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Last week a musician stood on stage in front of me and shouted at the crowd, “Hey, I’m just a guy  who likes a good beat and thinking about life’s biggest questions!” Don’t we NEED forces like that in our lives? Muses who create great art to inspire and to challenge us.

When I bake, I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I have always enjoyed the writings of John Green and the vlogbrothers videos Hank and John launch onto YouTube to make the world a little more nerdy… a little more awesome. Then came TFIOS. The Fault in Our Stars is about a couple of kids that meet in a cancer support group. (You can read the first chapter here.) After a year walking alongside friends and family struggling with cancer and other unexplainable illnesses, God brought me tremendous joy, humor, and healing through this story. When I heard John Green was coming to DC for the National Book Festival I had to go and say THANK YOU.

Admittedly, I am not toiling away in a laboratory working on a cure for the evils of the world, but I do believe that creating something pretty– that brings joy– is a gift I can give. In the words of Augustus Waters, “I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.” And what simple pleasure can rival a cookie?


When I presented the cookies to Mr. Green he thanked me and asked a simple questions- “How did you make this?” With great intellectual prowess I responded with something along the lines of “I bake cookies in my oven.”  Mmmmm hmmm. Not untrue…  Eventually, I recovered use of my wits and was able to express a shadow of gratitude.

Yes, cookies do bake in the oven. Using a complicated series of chemical reactions for gluten formation, sugar breakdown into monosaccharides, and the interplay of baking soda and water creating CO2… viola! Cookies! After cooling, they can be layered with icing (more sugar chains), fondant, and chocolate (don’t even go there) to replicate any design. The most challenging part is color-matching the blue tones and getting the shapes just right. I used a tiny brush and food coloring to apply the font on the cover.(Americolor Bright White food tint is one of my favorite discoveries in all of bakingdom.)  So there you have it.

An unexpected pleasure of the day was meeting the 1,800 nerdfighters/fans who came to the booksigning. I am not even exaggerating here. Shout out to  the readers who shared inspiring stories, hysterical t-shirts, and a ton of great book recommendations.

Take a peek at the mayhem and hear John’s thoughts on DC, government, art, and our specific squirrel situation here:

VLOG: John Green at the National Book Festival

Library of Congress Podcast: John Green’s reading and discussion of TFIOS

ps- John, be glad you did not encounter a notorious DC midnight-black squirrel because those creatures will growl and steal your popcorn before you even know what happened! Show no fear.

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.

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  1. Melanie says

    You are awesome and this cookie is awesome. The world is a happier place because of the beauty you bring in to it!

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