flower

My brain does not like summer in general and this one in particular. It is too hot and too bright. I’m tired at odd times of day and I forget to buy almond milk for my coffee.

I was already planning on curling up into my sweaters and my head in the fall but I think I shall start the curling early, even if the sweaters have to wait. I’ve been mostly neglecting the internet anyway but for some reason making it official and giving myself rules works better for my brain. And it seems more polite to announce than to simply vanish.

Starting August 1st I will not be on Twitter (I will tweet if there is particularly tweet-worthy news or information to be shared but I will not be reading my @ replies.)

I will blog if there is blog-worthy anything, though there usually isn’t because right now involves a lot of things that are still incubating and not sharable and not a lot of news. My day-to-day news of late is usually the not-blog-worthy type of things like “got new red lipstick” or “made blueberry pancakes” and “still in Dragon Age withdrawal.”

I will be on Instagram & Tumblr occasionally. Lipstick & pancake related news might turn up over there.

I don’t know how long this particular hiatus is going to last. I am planning on crawling into my head and not coming out again properly until I find the end of this book, which I know at this point seems like it has been a very very long time coming. I threw out everything I had in January and started over, so really it is going quite quickly and I have so much more of it figured out even if I haven’t convinced the words to cling to the pages in the right order just yet. It is much less like word soup now than it used to be but it is still a word soufflé and I need to be careful and quiet with it so it doesn’t collapse.

So I’m going to step away from the internet (mostly) and figure out how to get from soufflé to whatever the next stage of this analogy is (probably cake) and someday there will be a proper book and hopefully someday is a lot less far off than it used to be.

happy hallowe’en

clue

 

Happy Hallowe’en, Blessed Samhain & a Merry NaNoWriMo Eve!

I am taking a somewhat Twitter-specific internet hiatus for the rest of the year, though I won’t be around much elsewhere, either. I will blog if there are blog-worthy things and I will do an end of the year post in December.

I am sort of doing NaNoWriMo myself. I’m going to attempt to add 50k to the draft I have. It’s probably going to involve word count math to get my progress bar to work properly. There are links to NaNo-related things in my post from last year. To those about to NaNo, I salute you.

I cut off most of my hair yesterday, shorter than it’s been in awhile. My head feels lighter. Maybe it will make it easier to fit more ideas in there.

halloween haircut

I realize that this is likely not that dramatic because most of the pictures of me on the internet involve equally short hair but it really is much shorter than it was yesterday. (Owl talon moon by bloodmilk, of course.)

So tonight I am going to have bourbon and mini Butterfingers and watch Hitchcock films and tomorrow I am going to retreat into my lighter-feeling head for a good long while so I can sort out what’s in there and figure out how to translate it into words.

I am taking the entire month of August off from the internet. 

What this means: no blog posts, no twitter unless important information sharing, no tumblr. I am shutting off the wifi connection on my laptop from tomorrow until Sept 1st. (I spend 90% of my computer time on the laptop.)

I will be checking my personal email periodically.

I will still be Instagramming because Instagram lives in my phone.

I hope you all have a lovely month.

***

On Tuesday August 5th two very cool things happen:

1. The Magician’s Land is finally released, hurrah!

2. There will be this magical event in Brooklyn. I will be there. I don’t know what I’ll be doing, that’s pretty much up to Lev. It will probably involve talking of some sort. I don’t know if there’s an official non-Lev signing for anyone but I will bring a pen and I will happily sign things if asked.

At the moment it is my only scheduled appearance this year which I am doing because Lev asked me to and because I really loved this book.

Here’s the official Morgensternian blurb:

Lev Grossman has conjured a rare creature: a trilogy that simply gets better and better as it goes along. The Magician’s Land is sumptuous and surprising yet deliciously familiar, a glass of rich red wine left out for a hungry ghost. Literary perfection for those of us who grew up testing the structural integrity of the backs of wardrobes.

Here is the author-studded crowd-sourced book trailer:


And here is an extra bonus outtake from when I recorded my section back in April. Filmed in Toronto. There are puppies. Also this is when I realized I needed to cut my hair. I miss my jacket, it’s too hot now.

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.

flax-golden-title-card

I shall be on fairly strict internet hiatus this week, my apologies for late twitter replies or anything of that ilk. Actually turning off the wifi and all that so I can get some things done.

I’ll be back to regularly scheduled low-volume internet on Friday.

This Thursday January 23rd I will be speaking to/chatting with the Smith College Club of NYC. It is, at the moment, my only scheduled appearance for 2014. More info at the link.

In the meantime, here are a few photos I meant to post in December from the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Florida, which was gorgeous and wonder-filled.

japanese garden bridge copy

japanese garden pond copy

DSC_00112 copy 2

I thought 2013 was going to be the year of calming down from the emotional roller coaster and getting myself back on track and writing again. Instead the roller coaster threw me for a few more loops and left me sitting with my head between my knees trying not to vomit more than I would have preferred.

