their crazy stories makes me seriously want them to get their own reality show. Immediately after the panel, we followed them down the road again for Tahereh’s signing. Her line was huge but I finally got to introduce myself to her since I also run a Shatter Me fanpage which she happens to follow on Twitter. They are both super sweet to talk to! (Fun Fact: When Jenna was going through security at Charleston International to go home, she went through with Tahereh and Ransom!)
|Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs|
From there we had lunch and were planning to go to Ransom’s signing but he contracted food poisoning 🙁 We called it a day on YALLFest and we back to the hotel to rest before doing more sightseeing.
I honestly can gush enough about this trip! YALLFest was fantastic and Charleston has to be the prettiest and classiest city around. We’ll definitely be going back next year!