Lots of little things

Hi.

How are you?

Weird? Me too.

I have lots of tiny things to talk about but none of them big enough for a real post but I’m also lonely so I figured I’d just write a post about little things as if we were old Victorian penpals. And you can leave any little bits of news in the comments and then I’ll feel like I’m not still stuck at home for the 8 billionth day in a row.

First up, next week I’m going to announce my virtual book tour for BROKEN and I’m both super excited about it (y’all, the moderators for each stop are AMAZING) and extremely worried about it because I’ve never done a virtual book tour and anything different is terrifying to me. Make sure you check back next week because it’s with some of my favorite shops and they’ll all include signed books with entry and you’ll get to go to a wonderful event and support a book store and not even have to leave your house or put on pants.

Also, I signed thousands and thousands of tip-in sheets that will be slipped into books – while watching so many seasons of Call the Midwife that I literally think I could deliver a baby now and also diagnose typhoid fever – so that I could send signed copies to bookshops all over so be sure to check your local bookshop in April. We’re so incredibly lucky at Nowhere to be doing really well (thank you!) but I know a lot of other bookshops are struggling so please spread the love. 🙂 (Tip: If you go to Indiebound it’ll tell you what Independent bookshops are nearby.) Actually, a ton of amazing authors are sending first-edition signed copies to bookshops since they can’t tour so check your favorite store in person or online because there are some amazing signed books out now that are absolute collector’s treasures and make excellent gifts.

Speaking of Nowhere, I always go on Sunday when no one else is there. This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and if it wasn’t all covidy and we were able to actually open our doors to customers we’d be doing a Blind-Date-with-a-Book thing where we wrap books in butcher paper and write a small teaser on the front and you take a chance on love (in the form of a book) but since we aren’t open to people I thought maybe I’d do the same thing except that I’d use the slightly damaged books we can’t sell or the arcs that we’ve read and wrap them up with a teaser and place them outside for free for anyone who wants a nice surprise but the weather here is dreadful and I’m not sure it’ll be better by Sunday so we may have to postpone a week, which literally seems to be the goddam theme for the year. I’ll keep you posted on my instagram if you’re in San Antonio and want to stop by whenever we do it.

One of the things keeping me sane during quarantine is putting together these wooden kits that I’ve been doing forever. (I did a pegasus one online with the Fantastic Strangelings Bookclub and drank each time I fucked up, which ended up being a ridiculous but hilarious time and I’m surprised I was still standing at the end.) I finished this clockwork orrery last week:

(High-five to everyone who responded, “The Great conjunction is at hand!“)

I give away a ton of them but covid is keeping me inside and they were taking over the house so last night I put together a bookshelf ALL BY MYSELF LIKE SOME KIND OF GOD to get them off the table and I’m so proud of this small accomplishment that I have to share it.

(Tip #2: If you want to do these, just google “laser-cut wooden puzzles”. Etsy has lots. Ugears has good ones but I find them a bit hard because I always have to sand the pieces to make them fit. Rokr and Rolife are really good, as are Clockwork Dreams.)

So how are you? What things are going on in your life? How are you keeping sane?

Sending you hugs. I hope you can feel them.

181 thoughts on “Lots of little things

Read comments below or add one.

  1. You’re so fucking talented! 🥰 And I can’t wait until my library gets BROKEN! 😻

    HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS to you. Would love to have a Valentines book all wrapped up in butcher paper. #romanceisnotdead 🖤

  2. I have a half-Pegasus because in my exuberance of creating the prehistoric fish (pre-finished Pegasus), I broke off a piece so it sits on top of my I-didn’t-put-it-together bookshelf because I’m sure I would have broken off a piece of that too.
    Sigh…

  3. You truly are a God – creating all that! I feel like I should be building an alter somewhere in my home for you, and lighting candles…perhaps pouring out a glass of distilled spirits? Or just wine.

  4. Thank you for asking. I would say I am finding clarity in the chaos. Maybe with the goal of being able to better navigate chaos in the future? That is where my head is at the last few days.

    I am glad you are well and predict your virtual book tour will be virtually amazing and positive.

    @WriterDann

  5. It’s so cold here and last night I tried to be responsible and turned on the kitchen faucet to be safe. I woke up to a puddle in my kitchen that went into the carpeting and called maintenance. Thankfully it was just the faucet leaking, but the guy looked at me like I was an idiot because our kitchen isn’t on an outdoor wall. *sigh* here I was feeling all responsible and shit.

  6. While it’s been negative temperatures here in Michigan for over a week, your post today made me feel all warm and fuzzy like. Thank you! Sending hugs back to you. You made my day with your sweet heartfelt post.

