Hello, Iowa.

I’m writing this in my phone and can’t figure out how to link. Sorry. Just a quick FYI that today and tomorrow I’m doing a few stops in Iowa.

Tonight I’ll be at Des Moines University: dmpl.org/avid

And tomorrow I’ll be in Cedar Rapids:  http://littlevillagemag.com/interview-super-blogger-jenny-lawson-on-writing-honestly-about-mental-health/

Come and be awkward with us.


92 thoughts on “Hello, Iowa.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I’m sure you’ll have a huge turnout! Have fun! 🙂
    You should come and be awkward with us in Brooklyn, NY!

  2. I wish I lived in Iowa! But I do work in a library, so I see your books constantly, so there is that.

  3. I can’t tell you how excited I am to attend your event in Cedar Rapids tomorrow!! Safe travels!!

  4. has anyone recommended a stop at Zombie Burger in downtown Des Moines for a meal? it’s zombies, burgers, and awesome “adult” shakes. we go there whenever we’re in town

  5. has anyone recommended a stop at Zombie Burger in downtown Des Moines for a meal? it’s zombies, burgers, and awesome “adult” shakes. we go there whenever we’re in town

  6. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow in Cedar Rapids! I was up at 2am rereading your new book. You are too amazing for words!

  7. So, here’s the thing: I moved from Iowa (just a wee bit south of Cedar Rapids) to the big city of Atlanta, thinking I’d get more exposure to big-name sheroes like you. And now what happens? YOU FREAKING GO TO IOWA!
    Atlanta a possibility any time soon?
    Also, and I’m 1,000% serious here, you need to order yourself a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and some corn nuggets. For realz. They are one of the few reasons I continue to visit the Midwest (well, that and 11 nieces and nephews.)

  8. Oh, and because I’m just hoping you make all of my Iowa dreams come true, you should totally swing slightly south of Cedar Rapids and stop in at the legendary Prairie Lights Books store in Iowa City. You should totally ninja-autograph your books there. The place is so popular, even President Obama has bought books there 😀

  9. Welcome to Iowa!! So excited to see you again tomorrow night and this time with a group who lives you as much as I do! So proud of the CR Public Library for bringing you here!!!! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and situations in Iowa!!

  10. Did a ridiculous happy dance with my neighbor last night over text! Deciding whether to dres up, dress down, or bring taxidermy. I’m so excited. Please post if you need anything!

  11. When people always confuse Idaho with Iowa except Jenny, who goes to the real Iowa instead of the fake Iowa westlier and more potatoish.

  12. Safe travels Jenny. I have read & re-read both of your Incredible books, thank you for sharing Everything! Would love to see more of your amazing pets; cats & Dorothy Barker. They Always make me smile!! ☺

  13. Any chance you’re coming to Omaha in the near future? Oh, an Iowa is awesome. You’ll get all sorts of Iowa Nice here 🙂

  14. I’ll be there in spirit. If you see a bag of Cheetos get knocked off a table, that’s me, I’m there and trying to signal to you.

  15. Can’t wait to see you in CR! If I can’t find you, I’ll look in the women’s restroom. 😉

  16. Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. We rock here, and so would you!

  17. Have fun stormin’ the castle, Jenny! I loved your visit to Pasadena, and I know you’re going to rock the socks off those Iowans!

    You’re just so amazing, to do your book tours even while you’re dealing with all your shit that you tell us about here and in your books. I’m not sure I could even, if I dealt with the shit you deal with. I’m blessed to only get Depressed from time to time, because I have you and the Tribe to help me off my ledges.

  18. Happy dance!!! Welcome to the Heartland! I’m so excited, no wait, excited is not quite the word to injecti here …I have no words for once, for how freakin’ exciting it is to have you here!!!! Breathe ( don’t breathe too deep as you might smell some of our USDA prime livestock) but take a breathe and enjoy everything that we have to offer. I’ll be seeing you tomorrow in Cedar Rapids, my hometown. So glad you came!!!

  19. I agree with the people who said you should get a pork tenderloin (at Maid-Rite, with their amazing onion “rings”) and swing south to sign books at Prairie Lights. Wish I could be there! My mom and dad (Bev and Dave) will be friendly members of your audience, having raised a couple members of your tribe. Here are a couple videos for your hedgehog-in-a-bathtub collection, if you haven’t seen them already: stealthy Ninja cat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzzjgBAaWZw and adorable toad getting a back rub https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptNkG70oTF4 and

  20. I’ll be at the Cedar Rapids one! I can’t wait to hear you and laugh WITH other people, because everybody looks at me crazy when I’m listening to your audio books and laughing by myself. 🙂 Good luck, Jenny, you’ll do great!