I am feeling better now, but I am really, really tired of high highs and low lows.

When I was writing a lot, before, I was sad. The kind of sad that you swallow and push down and try to pretend it’s not there and you get really, really good at hiding it. To the point where no one believes that you could possibly be unhappy.

I wrote to escape. I lived in my head because I couldn’t feel the sad as much in there.

And over the last couple of years the sad has been going away. I like the life I have outside my head now.

I need to learn how to write now that I’m happy. I like spending time in my head but I don’t have outside things pushing me back in the way I used to.

I’m getting to know myself again, and I need to figure out how this me writes now, in 2014. I took baby steps toward figuring it out last year, and hopefully I can how I approach my head and learn to live there properly again, enough to make the stuff in there book-shaped.

It also means I need to have a low-volume internet year.

I know, it seems to be trendy to be taking social media hiatuses and unplugging and whatnot, but I really, really need it this year. So…

 

A few notes for 2014:

Regarding the blog

I have been habitually posting twice a week, in the highly organized categories of “flax-golden tales” and “other stuff.” The flaxies will continue as scheduled, the other stuff may turn into more photos and little bits of things rather than long writing-heavy posts. Not that I’ve been good about long writing-heavy posts lately, but I’m going to make a point of it this year.

I may also do a site overhaul/redesign mid-year. Pondering.

Regarding Twitter & Tumblr

I will still be Tweeting, maybe a little less than I am. I try to respond to @ replies as much as I can. I am convinced that Twitter eats them sometimes, as well as Direct Messages.

I am currently avoiding Tumblr almost entirely because I live in fear of Sherlock spoilers but I will continue to mostly re-tumbl things I like. I might not keep up with it as frequently as I’ve been trying to. I still haven’t gotten the hang of tagging things.

Regarding Instagram

I will probably be keeping up the same volume of Instagramming.

I very nearly Instagrammed our salted caramel ice cream sundae (with popcorn on it!) at abc kitchen last night but it was too marvelous not to consume immediately.

Regarding email

Nothing has changed since this post. I am finally, finally caught up with my personal/professional email as in things that go to my personal address but the website email is a sad neglected thing that I believe has an autoreply on it that thinks it’s still May. My apologies. Someday I will have a good and proper system for email. Today is not that day. Hopefully I’ll sort it out around that mid-year possible site overhaul.

If you need to contact me for important reasons and you do not have my personal email address please contact InkWell or one of the Random House contacts listed in the sidebar of the blog.

Regarding book blurbs

If you are an editor/agent/etc and have sent me an advance copy of anything for blurbing in the last calendar year I am sorry if I have not gotten back to you. The pile seen in this photo is now nearly three times as high. The bookish time-bomb-ness of them makes me anxious and I’m afraid the vast, vast majority hit their quoting expiration dates and silently detonated before I could give them proper attention.

(For reference: I read 40 books last year, total. It took me all of December just to get through The Goldfinch and no I still don’t know what I thought of it. It would take me more than a year, probably more than two, to read everything in the please-blurb pile right now.)

I don’t know how I’m going to manage in the future but I need to be writing this year, especially the first half of this year. I am sorry I have not been able to be properly communicative about things that are sent to me unsolicited but I’m not sure I can be better about it in the future. I don’t want to put out a blanket “don’t send me things” because I never know what will stand out and capture my attention. I like books. I wish I could stop time so I could read them all. If anyone figures out how to do that, please let me know.

 

 

In summation

I am still trying to figure all this out. How to be a proper author. How to be me. How to be me on the internet. How to be nice to myself. How to keep my hair from going all hobbit-y. How not to get overwhelmed. How to write a novel again.

I am trying. I appreciate your patience and attention. Thank you for reading, always.

going on hiatus

An announcement!

Erinland is going on temporary hiatus. Not that it will be terribly noticeable, since I have pre-scheduled flax-golden tales & will possibly be posting photos from hiatusland, but I thought I’d announce it anyway.

I am hugely busy this week and then I shall be away on proper vacation next week. I might be Instagraming or Tumblring occasionally and I shall try to keep up with Twitter but I won’t have much internet, so I will be mostly unplugged.

For your listening enjoyment while I’m away, something from my latest musical obsession: MS MR.

MS MR – Hurricane from MS MR on Vimeo.

(Dance party.)

apple picking dance party

Be back soon(ish).

brief psa

Erinland is on the road and not operating as usual this week, though Friday’s flax-golden tale will be posted because of the magic of pre-scheduling things.

(Erinland is not on vacation, per se, just doing stuff that is not occurring in NYC. If all goes according to plan, proper vacationing will occur in October.)

