2014: A What a Nerd Girl Says Recap of the Year!

Aw, here yes. The year has come to an end. It is officially 2015. What a crazy year its been.

I’ve always prided myself in the closeness that I’ve had with all of you. I share with you. I could just write about books and events and all of that and leave it at that. But I share with you all and I know that you guys know that its been a rough year for me. Its one of the hardest years I’ve had to deal with. Trying to figure who I am and what I want, help dropping out of school, approved finding a new job, losing the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, all of that. It was a hard year. There are times when I have to stop, take a deep breath and tell myself, Sara, its going to be okay. Its going to be okay.

But despite that, or perhaps because of it, I’m trying to find the good in all things. Not everything this year was terrible. In fact, there were many, many great things about this year, and that’s what this post is for, to remember all the amazing things I was able to experience this year.

And here’s to hoping that 2015 is even better.

JANUARY 

 

Met Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi…Officially

1525327_492723457515188_1596697835_n

1560559_492722530848614_330256801_n

I had unofficially met them while at the City of Bones premiere, when I kind of attacked them in excitement. I officially met them at Ransom’s release of Hollow City and I’m so glad I did :)

Got My Divergent Tattoo

1601007_497137527073781_1126369031_n

I had been wanting to get a Divergent tattoo for quite some time and I thought, now would be the time to do it, before the movie releases and it gets even bigger than it already is. So I did. And I love it.

I Met Penguins for the First Time

1625492_497405347046999_1652004559_n

Possibly one of the most amazing days in my entire life. I am massively obsessed with penguins and I spent the entire day giggling and smiling and just being all around happy. It was such an amazing day.

FEBRUARY 

 

Attended the Vampire Academy Meet and Greet, Music Party and Red Carpet Premiere

1003075_502569023197298_1761304701_n

Zoey Deutch is one of my absolute biggest celebrity crushes and Rose Hathaway and the Vampire Academy books are some of my absolute favorites so this was an absolute fun time. Especially since I met both Zoey and Danila Kozlovsky.

Got My Vampire Academy Tattoo

1662075_506904266097107_1822334390_n

I was so inspired by being around the Vampire Academy cast and fellow VA fans that I knew it was time to get my newest tattoo. Another addition to my body that I am so happy with. I know, its in the “wrong” spot. I couldn’t put it on the back of my neck because I already have something there!

Attended my Second Gallifrey One Convention

1620463_507417859379081_2047509524_n

Best. Convention. Ever. I will continue to go to this convention as long as I can get a badge to that thing. I met Arthur Darvill and Billie Piper, which was just straight up mind blowing, and I partied all night and I was even on my first ever convention panel. All in all, GREAT weekend.

Attended Jessica Brody’s ‘Unforgotten’ Release Party

1979491_513014752152725_1905313920_n

Always a good time to go and see Jessica Brody :) I was DYING to get my hands on this book and I went home and basically finished it that night.

Had an Amazing 26th Birthday Party

1969278_515399585247575_681438476_n

I got a year older, and celebrated some of my absolute favorite people in the entire world. I’m lucky to have such incredible friends.

MARCH 

 

Met Willow Shields at the Catching Fire DVD Release!

1901232_518088228312044_1459383428_n

A friend told me this was going on, I had the day off and I thought, hey, why not meet Willow Shields again :) A super ton of fun and now my Catching Fire blu-ray is signed and pretty.

Saw Set It Off in Concert, Met Them, Fell in Love with Them Even More

1798258_521903357930531_904017149_n

I saw these guys live when they opened for Story of the Year at the end of 2013. They were INCREDIBLE and a huge inspiration for the start, middle and end of me writing The Awakened. Seeing them play after falling so much in love with them was super awesome.

Met the awesome guys of Green Light Theory

10013525_521846351269565_2129768430_n

These guys are the best. They played outside the Set it Off show to bring attention to their band, and they completely sold me on it. Plus they’re a great group of guys and I’m proud to call them my friends!

Was First in Line for the Divergent World Premiere

1902752_523824684405065_2136412027_n

I got no sleep, was freezing, had more than a few frustrating moments but I had a ton of fun and met Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet, amongst a lot more and I got to show Veronica Roth my Divergent tattoo. I call that a win.