  21. yay! can’t wait for tomorrow #letsbeawkwardtogether, forever. Don’t be alarmed by all the smells though. Cedar Rapids is, um, pungent?

  22. Have only recently discovered you and your fab blog. Loving it, bit far to pop in on you though from the UK. Maybe with a bit more notice ha ha xxxx

  23. I work at a library. We’re a subversive group, pushing first amendment rights while wearing our cardigans.

  24. I know I’ve been to Iowa for something, but it’s more fun verbally to go to Idaho where you can loudly proclaim, “I-DA-HO” and your family will say, “Yes, yes, you are the ho.” Maybe that’s just my family.

  25. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw your tweet that you will be in Cedar Rapids tomorrow! Once I recovered, I got my ticket. See you in 27 hours!

  26. You should come to Maine. It’s called Vacationland for good reason. I don’t actually know what those reasons are, as I’ve never had the opportunity to take a vacation here, but the travelers seem impressed enough to return year after year. Magazines love us. You could explore our random 40 acre desert. Or not. Probably not. But you’d eat well, I can promise that. You should come so that my friends, who I’d railroad into driving 3 hours to see you would tell me all about it after I backed out at the last minutes due to….something.

    Cormac McCarthy came here once. I checked him into a hotel I worked at, at 2 AM one morning while I was sitting at the desk reading All the Pretty Horses. It was uncomfortable. Like being caught in your mom’s underwear drawer.

  27. /waves

    I was just visiting my parents in Cedar Rapids over the weekend and you were featured in the local paper!

    So excited for you!!

  28. Please come to Louisville Kentucky! I would so love to meet you. So many days I feel completely alone and your blog makes me feel a bit better.

  29. Ah bummer 🙁 Sold out!!! Is there a calendar of events I am missing somewhere? I would’ve totally driven the 4 hours if I knew 🙁

  30. There’s a Des Moines University? Huh. I guess UNI gets that too, though. …..(my better half is from Waterloo. I;ve been in Cedar Rapids AND Des Moines. Does that count?).

  31. I wish to high heaven I could be at the Cedar Rapids event… do me a favor and wave awkardly at Susan Blind for me … she already promised to tell you I say hi 😉

  32. HOW can a free appearance be SOLD OUT already??? GAH! I was so close to seeimg you right here in cedar rapids. dang.

  33. Absolutely tried to come tonight. The little light saying low air pressure for my car tire dinged and lit up a few blocks away from home. I stopped at a hy-vee and they had free air. It was a sign! I should fill up and keep driving. Unfortunately, it was a sign I should go home. I instead hung out at a gas station with a flat tire, a baby, and my cell phone since the tricky car companies now hide the tires and have puzzles for tire irons and jacks. I needed up calling reinforcements that did not appreciate the fact that I kept driving. My defense of people driving on slow leaks all the time was met with scorn.

  34. My friend bailed on me and I am fighting my complete fear of new places and new things to come see you tomorrow. Thanks for being here.

  35. You are such a Humanitarian on the order of Mahatma GHANDI my idol. You are making mental troubles an everyday thing. Nothing to panic about if a family member has such. You are normalizing mental difficulties I hope you continue to write books I’ve recommended the two so far enough to make you a millionaire. Of course I also wish you felt better more of the time and could be cured of your difficult handling of life’s travails. And yet I love you just the way you are. BTW. Victors a keeper … And cute as a beanie baby (there I go again showing my advanced age … well at least I didn’t say cabbage patch doll. I’ve never seen the appeal of a veggie cuddle. I love a good salad now and again … just not all over my pillow)

  36. It was wonderful seeing you. You were even funnier in person. I must say I have lived in Iowa all my life and have never tripped over a dead bird, seen a singing quartet, and a woman’s vagina all in one walk. Brava!

  37. WHY could these have not been backwards?!?! I live about 30 minutes away from Cedar Rapids and could have been there tonight and have to be near Des Moines tomorrow night. I am so jealous!

  38. Yay!! Can’t wait to see you in Cedar Rapids tomorrow (we’ll it’s psst midnight so tonight) night!!

    Best part of my month!

