seasonal technicality

seasonal technicality

The equinox has come and gone but winter didn’t seem to pay it any mind. Perhaps it likes it here and wants to stay. An extended holiday.

So there are no singing birds. No crocuses pushing up anxiously through the dirt.

Not yet.

The ground is still mostly frozen and boot-crunchy underneath the leafless sketchbook trees.

Bare branches reaching for blue sky.

Longing for spring.

When technically it’s already here, as far as the movement of the sun is concerned.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

bucket in spring

Today is Bucket’s birthday. She is seven years old.

Normally she is an equinox baby, but this year the equinox was yesterday. Maybe that’s why she was so cranky about letting me take birthday photos.

bucket age 7

I tried. I did. She would not look at the camera no matter how I pleaded and waved things. I think she was shunning me because I brushed her first.

Ah well. She is not as much of a camera lover as her sister, but she’s still a pretty princess.

bucket age 7 closeup

Happy Birthday, fluffiest of Fluffy Buckets!

fairy trap

fairy trap

All you need to catch a fairy is an old birdhouse and some shiny stuff. You know, like glass and glitter, or pieces of colored plastic or metal things that’ll sparkle when the sun hits them.

You can paint the birdhouse, but it doesn’t really matter what color. It’s not like how hummingbirds like red things, fairies aren’t that picky.

So you take your birdhouse and shiny stuff and just hang it somewhere. High but not too high. Trees are good but fairies are everywhere so trees aren’t like, a requirement.

You don’t even need to put anything over the birdhouse entrance. Once they get in they won’t be able to figure out how to get out.

Fairies are kind of stupid.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

The boy and I are LOST junkies, but you knew this.

We have a little bit of a bet going this season, regarding the identity of a certain character’s ex-wife.

This is the wager:


If I’m right, I get the entire bag of Milanos.

If I’m wrong, he gets the entire bag.

Why Milanos, you ask? Because earlier this season in a relevant episode a character opens a bag of Milanos and only takes one cookie. Seriously, who does that? Only one Milano? Milanos are like, cookie heaven. You take the entire shelf if you’re not going to just succumb to eating the entire bag. One solitary Milano cookie is a sad, sad thing.

The only problem is we have no idea when the answer will be revealed. We’re probably going to have to hide the bag.


mr. buggy bear

My little sister has this bear, this really grumpy looking teddy bear that she pushes around in an ancient baby carriage she found at a yard sale. She calls him Mr. Buggy Bear, even though I’m pretty sure she had the bear before she had the buggy to push him in, but whatever.

I had this really lousy day the other day and she insisted that I push Mr. Buggy Bear around. She said it would make me feel better.

Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead pushing a teddy bear around in a baby carriage, but we were in the backyard and no one was around and she seriously never lets anyone touch the bear or the carriage, ever.

So I pushed Mr. Buggy Bear around the backyard in circles while she sat and made daisy chains.

I don’t know how long I pushed him for; I kind of lost track of time.

When it got dark she put a daisy chain on my head and said Mr. Buggy Bear had to go to sleep and then she pushed him into the garage.

And you know, I really did feel better after pushing that creepy bear around. Weird.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

I don’t actually know Kyle Cassidy but I admire his photography and I read his blog and I covet his coffin coffee table.

A few weeks back he held a contest on his blog giving away some of his fountain pens to penless writers, and to participate you had to take photos of your journals or whatnot & post a sample of your writing.

I thought, Hey, I’m a fountain penless writer! When I write by hand I write in Sharpie!

And then I thought, I am way too shy for this.

Then I said to myself, Erin, why don’t you find an alternative method of procuring a fountain pen if you really want one? Because sometimes I can be quite logical.

But of course I wanted a vintage one, because old things have more story in them and vintage pens seem inherently cooler and more writerly than shiny new ones.

So not really knowing where else to look, I did an Etsy vintage search and happened upon a very cheap, condition unknown green Esterbrook J series fountain pen that had been found at an estate sale. I went ahead and ordered it, thinking it would probably need massive overhaul and wondering what kind of seedy world of vintage pen afficionados I was getting myself into.

Pen arrived with a fair amount of dried blue ink but once it was cleaned and re-inked (in grey, because I became instantly enamored with the idea of writing in grey ink rather than blue or black or sienna or whatnot) it was in perfect working order.

I am now wondering why I had never thought to get a fountain pen before because it is brilliant and magical. I don’t know the history of this particular pen prior to its ending up on Etsy, but I know it’s older than me by a fair amount and it likely had its fair share of adventures before it ended up here in Salem, writing down revision notes about nocturnal circuses.

Within days of writing with it I reworked the entire ending of the revised version of the novel and untangled several troublesome plot points. If this thing ever gets published, remind me to thank Kyle Cassidy in the acknowledgments.

fountain pen 1

fountain pen 2

Things I accomplished in my week of little-to-no internets, an unnumbered list.

  • Finished knitting the huge, boa-esque scarf that I have been working on for ages. Photos forthcoming. Of course, now that it is finished it is too warm outside to wear it. I have lousy knitting karma.
  • Read Shaun Tan’s Tales From Outer Suburbia on recommendation from Carey. I was a Tan fan already but this book is lovely bits of whimsical wonderment and I loved it to pieces. A perfect blend of words & pictures. This is going to be one of those books I read over & over, I can tell.
  • Managed to get a whole lot of revising done, including reworking a large part of the ending. I came up with the changes while completely hopped up on Sudafed and unable to breathe properly, but so far they still seem to work. Draft is still a mess, but it’s starting to look novel-shaped again. Sort of. If you squint.
  • Did not manage to properly get rid of this stupid cold. Am mostly better, but still congested. It is the cold that will not die no matter how much tea and vitamin C I give it. It makes me sad. *cough*

In other news, it’s disturbingly spring-like here. We had the windows open yesterday. It kind of freaked me out.

Tessa is enjoying the sunshine.

tessa sunshine march 2010

oracle tower

the oracle tower

The oracle tower sits in an otherwise empty field, a looming monolith of wood and metal and whatever else oracle towers are made from.

It doesn’t move unless it’s being consulted, or it happens to be a particularly windy day.

People come from all around to consult the oracle tower. For guidance or instructions. For something to point them in the right direction.

As far as I can tell the oracle tower doesn’t actually do anything. Sometimes the arrows spin around or the sunlight reflects off the hubcaps in a sparkly sort of way, but that’s pretty much it.

Some people stand and stare at it for hours, inspecting it from every angle. Others only remain in the field for a few minutes.

But everyone seems satisfied when they leave.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

I’m taking this week off from the internet. Mostly. I’ll be checking my e-mail but that’s about it.

Originally I’d intended to do this in order to cocoon myself into the Revisionland Hotel and get large amounts of stuff done rather than little bits and pieces.

Now I have the added bonus of also trying to rid myself of a horrendous head cold that’s been making me a miserable monkey all weekend. I hardly ever get sick and I don’t even remember the last time I felt this ill. My ears hurt.

So I shall be crawling into cups of tea and gargling with cayenne pepper (it works, seriously) and I will be back on Friday with flax-goldens.

If you need me for anything or the internet blows up or you want to send me virtual vitamin C, feel free to e-mail me.

Love & kisses,