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flax-golden tales: DIY spring

April 11th, 2014 by erin

diy springDIY spring

We have to have Spring now, my littlest sister declares.

This declaration is followed by a watering can emptying over my head.

I manage to save my book from liquid annihilation, barely.

April showers to bring the May flowers! she explains before I can ask about the details of this do-it-yourself Spring.

But she doesn’t have flowers, she takes my book away and hands me bunch of fuzz-tipped pussy willows instead.

Then she gives me a paper parasol.

Oh! I should have given you this before the showers, she says, frowning and turning the empty watering can upside down and letting the last drops fall on the grass.

I’m not sure painted paper works for April showers, I tell her, and the frown goes full-blown Grumpy Cat.

We’re doing Spring wrong! she wails, flopping down on the soggy grass next to me.

It takes awhile, but I manage to convince her that we’re doing Spring just fine because there’s no snow, and we gather our parasols and pussy willows and head off in search of proper flowers and a towel to dry my hair.


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

better. mostly.

April 10th, 2014 by erin

I am mostly better. I say this because I can actually get out of bed and I can speak normally in between coughing fits. I am also very tired most of the time.

I miss cocktails. And wine. And deep breaths.

I keep having to cancel restaurant reservations which makes me sad because when I was super sick I thought “2 weeks away! I’ll be better by then!” and now no, not so much. Well, better but better does not equal healthy.

I also haven’t been able to work all that well since my head is all cloudy, but somewhere in the super-delirious fever-y stage I figured out one of the things that’s been bothering me about the novel-in-progress. So that’s something. I’m not sure how to fix it yet, and I hadn’t really planned on basically losing two weeks of working on it, but it’s something.

So, I will be healing more and locking myself away in my writing cave. For the next few weeks the blog will likely be all photo posts all the time in between flax-goldens. Which will probably be more interesting than all the illness-related babbling.

flax-golden tales: a lonely giraffe spun into myth

April 4th, 2014 by erin

lonely giraffea lonely giraffe spun into myth

They say the silver giraffe is nocturnal but that’s not true.

He suffers from insomnia.

They say that he will visit you if you leave an apricot out as an offering on a night with a full moon but that’s not true either.

The silver giraffe wanders aimlessly down alleyways and through backyards and parking lots at mid-day or midnight, regardless of moon phase.

He is awfully fond of apricots, that bit is true-ish.

Sometimes he is difficult to see, because he is shiny and reflective and walks very quietly.

They say if you find him he will heal your broken heart and that’s not true true though he often wishes it was.

But if you find him and you ask he will sit with you and listen to your secret sorrows and never tell a soul even if you don’t have an apricot for him. He just appreciates the company.

And you might feel better anyway.


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

so it turns out “ill” was an understatement

April 2nd, 2014 by erin

After my fever hit 104 on Friday, Adam made me go to the doctor and what I’d thought was a spring cold was the flu, and it went and morphed into bronchitis just for good measure.

I have pretty much been asleep since Saturday. Today I am eating homemade chicken soup which is a major accomplishment considering I could barely swallow water for awhile there.

Needless to say I am behind on life and it’s going to take me awhile to catch back up. If you are waiting on anything from me it’s going to be later than I would have liked but I’ll get to it eventually.

I haven’t been this sick in a really long time and I’d forgotten how miserable it is. Getting slowly better but I’m still one big tired cough.

I will be really, really glad to be properly healthy again.

flax-golden tales: map without treasure

March 28th, 2014 by erin

map without treasuremap without treasure

The map, they said when they sold it to us, was found tucked in the threadbare jacket of a skeleton in a jewel-strewn cave but the general consensus amongst the crew is that this is likely an exaggeration if not an outright lie because it is quite a large map, too large to be tucked anywhere. When we unroll it for consultation we spread it out on beds or on the deck because it takes up too much room on the tables.

At first we could not make heads or tails of it as the compass inscribed in the corner has directions that do not correlate with familiar east or west, and the coastlines and the islands seem to change with the wind direction or on unspoken whims.

There are many places marked with X’s or circles but none are clearly identified as treasure. None of them are clearly identified at all, most of the text on the map is written in obscure languages or too faded to read.

