flax-golden tales: warning sign

warning sign

There was indeed a warning sign, as people mentioned repeatedly after the fact.

In her defense, it was difficult to read.

The sign had once been clear and foreboding, though perhaps over the years it tired of its assertive manner and as fewer and fewer people passed by to read it stopped trying so hard.

And perhaps it is only a coincidence of erosion that the letters spelling out the key word “not” were the first to fade, leaving “do” and “drink” and “this” and “water” mostly legible.

(If it was a purposeful deceit, the sign will not confess.)

But whether she followed the legible instructions instead of the original posted warning or simply didn’t notice the sign at all and drank to quench a thirst, she can no longer say.

Her own voice is gone, vanished as soon as the water–clearer and crisper than any she had tasted before–touched her tongue.

Now her head is filled with thousands of other voices whispering secrets and confessions, answers to unsolved mysteries and long-lost truths since replaced by lies.

The authorities (likely the same ones who posted the sign so long ago) put her in a locked room while they decide what to do with her.

She continues to clearly indicate that she would like a pen, but they are all too afraid of what she might write.


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

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a few things and a few photos

  • There is an interview with me featuring hostile questions from Daniel Kraus over here on Booklist. (He signed my copy of Rotters “Daniel Kraus loves Erin!” so I don’t know what his problem is now.)
  • Start Here reached its funding goal YAY! Thank you to all who chipped in. Though this means I have to finalize my Neil Gaiman recommendations. Hrm.
  • I have been missing in action from the internet for the last while partially because I spent last weekend in the land of lousy cell phone service known as Cape Cod for my sister’s wedding. Everything was beautiful, even the weather cooperated, and I couldn’t be happier for her and my new brother-in-law. There will possibly be proper photos of me in bright blue chiffon forthcoming but for now here are a few Instagram-captured snippets of the weekend.
  • (Yes, she got married under a striped tent, though the stripes were also blue.)



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flax-golden tales: relics


My grandmother started the collection but my father kept adding to it once he inherited. He’s already explained the key rule to me in case I want to continue it myself someday: they have to have been used.

There are antique hand-painted porcelain ones and cheap plastic versions with muddied features. Some are exaggerated cutesy cartoons while others are properly proportioned with highly detailed suits and gowns. Tiny top hats. Minuscule lace.

A few have traces of long-dried frosting clinging to hems or dusting shoes like sugar snow.

I wonder what each pair’s wedding was like. What they saw through unblinking eyes before being taken down from their tiered cake watchtowers.

I know realistically it’s unlikely that each miniature couple’s life-sized counterparts lived happily ever after, but I hope that they did.


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

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only a few days left for start here!

Hey, remember how everyone was all excited that I’m going to write a chapter about how to start reading Neil Gaiman for BookRiot‘s Start Here project?

Well, if it doesn’t reach its funding goal, it won’t happen. There are only three (3!) days left and less than $5,000 to go. So please, if you think this sounds like a nifty, worthwhile project, contribute even a little bit. There are very cool rewards, too.

Tell your friends! Help reach the in-sight goal! Otherwise, I shall never reveal what I think is the best route for wandering into the wonderful world of Gaiman. And I do have a decent idea of what I’m talking about here:

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flax-golden tales: do-it-yourself centerpieces

do-it-yourself centerpieces

I worry that they won’t get it.

I half-heartedly ask if maybe we should include instructions but everyone frowns.

But I’m relieved when the consensus is no.

And still a teensy bit concerned that they won’t know what to do.

Or worse, that they will find it silly.

We place the bouquets of white flowers at the center of each white-covered table.

We make sure the crayons are close enough to the flowers to be clearly connected.

When the guests arrive there are whispered questions and curious glances that are soon are replaced with thoughtful color choosing and tentative experimenting.

The delighted laughter follows.

Before long blooms burst with color on every table.


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

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shiny objects

This is a belated post regarding a belated birthday present.

At the end of July my dearest darling friend Clovia Shaw sent me this as part of a belated birthday box of wonderment:

Yes, she made it, and it is even lovelier in person because shiny objects are rather difficult to photograph, especially when they are on your hand.

I tweeted this photo when I first got it and people asked where they could get one, and while mine was actually a test ring (she’s never made one before, believe it or not) you can purchase other shiny objects including fantastic door necklaces over at her Etsy store.

She also does custom work, I’m just sayin’. She might more rings if we ask nicely.

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flax-golden tales: i have heard the mermaids singing

i have heard the mermaids singing 

My sister says it must be mermaids, but I don’t think the stream is deep enough for mermaids.

