take a seattake a seat

Come in, come in and take a seat, but please don’t wait for the show to start.

It has already started.

You probably thought it would begin once an audience had assembled, we apologize for any confusion.

The show began before you arrived and it will continue after you leave.

(It may follow you like a puppy or a lingering dream.)

You don’t have to stay here, this is just where we keep the chairs and you can take your chair with you, if you are attached to it, or you may choose another.

The only wrong decision is choosing not to change if you are unsatisfied with your last choice.

(It is, we know, a difficult thing to choose new choices and make new changes but it is best, do please trust us on that matter.)

Whatever you choose, please don’t wait.

As we mentioned previously: the show has already begun and we need you to play your part, whatever you wish that to be.


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



I organized my jewelry earlier this week and realized just how many pieces of jewelry with keys I have. Some of them are cast silver but most of them are actual keys, skeleton or otherwise. There are at least three or four more in addition to what’s pictured, plus a very tiny one that has a matching padlock.

I am awfully fond of keys. I sometimes wonder where the locks are that belong to all of these ones.

I am not doing anything official for Book Expo America this year but I spent part of yesterday and today meeting people who are in town and got to meet a lot of bookish lovelies who I only knew from Twitter and they are all actual lovely real live people, so that was great fun.

I will probably be very quiet around the internets for June, lots of work to do. And possible website reworking and other things changing in July, but that’s still a good ways off.

the dog will see you now

the dog will see you now

I heard from reliable sources that the cat who lives at 23 Pine Street can answer any question but when I get to number 23 Pine Street there’s no cat, just a gardener outside who stops digging up long-dead begonias to inform me that the cat’s owners moved to Pennsylvania or Kentucky, one of those, he’s not sure which but they took the cat with them, he’s fairly certain of that.

“I don’t suppose there are any other question-answering animals around here, then?” I ask.

The gardener frowns—a bigger frown than the question deserves in my opinion—and he gazes past me, down the street a bit.

“You could ask the dog at number forty-two,” he suggests after a too-long pause, still frowning, mostly with his eyebrows, “but the dog only receives supplicants on Wednesdays between seven and ten a.m.”

“Today is Wednesday” I observe aloud but that doesn’t even get a nod. I check my watch and it’s 9:54am so I thank the gardener (he grunts something before turning the frown on the former begonias) and I hurry down the street, counting house numbers as I go.

Number 42 does indeed have a dog sitting at the top of the front steps, and several people on the sidewalk nearby though they all seem to be walking away, a couple of guys in suits nodding to themselves and one lady in a hat crying.

The dog says Hello and I ask him if he can answer questions like the cat who until recently lived at number 23 could, and he shakes his head sadly and his ears flop a bit and he tells me questions are more of a cat thing, he only tells people their truths.

He says he can do that, if I would like, and I say sure, might as well, since I’m here.

Then the dog tells me my truths and I forget what my question was.


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

ice cream

Yesterday when I went to the dentist to get a crown that I was supposed to get back when I had bronchitis but had to reschedule and it turned out I needed a root canal. Luckily my lovely dentist just sent me elsewhere in the same building to another lovely lady who happened to have enough time to do it right then so I got it over with immediately but still, Unexpected Root Canal does not make for the best of Tuesdays.

So last night I decided I deserved a treat and I’d been meaning to try making almond milk ice cream for awhile so I made vanilla toffee bourbon almond ice cream. With coconut. Because I could.

ice cream

I started by looking up almond milk ice cream recipes to get ideas and found this great list of vegan ice cream recipes on Buzzfeed. This is not a real recipe because I was winging it and not really measuring anything, but this is what I did:

I put a lot of unsweetened almond milk in a pot and added about a 1/3 cup of coconut cream, around 1/4 cup agave nectar, a shot or so of bourbon and maybe a tablespoon of vanilla extract. I simmered that for awhile until everything was blended nicely and then I cooled it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

I mixed it some more before putting it in the ice cream machine. I also had a bar of this:


I put about half the bar of it in a ziplock bag and hit it with a hammer until it was basically chocolate almond toffee dust and added that to the ice cream. I left a bit aside to crumble on top. (This does, I realize, make this recipe non-vegan but if there’s such a thing as vegan toffee that would work, or any candy crumbly something. I’m not vegan, I’m an omnivore with an aversion to gluten who likes to save the dairy in her diet for cheese.)

It is probably the best thing to ever come out of the ice cream maker (though the strawberry prosecco sorbet runs a close second) and still felt light and almost sorbet-ish but the coconut and the toffee gave it a nice richness and I’m sure the bourbon didn’t hurt.

Might try it again with peanut butter cups instead of toffee.

mind the bell

mind the bell

They used to say “Mind the Bell” mostly as a… what’s the opposite of a greeting? They’d say it when bidding farewell to someone, sometimes turning it into a single word: mindthebell, or minddebel. Nobody does it as much anymore, but teachers still say it at the end of class, because their teachers said it and their teachers before them.

I asked once what it meant and was told it was a shortened version of “Be Mindful of the Bell” but when I asked why we needed to be mindful of the bell no one could give me an answer.

They’d point at the old bell tower with its perpetually silent bell and shrug.

My grandmother told me once that if it rings I should run as fast as I can, but my father says grandma doesn’t always make the most sense.

I know someone who tried to climb the bell tower once on a dare, but he only got about halfway up the beams before he couldn’t find anymore footholds and had to go back down.

He told me he got high enough to see the bell properly, but as far as he could tell it didn’t have a rope or anything to ring it so the whole minding thing was probably just an expression.

But this morning it started ringing and I was the only one who ran.

So I was the only one who got away.


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


Last week I managed to get a cold again because 2014 is apparently the year of me being ill, but I’m feeling better this week. I even managed to sit under cherry blossoms in the park. I’m still finding petals in my bag from the cherry blossom rain.

The new Tori Amos album, Unrepentant Geraldines, is beautiful. It reminds me of Scarlet’s Walk. “Oysters” is my favorite track, in that right-song-at-the-right-time way.

I am writing very slowly. I am not where I wanted to be now that it’s cherry blossom season already, but I’m trying to feel alright about that. Things like taking care of myself are taking priority, and there’s a lot of stuff in my head that needs figuring out, fiction-wise.

This tiny post is brought to you by the fact that I needed to post something in between flax-golden tales and I do not have the time or the brain power for a thinky post, and I don’t have enough photos for a proper photo post.

elevatorelevator to your destiny

There’s an up button and a down button but they don’t really mean what they say.

It’s a preliminary test, to assess your state of mind.

(They’ll tell you in secretive tones that up is always better than down, but that’s not at all true.)

Once an elevator decides to let you in, the direction it goes is always personalized for the rider.

But you have to know where you want to go.

If you don’t know, the elevator won’t move.

This part can be intimidating.

Many choose the stairs for fear of ending up in an immobile elevator.

(The trick is: you don’t have to be certain about your destination, you just have to have an idea.

And you can always try again.)


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

strange godspray to strange gods and receive strange answers

The strange gods are gods of the in-betweens and the unnoticed things, but they are still gods.

Gods of lost socks and orphaned foxes and 3:52pm.

And they will answer your prayers, if they are in the mood.

Say hello and wish them well and hold out your hands.

They might send you feathers or fountain pens or illustrations ripped from children’s books.

Bits of broken neon signs or rotary telephones or roller skates.

Or they might ignore you entirely.

Or they might respond in ways that are not as tangible as skeleton keys and candy hearts.

And the strange gods don’t particularly care if you believe in them or not.

They don’t particularly believe in you, either.


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