APRIL 

 

Met Stephen Chbosky and debut author Ava Dellaira

532282_530913477029519_937381953_n

I absolutely LOVED being able to meet Stephen again, who is just such an awesome person, besides just being a great author. Ava is a great addition to my ever growing list of authors that I love. She’s sweet, and totally talented and if you haven’t read Love Letters to the Dead yet, you’re crazy!

Attended Festival of Books, as a Member of the Press!

10157250_537163749737825_556473072960741161_n

Was SO excited to be press, and all that it entails, and being able to meet such fantastic authors. I always have such a blast at this weekend event and this year was no different, especially since I was able to meet John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Deb Caletti, Marissa Meyer and so many more. A GREAT year at the fest.

 Attended WonderCon 2014

1897678_539763106144556_7684635981116176534_n

My second year at WonderCon 2014 and I had a fantastic time. I absolutely love this con and I love how close it is to my own home. I met the cast of The 100, a show I didnt’ watch until recently but one that I totally love. And I got to hang out with a ton of great friends and meet authors like James Dashner, Kiera Cass and Frank Beddor.

Attended the FIRST Pasadena Teen Book Fest

10291746_544932715627595_8722404691981675888_n

Such an awesome new teen fest in Pasadena :) I had a blast meeting a ton of authors I’d never met before and being a part of the blog tour and blog team for this fest. Thanks to everyone who put this on and let me be a part of it. Andrew Smith was the honored guest of it and he’s so funny and I discovered a few new authors from this as well.

MAY

 

Saw Jamie Campbell Bower Live on Venice Beach

10347613_550072731780260_9195791029407333324_n

In the past year, Jamie has spent a lot of time with his band, The Darling Buds, writing new songs and playing them for everyone. He had done a pop up acoustic show in the UK and I was mean green with jealousy until he announced he would do one in NYC AND LA. I was SO excited and of course I made sure to be there!

Finally Met One of my Favorite Authors, Tammara Webber!

10354137_550102928443907_8239878750114847326_n

Immediately after I saw JCB on Venice Beach, my friends and I RACED to Glendale to meet Tammara Webber and Abbi Glines. I LOVE Tammara so so so much and I’m so glad to have made it to her signing. She’s a doll, and I use her as an inspiration a LOT.

Met Morgan Matson again and Met Jenny Han for the first time!

10250198_552528404868026_7467979203778211533_n

10352770_552526791534854_2869129636935439309_n

On Mother’s Day, both Morgan Matson and Jenny Han were doing a signing that I just couldn’t miss. So what did I do? I took my mom with me! Seeing Morgan again was fun, of course, and I fell absolutely in love with Jenny Han and immediately went home to read her new book, all in a matter of hours!

The All-Around Amazingness of Ontario Teen Book Fest 2014

10296854_555664167887783_3370660061307931048_n

I loved everything about this year’s Ontario Teen Book Fest just as I did last year. I loved being the blogger for it again and getting to know a bunch of absolutely fantastic authors. I loved the addition of the author speed dating and I loved being a part of this community. This fest means the world to me, and I will continue to be a part of it as long as I can! Also, I was in the program and that was awesome.

Rainbow Rowell Sends me a Postcard

10366126_556776747776525_2336501981147356148_n

YES! When I went to the Festival of Books, I wrote letters to John Green, Veronica Roth and Rainbow Rowell. I never ever expected anything back from them, but I wanted to know how much their books meant to me. When I received a postcard in the mail from Rainbow, I literally burst into tears. This was so sweet of her to answer me back, and I have this hanging on my wall as a reminder of the amazing authors that I admire.

Met Kiera Cass!

10308164_557448407709359_2604044263387430679_n

I had met Kiera Cass briefly at WonderCon but I was super excited to see her again, where I could spend more time with her and tell her how AWESOME The One was. Because seriously that book was incredible.

Read City of Heavenly Fire in 6 Hours

10274045_561542447299955_4849494407997856060_n

I was insanely anxious to see the end of this series that I love so much, so much that I rushed down to Walmart when my friend informed me that they had released it early and rushed home to read it as quickly as I could. Of course, I was massively disappointed in the ending but that’s a whole ‘nother story. At least I read fast ;)

Finished The Awakened!

10354960_566781893442677_4929913451047611450_n

I finished my novel. This was my number one goal of the year and I literally cried my eyes out when I did it. I was so proud of myself. I still am proud of myself. This novel took so much out of me, time and sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears. I worked HARD on this one and I continue to do so.

JUNE

 

Met Morgan Matson…Again…

10403559_566965100091023_1612760725546526971_n

I like to stalk Morgan Matson or something. Nah ;) I just absolutely love her and I’ll take any opportunity to meet her. Plus I hadn’t been able to get my copy of her Katie Finn book signed so I brought that along with me!

Saw The Darling Buds in Concert

1528467_571545712966295_1945836269040883629_n

After seeing JCB on the beach about a month earlier, his band announced they’d be playing a 21 and over show and I immediately got tickets for it, as did my friends. We had a blast going to it and we were able to meet all four members as well. AND I was finally able to get that picture will Lily Collins!

Girls Gone Sci-Fi Hits Mysterious Galaxy on Its Last Day

10426596_572221582898708_8640709483403870789_n

Hung out with some of my favorite people and favorite authors AND spent a tearful last day at one of my favorite bookstores in the entire world, Mysterious Galaxy. The store reigns on in San Diego but its Redondo store closed its doors and I’m glad I spent one last time there with some seriously awesome people.

Saw The Darling Buds…Again

10440984_573497872771079_1337704041062295689_n

Just a few days after the 21+ Darling Buds show, they held a free all ages show at the Gibson 90210 studios. We of course had to go to this as well and had a blast again. This time was especially fun as Jamie came over to my friends and I and sang part of the song with us. That pretty much made my entire life.

Went to the Ruin and Rising Release Party!

10446698_575824989205034_7486470016544960592_n

Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite people in the entire world so I was VERY excited to be a part of her launch party once more, especially since I went home and read the book and was just blown away at how incredible a conclusion it was. There were drinks and goodies and a photo booth and a great great time.

Got my First Shout Out in a Book

10487308_580271932093673_5397675519223748754_n

I was browsing around instagram when a fellow blogger of mine posted that she was thanked in Siege and Storm, which had just been rereleased in paperback. I had a feeling so I rushed out to the bookstore (which I think was about to close) and grabbed a copy. I nearly cried when I saw that, yes, What A Nerd Girl Says had made the list. It was an honor to be amongst so many awesome blogs and to be in there, period.

Went to My First Ever ALA Conference in Las Vegas

10511362_582826021838264_7217504681051213823_n

For months, Courtney, my librarian friend, had encouraged me to attend the ALA Conference in Las Vegas. I went back and forth, especially since I knew I’d probably have to go alone. Eventually I convinced myself that a solo trip would be fun and I’m SO SO SO glad that I did. I met new people, made great connections and met a ton of new authors. DEFINITELY glad at.

JULY

 

Saw Hank Green in Concert

10513417_584324945021705_6219398232824218523_n

I had bought tickets to the concert months before I finally decided to go to ALA and this landed on the day I would be leaving Vegas. There was SO much drama on my way home and I nearly skipped the concert. My friends, however, convinced me to go and I’m glad I did. The concert was a total blast and I got to meet the other Green brother, Hank. Both Vlogbrothers in one year? That’s success.

Fangirl Day at Disneyland

10553433_596356753818524_6926990654428648477_n

My friends and I spent the entire day at Disneyland. I hadn’t started work there, so my parabatai, Sylvia, signed me in because she did. We brought our books and had a blast going on rides and taking pictures with our books. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.

Saw James Dashner again 

1908375_599719896815543_6246702183634116163_n

I was missing out on Comic Con again, because, let’s face it, I’m too poor for CC but I decided to go down to San Diego to meet James Dashner. It was a crazy day, one where my tire exploded on the way down and there was drama in trying to get it fixed, but, all in all, a great day.

AUGUST 

 

Saw Set it Off…Again

10501839_606163956171137_7178641273558928071_n

Set It Off became a little bit of an obsession with me, but I don’t mind too much ;) They’ve been an incredible inspiration to me this year and I’m glad that I keep getting to see them and meet them. Their music makes me happy!

