I am back after a whirlwind week in NYC.

To say it was amazing would not do it justice. It was phenomenal on several levels. My one regret is that I did not pack sandals, because it was hot. (In my defense, it was freezing and rainy here when I was packing. Also, I seem to have returned to summer, complete with flopsy kittens.)

I am in recovery mode, trying to catch up on things and sleep a great deal. So there is a proper BEA report forthcoming but it will take a couple of days.

For now, here is a photo of a scarf-clad lapin overlooking Times Square from my hotel room:



sweet temptations

It used to require much more coercion. Whispered hints and slow seductions. Long, drawn-out bewitchments carefully escalated until the meeting of lips and flesh became an inevitability.

Times change, I suppose, and one must always be willing to adapt.

They beg for them now, lining up to eagerly seal their fates and paying for them, though the prices are quite reasonable.

All it takes is caramel and chocolate, I wish I’d realized that years ago. They never even taste the poison, succumbing to it as though it were simply another nuance of the sugar high. Delirious already from the sweetness.

It’s so easy. It almost takes the fun out of it, really.


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

First, the very basic facts:


Yes, I am going to be at Book Expo America next week.

I will be signing ARCs of THE NIGHT CIRCUS at 3pm on Wednesday the 25th at Random House booth #4420.


Now you know, and I will return to normal, not-bolded font.

I will be in NYC all week, at BEA on both Tuesday & Wednesday. I have various intimidating things on my schedule like video interviews and cocktail parties and I am trying not to get too terribly nervous about them. If I think too hard about all this, my head starts to hurt, so I am kind of coasting on nervous/excited and attempting to be zen.

I was going to take pictures of kittens in suitcases to go with this post, but I haven’t actually gotten around to properly packing yet. There may be bonus kittens in suitcases over the weekend.


guard pig

Every house on the street requires a protector, a fact that is bolded and italicized in all of the paperwork. Though if the reason is specified in there it’s been buried in small-font, legal-speak sentences and footnotes.

Each protector is different, I don’t think that’s a bolded rule, but I’m not certain and none of them are the same, standing or sitting or draped over front doors in their own particular fashion.

We moved in most recently, but our house is the oldest and it shows, the steps are worn and the brick has seen better days. The list of things to fix once there’s enough time and money just keeps getting longer.

Our protector came with the house. He’s seen better days, too, and for a while after we moved in I was kind of ashamed, since other houses have regal-looking lions or glimmering dragons curled around their entryways.

Until one of the neighbors (the lady with the golden-eyed owl perched by her own door) came over, bearing a welcoming platter of fruit tartlets individually wrapped in wax paper.

“You’re so lucky to have the pig,” she said as I let her in, and she looked so scared I didn’t dare ask why.

But after she left, I gave the pig a tartlet.


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

so cold!

It is so cold and bleak and rainy it’s like someone rewound the year to February. I refuse to turn my heat on in May on principle, instead I am wrapped up in sweaters and thick socks and drinking absurd amounts of mint tea.

Also, kittens are hogging all the blankets.

And Tessa appears to be a pirate, or she’s trying, at least.

Pre-BEA post forthcoming, possibly with packing photos if I can keep kittens out of suitcases.

last words

It’s a simple game, really. Once you understand the rules, that is, but the rules cannot be told to the player beforehand, they can only be learned through playing.

It is remarkable how many choose to play despite that fact, and despite the fact that a game must be completed—won or lost—once begun.

The game keeps records, imprints of movements made and choices taken by previous players, engraved into the gamespace itself, though much of it is recorded in an almost-indecipherable system of the game’s own devising.

It is particularly fond of marking down last words.

Though all of the last words are similar. Echoed cries repeated over and over again, before being etched in text for posterity.

So perhaps the next player who reaches this particular spot in the game will have a bit of warning.

If they take the time to look down.

But hardly anyone ever thinks to look down.


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

Little bits of things today, because my brain is all unfocused. I’ve been doing things in fits and starts for days, so the blogging can have a similar, disjointed feel for the start of this week.

I have contact lenses! I had to wear my trial pair all last week and they were proclaimed satisfactory this weekend. I’m still getting used to them but they’re not nearly as strange as I had anticipated, and while I’m sure I’ll still default to my glasses out of convenience, it’s absolutely marvelous to have the option.

I also have new suitcases, since I have traveling to do in the impending future. Tessa likes them, so that’s something.

I spent part of the weekend finishing reading The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I mentioned on Twitter when I was halfway through that I loved it like candy (dank, possibly haunted candy) and I continued to love it through to the end. Marvelously moody and perfect spring thunderstorm reading, curled up in a corner with a blanket, being stared at by a cat.

Speaking of Waters, I’ve noticed that I get asked about my literary influences and my mind almost always goes completely blank, or there are just so many that I don’t know where to start. I should start compiling a master list. Sarah Waters belongs on it, of course. Fingersmith is still my favorite of hers, though I did love this one a lot in a completely different way.

I just got the new Fleet Foxes album and I’m not sure what I think about it yet, but it’s growing on me.

I have been meaning to post this for ages and kept forgetting, of course: My friend Eleanor was at the London Book Fair and posted an inside look at some of the circusy things on her blog, including a peek at the still-elusive UK cover.

I think that’s it. Kind of can’t believe that BEA is only two weeks away, have to work on the rest of my “to-do before BEA” list.

pushy ponies

It’s not the worst house-sitting job I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly not in my top five or anything, either.

This lady didn’t even have time to meet me, I just got the keys from the agency, but she left long, detailed, color-coded lists stuck to the refrigerator with instructions about Proper Care and Management of the Estate, which is really more of a cottage but if she wants to call it an Estate that’s fine with me, she’s paying me twice what I normally get.

The plants that have two pages of instructions all to themselves are cactuses, or is it cacti? They don’t need watering but it says to turn their pots thirty degrees counter-clockwise three times a day and to leave an orange for each one at night, and the oranges are always nothing but curling peels on the floor the next morning.

The ponies are the worst, though. This flock of miniature ponies done up like carousel-less carousel horses the way other people put little sweaters on small dogs. They refuse to stay in their corral and they can undo the latches anyway. They’re constantly begging for treats and they try to steal the oranges from the cacti-cactuses and I have to shoo them away.

I try to ignore them, but they kick me in the shins with their hooves when they don’t get what they want. And they bite.


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


As some of you may know, during 2006-2009 I painted a 78-card tarot deck in black and white and shades of grey. I spent the same approximate time writing and re-writing The Night Circus. I lived in monochrome for a good long while there, and there are references to the circus in some of the cards.

All of the paintings can be viewed on phantomwise.com. (Click on the aptly-named gallery.)

There was a stunning 100-copy limited edition deck of the 22 Major Arcana cards, which was available over here but is currently sold out. Sometimes they will show up on tarot trading sites and such.

I get asked this a lot lately, so to publicly clarify: I do not have a publisher for the complete deck yet.

It is on my ever-growing to-do list and I promise I do intend to get the deck published because I want it to be available for the tarot-loving masses, but I also wrote a book and it sort of ate my life. (If you happen to be a tarot publisher and are interested in publishing the deck, please feel free to contact me.)

The tarot aficionados will likely appreciate this aspect of my current life balance issues: in the summer of 2009, just before I started querying literary agents, I had a wonderful professional tarot reading and the only negative element was in art/writing balance, where The Tower showed up to remind me that I cannot give all of my energy to different things without falling down. Something had to take priority, and the universe clearly and loudly decided it would be writing.

My apologies for the continued wait, but I want to give the deck the time and energy it deserves, including possibly touching up some of the paintings, so it’s going to take a while. Thank you for your patience.