Completely and utterly overwhelmed. In a good way. Mostly.

So.

Remember yesterday when the Nowhere Bookshop website went live?  And Elizabeth (our superhero manager) and Victor and I were surrounded with hundreds of shirts and mugs and books that I was certain we’d still be surrounded with a week from now?  Well, turns out I’d underestimated the excitement and support because we got thousands of orders the first day.

um.  what.

This is a real-time look into the various emotions of yesterday…

Me when I saw how many fantastic people wanted to support this strange new Indie Bookstore that hadn’t even opened yet:

Me when I realized we’d almost made enough to pay for the wheelchair ramp we’re adding inside the store:

Me when I realized that we didn’t have nearly enough merch ready to ship:

Me when I told Victor that I need to make a giant rush order to the local screen printer to fulfill everything that was still coming in:

Victor when PayPal froze my business account because there was way too much activity on it and they assumed I must be doing something illegal:

Elizabeth when orders kept coming in faster than she could possibly keep up with them:

Elizabeth when she found out that our screen-printer was running low on the shirts we needed:

Elizabeth and I when we begged the screen-printer for help and he found a giant stash of what we needed in Illinois:

So, long story short, yesterday was incredibly successful/terrifying.  The first several hundred of you who submitted orders will get yours this week (please share them online if you like them!) but if you ordered something we’re low on it may take a few weeks for you to get it.  I’m sorry!   I know we already say that on the website as a disclaimer but I still feel bad that we didn’t have enough already printed.  As far as problems go it’s a very good problem to have and I’m so very lucky that you guys are understanding and awesome even through our growing pains.

A little behind-the-scenes look:

Currently Elizabeth’s guest room is a staging/packing area:

And my house is filled with boxes and boxes of books that are all being signed and personalized:

Thank you again for your support and your patience and for the wonderful community you’ve made and continue to grow.

Check out the website if you haven’t already.  And thank you again!

Welcome to Nowhere!

Big news…the Nowhere Bookshop website is open to the public!

And that means that you can now buy t-shirts, mugs, totes and signed or personalized books.  Will I write “knock knock motherfucker!” or “Thank you for hiding that body for me, friend” or other requested ridiculousness?  Of course I will.  

Over the last several days a number of you volunteered to test the website (thank you!) so I think all the bugs are worked out.  I sent emails to each of the people to invite them to try it and I closed the email telling them that the sizes were accurate and that I found that a size large fit me really well but that I’d probably do the 2X because I really love loose shirts.  Except that I accidentally sent it out with a typo to the first focus group, which means I told a dozen people in a professional email how much “I really love loose shits”.

Awesome.

This video seems only slightly more professional:

 

All the proceeds go to getting a new floor and accessible bathrooms and a wheelchair ramp and a bar and a million other things we need.

Thank you for helping make this dream come true for all of us.

Now click here and get your stuff before we sell out.  Free bookplates will be added to packages until we run out.  Go!

The most metal Capricorn ever.

me:  So apparently I could have murdered people if I’d just been born hundreds of years ago.

Victor:  …I’m sorry?

me:  Don’t be sorry.  Be impressed.

Victor:  Um…no.

me:  I’m reading this book and it says that according to slavic legend, people born on a Saturday were called sâbotnik, and they were natural-born vampire hunters.  And people born in the two weeks after Xmas were considered uber vampire slayers.  I’m half-slavic AND I was born on a Saturday that fell during the super vampire Xmas vacation thing.  I’M THE MOST DANGEROUS KIND OF CAPRICORN.

Victor:  Huh.

me:  I would have been granted by the other villagers official license to destroy any vampires I find, which is pretty bad-ass but also sounds a bit exhausting so I’d probably just give the stink-eye to assholes so they know I could stab them if I wasn’t so tired.

Victor:  Well, you kinda do that already.

me:  Oh…hang on.  This says that I’d probably also eventually turn into a vampire because being born on those days makes you “unclean” and apparently the only reason I could sense vampires is because I’m sort of evil too.