So I will not be properly blogging* for about a week & I will be quieter than usual on Twitter. I will likely keep Tumbling things that I like on Tumblr at the same rate, which is inconsistently.

Here is a picture from the road, complete with my feet floating in the sky through the magic of reflection and light and glass and the fact that Adam doesn’t mind my feet on the dashboard.

dashboard feetWill be back soon.

*this is a sorry excuse for a blog post and mostly just here to have something in between last week’s flaxie and the next one.

I’ve been staring at February strangely because I am confused and annoyed that it has arrived already, but it’s been five days now so I think it’s here to stay and didn’t make a mistake or anything. I am going to choose not to think too much about my unfinished January to-do list and instead make new lists, probably without months on them this time.

Still settling in here, hanging things on walls and re-arranging lamps. I’m slowly but surely putting together my office, a process that has become slightly more complicated by the fact that my new desk does not have drawers. Most of my office stuff is in cardboard boxes, still, helpfully labeled things like “office – papers” and “office – fragile” and hopefully soon I will be able to put the fragile things and the paper things in places that are not cardboard. Cardboard feels so temporary.

I put my newly pared-down bulletin board up, which makes it look sort of office-y. This is the third space I’ve had this board in and I’ve stripped it clean before hanging each time, which feels appropriate for a new space. I added a row of my Nick Bantock postcards which have hung in every space I’ve lived since I was in college and are beginning to show their age around the corners, but having them up above my desk makes it feel more like a space I can write in. Also the fact that I have a desk chair now helps with that. Chair not pictured, but comfy.

board with bantock

(Also pictured on board: lower half of a print from Etsy, torn playing card procured at Sleep No More & postcard from one of several stays at the Royalton Hotel.)

I am still waiting on a few more pieces of furniture, and I keep encountering things that are in need of other things, like rugs that need those non-slippy rug pad things to keep them from slipping, but it’s looking more and more livable every day. I’m trying not to think too hard about how the estimated delivery date for my bookshelves is March, but at this rate that’ll be any day now.

 

And now, a word about email.

I am finally pretty much caught up with my personal email. For about three hours on Sunday I had nothing in my inbox and it was magical.

I am woefully behind on website email, and when I say “woefully behind” I mean I think my autoreply still says it’s October.

The important part: I simply do not have time to respond to every email I receive.

I tried for awhile and I can’t keep up. It takes away from time I should be writing* and also I have this creeping social anxiety that spreads to email answering and I need to think about how to respond properly so it takes me longer to respond and some people could probably handle quickly jotting off replies but I can’t. I’m sorry. I wish I could because it makes me feel terrible that I can’t respond individually to each and every message I get. I do try to read absolutely everything, though, even if I can’t read in a timely manner.

If you need to contact me for professional reasons, there is contact information for my agency in the sidebar of the blog. There is also a Random House contact for press-related inquiries.

I took my own email contact off the website for now, I am trying to figure out the best way to manage it in the future. Please be patient with me, I’m still comparatively new at this.

I’m hoping to spend most of the next few months working on a novel and in order to do that I need to basically live in my head. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I need to sort through and explore and figure out how best to tell the story of the particular bits that I’m sorting through and exploring for this novel. Also there are characters in there who are getting annoyed with me for neglecting them for so long.

I am trying to find a good balance of social media and hopefully that means the blog will be updated with actual Thoughts on a fairly regular basis.

The best place to say hi or ask questions that can be answered in 140 characters or less is and likely always will be Twitter. I do try to answer all directed-at-me @ replies, though I think sometimes Twitter eats them.

I’ve had a lot of stuff to deal with in the last two years, both personally and professionally, and I’m still working through a lot of it and trying to figure out what works best and how to handle, well, life. And when I say “a lot of stuff” I mean I would not wish my last two years on anyone, and for every high-high there’s been a low-low that I can’t tell the internet about. It’s tiring. Sometimes I need to walk away and make gluten-free salted caramel brownies. If I could I would share them with everyone (unless for some reason you don’t like caramel or chocolate or sea salt).

So, please bear with me while I settle in to new spaces and new life and quickly-moving new year and attempt to figure all of this stuff out. I greatly appreciate it.

 

*this includes time doing writing-related things like soaking up inspiration or reading or figuring out where to keep the pens with my drawerless desk.

Erinland is moving. It is currently being dismantled and placed into cardboard boxes and it will hopefully reach its New and Exciting location before 2012 comes to a close and the New Year will be extra New in celebration.

As a consequence of the relocation of Erinland, expect low levels of internet communication for the next few days along with periods of complete radio silence.

Once the dust has settled, there shall be updates and possibly photos.

A hint as to the future location of Erinland, in holiday gift form (from my sister & brother-in-law):

new yorker

See you there.

e.