  7. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one going stir crazy. I had a dental appointment today and left with two less teeth than I went in. Not happy about this because I’d invested a TON of money in those teeth and now we have to start over. But I’m grateful I have the funds to fix it.

    We may get REAL SNOW here in southeast Kansas this weekend. It hardly ever snows here, my great-grandsons (4yr and 1.5 yrs) have never seen enough snow to make a snowman or a decent snowball. That’s WRONG, Mother Nature.

    I so enjoy your posts here, Jenny. Bright spots in an otherwise dull and dreary timeline. You take care of yourself and your family.
    XXOO

  8. Your tiny follies are amazing. News from the PNW: we have snow, but barely. Temps in high 30’s. I’ve taken to jig saw puzzles when my brain resist reading, crafting and/or napping. It takes a lot to kill my crafting impulses, but 10 months of pandemic is coming close. I may have to switch from paper to glass.

  9. Such a cold snowy winter in New England. The idea of not getting into the warm sun this winter is driving me crazy. Also, I finished Netflix, and am despairing of finding a new show that I haven’t already watched (or rejected).

  10. I’m in awe of your ability to put those things together. I’m way too ham fisted. My chubby little fingers aren’t adept at fine work.

    I have almost news, that I’m almost afraid to share. I might, a big might, have a new job in a couple of weeks. My reference checks went well and now we are waiting on the background checks. I don’t THINK there is anything in my background, but what if I’ve forgetten something? I could have done something dastardly and now I’m too old to remember…

  11. I’m trying to keep sane by writing on my blog, trying to see if I have a book in me, reading and taking walks. Oh and I quit my toxic job in December. That helped

  12. Omg, the Dark Crystal. YES!
    I still don’t know how you have the patience to do those puzzles. I try to find hobbies to occupy my time, but as soon as find something I like (and after I’ve made a sizable investment) I make it all go away (trash it or give it away), because for some reason I don’t think I deserve to be happy.

    Also, I discovered today that I have grass growing in my car. For real.

  13. Working from home today watching it snow. I know that’s not exciting to most of you, and you’re ready to get rid of it, but here near Portland, Oregon we seldom get any. So it’s fun for me to watch. Keep warm y’all.

  14. I am also putting ill-fitting wooden things together to occupy myself, except in my case it comes in the form of IKEA furniture. I am a masochist, clearly.

    Thank Christ you can get wine delivered.

  15. Last year I made hundreds and hundreds of paper flowers for my wedding (socially distanced and teeny-tiny, thanks to COVID).

    This year, I’m reading a ton and writing blog posts (the most I’ve done on my blog in about two years, because I’ve been neglecting it since I got a “real” job).

    And I’m hoping to start getting into candle making. I can’t do a lot of fiddly things because I get bored, but candle making is at least easy and doesn’t require a lot of time!

  16. I can just know your virtual book tour will be a smashing success!! Just gather all of your favorite things (or blown up/mounted pictures of favorite things) and place them like a crowd of friends on the opposite of your computer monitor so that every time you glance up, your heart will be filled with so much joy, it will temporarily forget to also be freaked out and nervous. And OMGoodness, I also love to build wonderful kits made from wood! I am currently building a reticulated goat by the extremely talented Laura Mathews…such fun!! Sending you a huge hug, thank you for being so honest about you, because it truly helps SO. MANY. PEOPLE. xox

  17. Thank you for your posts. I read them to get a minute of respite. I am so depressed and anxious and am having trouble finding a point in anything. My endometriosis has been flaring the whole month. I am miserable and don’t know what to do. The meds and therapist aren’t helping.

  18. I’m having a really hard time staying sane right now because my dad was admitted to the hospital last night and he might not make it. I’ve been distracting myself with YouTube and games on my phone (specifically Nonogram and the new game by The Oatmeal), and of course kitty cuddles. This suuucks

  19. That looks AMAZEBALLS! What a great way to display your wooden kit creations!

    Sane is relative but I’ve been writing a lot (a LOT) of poetry, throwing myself into alcohol ink paintings, and plotting all the fabulousness I’m going to do once we’re kinda sorta free again.

  20. Hello, I’m OK! Trying really hard to stay sane on this cold Texas day!! This morning my ranch cat, Marsha, brought me a dead field mouse. My first thought was, “that would be a cute taxidermy mouse”. haha!! But since it was murdered by my cat, I guess it wouldn’t work. I will never get used to all the cute, dead animals that Marsha brings me. I make sure to “praise” her for doing a great job! But I am sad about it. Also, I would love to build one of those wooden puzzles. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have enough patience, and I would end up throwing it. I hope you have a great rest of the day! HUGS!!

