miscellany & musings & music

Pardon me, but where did August go? Excuse me whilst I cling to this final day, in denial that the morning will bring September in all its autumnal, impending book release glory.

This post is going to be all over the place, be prepared. Proper blogging keeps getting lost in the wilds of the to-do list.

I would have been updating the internet on all manner of happenings were it not for the cumbersome to-do list and also the fact that I had a horrid summer head cold for the last week, so I was hampered by a mucus-y haze. It felt as gross as that sounds. Mostly better now, just slightly sniffly.

I added a tour page to this poor neglected site, I meant to do it ages ago but formatting is hard. It’s still not perfect and it doesn’t have Canadian or UK info but I’ll be adding to it, hopefully in a timely manner.

Last week I spent a delightful evening under tents in a field in Concord, meeting booksellers and flouncing around in a white dress with red feathers in my hair. The lovely ladies of Random House put together a marvelous circusy event and I got to tell the story of why Bailey is from Concord, which is not a story I’ve gotten to tell very much so that was particularly fun. I wish I’d had more time to talk to everyone but I signed a lot of galleys (I ended up with a very nice not-mine pen that I’m pretty sure I was told I can keep, which I hope I’m remembering correctly but it’s always possible that I am just an incorrigible pen thief). I had a splendid time and there will be splendid photos soonish, as Kelly Davidson who did my wonderful author photo was there shooting for the Boston Phoenix and we ran around taking photos in fields with sunflowers and the very heavy crystal ball the tarot reader was kind enough to let us use. (Late in the evening I had my cards read, which was a lovely end to the night.) My sincere thanks to everyone there, from organizers to guests and my darling editor who was my date for the evening, for participating in such a fantastical event.

Now, almost post-head cold, I am in pre-tour mode, trying to get myself organized for the impending whirlwind, looking skeptically at September. I had a lot of things I’d intended to do over the summer that seem to have fallen by the wayside. September seemed far away for a very long time and now it is hard to wrap my head around the fact that The Night Circus comes out in less than two weeks. I waver between terribly excited and extremely apprehensive, so I feel like I am lightly caffeinated at all times, even when I’m not.

I’ve been mostly trying to take care of myself as I think I’m going to need it. I’ve been reading a lot as it tends to calm my brain, escaping into a book. And I have a perfect escape in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 that I was lucky enough to grab an ARC of when I was in NYC signing thousands of books, it was a much better reward than a wrist massage. I’m about halfway through at the moment, attempting to finish all almost-1000 pages of brilliance before tour so I can take lighter weight reading on planes.

And I have been listening to the new Florence + the Machine song over and over and over. Saw her do this live and delighted that it is just as good now, studio recorded and tipping into autumn as it was under a summer night sky.

So, that is what Erinland sounds like at the moment, tinged with September-eve disbelief.

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flax-golden tales: cures for what ails

cures for what ails

The sign on the door is so worn that if it bore a more elaborate description it might be rendered illegible, but because there is only a single word inscribed upon it, it remains discernible.

Cures, it says. No more than that.

A tinkling bell sounds the quietest of alerts when the door is opened or closed.

Inside, the shelf-lined walls are covered with jars and bottles, each clearly as old as the sign on the door, if not older. They are carefully organized and labeled, though some of the labels are fading or stained or torn.

Their contents can cure anything. Fevers of any type, colds of common and uncommon varieties, sleeplessness and restlessness, confusion and depression and allergies, broken limbs and broken hearts.

But the bottles hold only individual ingredients, they must be mixed to gain potency, carefully combined and measured to counter the ailment in question.

And though the mixologist has kind eyes and a secret-keeping heart, many customers find they cannot confess their needs aloud, leaving empty-handed while the tinkling bell echoes behind them.


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

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a few thoughts about the wsj

So, this happened.

I have written and re-written this post.

I have a lot of thoughts but I’m not sure exactly what to say.

The most important part is likely this: I don’t believe there will be a “next” Harry Potter. Harry Potter was a phenomenon. Harry Potter was unique.

I think comparing my adult market, standalone novel to Harry Potter, or any other YA series, is a little bit absurd.

I think The Night Circus may share some qualities, especially in a magical, imaginary environment sense, with Harry Potter, but it’s in the same way that crème brûlée and chocolate soufflés both have sugar. And accent marks. They are still very different flavors and now I’ve wandered off into dessert analogies and made myself hungry.

I don’t want anyone tasting my book and expecting it to be something that it’s not.

Also, I have been called a pixie before, and been told by a psychic that I have fairy energy, but this is the first time I’ve ever been referred to as elfin. That I know of.

