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my weekend, with photos

On Saturday morning I left Toronto after a splendid time at the International Festival of Authors, headed to NYC. I was supposed to arrive around 1pm, but then this happened:

This was taken in the Hartford, Connecticut airport after my plane circled and circled and then tried to land in NY and then couldn’t and then landed in Hartford instead. After an hour of looking at the snow they announced that the flight was rescheduled for the next morning. Which, boo. So I took a cab for a very snowy drive to New Haven to catch a train, and the train was going fine until it was no longer going at all, stopped for two hours and then there were more trains and more cabs and I got snowed on and tired and finally got to my hotel just before midnight.

I have lived in New England my entire life and I don’t ever remember a snowstorm like this in October. It is so strange, the autumn-colored trees drenched in winter-white snow. Like a collision of the seasons.

Yesterday I spent a lovely day in NYC, I was there mostly to go to Sleep No More for their Hallowe’en week festivities, in particular for Aphrodite’s Revenge, with an enforced “red & sexy” dress code. Had to get a slinky red dress because for some unknown reason I did not actually own a slinky red dress but now I do and I am sure I will find more opportunities to wear it in the future.

I also did not have the best hotel room for taking photos of said dress, though it was a lovely room.

Sleep No More was, as always, dreamlike and haunting and wondrous. It was my eighth visit, with extra festivities afterward and a wonderful Hallowe’en treat, especially considering I’m spending Hallowe’en proper exhaustedly back in Boston with cupcakes. But one of the cupcakes has a spider on it!

Or did, rather, he’s been eaten. He was tasty.

I am working on getting my tour photos organized so there will be much belated updates at some point. For now I wish you all a Happy Hallowe’en, a Blessed Samhain and a Merry NaNoWriMo Eve!

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flax-golden tales: poor unlucky lucy

poor unlucky lucy

When Lucy died—at that precise moment—everything changed.

She used to say she was just a k away from lucky, that was always the joke though all things considered it wasn’t particularly funny. No one ever wanted to point out that what she really meant she was unlucky.

I had a three AM conversation at the bottom of a bottle of whiskey with someone who told me in a whisper her theory that Lucy’s death unleashed all that unluck out on the rest of us again. It sounded reasonable at the time but questionable in the hungover morning light.

Other people say she’s a classic vengeful spirit, bitter and annoyed by her passing to the point of harassing the living about it out of spite.

It probably doesn’t matter what the cause is, though, since there doesn’t appear to be a solution.

We leave her notes and pearls and almond cakes, but nothing works.

There’s talk about needing larger sacrifices. It must be done, they say, but so far no one has volunteered.


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

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musical interlude

I meant to have time to put together a proper post today, but time, she is a fickle thing.

Instead, have a musical interlude. This album is going to be the soundtrack of my next novel, I can tell already.

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flax-golden tales: written in the leaves

written in the leaves

Leaf reading is a skill not easily learned, as there is such a limited time to practice it each year. It is a temporary thing. Glimpses of image and pattern carefully translated into meaning.

Traditionally it is taught, passed down from reader to student through years of autumns spent in intense instruction, calling attention to the variety of the leaf, the level of decay, the size and shape of each void and the way their meanings impact each other. All layered over to form their messages, their last cries to the world before the wind takes them away with a sound like mice scampering across the pavement.

But now the students, when there are any students, do not have the patience for it, becoming frustrated with the wind rather than working with it, easily distracted by less arcane methods of communication.

Their instructors try each year with slowly diminishing effort, but the teaching time is fleeting. The patterns stay for only moments before they are lost, messages in brief whispers that require straining and concentration to hear.

Every year there are fewer teachers, and even fewer students barely receiving passing grades.

Another language almost lost.

 

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

 

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this is not a proper post

This is not a proper catch-up post, because that would have thoughtful things and links and artfully curated photos.

This is a post to say miscellaneous things with miscellaneous photos and possibly links if I have time.

Firstly, I am very sorry that my appearance at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville this weekend was cancelled at the last minute. This whole touring thing is extremely difficult and new and I am only one often undercaffeinated person. There were personal issues involved that the whole internet doesn’t really need to know about but I do feel badly and I hope I’ll be able to visit the Nashville area properly sooner rather than later.

I had my very first trip to the UK last week, there will be a proper adventure recounting post at some point with photos (took the real camera, hurrah) but I had an absolutely lovely time and I get to follow through on that whole “hope to come back soon” thing since I’ll be back in November for the Galaxy National Book Awards because I am nominated for International Author of the Year amongst some mind-blowingly impressive company. Am honored and humbled.

