What are you doing? they ask in earnest, curious unison.

Writing, I reply, answering automatically even though they ask the same question every day and they often sit directly on the typewriter so it should be rather obvious.

Writing what? they chorus with their typical giddiness.

A story.

There should be a bear! one suggests.

No, bears are scary! the other insists.

That’s why they make a good story, the first argues, because scary stories are exciting stories and exciting stories are good stories!

You’re not helping, I tell them, but they don’t listen. They never listen to me.

They argue about bears and relative levels of scariness (digressing into a lengthy debate as to whether dragons could be scarier than bears and who would win in a dragon versus bear situation, including caveats as to age of dragon, type of bear, landscape the fight is taking place on and both competitors psychological motivations) and what makes a story properly good while I continue to type.

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

I was going to write an epic post-NYC blog post and then this week got away from me, lost in two straight days of phone interviews followed by credit card fraud shenanigans and deadlines and also I’m still not sure how it managed to be almost-August already.

So, instead of a proper blog post, here are some adorable pygmy rabbits, brought to bunny up the busy week by ZooBorns:


Also, on Monday July 30th at 5pm eastern I will be doing a live video chat on GoodReads. I imagine it will be something like all the phone interviews only people will actually be able to see how much I talk with my hands.

bridge use restricted

We reach the bridge on the third day, in the late afternoon with the sun just starting to sag into the trees. We are tired and hungry, having eaten the last of the almost-stale scones with honey hours before, and overjoyed to have finally reached our next landmark.

We whoop and shout enough to scare the nearby birds but we fall silent when we notice the sign.

No one warned us of this part, though few had set down this path before and returned to share the particulars. We did not expect the bridge, this fabled bridge we had heard about that seemed solid and eternal in our imaginations, to be so narrow and flimsy and have formally posted restrictions.

“Do Not Run” seems understandable given the rickety construction, but “Limited To Three Pedestrians” gives us pause, leaving us shuffling our formerly eager feet in the dirt with four pairs of eyes refusing to make contact.

We decide, after some debate, that it is likely not an enforceable restriction and we should all cross, but one at a time so that there are never more than three of us at once.

No one wants to be last, just in case, so we break a stick and draw straws and I am only slightly surprised to find the short one in my hand when I open my eyes.

My companions cross slowly, it seems an eternity before the third begins to walk, and when she is almost halfway with the other two safely on the far side and watching nervously, I shift my pack on my shoulders and prepare to step forward.

Before I even lift my foot the bridge has vanished, leaving me standing alone next to another sign that instructs me to continue west to the other bridge, and beneath the sign is a warm honeyed scone.


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

I am in NYC at the moment, but on Monday I spent the day being herded around eastern Massachusetts to sign stock at several different bookstores. So if you would like a signed paperback of The Night Circus they can be found at:

Harvard Books in Cambridge

Porter Square Books in Cambridge

The Concord Bookshop in Concord

Willow Books in Acton

Wellesley Books in Wellesley

and the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton Highlands.

And I imagine most if not all of these stores would be willing to ship them if you called & ordered.

I of course did not get through all of those stores without a bit of book shopping, even though my to-read pile is absurd at this point. Also, socks.

And this evening I shall be at McNally Jackson Books in conversation with Lev Grossman. I am not entirely sure what we will be conversing about. Possibly books or writing and very likely Harry Potter. Actually probably mostly Harry Potter.

another place in another time

I found the lamppost in the middle of the woods, half-hidden in branches and vines.

I confess, the first thing I thought about was Narnia even though it was summer-warm with green leaves instead of wardrobe snow and I’m too old to be thinking such things in serious wishful ways.

I untangled what I could to get a better look at the lamppost itself, which was set securely in the ground even though the nearest road was half a mile away.

I’m not sure when I stopped being in my woods and started being in Everglynn, but it was probably somewhere around dusk when the lamp flickered on and the chipmunk sitting by my feet asked if I happened to have the time.

It’s not Narnia, not by a long shot. No icy queens or wise enigmatic lions, just a messy, run-down land of squabbling creatures who argue over everything from what to farm and how to form a proper army—though I’m not sure who the army would be fighting, there aren’t any other lands as far as I can tell—to what books to keep in the expansive hollow-tree library and whether or not to legalize gambling.

They think I’m their savior, a strange beast sent from another land to fix their unruly society and their failing economy and bring peace to their vine-tangled forest.

I try to help. I untangle what I can. I worry what would happen if I were to leave.


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


Today is my birthday! I am thirty-four years old, which also means that this blog is four years old and flax-golden tales are three years old, and three is of course the magic number. My continued & eternal thanks to the multi-talented Carey Farrell for allowing me to make things up to accompany her fantastic photos.

We celebrate all of these things with the meta-wonderment that is a balloon covered with balloons.


Also there is wrapping paper featuring a very dapper cat.


And my favorite part, the birthday pony.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes both in person and via Twitter and comments, my day so far has been balloon and kitten and pony and pancake-filled, and later there shall be ice cream cake. Thirty-three was a strange, wondrous, roller coaster of a year. I’m curious to see what thirty-four will bring, and I’m going to assume a balloon covered in balloons is a good birthday omen.

the bunny business

We moved the table to the back of the store years ago but once in a while interested customers still come in and my dad points them toward the end of the long polished oak counter and around the corner and then he presses the button that lights up the fading fancy-lettered Lapins sign and dings a bell by my desk so I can unlock the case.

I sometimes wish we could just leave the sign on and the case unlocked so I could do something productive, since most of the time the potential customers are only browsing and they get grumpy when I inform them that they can’t handle the merchandise without displaying what they have for trade.

No one has lapins for trade anymore. Not nice enough ones to trade for our stock since all our lapins are in prime condition for their age, still shiny and mostly in the pale green the official catalog calls “celery” and silver, which is just called “silver.” Once we had a pink (“amaranth”) one but a woman I’d never seen in the store before swooped in with a wide-brimmed straw hat and a huge purse the day after we got it in stock and traded three green ones and a still-wrapped cerulean for the single pink. After she left my dad grumbled and suggested that we could have held out for a better deal, but there was no way I wasn’t letting that lady have that pink bunny, not with the look in her eyes under the shadow of that hat.

But most of the interested customers we get aren’t as serious, even though we’re the only store in this part of the country that deals in lapins anymore. I’ve mastered the headshake of disapproval when people produce lapins for trade that have clearly been tampered with, serial numbers illegible and ears crudely reattached.

“The lapin business is still a noble trade, son,” my dad says, even though I’m a girl (he always calls me son anyway) and both of us refer to it as “the bunny business” on a regular basis.

Sometimes I suggest we crack them all open and be done with it, but I never really mean it and I’m always relieved when my dad shakes his head and pats the display case, aiming a tiny smile down at the lapins safely locked under glass.


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




Thank you all for joining in the fantabulousness! Endless gratitude to everyone at Brookline Booksmith, especially the wonderful and dapper Evan, and everyone from the Huffington Post Books team, particularly the dashing and becaped (which is not a word, but he did have a cape) Andrew, and of course, the incomparable Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys.