I am back in Boston after a whirlwind tour last week. The theme of the winter tour seemed to be “chocolate.” I got chocolate in Nashville, too, look how pretty the labels are:

Also in Nashville I got to see the marionette storage room at the Nashville Public Library, which was both delightful and sort of creepy.

They look like they want to move, don’t they? I think there is something inherently disturbing about something created to move when it’s at rest. Like it’s just waiting.

But Nashville was splendid and so was FoxTale near Atlanta where I definitely received the most hugs of any tour stop and had a huge crowd that stood the whole time and I do apologize to anyone who did not have comfortable shoes while listening to me babble.

I truly thank everyone who came to all of last week’s events, I had a wonderful time despite being so busy and I am again so incredibly grateful, both for readers and marvelous, enthusiastic booksellers.

And now here we are, back in post-tour recovery mode. Not nearly as exhausted as I was after the fall tour but still rather beat and it is nice to be able to stay in one place for a while. I probably am somewhat exhausted as I keep falling asleep unintentionally. Am trying to ward off the sleepiness with coffee, which appears to be working, though I also keep forgetting what day it is.

Still working on catching up on all sorts of things, including FAQ-esque posts for the blog. If you have sent me something that required a reply and have not heard back please do re-send. I am still learning (mostly by doing) how to keep up with everything and sometimes things get away from me. Also I have a terrible short term memory and sometimes I do this thing where I think about replying and then my brain thinks I did even though there was no actual reply involved.

For now I am trying to take it easy for a few days, slowly but surely working on the to-do list and also sleeping a lot and trying to read and possibly write if my tired brain can handle it.

waiting for the light

I moved my chair so I can see the lamppost through the window.

I know I would probably be able to see the light from anywhere in the room if the lamp were lit, but I like having a direct view. It makes me feel more secure, somehow, to be able to glance up from a book and see it, stalwart. Still dark.

It’s really quite clever, a lamp that only lights when you’re near.

Now I can’t stop checking it, even though it’s been dark for so long.

If it turns on again, I don’t want to miss it.

In case someday, somehow, you come back.

I’ll have a warning.

I just hope it will give me enough time to run.


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

quick mid-tour update

Hello! I am in Nashville! It is rainy here but otherwise lovely and I am very much looking forward to my event at the library tonight especially since it is called a Salon and that just sounds fancy.

My events in Cincinnati (technically near Cincinnati) and Lexington, Kentucky were both fantastic, thanks so much to everyone who came out for them and to all the lovely booksellers at both Joseph Beth locations.

Also, thanks to absolutely lovely people who came to my Lexington event last night I now have chocolate shaped like Kentucky and also ponies! I don’t think I’ve ever had state-shaped chocolate before. I apologize that Kentucky is upside-down in this photo, I was trying to get the label oriented properly.

I am sure it will be very tasty.

I am incapable of deep thought or poignant tour recounting as everything is mostly a blur of people and hotel rooms and interviews and perfectly placed pops of red amongst the black & white. It is dizzying in a good way, and I am still both baffled and humbled that so many people are interested in listening to me babble.

dragons & awards

Happy Chinese New Year! Goodbye, Year of the Bunny, you were wondrous and strange. Hello, Year of the Dragon! I hope you toast marshmallows. In a good way.

I like to think of the beginning of the calendar year as practice and Chinese New Year as the actual new start. Appropriately, I feel much better today than I did on January 1st. I got myself a dragon to wear, because I am fond of totems.

The little card that came with him informs me that dragons are magical creatures that have the power to see all things clearly and they are emblems of good fortune and protection. Sounds like a good thing to have around my neck, especially layered with my bloodmilk poet’s heart.

Starting the Year of the Dragon off on a spectacular note, too! While I was making my coffee this morning my phone started alerting so much it didn’t know which alert sound to make (seriously, poor thing was quite confused) and they were all congratulating me because The Night Circus won an Alex Award, which is given by the ALA to “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults.” (I am in very good company with this year’s recipients.)

