Category Archives: YOU ARE HERE

#NationalColoringBookDay is a real thing, apparently.

So first of all, THANK YOU for yesterday. You were fantastic and distracting and I highly recommend reading the comments because they are magic. The Apple people say my hard drive is borked but they think they can fix it by next week and that my back-up will have saved all my stuff. Tentative yay?

According to twitter, today is #NationalColoringBookDay so I’m giving away a few copies of YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds if you need one. Just tell me if you want one in the comments and I’ll email you if you win.

Coloring. But less stressful. (Yes, I am aware how ridiculous this sounds.)

Two unrelated things:

First:

This morning I got bit on the eye by an ant.  And that was concerning, but more baffling was the fact that the ant managed to crawl all the way up to my eye before attacking.  That’s, like, so much work for I-don’t-even-know-what-the-payoff-is.

I can’t decide whether to be offended or impressed.

Second:

This is for all of the people who bought my coloring book but didn’t color it because even though coloring is supposed to help stress it’s actually super stressful for people who are afraid to making mistakes and I’m the same way which is why I normally just draw the pictures rather than color them because what if I spend an hour coloring something and then pick the wrong color and fuck it all up AND NOW I CAN’T EVEN FUCKING COLOR RIGHT.

But then people told me about this Recolor app where you can photograph your drawings and color them with your finger tips until you find the color combinations you like AND IT IS AWESOME.  And I’ve been taking pictures of my drawing from You Are Here and testing different colors before actually coloring them and it makes me really happy and (yes) also incredibly anal.

So today I’m sharing a drawing I finished last night and you can download it and color it if you want.  I did my own with lots of experimenting and several filters and it was ridiculously entertaining.  These took about 10 minutes to color:

Here’s my original black and white one if you want to do one yourself:

Have fun, y’all.

PS. Someone stop me:

PPS. I have bad handwriting so here’s what my drawings say in case you can’t read them.  “EVEN THE MOST FRAGILE THINGS FIND IMMORTALITY IN MEMORY.”  “HER GIFT WAS LEAVING SPACE FOR OTHERS.”  “WHEN THINGS GET BAD, JUST REMEMBER…YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS BULLSHIT.  YOU ARE PORTABLE.”

PPPS. Spellcheck is telling me that I definitely can’t mean that I was bit in the eye by an ant and I get that it’s weird but the suggestion they’re giving me is weirder:

How is this more realistic?  Don’t go to Spellcheck’s family reunions.

Sometimes the only way out is through.

So, I got more medical bad news and it’s not the end of the world but it means lots more invasive tests and very soon I will write about it when I can find the humor in it (and there is humor in it) but today I just feel a little low and the best way for me to get out of that is to remind myself that my words matter so today for Mental Health Awareness Month and for Jenny Wants To Do Something Happy Day I’m giving away a couple dozen copies of Furiously Happy, or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened or YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds.  Or any book you need to have stronger mental health, actually.  I was going to do the usual and just pick emails from the comments but there are always people who want to buy books for others as well so why don’t we do it like we do Booksgiving?  You make a brand-new wishlist with one book on it you really need and then post it here and I’ll fill as many as I can.  If you want to buy a book for a stranger you can just search the comments for open lists.  It is a lovely thing.

These are the steps you have to take to set up a wishlist for today:

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  1.  If you’re in a rough place and need a book to transport you somewhere else make A BRAND NEW wish list with nothing on it but the book you want.  (Exception: If you have a kid who needs a book you can totally add one for them too.)
  2. Here’s how you make a wish list:  Under “Accounts and Lists” on the right, top side of Amazon select “Create a list”.  Choose “Wish list” and name it something like “The book I really need right now” and choose “Public”.  Then click “Create list”.  Now add a book to your list by going to the book and clicking the “add to list” button on the bottom right of that page.  Make sure you assign it to the new wishlist.  Now here’s the most important thing that everyone forgets to do.  You have to assign a shipping address to that specific wish list or it won’t go to you.  EVERY new wishlist has to be assigned an address or you won’t get your stuff.  So click on your wish list and click on “public” and it’ll take you to “List settings”.  Click “view details” and where it says “shipping address” add yours.  (Your city and first name will be shown to others, but not your full address.)  Then save changes.  Now leave a comment with a link to your wish list.  Click here for my sample wish list so you’ll know what one looks like.  Yours should just have one book on it but I have about 20 books listed on mine so that you can use if for inspiration if you don’t know exactly what you want.  In your comment say which book you want in case someone specifically wants to buy you that book.  Also, if you’re not in America put that in the comment so we can match people better by location and not have crazy shipping fees.   Feel happy.
  3. Here’s how you buy a book for a stranger.  Click on their link.  Choose a book.  Select their name so it goes to their address.  If it doesn’t give you the option of picking their name it means they didn’t add a shipping address so delete what’s in your cart and go to the next person.  Send a story to someone in need.  Feel happy.
  4. If you have a book that really helped you get out of a bad place and want to suggest it in the comments that would be awesome.  No worries if you don’t have one.

The only rule is that this is just for books.  No gift cards or clothes or anything else because it gets out of hand really quickly.  Just a simple book to take you away from the world and help you find new ones.

And as always, thank you.  Thank you for supporting my words and listening and passing them on to others.

PS: Here are screen shots of what you should see while making a wishlist and add a shipping destination because it’s less complicated if you have pictures to walk you through:

Create a list under “Your lists”.

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Make it a wish list, name it and make it public.

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After you click “create list” click on the “public” button below:

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Click “view details” to add your shipping address to this wish list:

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Choose a shipping address and save changes.

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Now you’re ready to add something to your list.  Pick a book and choose the “add to list” button on bottom right side:

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If you have another wish list set as your default (like I always do) then you’ll need to click “move to another list.”

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Just click the list you’re going to share here.

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Now go to the wish list and copy the link and then paste it into the comments.  Done!  There might be an easier way of doing it but that’s how I do it.

PPS.  If you click on a wish list that says it’s empty that’s because the book has already been bought for them.  🙂  That is a very good thing.

PPPS.  I love you guys.  I’m going to rest for an hour or two but then I’ll be back to buy some books.

I blame the rickets.

I’m on day 7 of this mandatory low-carb, low-sugar diet-for-not-dying and everyone told me that I’d have the I-want-to-stab-everyone-carb-detox-flu for a few days, but then after that I’d have lots of energy and the cravings would lessen and they are right because now I have enough energy to loudly whine about how much I miss egg rolls rather than just whisper it softly to whichever pet is nearest.  Also, the cravings have lessened but I’m not sure it’s because I’ve beaten my addiction to carbs and sugar or if I’ve just given up on life and my brain is now huddled in a corner, angrily eating cilantro while yelling, “OH I CAN’T EVEN HAVE FRUIT ON THIS DIET? AWESOME.  I’LL JUST GET SCURVY THEN?  GREAT. THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING.”

In an act of solidarity, Victor has decided to go on the diet with me, which seems incredibly sweet except that it seems crazy easy for him and he’s a dude so he basically doesn’t eat a sandwich for one afternoon and loses 87 pounds and becomes immortal.  Plus, when I whine about how HE HAS NO IDEA HOW HARD THIS IS he just raises an eyebrow, but I’m pretty sure that it’s harder for me because now I have rickets from not eating fruit.  I assume.

Also, I’m finding out that basically everything has hidden carbs and sugar in them and even foods that would feel like a punishment to eat are off limits for me.  Like, carrots.  I don’t even like carrots and I’m not allowed to eat them.  At this point I assume rain, oxygen, and forgetting to take your clothes out of the washer are all full of carbs and maybe I should just go on an all-heroin diet.  Except people really seem to love heroin so I assume it must be high in sugar or gluten.