Fangirl Beach Day 

10538060_608467972607402_5966178671691608857_n

Like fangirl day at Disneyland, I gathered a few friends and had a long, but awesome day at the beach with some books. It was a blast and as you can see, we had way too much fun taking pictures. Definitely something I will have to do every single summer.

Meeting Gayle Forman and If I Stay director Ray Cutler

10603698_607293582724841_6940999393570655264_n

Honestly, in all complete and total honesty, this event SUCKED. The Barnes and Noble it was held at was disorganized and unprofessional and just straight up terrible. BUT I’m glad to have met Gayle and RJ and Gayle’s parents were sitting in front of us, and were SO incredibly sweet as well. And we got cupcakes after the event so that’s always good.

Saw Fall Out Boy and Paramore

1625581_611589712295228_3457557671511319185_n

I had tickets for MONTHS to see Fall Out Boy and Paramore. I was sitting a million miles away but that’s okay. That is, until my good friend Jade snuck me to the front with her and I got see Fall Out Boy up close for the first time since I was in high school. It was also my first time seeing Paramore, and they are INSANELY good live.

Went to the If I Stay Red Carpet Premiere

10378315_613938915393641_1575541501356536370_n

This was such a dramatic and irritating day at a premiere. I was there all day and things weren’t going the way I wanted them to but then I was determined to make things work, and they eventually did. My one goal was to meet Jamie and Liana and I did so that was fantastic!

Got My Very First Rejection

10646777_615847871869412_4772796585496517334_n

This was one of the roughest moments of my year. This has been a rough year and hearing this sucked. But I keep trying to remind myself that this was the beginning of the right path for The Awakened. Some people don’t even make it to the querying agents stage so the fact that I’m doing it means I’m on the right path to becoming a published author.

SEPTEMBER

 

Met Josephine Angelini for Release of Trial by Fire

10653884_624127707708095_33746586654051192_n

Josie is a total doll. I had just seen her at ALA and gotten my hands on Trial by Fire, which I totally loved, so I was excited to meet up with her and celebrate the actual release of the novel. Plus she brought cupcakes, which is always fantastic.

Celebrated New Releases with Natalie Whipple, Kiersten White and Stephanie Perkins

10635884_627433434044189_8541415221486390985_n

I was able to attend this event down in Oceanside just days after I ended my relationship. And I’ll just say this, I’m grateful for each and every single one of these authors for putting on SUCH a great event and keeping my mind off of such a terrible thing in my life. All of the authors were funny and helpful and I’m glad to have met them all.

Got a Job at Disneyland!

10440965_640445049409694_6360374145133867139_n

This is easily one of the best things to happen this year. I have wanted to work at Disneyland for most of my life and I’ve been told many times that I could not, because of my visible tattoos. I decided to try one more time, because my parabatai encouraged me to, and so I did and I finally became a cast member. I have been there nearly three months now and I’m in love with my job. I’m so grateful for this job and how its kept my head above water the past few months.

Met Sarah J Maas Again!

10646830_629280797192786_6685613444723944234_n

This was SUCH a fun day. I have met Sarah a few times before and she was doing a full signing at the Barnes and Noble in Glendale with a panel but after the terrible time I had there for Gayle Forman’s panel, I decided I would just go to this quick signing at Costco. She remembered me and signed my Heir of Fire, and I also was able to meet a fan of my blog that day, which was fantastic as well.

Got My 13th Tattoo, Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle!

1559690_687268394727359_5163385431683059031_n

I had wanted this tattoo for quite some time, and I had planned on getting it soon. It was something that I really needed because of the terrible month that September had been, so this tattoo means a lot to me. Its beautiful, I’m very proud of it, and it was the perfect moment for it to become a part of me. And let’s face it, its damn cute too.

Met Misha Collins!

10698650_637152623072270_1766124495011454484_n

Not only did I get to meet Matthew Thomas, who is still getting so much buzz and accolade for his debut novel, but I got to meet its champion, Misha Collins who plays my absolute favorite character on Supernatural, Castiel. Pretty much one of the best days of my life.