  39. Thank you for making my daughter’s year. She took a big step last night and went to the AViD event alone. She has incredible social anxiety along with another host of fun brain meanies, so being in a large crowd is something she could rarely do, especially alone. She was so excited and so happy that she had the courage to not only go, but to stand in line and have her book signed. The picture that she was able to take with you is definitely one of her most treasured memories. Thank you, because through your book (and her meds, and her therapist, lol) she’s gaining the courage to go out and face the world and to be unashamed of her struggles with mental illness.

    I also have to thank the audience and the ushers working the venue. You bring amazing people to see you, people who were understanding of my daughter’s struggles and helped her to feel safe. She progressed through the night from only being able to communicate through typing notes on her iPod to being able to speak to complete strangers. As a mom, I couldn’t have been prouder of her courage. Thank you again.

    PS. She desperately wants to meet Rory and get one of her own, can you recommend a good taxidermist? 🙂

  40. WELCOME TO IOWA JENNY!! I’m excited to see you this evening and can’t wait to be awkward with you! Mental health is very important and is often overlooked in health care, just down the street from where the event is, is Four Oaks; its where I work. A non profit organization that works with children and families with a lot of trauma, mental and behavioral struggles.

    Keep on being furiously awesome Jenny!

  41. My husband served as an officer in the Navy for nearly 25 years, so it was rare for us to spend any time “in the middle.” I remember how big a deal it was the summer we moved from WA to VA, when we hit all four “I” states in one trip. Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa: check!

  42. SO does this mean you are going to run for president? Jeez I hope so!!!! Come visit us here in Minneapolis, please.

  43. I was going drive over from WI but registration is closed. Apparently they don’t have a big enough venue available.

  44. I attended your book signing at the recent Writers’ Conference of Texas. After 25 years of searching for an answer, my son was finally diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic a year or two ago and is living in a group home in Sacramento. There is no mental health care in our home state of Tennessee. I read Furiously Happy and am incredibly proud of you. Thank you for standing up and telling it like it is. I’ve written a review of your latest book for my blog and intend to write another on Amazon for you.

    I look forward to reading more of your work,
    Jackie Stewart, author
    Raiders and Horse Thieves, Memoir of a Central Texas Baby Boomer

  45. My most recent memory of Iowa involves driving down a well-maintained interstate with a lot (A LOT) of windmills. Yay, wind power! Have a great time.

  46. Given your travel schedule and the fact that you actually got out of bed and went to work in HR for so many years (in business attire, too) I have difficulty seeing you as having mental health issues (compared to me anyway). I hope you have a wonderful trip.

  47. I loved hearing you speak at DMU last night! It meant so much to get to talk with you and have my book signed afterwards! You’re my hero, lady! 🙂 You’ve inspiring me to continue writing about my own “escapades”…that’s a really positive spin to put on things lol. But the humor in the pain is real….and I like looking at the humorous side.
    Xo Abby #furiouslyhappyforever #dmplavid
    P.S. I saw a raccoon ambling across the parking lot when I was leaving – I took it as a sign! Haha

  48. Palo Alto, CA has a beautiful library. And there’s a cafe and a park right next to it. 🙂

  49. I wish I would have seen this sooner. I live only 90 minutes northwest of Des Moines and would have loved to see you. I hope Iowa has been welcoming to you and that you come back again.

  50. Dear Jenny,

    Thank you for signing my book. I couldn’t be there tonight, I’ve been in the hospital most of the day, but my wonderful friends made sure that my book did. Your books and your blog have helped me through some dark times, and for that, I’m more grateful than I can adequately express.

    -Another Jenny

  51. Hoping you had a grand welcome – Iowa and Iowans are close to my heart! So glad you were there to bring some sun and laughter to many! Will be passing your book along to friends and relatives there in case they missed you in town.

  52. You were amazing last night Jenny!! It was like Christmas seeing you, hearing you and getting to talk to you. I know it takes a lot out of a person who is ill to stand up and shine in front of others and last night you were brilliant! Standing in line waiting to see you after you spoke, I can’t tell you how excited and thrilled we all were to have you there. Keep shining Jenny! We’re all in this together!

  53. Love libraries, love you! Wish I lived in Iowa so I could see you but alas, Oklahoma is my home. I’ve read your books and they’ve helped me tremendously in managing my mental illness. Thank you Jenny. You rock!