Victor:  Well that part still tracks.

me:  I guess it’s nice to know I could have another career if this writing thing goes to shit.

********

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 Psychedelic Design Co.  This site has T-shirts, phone cases and household goods with some truly fun and original designs by a young artist.  If you’re looking for something different and original and you’d like to help an aspiring artist pursue his dream, you should totally check this site out!

Y’all are too damn talented but I’m not complaining.

So some time next week (fingers crossed!) the Nowhere Bookshop will be live!  And that means you can help support the store by buying shirts and mugs and my signed books and totes and other lovely things.  And as a thank you for all your help I’m going to be dropping self-adhesive bookplates into the packages as long as my printer keeps working.

My friend Deni Kendig, artist and recovering taxidermist, created the bookplates and they are AMAZING.  For real, ya’ll.  Take a look:

The shop is coming along slowly but turns out that permits and assorted bullshit take longer than expected, but it almost looks like a real shop if you don’t look inside at what is most certainly the most “before” looking before-and-after picture ever.  Please send prayers and reliable contractors.

You are needed. No matter what.

Recently I got an email asking if Rory (the taxidermied raccoon) was available for a Hollywood close-up, as a singing character on a musical taxidermy pilot.  It sounded like fried gold but Rory is extremely breakable and every time he goes somewhere all his fingers fall off (relatable) and his brother Rory II is almost as fragile so he had to say no for his own self-preservation.

“YAY FOR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES.”

But then I had a thought…Rory III.

Oh…helloooo.

Rory III was a gift I got on tour and he is made of magic.  And a carcass.  And also some dolls hands and some cardboard tubing that makes him fit perfectly on a  bottle and makes him the best wine koozie ever.

Me meeting Rory III for the first time. It was glorious.

So I sent Rory III to California and he was loved and beloved, and this same strange little creature that Hailey and Victor keep insisting I stop putting in their beds was finally accepted and celebrated for his endearing weirdness and strange gifts.

And I got a few behind the scenes photos, like this one:

This is like my favorite sleepover ever.

The point is, you may feel like an empty, unappreciated weirdo right now but don’t give up because one day you will find the place you fit…the place where you were meant to be…and you will finally feel warm and loved even when you’re not totally filled with wine.   Just like Rory III.

PS.  Here is a link to the project.  I’m looking forward to it.

 

Going Nowhere…slowly.

I told my shrink today that I think I have to go back on Xanax.  It feels like admitting failure, even though I know it isn’t.  It’s a medication, and one that I need when I’m ill.  And although I know logically that it’s strong to admit you need help and that I believe this without question, it still feels like weakness.

I’m in and out of the haze of mental illness now…in that bleary spot where you can’t trust your own head to judge life.  It’s different for everyone but for me when I’m in a bad place I feel like I haven’t slept since the last time I was mentally well.  I have slept, but the days feel chained together and I feel off, like when you’ve been awake so long things start to feel surreal.

Part of the reason why I think I’m feeling this depression is because of my anxiety.  It’s been a bit out of control lately and the panic that never ends leads to exhaustion and exhaustion to depression in that slippery downhill slopes of my own mind.

I’ll be fine.

I will.

And things are good.  My editor started reading my manuscript and loves what she’s read so far which makes me a puddle of relief.  The bookstore stuff is harder than I thought but hopefully next week the website will be up and I’ll have more news.  The ABA wrote this amazing story about it.  Tonight I have a rehearsal for my TEDx talk and although I’m literally sick with anxiety I feel like it’s important and I have hope that I can do it without crying.

So I will try to quiet the voices in my head that scream so loud that I am alone and that I will fail and that everyone hates me and will realize I am the loser my mind says I am.  And if you are hearing those terrible voices in your own head, know that they are lies.

It’s going to be okay.

You’ll get through this.

So will I.

Awkward in another language

We are back from Italy and I’m feeling a bit better.  Whoop!

It was quite lovely though in spite of the depression and you can go to instagram to see all the pictures.  I’d put them all here but I’m still sort of in that level of recovery mode where everything is exhausting and you just want to stop breathing for a bit to conserve energy.

