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lucky.

 

Found a four-leaf clover today.

Am wondering if it is lucky even though something clearly took a bite out of it before I discovered it, or if it is now only mostly lucky.

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flax-golden tales: precarious

precarious

There are more birds who cannot fly than you might expect. And those who simply choose not to, for their own personal reasons.

Grounded by choice or broken wings or lousy magnetoception.

Though only occasionally is such a phenomena based on fear of heights.

So many flightless birds still climb to tops of buildings or trees, sit happily on electrical wires or water towers.

The perches are sometimes precarious.

But they always have the best views.

And even broken-wing birds are able to see for miles.

Observing astounding sights in feather-ruffling breezes.

Closer to the clouds.

 

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

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it is a very strange yet wonderful thing to hear words you wrote read by jim dale

I took a very quick trip down to NYC because the audiobook of THE NIGHT CIRCUS is being recorded this week. I almost didn’t since I am crazy busy with moving things but I am thrilled that I did because it was marvelous.

I will admit I have not heard more than snippets of the Harry Potter audiobooks so my “that would be fabulous” response to “how would you feel about Jim Dale doing the audio version?” was mostly based on his narration from Pushing Daisies, I knew he had that wonderful classic storyteller voice. It was absolutely marvelous to get to meet him and everyone working on the recording and everyone was simply delightful.

Jim Dale & me:

There are more pictures over here of various adorable smiling people in the studio courtesy of the lovelies at Random House Audio.

Here’s a sneak peak (sneak listen?) at page one:

 


 

I was not there for that particular bit but I did get to hear from around page 97 to page 113, which was a rather good range of characters and voices. I thought beforehand that it was going to sound more strange to my ears than it did, it ended up being this wonderful amalgamation of the way it sounds in my head with its own distinct sound layered over top and the result is delightful. Jim truly has the perfect storyteller voice and I couldn’t be more pleased.

The audio version will be available in September when the book comes out, and I’m sure it will be absolutely magical.

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flax-golden tales: hotel story

hotel story

It used to be the kind of place that bubbled with stories to the point of overflowing.

Guests could hardly keep up with the gossip.

Every night another happening.

Another scandal.

The things the walls in Room 419 might say if they could talk.

(The walls on the fourth floor are mute, a quality coveted by certain guests, though the light fixtures have been known to whisper.)

But that was back in the day, or the night, rather, it was always more story-filled at night.

Most of the rooms are empty now.

Storyless.

Waiting impatiently for new ones.

 

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

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night circus uk cover

Hi, internet! I’ve been ignoring you. I’m sorry. I’ll likely be missing in action quite a bit for the next few weeks but there will be occasional quick posts and flax-golden tales, still.

For now, here is the long-awaited, gorgeous UK cover for THE NIGHT CIRCUS:

 

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flax-golden tales: alternate paths

alternate paths

It’s all about choices, I figured that out pretty early on while a lot of other people just stood there, overwhelmed by the first set of options.

Better to keep moving, making any choice is more productive than standing still.

I just hit another door-or-stairs point. The stairs look difficult, but the door is locked and while I have a number of keys, it would take time to try them all and I might not have acquired the right one yet, though I usually have the right key already if it is, in fact, the right door to take.

I think I’ll go with the stairs this time, since they’re more daunting and less stable, that’s usually a sign of something more rewarding to come.

There are always choices, straight ahead or up or down or sideways or under or over, locks and keys and windows and doors, even if they’re hard to see.

No dead ends, and never any going back.

Not that you can’t. Door or stairs not taken are usually still there, and sometimes different paths lead to second chance choices to be made over again.

But they won’t be the same.

 

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

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miscellaneous non-BEA nyc things.

Other things I did in NYC that did not involve official BEA responsibilities:

I ate a lot of really good food. A lot. My favorite might have been this tiny little South African Wine Bar that my wonderful NYC-dwelling sister put on a list of recommendations for me. I love food on small plates, it enables so much more tasting of things. Also went to David Burke Townhouse which was marvelous and I only wish I’d been able to eat more, because those plates were not so small. The pretzel-crusted crab cake is swoon-worthy. Also there was sushi and cookies and lots of coffee. And chocolate mice, of course. (True confession: had my very first chocolate mouse on this trip. Never actually had one before. Now I have and it was delightful.)

Visited the New York Public Library, I had walked by many times and said hello to the lions but I hadn’t been inside. They have a fabulous centennial display with all manner of writerly wonderments, e.e. cummings’ typewriter and Virginia Woolf’s walking stick. Also, Lego versions of the lions:

There’s very beautiful art tucked in hallways, too, it was like getting to do a bit of museuming which I have sadly lacked in my last few trips to NYC.

