If it’s Wednesday this must be Austin

Today is the first day of my book tour for YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds.  AAAAAHHHHHH!  That was my scream of excitement mixed with abject terror.

I’m in Austin.  Are you in Austin?  Let’s be in Austin together.

Come?  Please?

Tonight at 7 at BookPeople.

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?

I need podcasts

My book tour for YOU ARE HERE starts in a few days and I am utterly unprepared (I may end up dressed in hotel sheets at this point) but one thing I’ve learned is that listening to podcast when you’re traveling can be fantastic because it’s like you’re having a conversation with a friend and you don’t even have to answer them and also if you fell asleep while they’re talking they don’t care.  It’s awesome.  But I need some new podcasts because I’m going to be on the road for two weeks so please give me suggestions.

My personal favorites usually fall under the category of “tell me a story”, “freak me out” or “make me laugh”.  Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Invisibilia

This American Life

Welcome to Night Vale

Hidden Brain

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Missing Richard Simmons

Lore

Up and Vanished

Reply All

Limetown

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Within the Wires

Thrilling Adventure Hour

Serial

Your turn.  What should I be listening to?

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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 Sasha O’Hara, author of a crapload of good, subversive coloring books.  From her: Grab your pens and pencils and pull up that damn couch, because it’s time to get your snark on! When the shit show of life is making you crazy and everyone has lost their minds, let Cheaper than Therapy ease your stress with its insanely out of line pages.  With over 30 shockingly subversive illustrations, plus plenty of colorable journaling pages, you’re sure to get your sanity back in no time! Pages include sayings like “Good morning, I see the assassins have failed”, “My happy place is your happy place burning to the ground”, and “Are you fucking kidding me?!”, “Ew. People” and more.” Check it out here.

IT’S WORLD BOOK DAY!

Two things, first off the paperback version of Furiously Happy is on the NY Times list and I was like, “Look Victor! I’m number 1 and 2!”

NUMBER 12! #furiouslyhappy

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

And he was like, “That’s a 12.  You’re number 12,” and I was all, “Whatever.  I’m using alternative math” and then he decided to stop reasoning with me which was a probably a good choice because it’s hard to argue with someone who’s #1 and #2.

Anyway, that would not have happened without you so I’m celebrating by giving out a whole bunch of copies of my next book (YOU ARE HERE) because it makes me happy to pay it forward.  Except I’m lazy so instead I’m just giving you an amazon gift certificate so you can order it (or something else if you don’t want it) yourself.

It’s also World Book Day and I need something new to read and you guys always have the best recommendations so tell me your favorite book that I should read.  (Right now I’m rereading The Wasp Factory.  It’s super dark, but it’s good.)  So leave me a comment recommending a book and I’ll pick a dozen of you at random to get a gift certificate for whatever you want.  (If you’re not in America tell me where so I can send you the right kind of gift certificate.)  You’ll get an email from me at the end of the week if you win.

Whoop!

Ferris Mewler reviewing my book. He thinks it's nice to sit on. Apparently.

Ferris Mewler reviewing my book. He thinks it’s very nice. To sit on.

You are Here book bags! (They’re free. FREE! Get one quick.)

UPDATED!  It’s March 2 and 5,000 bag have been given away.  Yay!  Totes will be coming soon to those who got in on time!

Just a quick update.  Remember the book bags that my publisher is sending out for free as a special thank you to people who preorder my book, YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds?  Well 3,700 of them have been claimed so far but they just got their shipment in of them and there are another 1,000 available so if you haven’t already claimed yours go do it now.

They just sent me pictures of them and they are big and awesome.  Wanna see?

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Click to embiggen

Click to embiggen

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So if you want one, click here and fill out your information before they’re all gone.

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Click here for a free book bag, y’all.

Also, I’m going on tour starting next week (!) and I’m hearing that some of the stops are already sold out of inside room or are running out so if you can come drop them a line to see how you can reserve a spot.  (Usually preordering a book from the store gives you a guaranteed spot and you get to get into the signing line before everyone else.  Every store is different though so give them a call.)

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PS. I know going to signings can be scary but you never met a nicer group of people who will understand if you need to hide under a table, and I’m happy to sign anything, from boobs to babies to books, so please come if you can.

PPS.  People are already starting to get their copies of YOU ARE HERE early (mostly in Canada and Germany for some reason) so when you get yours, let me know what you think?

Owl just apologize in advance.

Victor and I have had running pun wars since we first got married.  One person starts with a terrible pun and the next has to come up with a worse one on the same subject until the other person gives up.  Last night I couldn’t sleep so I decided to make a shirt for Victor:

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And he was like, “Huh.  Looks like you’re making an owlmlette,” and I groaned, “That’s a terrible pun, but owl allow it,” and he said “Fine.  Looks like you’re making hot wings,” and I said, “From Hooters?” and Victor stared at me for a second and said, “I just have one question.  Hoo left the grill on?” and I sang, “Hoo?  Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!” and then Hailey asked how old she had to be to  file for emancipation and I was like, “That’s not how puns work, Hailey.  Like, you could say ‘HOO do I have to talk to about being removed from this home?’  That would work.”  And Victor was like, “Except technically we’ve used ‘hoo’ so that’s just lazy punning.  We expect better from you, young lady.”  And then Hailey went to her room. Probably to work on her owl puns.

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And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

sid2

 

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 House Rules Cafe, a board game cafe in Hudson, NY with a library of games available for in-house play. It doesn’t exist yet, but with your help it will.  Click here to find out how you can build it.  The layout of the cafe will feature a nook reserved specifically for children, and a collection of games that appeals to all age groups, including young adults. As a family-friendly alternative to the usual nightlife, it will be a unique business for Hudson.  The menu will consist of delicious comfort foods and the cafe will also have a strong sense of social responsibility, with anxiety and sensory sensitive events, fair trade products, and participation in programs like Suspended Coffees. “This is an opportunity to drive the board game industry in a new direction,” says owner Kathleen Miller, “one that is inclusive, community-focused, and kind.”  Sounds pretty bad-ass to me.  Click here to take a look.