Now, this I find particularly awesome because several years ago, way back when the circus was not nearly book-shaped, I read The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly and the informative bits on the back cover included the fact that it had won an Alex Award with a brief explanation of what an Alex Award was for and I remember thinking to myself: that sounds like a really cool award, and also: that is the kind of thing I would like to write, adult books that also appeal to younger readers.

Never expected to actually win the award, though. So I am surprised and delighted and honored and thankful. I love librarians.

In other news, this is my week:

Tuesday, January 24

7:00pm Joseph-Beth Booksellers/Reading & Signing
2785 Dixie Hwy Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Wednesday, January 25

7:00pm Joseph-Beth Booksellers/Reading & Signing
161 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY 40503

Thursday, January 26

6:00pm reception Salon@615 Series/Reading & Signing
6:30-7:30pm program Nashville Public Library,
615 Church St, Nashville, TN

Friday, January 27

7:00pm Foxtale Bookshop/Reading & Signing
105 E. Main Street, #138, Atlanta, GA 30188

It’ll be a busy week but nothing compared to the whirlwind of the fall so I think I should be okay. I am taking lots of vitamin C, though, just in case. I leave tomorrow. Right now I am packing. And by “packing” I mean “making lists of things I should probably put in luggage at some point and staring at my to-read shelves trying to figure out which books to bring.”

Also I am out of tour practice so I might just be extra chatty during these appearances, you’ve been forewarned. And I shall do my best to keep tweeting & blogging while I’m on the road, with a dragon around my neck.

advanced security

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of magical cabinets kept within the vault. Since locks and spells can be broken, those who require more than the standard security measures are forced to be creative.

One of the most legendary cabinets is guarded by a passel of enchanted pigs.

Three of these pigs sing loudly and off-key when anyone approaches the cabinet. Another bites toes. Two pigs ask riddles that are mostly calculus-based, though each has both an obvious answer that is, in fact, wrong and a more complex correct solution. Pigs of the flying variety swoop down from the rafters like bats and strike with their hooves.

Were these individual challenges, they might be surmountable.

But all of the pigs attack simultaneously.

No one actually knows what obscure secrets or priceless treasures are kept within that particular cabinet, because its original owner is long dead and no one else has yet been able to overcome the pigs.

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


I have a small windowless office. Over the last few months it became more of a place to put things I didn’t want to deal with than a proper space to work in, so yesterday I made a lot of coffee and locked myself inside not quite with the goal of organizing, really, but in an attempt to clear out some of the mess and make it a more habitable space. I had aspirations of coziness. I put on my “Early Jazz” Pandora station for soundtrack purposes. It could still use some work and I need to go through all of my files and things, but I think as far as overall habitable/cozy I was fairly successful.

The floor was covered in piles of stuff, I really should have taken a “before” photo. Lights are both new to this room, I switched out the floor lamp that had been too bright for a lamp and a mirrored sconce and while it’s not hugely bright in here I’m usually at the computer anyway so I think it’s sufficient. It makes it more atmospheric. Almost everything on the walls was put up yesterday and there are still a few spots that need something but it’s a vast improvement.

The desk side of the room isn’t quite as cohesive yet, there’s also an oddly shaped nook behind it that really seems to want a tree or something. Maybe when I have time I’ll make a paper tree to loom in the corner.

So I am typing this from my much cozier yet still small and windowless office. Also, I think because it is windowless it stays toasty warm, I think it also gets heat from the hallway. Methinks I will be spending a lot of time in here while I’m at home this winter.

Also, this made me giggle delightedly:

Roswell in the circus! On the circus? Either way, I love it and you can click it and go read all the splendid stories that Kyle Cassidy’s blog readers came up with, circuses and clockwork and a truly splendid cat.

Am in housecleaning mode, both with the apartment and in my head. Getting ready to go out on my January mini-tour next week. This afternoon I took a walk in the snow and sunshine at the same time.