But one thing I didn’t put on Instagram is that to celebrate Hailey’s birthday we went to the opera in Venice, which is the fanciest fucking thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.

And we sat in our little opera box and looked over the balcony as the singers did their thing and at one point I was like, “OMG BUGS BUNNY DID THIS SONG!” and then Victor and Hailey sort of stared at me so I went back to listening but I guess Italians don’t believe in air conditioning and it was really warm and I was tired and I sort of fell asleep sitting up and I started to fall over and I woke up with such a start that I literally yelped and launched myself out of my seat and Hailey grabbed me because she thought I was going to leap over the edge of the balcony.  Long story short, we left immediately but in my defense we’d already been there for an hour and a half and it was barely even intermission.  And Hailey said that she felt dumb that we’d wasted our money and time on something that didn’t really do it for any of us but she and Victor spent the rest of our vacation endlessly mocking me for mortifying myself in the fanciest way ever so technically I think it was a very worthwhile experience.

Sometimes the most messed up moments make for the best memories.

PS.  Also, we had a driver take us to see the body of St. Zita in Lucca and when he asked where we were going I was like, “St. Zita” and he was like, “Pardon?”  And I said, “St. Zita” again and he was like, “Are you telling me to shut up?  Because that’s how you say ‘shut up’ in Italian”.   And then I felt really bad but a few minutes later he asked Victor, “Do you like the bitch?” and I was like, “First off, he loves this bitch and secondly that seems a little unnecessary” but turns out he was just asking if we wanted to see the beach and this is why I really need to learn how to speak the language more before I visit places.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to the sweetest man I ever married.

Thank you for loving us even when you don’t understand us.  There’s no one else I’d rather perplex.

Baggage

hello.

Right now I’m in Venice. And it’s beautiful and I’m with my family and we just celebrated Hailey’s 15th birthday.  I am incredibly lucky. Unfortunately I have been fighting off a touch of depression all week and it’s gaining on me.

It feels so wrong, to be sad or numb and exhausted when everything is going exactly right, but in a small way it’s comforting…the knowledge that my mental illness is illness rather than laziness or sadness. The acceptance that I can’t fight this off any more than I could fight off the flu.

Im lucky to have my family…that they try to understand.  That when I cancel on tours because I’m too tired even though I haven’t done anything but sleep they are kind about it.

And I’m lucky that there are bright spots when the darkness passes. I take photos when I’m happy so I that I can remember. I take photos when I’m sad so that I can experience what I’m missing right now, in the moments when I know I can’t appreciate everything I should.

Today we take a train to Florence to visit an old friend and to remember a friend we’ve lost. And I’ll try to shake myself out of my own head.  But if I can’t I’ll wait it out and remind myself that this will pass and that I am not my depression and that the moments when the sun comes out again are coming.  They’re coming for you too.

I’ll promise you if you promise me.

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Venice.

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ALL THE HIGH FIVES!

YOU GUYS.

Do you know what this is?  This is the finished final draft of my next book, which I have finally turned into my wonderful and incredibly patient editor.  WHOOP!

Not the actual title, obviously

Every time I write a book I think it’s the last one… that I’ll never be funny again, that I don’t have the focus or energy to finish.  That I’ve run out of life and of stories.  And I did for a bit, which is why I’m turning this in far behind the deadline that was set.  I work slow…slower than most writers, I think.  I work around depression and anxiety and assorted bullshit and I delete two pages for every three I write BUT in the end, I am left with stories.  They are stories I’m proud of, even though so many of them involve the most ridiculous moments of my life.

So today I breathe a quick sigh of relief and celebrate this small (but enormous for me) victory.  And tomorrow I leave for Italy, where we have not planned properly at all and will spend 6 days getting lost as we celebrate Hailey’s and Victor’s birthdays.  And then I’ll come back and get notes from my editor and begin the process again.

And that’s a very good thing.

Thank you for seeing me through.