Went to Sleep No More. Again. For the record, that’s 4 times for the Brookline run and 3 in NYC. And really, if this was my last time I’m okay with that, it was dark and familiar and new and strange and it’s not just every night that a man in a tuxedo locks you in a room and sits you in a chair and kneels down and lays a sword across your lap and then reads you bible verses. This was also the first time I was ever escorted from the space after the end, gently guided back to the bar to have my mask removed for me. It was a wonderful last moment in case I don’t go back for an eighth visit. Though you never know.

Also, this is what happens when you try to take a photo of a lapin in your hotel window at night, it turns all Times Square Apocalypse on your poor bunny:

It was a fun view at night, though, all glimmery and never still. I really had a marvelous week, surreal and wonder-filled. And then there were zombies at South Station when my train home got in and I had to wheel my suitcase around pools of hopefully fake blood. It likely says something about me or my week that I did not find that surprising or strange.

And now I’ve been back in Massachusetts for a while and I’m slowly getting caught up with everything. I’m moving to Boston in July so that is taking a lot of time and energy, my apologies if blog posts and email responses and such fall a bit lower on the priority list, I am trying my best to keep up, thank you for your patience.

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this is a proper post-BEA post. (part II)

Part II of the post-BEA musings. (Part I is here if you missed it.)

Wednesday! My first scheduled event was the second of my two interviews, this one held at the Standard Hotel. Diane Keaton walked into the lobby right behind us. She wasn’t wearing shoes. Also, the Standard Hotel has spectacular elevators with video art on the walls.

Having had a rather straightforward audio interview the previous day, I was not quite ready for the setup that awaited me upstairs in the suite that had been converted to author-interviewing space, but that was probably good because if I’d known it was coming I would have had more time to make myself nervous. I half-expected a couple of chairs and a webcam, only in a classy sort of way. This was fancy lights and multiple cameras and a whole crew of very nice people and I had to creatively run a microphone down my dress (that was a first) and a makeup lady would swoop in to powder my face when I was apparently getting too shiny under the fancy lights. I remember very little of what I said but apparently I sounded coherent, I was asked excellent questions so that made it easier. There was a lot of stopping for technical things or because there were sirens outside or whatnot. It was very fancy. They even had a clapboard for the cameras on an iPad, I cannot even say how much that delighted me. Really, it was a surreal sort of experience but everyone involved was absolutely lovely.

After that I was whisked back to the Javits for my signing.

I was around the Random House booth for a bit before it started, meeting people and chatting with other people that I’d met the day before, and then people started coming up to tell me about the line. There were hand gestures and waving and use of walls to describe just how far it went and I truly thought people were exaggerating. And then came the tales of how they were having to turn people away because they didn’t have enough galleys.

My future brother-in-law happened to be at the Javits for a different event and he managed to get into BEA and took some footage of the line, I don’t think I really believed it until I saw it.

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who stood in that line. I am sorry that I was somewhat delirious by the time I got about midway through and I know my handwriting was rather atrocious by the end, not that my handwriting isn’t always rather atrocious. I was scheduled to sign for half an hour and I know it went long but I’d lost all concept of time. I’m told it went over an hour.

This is me post-signing (I had to take my jacket off, no one warned me signing was such an athletic activity,) with my incredible editor, Alison Callahan, and my amazing agent, Richard Pine. They are both just as delightful as they appear. Also included in this photo is a Sharpie that is very nearly out of ink.

A lot of people commented on my necklace, it was made for me by my absurdly talented dearest darling Clovia Shaw. Her Etsy store is over here. She does custom work. I’m just sayin’.

After the wonderment that was Baby’s First Book Signing, we of course ran into Margaret Atwood again, because it was like a theme. That’s the encounter that there are pictures of. There are a bunch of pictures from the signing & post-signing over here on facebook.

Then I had meetings and drinks and then I was done with all my official proper author responsibilities. I stayed in NYC for a few days afterwards, more on that in a future post. (Yes, I went to see Sleep No More again, for the seventh time.)

I am eternally grateful to everyone at Doubleday, they are truly wonderful people who made what could easily have been an overwhelming couple of days a fabulous and enjoyable experience. They’re all really cute, too.

I didn’t manage to accumulate many books, I didn’t have much time to hunt and my to-read shelf is overflowing anyway so I felt guilty adding to it, but this is the pile of things that managed to make their way home with me:

So I have lots to read, when I find the time. I’m still not sure how I managed to be back from NYC for more than a week already. More miscellaneous NYC stuff forthcoming, though unfortunately I did not take nearly enough photos.