Also, I went to my shrink today and the waiting room was completely packed and  it was very bleak and serious and I was looking on twitter and the top trend was telling me that today is #NationalEatWhatYouWantDay BECAUSE OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS and it seemed so ridiculous that I got the funeral-giggles (when you start laughing in an inappropriate setting and then trying not to laugh makes you laugh more and then you start snorting and you can’t stop because you’re in a giggle-loop-of-inappropriatness and so you just pretend to be crying because it’s easier to explain) and then everyone in the waiting room looked at me like I was insane and I was like, “Don’t judge me.  Y’all are crazy too” but then I realized that most of them were people who were there giving rides to other patients.  Also I’d brought a bunch of copies of YOU ARE HERE so I could give one to my shrink and leave the rest in the waiting room like Gideon Bible’s for crazy people but then I was worried that kids might see them and there’s some light cursing inside so I decided to just bring them all in to my shrink so she could just give them to unoffendable people who were having a hard time, but it looked to the outside world like I was carrying multiple copies of the exact same coloring book, which seems a bit insane.  So then I explained to the waiting room, “I made these” and everyone tried to avoid eye contact except for an elderly man sitting next to me who was all, “Well did you now?  Good for you” but in a sort of frightened/unintentionally condescending way, and it just now dawned on me that everyone was probably thinking that I was just bragging about coloring the exact same coloring book over and over and that I was probably bringing them into my shrink to show her that I could stay inside the lines.  Except that I can’t stay inside the lines and all of these books were obviously untouched and the spines weren’t even cracked so it looked even crazier and basically I think I scared everyone in the waiting room.  But also I probably made thems feel better about themselves (or their crazy loved one) because they weren’t hysterically cry-laughing to themselves while holding a stack of identical uncolored coloring books that they were bringing to show their psychiatrist.

PS.  My friend sent me this gif and this corgi is my new patronas:

“OH I DON’T NEED REAL FOOD. I’LL JUST LIVE ON THIS RAW CABBAGE.  I’M SO HAPPY. THIS IS FINE. EVERYTHING IS FINE.”

PPS. I’m not sure if this makes sense.  Sorry.  I blame the rickets.

Get thee to an independent bookstore.

Y’all, this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day and to celebrate, participating indie bookstores have a bunch of cool stuff, and some are offering a thick, lovely poster of an exclusive drawing of mine.  It isn’t in YOU ARE HERE and the numbers are very limited so this is the only way to get one.   Click here to find a bookstore in your area.  I’m not sure if I get paid for them but if I do I’ll use the proceeds to buy copies of YOU ARE HERE for people here who haven’t been able to afford one yet.  EVERYONE WINS.

This is the drawing in progress:

And the final result:

“I have lost myself and found myself in books.”

And they all came to my house where I signed them and all my pets tried to fuck everything up but they failed miserably.

“We’re totally not looking at those posters like we want to eat them if you walk away.” ~ Lying motherfuckers


And speaking of
YOU ARE HERE, I have suddenly developed an appreciation of coloring for relaxation and now Victor is like “Where are all these watercolor pencils, oil pastel pencils, and gel pens coming from?” and I’m like, “THEY’RE MEDICINAL, VICTOR.”

I’m sharing the ones I’ve done here but honestly some of you are putting me to shame and you should click here to see the stuff I’ve liked on twitter because there’s a shitload of awesomeness out there and now I want to learn to quill and embroider and paint and NOW I’M GOING TO HAVE TO OPEN A CRAFT STORE, Y’ALL.

“Home is where my head is.”

“Alone” is not the same as “lonely.”

“We all lose our heads eventually. Might as well get lost on an adventure or two first.”

“It’s a magic lamp. It’s a sorcerer’s hat. It’s a time machine and a song bird and a treasure chest. It’s a weapon and a weight. And also you can type with it.”

“Sometimes safe can be suffocating.”

“There is so much more going on under the surface. In the world. In me. In you.”

WHO LOOKS STUPID NOW?

Still recovering from pneumonia but I’m well enough to look back at the past week and realize how totally sick I was.  I get terrible fever dreams that seem so real they bleed into real life and it’s hard to separate them from reality (is this normal?) and one of the strongest happened Wednesday when I fell asleep reading Ready Player One and Victor woke me up with a “medicine ball” from Starbucks and he tried to explain that it was some drink from their secret menu that he read helps when you’re sick (hot tea, steamed lemonade, honey, heroin probably) and I took it and honestly thought he’d slain some orcs and this potion had dropped when he killed them and I was super impressed for an hour until I fully woke up and realized that I was being crazier than normal.  But I do recommend the medicine ball if you’re sick even though Victor said that he felt like an idiot ordering something that wasn’t on the menu because the baristas always make him feel stupid and what if it was a trick, but then when the barista was like, “Totally.  I can make that” he thought it would be funny to start asking for made-up, nonexistent names of drinks at Starbucks.  Like if he said “Make me a Butthole Surfer” the barista would be confused and then he could say “WHO LOOKS STUPID NOW?” and then they’d be even.  But then the next day he decided to actually do it and he ordered an “Old Wizard’s Beard” in the drive-thru and he said “They asked if I wanted it iced and I just drove off, terrified of what they had back there.”  So, point Starbucks.