In general, I am mostly a whirlwind of forgetting what time or day or month it is and assuming it must be autumn because of crispy leaves and pumpkin spice lattes. I am off to Texas soon and then Toronto for the International Festival of Authors at the end of the month. It is still strange to be considered an author. My apartment looks like an explosion of laundry and cardboard boxes. I am dreadfully behind on emails and anything else that involves proper communication. I have been on more airplanes in the last month than in the rest of my previous life combined. I oscillate from giddy to exhausted and happy to sad so fast it’s nauseating.

I don’t know how to do this. I’m trying to take one day at a time.

Half the time I can’t even manage to straighten my hair anymore. Proof:

 

I took that photo sitting on the floor because that’s where the mirror is in the office because I haven’t managed to hang it yet.

Really, let’s move on to photos before I get all philosophical and maudlin with the typing.

I have visited so many beautiful bookstores on my tour with very little (if any) time for proper browsing, it’s such a tease. But when I do have time I’ve been shopping and having things shipped to me, so I am accumulating a pile. This is what has made it back to Boston so far, with more on the way:

(I have already read The Shadow of the Wind, of course, but I only had it in paperback and I found it at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi in glorious hardcover and simply had to have it. And there are some other ones that have wandered out of the pile. Bel Canto is missing, likely because I’ve been reading it.)

And at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee I also bought this adorable raven mug, because how could I not?

So that is the rather short version of Erinland at the moment. I hope I will have time for proper London photos and tour catch-up at some point, but it may be a while.

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flax-golden tales: character reading

character reading

“Are you sure you really want to know your future?” he asks as I dig through my bag in search of appropriate amounts of loose change for the rather mundane looking machine hanging on the wall.

“No,” I answer honestly. “But I’m curious and it’s cheap.”

“That’s because it’s just a trick to steal your money.”

The coins make a hollow clicking noise as they fall through the machine, followed by something like gears turning though nothing moves, and then a small piece of paper like a faded business card falls into my hand.

Someone close will betray you.

“Well, it won’t be me,” he says, reading over my shoulder.

I flip the card over to see if it has anything else to say.

He is a liar, it tells me. He already has.

 

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

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uk event details!

Today!

Foyles Bookshop, Bristol

http://www.foyles.co.uk/Erin-Morgenstern

6.15pm Monday 10th October

 

Wednesday!

Topping & Company, Bath

http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/events/bath/erin-morgenstern/

8pm Wednesday 12th October

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if you feel just like a tourist

I was in Boston for all of six hours last night before flying to London today. Now I am in a very cozy hotel room, unsure of what time it is and unable to blog properly but I have my nice camera with me so there should be proper photos eventually and I will tell you of other travels and adventures as well.

For now, though, I give you what is currently and likely will stay the official theme song of the book tour.

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flax-golden tales: clandestine coffee

clandestine coffee

Suburban witches meet in secret. Or as secret as suburbia allows, with its nosy neighbors and their curious, narrow-eyed stares. Jokes are made about broom closets, but it is easier this way.

No Sabbat circles on soccer fields. They turn the wheel of the year in living rooms and basements, under the guise of book clubs or knitting groups. (Though they do have a proper book club that meets on alternate Tuesdays, and several of them knit.)

In October, post-trick-or-treating, when sugar-sated children are tucked in bed, they wander through the veil-thin night in ironically worn pointy hats. Using disguises to be themselves.

Though circles and spells are kept at home, concealed behind closed plastic window blinds.

Punctuated by spice cake and candy, gossip and mugs of coffee.

 

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

 

 

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mississippi

True confession: I sing the spelling of Mississippi to myself every time I type it.

I had never been to Mississippi before and I was fortunate enough to have wonderful weather for my visit, I wish I could conduct all of my phone interviews from porch swings.

Had a splendid, open windowed reading at Square Books, which featured the book tour’s first bookstore kitty:

And then I had a long winding road trip from Oxford to Jackson, with a stop in Greenwood to sign stock at the lovely Turnrow Book Co. Then in Jackson I signed quite a few books at Lemuria Books before my fantastically circusy event. I tweeted the view from the podium and this is from the back of the room:

I tried to convince them to just leave the ceiling like that. And my blurry phone camera photos will not do all their exquisite circus signage justice:

Had a fantastic time and huge thanks to everyone who came out for events and worked so hard to put them together!

In Milwaukee now, clinging to my room service coffee before I get rolling on a day full of interviews and things.

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