  21. Sanity is such a relative term…. thank you so much for posting these types of things, it reminds me that I’m not alone. I’m currently going a bit nuts (okay, a lot nuts) trying to hold down work, my small kiddos’ wellbeing and education, and attempting to keep my bipolar disorder at bay on top of that. Some days it feels impossible. But then I remember that there’s a lot of people doing the impossible right now, or just trying to make it through anyway, and it gives me hope. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with us always.

  22. My local indie book shop is doing that ‘blind date with a book’ thing and also leaving literary notes around the shop for people to find, meet and fall in love over (which I’d do if it wasn’t covid and there wasn’t so much snow). Going to find out if they are part of your tour! Thank you.

  23. So it’s very cold here in Kelowna, BC. Like -17 today without the windchill (and yep that is Celsius), but one thing keeping me sane is taking my dog out for a quick walk. We both bundle up me in my coat, gloves, hat and mask and her in her coat and go for a quick jaunt. Also? Reading your posts keeps me saner than just about everything else.

  24. Ahhh that kit looks amazing! I tried to preparing my last kit but it warped and now won’t fit together. Very sad.

    I’m an author who debuted in lockdown, I had no idea the sighed books at bookstores was a thing you could do. It sounds lovely

  25. It’s cloudy and damp in northern California today. Would love to see the sun for a full day but that won’t happen for a while. I learned a new word today (orrery). Had to google it. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, Jenny.

  26. I’m going to pick up my book club book tomorrow and I definitely want a blind date book too!!

  27. So desperately wish I could pick out a Blind Date book. What a fun idea. I’d be more than happy to leave a donation for something like that.

  28. I love Call The Midwife! My husband and I are binge watching The Queen’s Gambit. I love the female lead character because she’s weird and socially awkward with most women, but interacts more comfortably with men because she doesn’t have typical female social group behaviors, and she’s honest and open about her likes and her ambitions and blunt the way men typically are. I also adore Your Honor which is such a commentary on privilege and values and the lengths you would compromise your values to protect your loved ones. There is such good shows if you can afford cable or streaming services, I can’t imagine going through this when we only had radio for entertainment like in 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and no air conditioning, and if you didn’t have money or have family to support you financially, you had to work or starve, even if you were sick. Thank goodness for FDR and social security and disability and welfare and Medicare and Medicaid.
    My mother in law got the covid vaccine first shot, but her symptoms lasted more than a week, so she went to the doctor and it turns out she caught covid, probably before the vaccine. She refused to stay home and she rode around in cars with friends and had people inside her house without a mask and chatted with neighbors outside without masks and went shopping inside busy places like Walmart and grocery stores several times a week. She insisted that if it was people she knew who were neat and clean that they couldn’t have covid, and refused to believe that you could get the virus and transmit it to others when you didn’t have any noticeable symptoms. Luckily she has a mild case, hopefully she’ll come out of this okay.
    Meanwhile everyone she’s come in contact with has to self isolate until they get a negative covid test 10 days after being exposed to her. Unfortunately, many of her friends and neighbors have the same attitude about the virus, so they may just go merrily on with their lives the same way and infecting everyone in their path.
    I can’t wait until everyone can get both our vaccines and reach herd immunity so we can not live in fear of catching the virus.
    Stay well, read books, watch great shows, and watch funny videos on the internet to stay sane….

  29. I put together a book shelf and a printer stand with drawers ALL BY MYSELF. My husband passed away last year and my son moved out recently so I figured I ought to try it while the last son was still around if I totally screwed up. The printer stand had a gajillion pieces and 24 pages of instructions with only pictures no text! I wanted to cry and quit in the middle but I DID IT! I was so proud and felt so accomplished after! Still do.

  30. Hi Jenny! Those puzzles are really pretty. I may need those in my life. I’m excited about your new book. I enjoy your writing very much. Thank you for all the laughter and for sharing your story. I wanted to share with you this book I am reading now if you haven’t already heard of it: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson. It’s been a little while since I have fallen in love with a book like I have this one. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, just how I like my stories. It’s a rainy day here and I’m bundled up reading. What’s funny is I just started thinking about you and how you may also love this book. I checked my email to see if you had a recent blog and it looked like this had appeared in my email at the exact time I was thinking about it! I love when that kind of thing happens and I’m honored to have had a little psychic brain thingy moment with you. Maybe it’s magic book power. Probably that’s what’s happening. Anyways, much love to you. 💙

  31. Dear Jenny,

    I hope this letter finds you well. It is cold here in the Midwest, with even colder temperatures predicted for the weekend. I will venture out tomorrow for supplies (and a gynecologist appointment :/), so I don’t have to leave again til Tuesday.