Met and Interviewed Drew Daywalt

10342416_638200596300806_9173052222650026468_n

Normally I don’t tend to do children’s books on this blog. Its not my thing. But this book was read to us at the Matthew Thomas event and I FELL in love with it and knew I had to be at this event. It was a ton of fun, and I was able to interview Drew, who was fantastic, and a great person to meet. I’m glad that I decided to go to this.

Celebrated the Release of Kami Garcia’s Unmarked

1069814_638302266290639_1670156085557446059_n

Immediately after the Day the Crayons Quit event, Kami Garcia had her event for Unmarked. Such a fun a time, I had never met Kami before! Plus a ton of other authors joined in on the fun, including Christopher Rice. An epic day for sure.

OCTOBER

 

Met Becca Fitzpatrick and the duo of Christina Lauren

1959774_643257022461830_6887108253094067066_n

1958564_643260049128194_7289446788127178063_n

I’m not a massive fan of Becca’s Hush Hush series but I loved her new novel, Black Ice, so I definitely wanted to get it signed by the author. She was super sweet and I also discovered the duo of Christina Lauren, whose book Sublime is now definitely on my TBR list.

Saw Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and Met Him

1609921_647777228676476_4938176969011927374_n

Andrew McMahon and the many incarnations he’s been a part of (Something Corporate, Jacks Mannequin, etc) is the most important musician in my life. Every song, every note, is beautiful to me and important to me. I had bought tickets to see him at the end of November, at the very end of his tour, but when I saw there were still tickets left for his second show in Los Angeles and I decided, why the hell not, and I’m so glad. I met new friends and saw an absolutely incredible show.

NOVEMBER

 

Celebrated the Last Harry Potter Day at Disneyland

1609933_659170347537164_3831887145687881455_n

It was a sad day for the very last day of Harry Potter Day at Disneyland. The word day was also used way too much in that one sentence…but anyway. I spent most of the day with my team, answering trivia questions correctly, as I do, before Disneyland basically shut down the entire event. Sadness. BUT I had a great day with my friends, so there’s always that.

Met Jessica Brody…Again

10394028_661473373973528_6529003201291921682_n

I don’t know that I can say I “met” Jessica Brody. Its more like…I hung out with her again. At this point, I feel lucky enough to call her friend.

Went to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Red Carpet Premiere

10675763_667790810008451_838267759115759949_n

Another tiring and stressful day, we waited in line all day, waiting to be on the red carpet for this thing. We were pissed at the set up and the way they did the line but eventually we got on the carpet and ended up right on the barricade and I ended up meeting Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Suzanne Collins (!!!), and so so so many more. And we got to see the movie too, which I always count a win in my book.

Saw Circa Survive in Concert!

1505475_672557369531795_4904442996673246700_n

I was never a huge Circa Survive fan but they are my parabatai’s favorite band and I went with her to this concert. I somehow magically ended up on the barricade and had SUCH a blast. They’re so good, and Anthony Green is just an incredible musician, and I love him from his short time with Saosin. I can’t wait to see him play with them next month!

Saw Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness Again

1919670_674293719358160_1508998548516390789_n

Longest. Day. Ever. But worth every moment. I worked, tried to find Karen Gillan at Disneyland (and failed) and then got in line to see Andrew. I was SO far back, which pissed me off to no end but somehow, magically, ended up right in front at the barricade. It was SUCH a great show. He played more songs than he had at the last show, because he’s an Orange County boy AND it was the last show. I stayed after, of course, flirted with a cute boy ;) and got to say hello to my favorite musician again.

Went to The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies Premiere

10847974_679714055482793_8125425722222291760_n

I had been hoping to get to the premiere for the Hobbit and I’m so glad I was able to do so. It was a little disappointing because Benedict, Martin and Ian weren’t there, BUT I got to meet PETER JACKSON and Orlando Bloom and more, so I was quite satisfied. And I was able to see the movie as well, and I think its a fitting end to a very nerdtastic year for me.

*      *      *      *      *     *

How was YOUR year? What were your favorite moments? Share them in the comments!

Share YOUR Nerd!