  54. OK…. So… I went to see you in Cedar Rapids last night (and you are so amazing and you made me laugh until I cried and I really needed that so thank you!!!). Now…. My response below is not for you…. I am sorry…. But I am writing it in hopes that one girl who asked you a question sees it. And I know the chances that she sees it are INSANELY slim…. But I need to write this in the off chance she does…. or maybe in the hopes that other people in her same boat see it and it somehow helps them… or maybe it’s just on deaf ears… but I hope not…

    So last night, a girl stood up and spoke about her amazing support system at home… but is getting ready to go to school 8 hours away and wanted to know what to do with having to rebuild that support system. Immediately I wanted to jump up and run over and talk with her, but I didn’t want to interrupt…. so I hope maybe somehow she will see this….

    I work at a university. I am not a professor, but I interact with tons of students every day, and supervise a handful. As someone who works at a university, I just want to say WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WHAT WE CARE ABOUT MOST IS YOU!!! Many of us (myself included) chose to work in higher education because we love to help people learn, grow, and succeed. I’m so proud when I get to watch students succeed! But at the same time, it breaks my heart every time I see a student that is struggling. The one thing I want to do most is help you feel welcome and happy and safe.

    Now… I am not an expert…. but as someone who has gone through college… works at a college…. and has struggled with mental health… I do have some tips that I hope will help. First off…. Rely on your RA, teachers, and university staff. As a student I cried countless times, pouring my heart out to my RAs, to hall coordinators, to my professors… none of them ever made me feel stupid or regret going to them. They helped. A lot. And they helped get me involved in the right activities and meet the right people to help me enjoy college.

    Next up, get to know the services. lot of universities and colleges have free counseling, free hotlines, pharmacies on campus (which… we so helpful when I just didn’t have the energy to go off campus) etc. And when you are feeling up to it, really look around at the campus activities. I never felt comfortable at athletic events or being involved with sororities… but I did find reading groups and clubs that fit in to my nerdly ways. It was scary to go alone (and several times I chickened out) but I did end up making some great friends through them.

    Explore your campus! I didn’t reallllllly start exploring til I got hired there… and now I regret it. I have found tons of beautiful, amazing places that are quiet and empty. Places I really could have used to just kind of sit in peace and give myself a break . There are lots of hidden gems that most students never know about because they don’t explore.

    Keep us in the loop! Most professors will give you an extension if you need it (and if they won’t, then they are probably a douchecanoe that graduated at the bottom of their class or have forgotten WHY they wanted to teach). And the library may specially extend books or waive fines if you’re in a tough spot. Just…. try to let us know sooner rather than later. I know it can be difficult in the thick of it…. but it’s easier to help you early on, and we may know some resources to point you towards to help you.

    Most importantly…. take care of yourself…. at the end of the day, taking care of yourself is the most important thing. I (and many university staff) will never be upset with someone who recognizes their struggles, and is trying to take care of them. We love you. We want you to have the best experience with us possible!

    So…. congrats! Good luck! Take care! Wishing you a wonderful adventure this fall!!!!!!

  55. Jenny, reading your books on airplanes and in any public setting is causing people to stare and point and whisper about the crazy woman in tears. I laugh so hard I cry. Craughing. Please publish another book soon.

    PS… When I read your first book I mostly read it in bed since reading in public was so disconcerting to those around me (with the craughing and all). My husband would make me sleep in the guest room because I could not silence my craughing. We are divorced now. Don’t feel bad. You were not responsible. He was a fun hater. Best I learned that sooner than later.

    PSS… Victor seems like a fun hater. How do you make it work?

    PSSS… I love… Not in a lesbian way… Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  56. Just wanted to say that you are amazing and have helped me so much I have your books on audio and I listen to them quite often I’m so happy that you decided to share your life with all of us it is even helped my husband understand what I go through everyday and the difficulty I have just leaving my house he’s always been amazing but your books have been an eye-opener for both of us I embrace who I am now all of it and strive to understand it better so I can push through and live rather than survive I send you a virtual hug thank you so much

  57. Anyone-Is there a place on the web that list’s all of Jenny’s future appearances? I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and I can’t believe I missed this, wish I would have known about this sooner. Heartbroken.

  58. You should come to my library — in Indiana (kind of like Iowa, just not exactly but sort of the same — we have corn and pigs and stuff)

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