    I would say you sort of have done virtual book tours before – except it wasn’t for your books and you were asking the questions instead of answering them. The book club author interviews that I’ve watched have been awesome, so I’m sure your virtual tour will be even more entertaining!

    I am lounging on the couch at the moment – got tired of driving in the snow and ice this week, so I chose to stay home today. I was entertaining myself by painting. I got a photo turned into a paint-by-number painting, and it has been a lot of fun. I don’t care if it takes forever to finish. I don’t have to mix colors – the company did it all for me. (The company is Mii Creative.) All I had to do was put the canvas on a frame – I just got a similarly sized canvas from the craft store and stapled the printed one on. The basement floor is cold, though, so I’m done with that for today. Now, I might read one of my books or take a nap.

    Take care and write soon!

    Your penpal,

    A

  32. My Dearest Jenny,

    I cannot tell you the depths of joy I experienced upon receiving your latest letter! As you know, here in Indiana we are still almost completely homebound, with the unholy combination of the dreadful Winter weather and the omnipresent threat of deadly disease. One hardly dares a ride to fetch the post, much less a social engagement!

    How impressed I am by your woodworking skills! A bookshelf and miniature music boxes? Simply brilliant! But then, I have always admired your creative talents, as you well know, so I should not be surprised a bit!

    My only industry as of late is a feeble attempt at home beautification. I’ve managed a few minor reorganization projects, and have even ordered a new divan for the parlor. Alas–the manufacturer is located on the wrong side of our Northern border, and the current difficulties with international shipments has delayed my enjoyment of the new centerpiece for our humble room. Naturally this has only heightened my eagerness to receive it, which has caused me some degree of agitation I can assure you.

    I trust your family are well. Mine send their love, and really that is all any of us can offer one another right now. Oh how I do look forward to the company of others and the opportunity once again to meet new friends–perhaps at book signing events! Until then,

    Yours from an appropriate distance,
    M. Sista

  33. I keep hoping for a You Tube video of the Pegasus. I signed up to do it with you, but then missed it because of making a mistake about time zones. *sniff*

    The puzzle is still waiting.

  34. I live south of Seattle and we’re getting snow in the lowlands for the first time this winter! I’ve been very jealous of East coasters with snow; it seems like such a waste to not get snowed in this year since I’m already stuck at home.

    Other than that, I quit my job a couple months ago because it was wrecking my mental health. I should be doing a lot more job searching but honestly instead I’m baking cookies and reading a lot (A LOT) of fan fiction.

  35. It’s been (and will continue to be) frigid cold here in the Chicago ‘burbs. The only thing keeping me sane is that there is very little I need to leave the house for right now, so am staying in my pajamas covered with a blanket for as much of the day as possible.

  36. We’re in our second week or -40 to -50C (-40 to -58F) windchills. So even walks outside are off the table. We don’t go out for more than 5 minutes at a time. So we read, and binge Netflix, play puzzles and games with our dogs to keep them sane, monitor the house for frozen pieces and cook!

  37. That is a fabulous book shelf!

    I have been caring for a critically ill animal since September, and he is getting better. Finally!

    I am finishing The Color of Air, and it is gorgeous. I have discovered audiobooks, and so much reading is getting done!

  38. I am trying to keep sane. I bought one of those little cameras that help you look and and clean your ears. I find it fascinating… partly because I find the human workings fascinating but also because I have hearing loss, can’t afford hearing aids, and have tubes in my ears. I’ve also discovered one of them has fallen out but seems to be…. insistent that it is staying.
    Otherwise, I’m helping delivery flowers for some friends who own a flower shop. They always need extra help around V-day and this year it’ll be tricky to do with no contact.

  39. I think I may not have any chance of staying sane between working from home and helping two kids with online schooling, but I’m trying. I’m building a tiny dressmaker’s shop from a kit and when my fingers and eyes need a break I’m working through my pile of books to read. Currently reading S (or Ship of Theseus), which is weird and wonderful and three stories in one and I highly recommend! I’m also two (or three) months behind on my Nowhere Book Club books, but I’ll get caught up eventually!

  40. Will you autograph your book when we get it through the book club?
    Please, please, pretty please?
    Also looking for to this year’s bookmark!

  41. My addled brain read that last line as Etsy has Ears, which seemed odd, but no more so than anything else lately, I guess.