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this is a proper post-BEA post. (part I)

Okay, it’s all starting to feel like a dream but here we go, not sure if I’m going to break this into multiple parts or not just yet. (Yeah, parts. This can be part I.)

Monday! I left for NYC. I took a train from freezing rainy Boston to rather warm Manhattan without too much trouble. Here’s a lapin on the train:

While I was settling in at my hotel, my editor was presenting THE NIGHT CIRCUS on the Editors Buzz Panel. I know she was fantastic even though I wasn’t there because you can watch it over here. You probably won’t blush as much as I did while watching it, either.

Monday night there were remarkably sedate alarms going off in my hotel at 1am, followed by mysterious announcements about investigations, and then declarations that the alarms were in fact, false. That was interesting. I’m just glad I was still awake.

I hardly forgot anything, packing-wise, except for a pen. Which made me feel like a sorry excuse for a writer, but how often do you really need a pen? However, I am never forgetting pens again, I might even invest in one of those sassy pen necklaces. I borrowed a pen (well, stole a pen because I still have it) which was wise because I had to speak to breakfasting librarians first thing Tuesday morning, and while I had very nice notes typed up on my laptop I didn’t want to drag it there, so I scrawled barely legible notes with my stolen pen on tiny sheets of hotel stationary (the hotel pen didn’t work, of course). This is the point of the story where I would normally say “I need an iPad” but I have one! I just wasn’t clever enough to pack it for this purpose. Now I know.

Breakfasting librarians appeared to like me though I was terribly nervous. The other authors were marvelous, I’m sad I didn’t actually get to meet any of them, particularly Craig Thompson so I could tell him how much I love the lines of his artwork, and I do wish I’d thought to grab an ARC of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One but it was 8am and also Baby’s First Book Event so I wasn’t really on the ball with my galley-grabbing.

And then it was hot out and my hair was going all curly, so I changed into something a little more weather appropriate while cursing the fact that I had been *this* close to packing my sandals but I decided not to. This is what happens when you’re freezing while you’re packing and then all of a sudden it’s incredibly humid at your destination. So if you’ve seen any photos of me all curly-haired in my Trashy Diva dress, that was unplanned but it seemed to work. Truly, my one BEA regret is that I did not pack sandals.

In the afternoon I actually got to see the wonderment that is BEA proper at the Javits center, which was a lot of space filled with a lot of books and several sections of surprisingly squishy carpet. Doubleday had marvelously tuxedoed, red-scarfed reveurs handing out cards promoting my signing on Wednesday and they were delightful.

I had an audio interview which was pretty good considering it was only my second interview ever, and afterward I discovered that when you walk around BEA with your publicist who is also Margaret Atwood’s publicist you actually end up talking to Margaret Atwood and her fabulous agent and then you try not to faint because it’s Margaret Atwood and you want to tell her how you learned everything you know about rhythm from the Modern Women Writers class you took in college where your professor had you read the opening pages of Alias Grace aloud around the room one sentence at a time but you can’t because it’s MARGARET ATWOOD and she is HOLDING YOUR HAND and you are busy trying not to faint.

There are pictures of me with Margaret Atwood over here (along with a bunch of shots from my signing, more on that later) and that is actually my second encounter, because, you know, shared publicist and I still managed not to pass out but I was not particularly articulate.

After that there was the Knopf Doubleday cocktail party, at which there were lots and lots of lovely booksellers to meet and my Doubleday team was impressively adept at maneuvering me around the crowd and facilitating introductions.  At one point I remember standing outside talking to people (including Joan Didion) about how my circus has no clowns because no one likes clowns and my dress got all floaty Marilyn Monroe style in the breeze. I’m not sure any other moment topped that for pure surreality.

Post-party I went to dinner with my wonderful editor, which was the perfect way to wind down after a long and somewhat crazy day, complete with blackberry souffle.

And now this post is rather long and rambling, so I will post the Wednesday recap separately.

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flax-golden tales: crucial communication

crucial communication

It is so much easier for me to express myself in writing. Spoken words always fail to make it past my tongue properly, wandering astray over my lips to the point where what I say is very rarely what I mean.

I mean what I write.

I think I write what I mean, most of the time.

Perhaps I should give up speaking.

Reserve the use of lips and tongue for tasting and other pursuits.

Carry around a pen to translate my heart and my mind instead.

I worry there would not be enough paper, and I would have to resort to inscribing my thoughts and feelings on other surfaces instead.

I might not be able to control myself when there comes a sentiment I simply must express, words howling over walls or doors, desperately needing to be read.

And I would live in constant fear of running out of ink.

 

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

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