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I just found an old hard drive cleaning out my office...and in among a LOT of files (including originals of a bunch of 2007 Brotherhood 2.0 episodes) I found this snippet of a talk that John gave before Terminus at the Chicago Public Library. And yes, John does say "Check your myspace" because MySpace really still was a thing in 2008...
...which is like this, only instead of me being a physical presence I will just be coded in symbolic scratches on a page that will appear on your computer screens. Um, and, uh, I'm gonna answer all these questions in textual form, and then also, if you want, if you have an extra question that wasn't put here, I will try to answer that as well, in textual form, and then it will be posted on the blog at Chicago Public Library and I will link to it on the next video. Uh, the email address that you would send such questions to is of course sparksflyup@gmail.com. Um, all right, ready? Hooo. [audience laughter]

I'm gonna, like, bust it out in my best Question Tuesday voice. [audience applause]. It'd be great if you guys just did that, like, every ten minutes. Without any warning. That is very pleasant. Um, Jackie and Becky asked, "Are there ranks of nerdfighters?" No, uh, all nerdfighters are created equal, and it's not like Animal Farm equal, where some nerdfighters are created more equal than others. All nerdfighters are really created equal. Um, Kate asks, "Was Alaska a real person, or based on a real person you knew in high school?" Yeah, but that real person's kind of me. Like, um, I would say that I'm more, like, my high school self is probably closer in personality to Alaska than to anyone else in any of my books, because I was kind of reckless and uh, generally I frequently forgot to be awesome, and, uh, and I was moody, and I struggled a lot. Um, at least until my senior year, the second half of my senior year. Um, and in some ways, the character is also based on people I knew in high school, the sort of, the way I misimagined, um, girls when I was in high school certainly informed that character because I think all high school boys, listen up high school girls: high school boys are busy in the business of misimagining you. And in fairness, high school girls are also misimagining high school boys, um, and, yes, I'm looking at you, Bella [laughter].

Monica asks, "Will you be stopping in or near Boston on the Nerdfighter tour?" No, but I will be there with the Paper Towns tour, I think I'm gonna be there on October 17th. Um, don't tell anyone that, 'cause I'm not allowed to officially announce that yet, but I will be there on October 17th, but I'm not allowed to say it out loud. Um, let's pretend I did it telepathically.

Sarah says, "It's often said that the books we read become an integral part of our identities. Of all the many books you've read in your lifetime, which do you feel most heavily influenced the person you've become?" This is a really good question, and it necessitates that I pick a book that I read when I was younger, which is unfortunate. I think Catcher in the Rye was really influential to me, in terms of my- well, of course you like it, you're reading it- in terms of my, the way I, the way I find my being a person. Because I always felt this, sort of, huge disconnect between me and the rest of the world, and when I saw that Holden Caulfield, in his massively unlikable and unhealthy way, also feels very disconnected from the rest of the world, it was this tremendous comfort to me, and I started to feel- I started to think that, that maybe the way that I felt, instead of being so unusual, was closer to universal, um, which is a great thing. The earlier you realize that in life, the better off you are, like, people realize that, people who realize that when they're, like, ten, just have very happy lives. Um, I would also say, uh, I read this book when I was young called Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston, and it has been hugely influential in my life and in my development as a person.

Um, "Have you ever thought of a major plot point for your books while taking a shower?" I don't take showers, I take baths, and yes! Um, in fact, I think that kind of like the bath is the last great place to think about that kind of thing, because, uh, it's quiet, you know? And this is one of the very difficult things about reading and writing in today's world, is that it requires contemplative time. Y'know? Like, you can't read a book while you're playing Halo. And, uh, and because you can't do that, you have to- I mean, I think this is almost unique to reading, is you have to spend time alone with the text, and you have to spend quiet, extended time alone with the text, which really allows you to be thoughtful in a way that you can't be while 87 things are going on, and you have to check your MySpace, and you have to tweet on Twitter, and you have to, y'know, do everything else all at the same time, everything's got to get done, and reading is the only time where all that has to shut up, there's no other, there's no second choice. Um, and I think writing is the same way, coming up with ideas is the same way; you need that quiet time, and for me that's the bath. Jennifer asked-