It is a cold Hallowe’en in Salem today. We only ventured out for a few hours to brave the downtown craziness, but the crowds weren’t as heavy as usual. It’ll likely get busier later, though. I hope people plan on wearing costumes that involve sweaters.

We made friends with a black cat. As one does on Hallowe’en in Salem.

Home now, with caramel apples and caramel vodka. It’s like a theme.

The chill of impending winter has clearly arrived, rustling through the leaves on the ground outside.

But the trees are still on fire, so autumn hasn’t left just yet.

And a witch just walked past my window.

Happy Hallowe’en & a Blessed Samhain, too!


The skull says I see you when pedestrians or trick-or-treaters or dog-walkers pass by. Eyes that have no place being in a skull, hovering in empty sockets, move disconcertingly from side-to-side.

The observation is followed by a metallic cackle of recorded laughter.

People jump or shriek or return the cackle with laughs of their own.

Sometimes they try to get the skull to speak again, but it won’t. Not until someone else falls into its gaze.

I see you.

It does see, even as it cackles. It can’t close those eyes, after all.

And it remembers.

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

Snapshots from Revisionland: the pre-Hallowe’en edition


New scenes, scribbled longhand in unlined notebooks:

Bucket involved in some sort of Battle Royale with an empty Panera bag:

(I think Bucket is winning.)

And of course, the obligatory bowl of candy:


I had a busy, marvelous weekend. Hallowe’en has exploded downtown already, with crowds & costumes & small dogs dressed like turtles. I had a caramel apple! And I made more apple goat cheese tartlets. And apple blackberry crisp. It was an apple-y sort of weekend.

We had company from out of town that came to see the craziness, along with a wonderful puppy who was not dressed as a turtle. We had a fabulous time.

And FYI, to anyone who might visit me in the future and be so kind as to bring me giftage: you have been preemptively outdone. Forever. Sorry.

Because I now have a vintage typewriter.

I have been occasionally petting it in between taking sexy typewriter photos. I have wanted a vintage typewriter for ages and now I have one of my very own because awesome people are awesome. I will likely pet it more than type on it, but that’s okay. It can sit on a table and look pretty & writerly.

It appears to be in decent working order, though a few of the keys are askew and it needs a new ribbon. Which I can order, because the internet is magical.

Also this weekend, my book contract arrived. I feel all official.

And now it is Monday, as it often is after weekends, and I am back to coffee & Revisionland.

And occasional typewriter petting.

cinderella pumpkin

As soon as I read the sign and saw what the pumpkins were called I knew I had to have one.

My mom said no. She said they don’t make good jack-o’-lanterns.

“But they’re Cinderella pumpkins!” I explained. “They’re not for carving, they’re for turning into coaches to ride to balls at castles.”

Sometimes I worry that my mom is not so smart.

I had to beg, but she let me take the best one home.

I left it on the lawn next to the dressed-up-like-a-ghost lamp post so I can see it from my window.

After mom went to bed I put my princess dress and fancy shoes on, and now it’s almost midnight.

My Cinderella pumpkin is getting bigger.

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


I am back in Revisionland. I kind of missed it.

It also feels really nice to be actively working on the book again, since the last month has been a whirlwind of bubbly alcohol and foreign rights news and I’ve been trying my best to distract myself with other things. I’ve been knitting. Slowly. I worked a bit on the in-progress not-book-yet thing. I baked apple goat cheese tartlets.

But mostly I’ve been sitting here thinking, um… can I have it back, please? I know you all seem to think it’s really good but I can make it better and also there’s a typo on page 213.

And now I have it back, hurrah! I have my editorial letter from my brilliant editor and my marked-up manuscript.

Tessa's helping me edit. Look, color-coding!

I thought maybe all the red ink would be intimidating or nerve-wracking, but mostly it’s just exciting. Every note is insightful, there are so many opportunities for improvement.

And even though there are a lot of notes and several significant things to work on, it all feels reasonable and manageable. It’ll be a good amount of work but really, I want it to be as good as it can possibly be. And I’ve played this revision game before, just not on this detailed a level.

I’m getting myself organized. I have notes and a few things sketched out for potential additional scenes. I am far too excited about my Post-It flags. I may have color-coded by editorial points and themes. Possibly.

It’s glorious, glorious autumn outside, bright and crisp, and there is a small yippy dog walking by my window. I have a novel to improve and there’s a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream with caramel in my refrigerator.

The only way I could be better is if I still had apple goat cheese tartlets. I might have to bake some more.

impractical footwear

“Are you really wearing those shoes?” the girl next to me asks in the pre-midnight lull before everything starts, looking down at my feet. From her tone I’m guessing her expression is some combination of incredulous and disgusted, but it’s too dark to see much of her face.

“Well, yeah,” I say, because they’re the only pair I have. They have decent traction, and I can run pretty fast in them.

“It’s your funeral,” she says, and I can see the dismissive shrug clearly in the moonlight as she turns away.

She’s wearing tall boots with zippers up the sides. They look heavy and they crunch the leaves a lot more than my sneakers do, so I don’t get why she’s playing the superior footwear card.

After midnight, I get about ten paces before I figure it out, tangled in cobwebs over a freshly turned grave.

I should have guessed that shoes with laces give them something else to grab on to.

Making it that much harder to get away.

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

anniversary & apples

Today is wedding anniversary number four, and the boy and I spent it as is somewhat traditional, galavanting around New Hampshire and picking apples. (Last year it was cold & rainy, so we went to see Sleep No More instead. Oh, Sleep No More, I miss you so.)

Apparently it was not a great year for apples, but we ended up with a large bag of Mutzus anyway. I am plotting an apple goat cheese tart for the weekend. It was lovely and sunny and we bought pumpkins and I took lots of photos, the best of which are up on Flickr.

After we got back to Salem we went out for dinner and had lots of food and wine and excellent tiramisu.

And this was my anniversary present:

Persephone’s jewel, from Blood Milk on Etsy. I have coveted it for ages and it is even more beautiful in person.

Had a marvelous day. Can hardly believe it’s been four years already. Apparently traditional fourth anniversary giftage is fruit & flowers. Well, we do have apples.

Yet another Tessa + Box = TRUE LOVE story that will leave the kitten crushed and broken-hearted when I must recycle the box.

She’ll find another (inevitably doomed) cardboard love. She’s resilient.

a suitor spurned

I met him at a party.

I told him he was sweet, but not my type.

It wasn’t exactly a lie.

It’s not like I threw the glass of wine he bought me in his face for asking or anything.

I tried to be nice about it.

But now, whenever I go outside, flocks of birds follow me.

Even statues of birds turn their heads to watch with vacant stares as I pass by.

It’s like being in a Hitchcock movie.

I’m not sure if they’ll lose interest eventually or if they’re just waiting for the right moment to swoop down and peck my eyes out.

I wish someone had told me who he was before I turned him down.

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