A special thank you for your support! (If you’re buying my next book read this now.)

UPDATED as on March 3: All 5,000 totes have been claimed!  Bags will be mailed out soon!  Thanks so much!

My next book, YOU ARE HERE, comes out week after next and so many of you have already gone and preordered a copy or are preordering this week and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.  This book is very different from anything I’ve done before and it went from a life-raft of sketches that kept me sane during a deep depression to an actual book because you guys showed such an interest in how my broken brain deals with bullshit through art and words.  I wanted to say thank you for supporting this strange journey and my publisher came up with a really wonderful way to do it.  (I love them.)

So, as a special thank you, if you’ve preordered YOU ARE HERE my publisher will send you a YOU ARE HERE book bag for free.  It’s quite awesome and you can dye it or color it or you can leave it the way it is.  Or you can fill it with cow intestines and leave it in the trunk of that guy who cheated on you.  SO MANY OPTIONS.

If you want one just go here and fill out your info.  (I think they’re just shipping to North America.  Sorry everywhere else.)  You do have to share a picture proving you bought it just to keep randos from stocking up on a thousand free bags but it’s not hard.  For instance, if you ordered from Amazon just go to your orders and do a screenshot of the order.  Here’s my example.  If you click on your name it’ll show your address and all that but I didn’t for this example because NOT TODAY, STALKERS.

I ordered a copy of my own book. Stop judging me.

Yes, I ordered a copy of my own book. Stop judging me.

Want to see what the bags look like?

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Pretty awesome.  It’s first come, first served until they are gone and there are only a few thousand so be sure to submit your stuff as soon as you can.

And thank you again for everything.  You are full of magic.

PS. Spellcheck keeps trying to change “randos” to “pandas” and now I can’t stop thinking of pandas carrying my book bag around.  These are the moments I wish I was better at photoshop.

UPDATED: From Rachel Moskowitz, who is better than tacos:

Magic.

Magic.

Honestly, they should have called it Labiastick.

So I was in the waiting room of my shrink’s office and someone sent me an email informing me that some guy invented a lipstick that you’re supposed to use to glue your vagina shut so that you don’t have a period and I was like, “I don’t think it works like that.  Like, any of it” and then my shrink walked in and was like, “Are you okay?” because apparently I had a weird look on my face and I was like, “Someone invented lipstick glue to seal off your vagina?  Like a cave-in, I think?” and then I think she wanted to increase my meds but I explained that I wasn’t hallucinating and found the article about it and she agreed that the world is weird right now.

And then I said, “How would that even work?  Would you be like, ‘Could you excuse me?  I need to go to the bathroom.  I think my vagina became unsealed.'”  And my shrink was like, “A man invented this, right?” and yeah.  It’s even named “Mensez” which seems like a joke in itself.  Also, you’d have to be really careful not to accidentally use the wrong lipstick on your face and seal your mouth shut, especially since the article says the glue is only dissolved with urine.

Now my head hurts and also I wasted half of my psych session discussing vagina glue.  And that’s how my whole day has gone.

UPDATED:

Actual image of lipstick from Mensez.com:

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“I’m just going to borrow your chapstick, okay?” ~ soon-to-be disgusted friend who needs to stay out of other people’s purses.

Hey. Let’s be friends.

So, I’ve had quite a few people lately reach out and say that they sometimes feel alone because there aren’t enough weirdos near them and they wish they could connect more to others in this community but they don’t know how.

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And that makes sense because a great many of us here (including myself) are awkward introverts…

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….and so making friends on the internet is a goddam miracle.

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And it’s  awesome because on the internet you can find people who are weird in the same strange way you are.

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There’s probably an easier way of doing this but let’s try this.  Want to get connected with other people who are awesome, broken and weird enough to think this place is not horribly offensive?  FUCK YEAH I DO!  Oh wait.  Sorry.  I answered myself.

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If you want to make some new friends just leave a comment with your twitter handle or Facebook link and say something about yourself.

I’ll start.  I’m Jenny and I’m a writer.  I’m afraid of people and I like cat videos.  When I get depressed I hide so don’t be mad if I disappear sometimes.  I’m on Facebook here but I’m on twitter way more so here’s the link to me.

Let’s be friends?

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And even if you aren’t on social media, know that you’re a part of the community and not alone.  I’m sending you hugs.  A variety of different ones depending on what you are personally comfortable with.

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PS. When I was looking for gifs this one came up under “I feel lonely.”  I thought I should share.

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Love you.

Don’t walk upside down in the middle of the street, y’all.

So, I came across this sign yesterday:

huh

…and I couldn’t decide if it meant “don’t walk upside down” or “don’t stand on your head in this particular intersection” but I suspect it most likely means “Don’t hang signs while drunk”.  All are good advice though so I thought I’d share it here.

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And now…time for the weekly wrap-up!

sid2

 

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 Heather McVea,  author of urban fantasy, paranormal, and adventure-laden romps through any number of worlds. (With a healthy dose of romance, sarcasm and snark added.)  From Heather: “I subscribe to the basic beliefs that a day without vampires is like a day without sunshine, and you never can tell the good witch from the bad witch. In pursuit of those tenets, I have a five book series set in San Antonio, TX (Waking Forever Series), and have just published book two of a four book series set in Baltimore, MD (Elements Series). I also have a standalone book (November’s End), and two novellas (Turn Darkly and Wayward Destiny).”  You should check them all out here.