And the end of the article seems to imply that I’m not sure what to do next, when I’m well into my next novel which has nothing to do with the circus. It is also a standalone, adult market novel.

So, at the end of the day, I think it is mostly extremely odd to see a very large photo of your kitten in the Wall Street Journal. And for the record, it may look like I am calmly petting her but in actuality I’m holding her down because she was trying to escape.

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flax-golden tales: an embrace made of stars

an embrace made of stars

He asked me what I missed, most of all.

I was almost asleep so he had to repeat the question.

I told him truthfully that I didn’t know, the thought lost to dreams within a matter of minutes.

He asked me again the next night when I was more awake so I considered it for a while and I couldn’t think of anything and I told him so.

I thought that would be the end of it, but he asked again and again, every evening in that pre-sleep quiet, letting it become part of our nightly routine. But while I could have listed a litany of things I missed, none seemed worthy of that most-missed title.

And one night I knew, surprised that I hadn’t thought of it before.

“I miss the stars,” I told him, looking up at the empty darkness above.

He only nodded, in agreement or approval or some combination of the two, and held my hand while we fell asleep like he always does.

I woke to find myself enveloped in an early-morning night sky, stars hand-drawn on bare ground and walls, each one bright and warm and glowing.


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

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bookshelf kitten

Recap of whirlwind NYC signing trip forthcoming, for now, check out the photo gallery over here on facebook.


I didn’t even know she was back there until she started kicking books off the shelf.

She looks far too pleased with herself.

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real book!

I got a finished copy of The Night Circus in the mail today. There aren’t really words for this, I’m torn between giddy excitement and befuddled disbelief and mild concern that it is rather difficult to take a photograph of such a shiny-covered book.

I even took a photo of it in the sunshine so you can see how the scrollwork is all holographic and rainbow-y:

It’s difficult to tell in the photos but the background is shiny and the hand and tents are matte but embossed, so the texture is amazing.

And I am apparently blessed by the endpaper gods, because this one has stripes:

Tessa remains unimpressed, of course.

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flax-golden tales: the memory of birds

the memory of birds

What is it? she asks, pressing her hand against the picture on the wall. I wonder how many other children have repeated the gesture before her, impressed that the paint has not yet worn away, though the wall is crumbling in other places.

What is it? she repeats, and in my distracted wonderings about the longevity of paint it takes me a moment to recall the name.

It’s a bird, I tell her, though the word sounds wrong as it escapes my lips—too harsh and short for the delicate lines of the painting—I am reasonably certain of it. I think there were different types of them but I decide the explanation is better left simplified.

Is it a real thing? she asks, her finger hovering over the black dot of an eye without touching.

It was, I say, still favoring simplicity.

So it was here Before and someone saw it and repeated it on the wall so other people would see it and remember when it was real? she asks.

Something like that, I say, but no one remembers the real ones anymore.

I’ll remember that it was real Before, she says, and she reaches up on tiptoe to trace the lines of its open wings before nodding to herself and taking my hand, leading me farther along the crumbling wall.


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

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bonus tessa photo

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pictures of kittens

I would like to apologize for the lack of kitten photos on the blog recently.

The reason there has been a lack of kitten photos is that during and immediately after the actual moving the kittens were not here. But now they are, so for now we can return to our regularly scheduled kittens.

Tessa spent about twenty four hours howling her head off when she first arrived in the new place and now has returned to normal:

So far she’s been keeping away from the electrical cords, too, which is good because they are one of her favorite things to chew.

Bucket stayed in her carrier for a few hours and continues to be skeptical about this whole thing.

But overall they seem to be adjusting fairly well. The one thing that both of them are taking issue with, though, is the fact that they are not allowed in my new office. Which normally wouldn’t be a problem but it has a glass door, so this is what I’m looking at as I type:

Or rather, this is what’s looking at me. Sometimes there are confused meows and once in a while there is plaintive glass-pawing. Then they usually get bored and wander away. Hopefully they’ll get used to it, the office is still too much of a mess of cords and kitten-inappropriate things to allow them access. They have plenty of other interesting places to flop.

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flax-golden tales: doom


The sun was shining the day it happened.

The survivors comment on it, still. They had expected storms with rolling thunder. Maybe some fog. A proper grey overcast sky to better suit the tone.

No, it was a perfect blue skies and fluffy white clouds day. Some of the clouds looked like bunnies, but people very rarely mention that.

They shake their heads about the inappropriateness of the weather and remark, almost always, that they never saw it coming.

But they were warned, well in advance. They were warned in bedtime whispers and colored chalk portents that languished unheeded on sidewalks, even without any rain to wash them away.


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

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