Does this make any sense?  Sorry.  I am on a LOT of meds.

In other news, I asked people to share pictures of their finished images from YOU ARE HERE on twitter and I was not disappointed so I put them in a storify right here and now even more are coming in so I’m going to have to do another.  Tag your images with #youarehere if you want to share and I’ll do another round up soon.

I did this one. I’m starting to see the allure of coloring.

Forgive the typos.  I’m still 45% dead.

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And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

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Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Hippo Hug weighted blankets (I have one and it’s like being hugged by your bed).  From the maker: “Hippo Hug weighted blankets are different than any others that you will find on the market. We use a unique and proprietary weighting system that involves specially designed disks so that they blanket has a low profile and doesn’t look any different than a regular quilt.”  They’re pretty bad-ass.  You should check them out here.

The one where I make it up to you and we get matching tattoos.

Hey.  I’m still sick but I’m like 23% less mostly dead than I was and that is a HUGE improvement.  And for sticking around I’m doing something (two things, technically) fun as a thank you.  You’re welcome.

First is something that my publisher is doing to say thanks….they’re giving away 25 Jenny Lawson In A Box prizes.  I’m not actually in the box (which is good because I am way more trouble than you would expect) but the box will include a copy of my new book YOU ARE HERE, a copy of Furiously Happy, a YOU ARE HERE tote bag, tattoos, colored pencils and whatever else they have laying around the Flatiron building.  This stuff, basically:

Just click RIGHT HERE to enter and have a chance at winning one of the packages.  (No purchase necessary.  They don’t spam you or sell your info, fyi.)

And as a special thank you from me I’m going to give out a bunch of YOU ARE HERE temporary tattoos to a bunch of people who bought a copy of YOU ARE HERE for someone else, because I keep seeing people giving them to friends or family or leaving them in therapy waiting rooms like demented Gideon Bibles and that is so awesome I want to give you something in return, but first I’m going to sign the clear cover on the tats so that you can take it off and slip it into your book and it’s like I signed it.  Or put it on your chest and it’s like I signed that.  Or slide it onto your lease agreement and now we’re roommates.  The choices are endless.

I’m not describing this correctly because cold medicine exists but look at this video and you’ll understand.

I don't have a voice but here's what I'm giving away on my blog today. It'll make sense when you read it. Probably.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

If you want a chance to win the package go to my publisher’s page here.  If you want a chance to win the signed tattoos just leave a comment telling me if you bought the book as a gift for someone who needed it (it’s okay if the person who needed it was you) and I’ll choose a bunch of people at random to get signed tattoos.  (But you won’t get them until next week at least because I don’t want to send you my germs and end up being Typhoid Mary, part 2.)

PS. Speaking of cold medicine, if you’re not on twitter you missed this.

PPS. I have an app now to keep track of my meds so I don’t accidentally die.  No worries.  Unless my phone runs out of battery.  Then we’re all fucked.

PPPS. I’m too sick to spellcheck.  Forgive me.

If it’s whatever day this is I must be sick.

Today I planned on going over all the craziness of the book tour but I’m postponing for a bit because I’ve come down with a mild case of I-HAVE-THE-PLAGUE-AND-I’M-GOING-TO-DIE.  And I asked Victor to feel my head to see if I have a fever and he was like, “Ew.  No.  Why do you always ask me to touch you when you’re sick?  People like you are the reason why typhoid spread so far” and I was like, “OMG, you are totally over-reacting.  But also, does my urine taste weird?” and then the people behind us at the taco shop moved to another table and that’s how you get privacy.  And also maybe typhoid.

