bargaining with space and time

bargaining with space and time

They make promises to themselves and to the universe and in that moment they believe they got the better of the bargain, they believe that everything is forever and infinite.

Later, much later, they will realize their mistake.

Nothing lasts forever.

Promises regarding space and time disintegrate like paper in the rain.

When they finally feel their space and time slipping through their fingers they stop winding their watches and they unplug their clocks. As though the disruption of electricity could halt time forever at six minutes past eleven.

They fret over the things they had meant to do instead of moving forward.

They mourn what’s been lost instead of celebrating what’s still to come.

Instead of reveling in all that is available to them.

And space and time sigh and laugh and continue dancing into the future.


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

belated cocktails

I mentioned that I would share the Game of Thrones season finale cocktails if they came out well and they did but then I forgot! Oops.

got cocktailsI decide beforehand to do one fire-themed cocktail and one ice-themed cocktail. Originally the ice one was going to involve sparkling wine but after spending the day making lemon cakes and lamb stew I wanted something lighter.

The fire cocktail is basically a cinnamon whiskey sour. It is approximately equal parts fresh lemon juice, Bärenjäger honey liqueur & Early Times Fire Eater hot cinnamon flavored whiskey (which comes in a fabulously circusy bottle) shaken over ice & served up. This came out rather splendidly, the whiskey really does have that hot cinnamon kick to it which seemed appropriately fire-themed even though the drink itself was cold.

The ice cocktail is vodka (distilled from honey!) with a splash of creme de violette topped with sparkling water & served, of course, over ice. I was going to use my giant round ice molds but I forgot to fill them. This one turned out a beautiful clear lavender color that doesn’t quite come across in the photo.

I am thinking I will make this a Game of Thrones tradition and make different fire&ice cocktails for next season’s premiere, too.


tiny helpful birds

tiny helpful birds

The Helpful Birds are small and black
But some of them wear splashes of color
And all of them are somewhat fluffy.

Often only one of them will show up
But they will be there when you need them.

If you have a lock in need of picking or a lost item stuck on a high branch
Or if you simply feel the need to listen to a little song
They will be happy to help you or to sing for you.

And if you are lost at sea
They will help you build your boat.


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

I started writing flax-golden tales in the summer of 2009 because this blog was newish and I wanted it to look like I was a proper writer who wrote things.

I wanted to do something inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

My wonderful friend Carey Farrell was kind enough to let me use her photographs.

I restricted each tale to ten sentences (though sometimes I was not terribly strict about what constituted a sentence) and posted them here each Friday.

And now, five years and more than 250 stories later, I’m stopping.

There are four stories left.

Tale #261 will be posted on July 11th, 2014. (Tale #1 was posted July 10th, 2009.)

They have been a five-year-long birthday present to myself and they have followed me through a more extraordinary time than I ever thought possible.

But now it’s time to let them go.

I’ve been asked many times if they will be collected into a book and the answer at this point is maybe someday, there are no set publication plans. (Any possible future book version would likely include new tales as well, because I think that would be fun.)

My eternal gratitude & appreciation to Carey, and thank you to everyone for reading along on this journey.


the wish grantersthe wish granters

The faeries got tired of constantly being asked to grant wishes while they were busy with other things like practicing their tiny violins and writing novellas and drinking their faerie wine so they created a wish submission system, somewhat similar to a post office box system, but, you know, for wishing.

You write down your wish in 250 words or less and put it in an envelope (standard, not business sized) and you tape a flower to it (it doesn’t matter what kind). Then you put your wish in one of the numbered boxes to submit it to the faeries and they will answer it or they won’t.

Wishers debate about the system, they all have their theories. They suppose that wishes submitted to box number four always come true, or ones placed in box number one have a higher chance of being granted because fewer wishers put their wish in the first box.

(Some say thirteen is unlucky and others say the opposite and neither is correct.)

Or that faeries don’t care for dandelions, and they’re not a proper flower anyway.

(Untrue, faeries love dandelions, particularly in their puffy stage.)

Once in awhile someone will suggest that all the wishes get piled together regardless of which numbered box they go into and the faeries ignore them all, but that’s not true either.

The wishes go into numbered piles that the faeries ignore, until one of them is bored and pulls a wish at random to grant, just to keep things interesting.


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

  • I have spent so much time this week on miscellaneous things and going to the dentist that it is somehow Thursday already and I’ve barely gotten anything accomplished and I don’t appreciate that.
  • Seriously, if the first half is any indication 2014 is going to be the year I spent at the dentist or sick in bed while trying to write a novel.
  • On Sunday for the Game of Thrones season finale I’m going to make lemon cakes and possibly ice & fire themed cocktails. If they come out well I’ll post them.
  • I am not quite finished with season 2 of Orange is the New Black but it is fantastic.
  • I asked for recommendations for books about books over on Twitter and I’m getting all sorts of splendid suggestions.
  • I changed the layout on my tumblr page and I think I like it. I’ve also been on tumblr for more than a year and I’m still not sure I have the hang of it, but it’s pretty.
  • Random link to Instagram so it doesn’t feel left out.

authorized persons onlyauthorized persons only

I like to sit in the park and read in the afternoons, usually in the same round gated garden because there’s more shade but today the fence has been replaced by a tall grey wall that says Authorized Persons Only where the gate used to be.

There’s no door, as far as I can tell, but I follow the wall around to the side and find a window just about eye-level with closed shutters covered in peeling white paint.

I knock on the window and the shutters open and at first I don’t see anyone but then the top halves of two heads with leaves stuck in their messy curls pop into view, staring at me with bright brown eyes.

Guten Tag! the pair of leafy-haired moppets shouts in unison but when I ask them if I can come into the garden they reply: Only if you’re Authorized!

How do I get authorized? I ask and they duck out of sight and converse in loud yet unintelligible whispers for a moment.

When they pop back up they ask: Are you an Author? If you’re an Author then you are Authorized.

What’s the difference between an author and a writer? I ask them in return.

They look at each other and then back at me and then they vanish back down and the whisper-bickering goes on so long that I take my book and retreat to another corner of the park.

The next day the wall says Writerized or Authorized Persons Only, but they still won’t let me in.


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

photo post

flatironFlatiron building. If I recall correctly, it absolutely poured rain later that night but it was also the first time the hostess at a restaurant asked if I was the author after lots and lots of reservations under my name, so that was fun.

golden chainVisited my parents last weekend, just in time to catch the Laburnum in bloom. It’s like a fairy tale tree, photos barely do it justice.

new hatAlso I have a new hat. It’s from Goorin Bros. I tried on a few different ones but this one was best, it even has a red band on the inside.