We get in an argument about how much water mermaids need and decide it depends on how they breathe and we agree they must at least be able to breathe air sometimes because if they couldn’t they wouldn’t be able to sing and we both agree that the mermaids sing.

We don’t agree about the rocks, though. I still say mermaids wouldn’t flop around our shallow stream just to build little towers of rocks but when she demands another explanation I don’t have one.

After a thorough investigation during which we accidentally knock one of the towers over we decide that mermaids must be nocturnal since the rocks were stacked overnight.

We ask if we can camp in the backyard and dad asks why and I don’t have a good non-mermaid answer but my sister says we want to commune with nature and he laughs but says it’s okay and we can come inside if we get tired of communing or if there are too many bugs.

The moon is bright enough to see fine from the yard but we put the tent in the shadows of a tree so the mermaids won’t be able to see us from the water and we take turns checking from the shore to make sure it’s properly camouflaged.

While we wait in the dark we whisper about what the rock towers might be for because we didn’t discuss that earlier and we decide they might be for directions, like a mermaid map signaling system.

We wait and wait and wait and nothing happens and my eyelids get heavy but I don’t realize I’m mostly asleep until my sister shakes me to get my attention.

She covers my mouth to shush me before I say anything and points to the water where a hand is reaching up from the dark surface and slowly re-stacking the rocks we knocked over and then I can hear the singing.

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

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start here

You may have already heard about Book Riot‘s Start Here project. If not, you can click the picture or the link or read this helpful description that I’m going to cut and paste for you:

There are so many fantastic authors and great books out there that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.

Say you’ve always wanted to read something by William Faulkner. You probably know a bunch of his books: The Sound and the FuryAs I Lay DyingLight in AugustAbsalom, Absalom! Maybe you’ve even come close to buying one. But every time you think about it, there’s that big question:

Which should you read first?

Start Here solves that problem; it tells you how to read your way into 25 amazing authors from a wide range of genres–children’s books to classics, contemporary fiction to graphic novels.

Each chapter presents an author, explains why you might want to try them, and lays out a 3-4 book reading sequence designed to help you experience fully what they have to offer. It’s a fun, accessible, informative way to enrich your reading life.

Start Here will be available both as an ebook (compatible with Kindles, iPads, Nooks, and a variety of other devices) and as a printed edition.


Fun, right?

I thought it was a fantastic idea to begin with, and I knew Joe Hill was writing a chapter and anything Joe Hill does seems like it’s probably cool, and now the section introducing the varied and wondrous worlds of Neil Gaiman will be composed by yours truly.

I am delighted and honored to be involved. I am still pondering my suggestions, as the collected Gaiman is vast and eclectic. It’s kind of like starting someone out on sushi when they’ve never had it before, there are a lot of tastes and textures to set up before we start setting things on fire.

(I really did have sushi that was on fire last week. It said “torched at table” and I expected maybe they’d pull out a little crème brûlée torch but instead it arrived aflame and continued to burn for quite a while and it was delicious.)

My Gaiman guide may end up having a slightly unconventional approach (I already know I’m not going to suggest starting with American Gods, for one thing) but I think it will be a lot of fun and also gives me an excuse to page through my gorgeous Absolute Sandman editions again.

If any of this sounds appetizing to you, you can help kickstart Start Here here.


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flax-golden tales: of boxes and blame

of boxes and blame

It was the box’s fault. That is, if boxes can be faulted for such things.

And perhaps it was not the box itself to blame as much as the fact that the box was locked.

Which would make it the fault of the lock.

Or more precisely, the fault that it could not unlock itself at will.

Had it been able to perform such a feat, the entire ordeal might well have been avoided.

The bench was the one to suffer, though, left horribly bent and broken.

They can never resist a locked box, even when the locked box is placed on a bench that cannot possibly hold their weight without buckling under the pressure of curious claws.

The box remained intact but traumatized.

No one knows what became of the lock.


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

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mini-hiatus and also a bunny in a hat

Hello internet! How is it August already? I am travelling, going on a mini-hiatus this first week of the month for a multitude of reasons including trying to write for a change. Also I have a new friend, pictured above with rainbow.

Thank you to everyone who tuned into the chat on goodreads on Monday to listen to me babble and talk with my hands! We had a few technical difficulties but I believe everything recorded fine and the video will eventually be archived over on my goodreads author page.

And I was on NPR talking about reading Stephen King at a rather young, clearly impressionable age. You can read (or listen) to it over here.

I’m also hoping I will have more time in August to write some blog posts with actual content (I still have a draft of one about books-not-written-by-me that I started in May) and time to catch up on emails, but for the moment I am off having adventures both real and imagined with a bunny in a hat and I shall be a bit scarce around the internet. Please don’t break anything while I’m gone.


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