So the post-holiday post has been delayed until now because, as I mentioned on Twitter, my grandmother passed away last week.

She was 95 years old and until recently was still going up & down her stairs in South Boston. It was not terribly unexpected but that does not make it any less sad and I will think of her when I have cups of tea, which is frequently.

I looked through my computer for photographs and while I don’t have any recent ones, I did find this, which I love (I never knew my grandfather but apparently he had fabulous hats):

Thank you to everyone who sent kind words and condolences via Twitter, they are much appreciated.


So, probably obvious but I lost most of my post-holiday, pre-Book Expo week to catch up on things. I will likely not catch up on emails or Twitter replies or things like that any time soon, my apologies. I have to do things like pack. And unpack, I’m not even properly unpacked yet.

Regarding Book Expo America next week: yes, I will be there. Last I checked I wasn’t on the list of authors on the website but I really do have a signing on Wednesday at 11:30am in the Random House booth. Haven’t signed things in a while, maybe more letters will be legible in my signature. Probably not, though.


If you hadn’t figured it out from the periodic palm trees popping up on Twitter, I spent the last few weeks in Florida. Mostly around Fort Lauderdale with a few excursions to Miami for art deco architecture research. I will try to post more photos at some point soon(ish).

I read and I wrote and I flounced around on beaches and I actually got to relax for a change which was splendid. Proper book-centric post forthcoming but the book I enjoyed the most was Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. It’s fascinating and also has a very pretty cover.

Speaking of books, while I was away the circus was chosen for the Huffington Post Book Club. I am delighted, of course, though I feel slightly bad as it was the only one of the nominated books not yet out in paperback but I hope all the book club readers enjoy it. Also in UK book club news, the circus was chosen for the Richard & Judy Summer Book Club which is also delightful and flattering and I hope everyone reading it in the summer finds it an autumnal sort of escape.

I will likely not manage a proper Florida recap, but I did have one of the loveliest meals I’ve ever at Market 17 (the dessert involved this, it was magic!) and I would totally go back to dine in the dark. Also I saw more butterflies than I’ve ever seen before in my life and I narrowly escaped an attack by a small pink lizard and I watched ducklings learn to swim. Not all at the same time.

And I watched the sunrise from the seashore while wearing a matching dress. I miss the sound of the waves already.

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flax-golden tales: wish dish

wish dish

I blame Dr. Seuss.

It’s a belief that solidified in my head after all the rhyming, the fish wish dish stuff.

I was easily influenced by rhyming things. My mother says I used to try to put a hat on the cat and cry when he wouldn’t wear it.

(My mother can’t stand Dr. Seuss. Or Curious George, but I never cared much for him either, with that weird yellow hat guy.)

I don’t try to force fedoras on kittens anymore but that dish wish thing stuck in my mind.

It stuck without the fish, and with a technicality: you have to break a dish to make your wish properly.

I know it sounds silly, but broken dish wishing works.

Though it means I constantly have to stock up on dishes.


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

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flax-golden tales: a saturday afternoon quest for power

a saturday afternoon quest for power

It’s a stupid thing to search for, she tells me, for about the hundredth time since we started walking.

I ask her if it would be better to search for Knowledge and she says that it would.

Well, Knowledge is Power, isn’t it? I ask, and that shuts her up for a good half an hour but after we find the next marker (a rock this time, engraved instead of painted and half-hidden in the grass) she starts up again.

How do you know you’ll get to keep it if you find it? she asks.

I’m not sure but I don’t tell her that.

We’ll figure that out when we reach it, I say.

Then she asks if we have a big enough bag if we need to bring it home and I worry that I haven’t thought this through properly.

I suggest that she look for shapes in the clouds, distracting her while I search for the next sign with another arrow to point the way.

She finds a pirate ship and a dancing bear.

I start to wonder what it is I’m looking for.


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

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several thousand words of pictures, if pictures are indeed worth that many words.

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flax-golden tales: accidental poetry

accidental poetry

It’s the easiest way to compose a poem, he tells me.

I don’t believe him, but I nod in what I hope is a thoughtful-looking way as he throws the letters up into the air. I make a silent mental note that he used the word compose and not write.

We both watch as the letters cascade to the ground in random patterns: a W overlapping an R, a zig-zag that could be a Z or a sideways N.

An O joins an M for a momentary meditation before they separate again.

Once the letters settle they’re all nonsense and I can’t find any proper words.

I try to tell him that I’m still not sure I understand how it’s supposed to work but he shushes me, already scribbling in his notebook.

I stare at the pile of letters, searching for words though there aren’t nearly enough vowels.

There’s a B next to an R with a Y that reminds me of a girl I once knew named Briony who laced her shoes backwards with the bows near the toes.

And now I think I get it.


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

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gone fishing


I am going on holiday, which always sounds more festive than “on vacation” for some reason.

It is mostly a writing holiday. I shall be hiding myself away and working on the new novel. Hopefully getting it something closer to novel-shaped or at least adding more words to my Scrivener file and doing some novel-related research as well.

I will not be checking non-personal email pretty much for the rest of the month. I am going to try to catch up a bit before I leave but I doubt I’ll get to everything. If you’ve written (or plan to write) about something important or time-sensitive please contact Jen Marshall at Random House or Inkwell Management, contact links are in the blog sidebar.

I am mostly going to be avoiding the internet but I will be posting occasional, likely pre-written blogs and flax-golden tales. I will also be limiting the tweeting but I will probably Instagram pretty things because I like Instagram and pretty things.

I haven’t taken a proper leaving home, just-for-myself holiday since… I don’t even know. At least before the book sold.

There are going to be palm trees involved. They will likely be captured via Instagram for posterity.

So, be good while I’m gone. Though keep in mind my definition of “good” is fairly flexible.


(Photo at top of this post was as appropriate a journey-bound pic as I could take still in the confines of my apartment, of a corner of the bulletin board in my office.)

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flax-golden tales: the storied pasts of carousel ponies

the storied pasts of carousel ponies

Once they were real ponies, because that’s how such stories go.

(Before that they were real boys, of course. Princes and paupers and a solitary thief, each with their own individual pre-pony story.)

It was a curse of some sort, though none of them would tell the same tale now were they able to speak of it. They were frozen mid-gallop and later, much later, there was music and lights and the delighted laughs and squeals of children.

It wasn’t so bad, as curses go.

Quite a few of them found it rather fun, unless the children kicked too hard. And even the grumpiest pony agreed that the feel of wind as they spun was decadent and wild, reminiscent of the real-pony days.

But the spinning and the lights and the music all ceased long ago, replaced by stillness and slowly fading paint.

Sometimes they hum tunes from various past lives softly to themselves as they wait for their next story.


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

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