Now I am going to drink green tea and think thoughtful thoughts and possibly read.

cephalopods & hats

Hello internet, I was avoiding you all week, please don’t take it personally and if anything exciting happened in my absence please let me know.

Exciting thing I already heard about despite not being on the internet (much): The Night Circus was nominated for a Kitschie award which is delightful regardless but made even more delightful by cephalopod-y-ness. More awards should involve tentacles, truly.

In non-internet news, I have a top hat!

This fabulous hat was sent to me by the marvelous booksellers at The Booksmith in San Francisco. I love it because it actually fits my gigantic head even though it is quite difficult to photograph properly, I had to resort to laptop webcam photo which is not terribly dapper but you get the general impression. I am not smiling as much as I should be because I had been trying to get a proper photo on three different cameras but it is difficult under the best circumstances to take a decent photo of one’s own self and extra difficult when one is wearing a very tall hat. But thank you thank you thank you to my Booksmith darlings, you are more wonderful than my photographic skills can convey.

In other news I am working on long sprawling blog posts about Stuff and I will be at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA tomorrow at 2pm. I will probably not be wearing the top hat.


I don’t believe in luck anymore.

Bad or good.

I used to believe in pennies and four-leaf clovers and horseshoes and rabbit feet, spilt salt and broken mirrors and Friday the 13ths.

I even kept a jar of Luck on a shelf to save for a day when I needed it most, though in retrospect I probably should have found a bottle that distinguished itself as the good sort.

It worked, in a way, which was impressive considering how little I paid for it.

But I changed my mind.

It’s not that simple. It’s all tied up in choices and chances and paths taken regardless of what kinds of cats cross them. Luck can only get you so far, good or bad.

Though I still believe fortune favors the bold, no matter what they keep in their jars.

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

not really here.

I’m still on hiatus! Really! But I’m doing some blog housecleaning and I had things to share so you get a mini-post. Figures I post more than normal when I’m on hiatus.

Firstly, Kyle Cassidy is a splendid photographer and once upon a time he caused me to buy a fountain pen that was used to compose parts of the circus and because of that serendipitous pen incident you can now click this link and see a photo of his adorable cat Roswell wearing an adorably tiny bow tie and sitting with the book-shaped book, because pens are magic. (Also if you would like to write flash fanfic about said adorable cat you could can win an autographed copy.)

In other news, this is the best thing ever:

And then upon rewatching I spotted The Night Circus which delights me to no end. My book has way too much fun in Canada.

Today is my half birthday. I am 33 and a half. I usually say I should have half a cake, which we would sometimes have when I was growing up as my sister and I have nearly exactly six month apart birthdays (her proper, not-half birthday is on Tuesday) and that way there was less cake-based birthday jealousy.

I thought about just getting myself a cupcake but instead I made gluten-free brownies, added an extra egg to make them more cake-y and crumbled caramel-filled chocolates both mixed in and on top and then sprinkled the whole thing with sea salt for good measure.

So I have half-birthday chocolate salted caramel brownies and new Downton Abbey later and I am a fairly happy pumpkin, as 33-and-a-half year-old pumpkins go.

I am taking a pseudo internet hiatus this week so I can catch up on things and read noir novels and regroup and hopefully get some actual writing done. I’ll also be working on two long involved posts that will likely end up being a combined FAQ-esque thing. I’ll be checking personal email but little to no Twitter and no blogging save for Friday’s flax-golden (though I’ll be doing some blog-related housecleaning, still not sure where all the comments from the beginning of December went) and no wasting away my time in the wilds of the internet.

So I’ll be around but not as around as usual, I guess is the point. This is mostly to keep myself from wasting time watching cute cat videos and online shopping. (I will be making an exception for BPAL‘s impending Lupercalia update, though, of course.) I probably didn’t even need to tell you this as it won’t be all that obvious a hiatus but I wanted to share about the brownies and figured I’d mention it.

And now I’m babbling so I am going to go nibble on brownies and try not to feel old.