PS. YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds is #2 on the NYT bestseller list.  WHAT.  You did that, y’all.

“I’M NUMBER TWO!” ~ Things I didn’t think I’d scream excitedly in front of strangers until this happened.

PPS.  If you want a signed copy and couldn’t make it to a signing then you can go to Book People’s website and order one.  I’ll drop by and sign books as soon as the plague has passed.  Just write what you want me to personalize in the comment section of their website at checkout.  They ship everywhere.  (And I’ll sign any of my other books too.  Your wish = my command.  Unless your wish is for me to stop asking you to feel my head when I’m sick.  Sorry.  That’s what you signed up for, Victor.)

Want a signed copy of YOU ARE HERE?

Last night was the first stop on the YOU ARE HERE book tour and it was amazing!  Thanks so much if you came out.  It was terrifying until I looked out at a sea of people who looked equally terrified and then we all laughed and it was awesome.

I asked everyone to take a picture of themselves cradling an invisible baby raccoon and they were like, “You’re weird but we support you.”

Also, I signed an extra 100 copies of YOU ARE HERE at BookPeople in Austin and they will ship them anywhere so if you can’t make it on a stop and you want a signed copy you can get one while they last here.  Just type in “SIGNED COPY” in the comments field during checkout.

BOOKS!

Next stop, New Orleans!

How to color outside the lines.

Hi.  I’m terrified.

I’m always slightly terrified because my anxiety disorder is a real asshole but it suddenly occurred to me that my book tour starts in a few days and I’ll be on the road for two weeks and this is always such a mix of amazingness and dread and fear and exhilaration, and I know I’ll get through it but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m literally shaking with anxiety right now.  I don’t have a joke here.  Just being honest.

It’s ironic that so many people use coloring as a tool to fight anxiety and I’m touring with what is essentially a coloring book (with lots of words in it) but I don’t really color.  Drawing is what I do to keep my hands from destroying myself so I haven’t actually colored any of the drawings in my own book because to me it looks done already.  But people are starting to get their copies of YOU ARE HERE early and they’re sharing their work online and now I’m seeing such amazing images as my drawings are reimagined with color and now I get it.

I started coloring an image I made last year that didn’t make it into the book and I’m finally finishing it but I suspect I’m missing out on the right tools and techniques so I’m sharing what I do here so you can tell me what I’m doing wrong.

First off, here’s the drawing I made if you want to print and color it yourself.  Just click on it to embiggen.

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This is what it looked like halfway through.  Then I fucked it up and ran out of ink so I walked away for awhile.

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But then I realized that I could blend the colors I had left and make it all rainbowy and shit.  (“All rainbowy and shit” = technical artistic terminology.)  So I did.  And when I accidentally smudged stuff I just got out a marker and incorporated it into the drawing. And when I went outside the lines I just made it look like it was supposed to look like that.  And it worked.  Kind of.  From a distance.

Long story short, I get why people color now.  But I enjoy it much more after learning from my mistakes.  And after a booze slushie.  So if you are new to coloring I will give you my few hints:

  1. You don’t have to color it.  You can just leave it black and white.  DONE.  You are the fastest colorer ever.
  2. I used two different kinds of pencils.  I used Ohuhu pencils for the light colors because they’re inexpensive.  I used watercolor pencils to get the really vivid colors.  You can color and then use a damp brush to activate the colors but personally I just dip the pencil in water and color with the wet pencil because it gives me more control.
  3. I used gel pens to color over stuff I’ve messed up on because they work like paint.  Plus THEY HAVE GLITTER IN THEM.  I used these because they’re cheaper but these are really nice if you have extra cash to spend.
  4. When the cat would head-butt me with his face while I was drawing I’d use white gel pens to color over the mess.  It’s like white-out but in a pen.
  5. If you want to color but don’t really want to color then get a gold sharpie and just add some spot color where you want.  Classy, lazy and elegant all at the same time.

Your turn.  Share your hints or your drawings.  And use the #youarehere hashtag so I can find your pictures online when you get your copy of my book?

I’ll be in Austin on Wednesday and then on from there.  Click here for the tour info.  Come see me.  Pretty please?