Our navigator makes little checkmarks next to places as we visit them. Sometimes he draws little pictures of the things we found there or transcribes recipes for native pastries. To mark the quieter locations he paints tiny representations of their particular sunrises.

The map is becoming more and more covered in ink and history and coffee stains and still there is no treasure to be found.

The talking violet crab we picked up on that island with the beach covered in keys likes to say that perhaps the journey itself is the treasure but he also tells stories about feathered sea monsters, so no one pays him much heed.


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

ill. boo.

March 26th, 2014 by erin

So I managed to go the whole winter without getting sick and now I’ve spent the last two days in bed.

I’m better today than yesterday or Monday but still coughing like it’s my job so I’m mostly all about tea and reading and watching comfort movies like Wreck-It Ralph.

And today was a good book mail day.

supernatural enhancements

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. I’ve heard a bit about it and it sounds super intriguing and I am in love with this cover. Also it goes well with my mug and my floor. Advance copy, comes out properly in August according to the informative spine.

Now I am going to read. Or nap. Or drink more tea. Or some combination thereof.

flax-golden tales: gosling investigators

March 21st, 2014 by erin

gosling investigatorsgosling investigators

If you have lost something precious we will find it!

If you miss it and you need to have it returned to you.

Or if you never had it but have always always wanted it.

Even if you aren’t sure what it is, exactly.

We will find it!

We will investigate and discover and uncover until we locate the lost things and the hidden things.

We will search high and low but mostly low.

Under rocks and between blades of grass and at the bottom of your heart.

We will find it! We will find it!


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


March 20th, 2014 by erin



tulips again


We bought tulips at the farmer’s market a few days ago and for awhile they stood up straight and now they are all woozy with springtime except for the one that’s still upright, staring at itself in the mirror.

Happy Spring Equinox, Happy Please Go Away Never-Ending Winter, Happy New Beginnings.

flax-golden tales: building blocks

March 14th, 2014 by erin

building blocksbuilding blocks

Our blocks are every shape and every color: pink and green and yellow, sky blue and ocean blue and melancholy blue.

We build them up in colorful stacks.

Turning them from blocks to homes and businesses and temples and museums.

Towns and cities and countries.

We let them live and breathe and grow taller and bigger and more complicated.

Then we knock them down, again.

We shriek and laugh at the noise and the chaos and sometimes we’re just a little bit sad to see them go, favorite towers toppled and hidden corners exposed.

And then we build them up, again.

Higher and better than we built before.

Different but the same.


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

blank pages

March 13th, 2014 by erin

notebooksFor as long as I can remember, blank books have made me anxious.

I love them, though it’s maybe a bit strange to love something that makes you anxious, but I do. I love crisp paper and fancy bindings and the clever little elastics to keep them closed. I particularly love the ones that have pockets in the back though I rarely put anything in the pockets.

I used to get blank books and journals and fill a few pages and stop, having ruined them with lousy handwriting and messy thoughts. And then I’d feel bad about letting them languish and didn’t like having long gaps of time between pages so the rest of the pages would stay blank.

I can’t even count how many once-blank books I’ve owned. I can count the ones I’ve filled cover-to-cover on one hand.

You would think, after all the time and all the words and all the writing, they wouldn’t make me nervous anymore. But they do.

I don’t have the same anxiety about blank pages when I type. Maybe it’s the mutability of a file, the possibilities of a blinking cursor are a more flexible sort, easily taken away again with a few additional keystrokes. I spelt additional wrong on the first try, easily fixed here.

And I type faster than I write longhand.

But I like writing longhand, even though it makes me feel slow and awkward and uncertain. I loved this piece that the lovely Daniel Kraus did on Booklist about writing longhand.

I suspect I just need to do it more, but there’s that horrid feeling of ruining something pristine mixed with too much possibility.

I have a couple of notebooks going for the novel-in-progress and pages upon pages on my computer, but I just pulled out a new blank book to work in and it’s making me nervous. Compounding the nerves that are already there from being back to the writing phase that’s just me and the world in my head and the pages to fill.

I’ll figure it out. I’ll spell things wrong and spill ink and hopefully this will be one of those books that gets filled cover-to-cover, and I’ll be able to make something of what’s inside.