  42. Greetings from Columbia, SC, where we’re currently in fake spring. If you’re not from the South, this is when it starts to warm slightly and the pollen starts doing its pollen things and you get your hopes up that spring is here only to have brutally cold weather roar back with a vengeance. Still better than the icy weather elsewhere but also sort of a long con?

  43. Work. I would have perished long ago if I had stayed cooped up for a year. I had six days work free at the very beginning of lockdowns and have worked ever since. We have very strict cleaning rules and are more compliant than anywhere I have been since and I have been to many dr offices and hospitals.

  44. OMG I love that bookshelf. Can you post the link to where you got it? I’m a jigsaw puzzle freak. I will have to try the wooden puzzles. Thanks for always making me laugh. Some day soon I will drive across town and visit Nowhere when you open to peeps.

  45. Besides working from home (our return to a physical office has been postponed for the eleventieth time now, until June), I’ve been spending time learning about cryptocurrency and blockchain and other insanity that the nerds think is a good idea until they get hacked (does ANYONE consider long-term consequences anymore?), which is only making me even *less* excited for the future, if that’s even possible. On the upside, watching winter from sunny, warm Southern California is quite entertaining. I’m grateful to live here, and grateful you come up with charming ideas like wrapping books in butcher paper for “blind dates.” 🙂 Perhaps I should do that with the books I’d like to donate, and I can leave them around town on Sunday. Hmm.

  46. I don’t feel like I’m holding on to sanity at this point. We’re doing a kind of big update/reimplementation thing at work. Virtually. What could possibly go wrong??? But we also got some really wonderful news that I can’t share IRL, but since I’m invisible here, I’m sharing. My son and his girlfriend are officially engaged to be married! I love her and I think they make about as perfect a couple as there can be. My new attempt at sanity will be to pretend to shop for Mother of the Groom clothes and hope that when they get married, we can have a celebration in person.

  47. I’m STRESSED and it’s making my depression flare up. Cancer runs strong in my family, and last week I found out I have abnormal cells on my cervix. My Dr. wants to operate but it leaves me with risk of never having children. I’m devastated and I don’t know what to do. I’m tired of receiving life altering news.

  48. Getting my 2nd vaccine on Tuesday, and I’m afraid I’ll have lots of anxiety coming out of this Covid Cave we’ve been in for almost a year. But I can’t wait. Hope you are well and staying warm!

  49. LOVE Call the Midwives and have just reached the end of it and I’m not sure what to move on to. Currently pregnant (yay!) but that is increasing our isolation even more than before (boo). Wishing hard for better weather and more vaccines so I can see family and friends at some point in 2021.

  50. I’ve gotten back into loom knitting during the Pandrmic; I’ve been knitting miles and miles of yarn! If you’re intimidated by regular knitting, I highly recommend trying it with a knitting loom!

    I’ve knitted so much, that I even kinda invented a style of funky scarf! Last night, I finally opened the Etsy store that I’ve been talking about for years! I’m finally truly going into the arena, and I am excited and terrified.

    If you’re interested in checking out my stuff (shameless plug), you can find it under the name “StringofStarsCrafts”. 💜🙂

  51. I am painting rocks and leaving them for other people to find. And I’m volunteering in gardens.

  52. Not doing so great honestly, probably wouldn’t even share this if it wasn’t anonymous but my goodness I’m not sure I can take much more.
    We were having to stay in a hotel because our sewer main line was totally backed up leaving all of our restrooms unusable and the quotes we received to fix the issue was thousands more than we can afford. Then we had to come home because we couldn’t afford the hotel anymore now we’re dealing with a pretty bad winter storm situation with ice on the roads and everything closed even more now and our main heater went out so we’re trying to use this little electric heater that just isn’t doing it and I feel like a crap mom because my kids are cold and need a bathroom and I can’t do anything then top it all off last night I was cooking a warm dinner and my stove stopped working, I had to cut the gas to it off because it wouldn’t turn off at all I don’t know some piece may have broken or something but I spent the entire night in tears because I’m failing at this and I don’t know what to do.
    It sucks feeling lonely and overwhelmed and having noone to talk to about these things so I feel for anyone else who feels they have noone to talk to but I’m glad this community of awesome people is here, like an extended family always!
    Thanks for letting me vent and get all that out

  53. Omg the bookcase of miniatures is so awesome!! I’m so glad you like those things, they look like so much fun but I don’t think I’d have the patience or a delicate enough touch to not destroy it all.

    I’m so excited for Broken, I pre-ordered the audiobook from Audible months ago and I’m basically counting the days. A virtual book tour sounds both awesome and scary.

    How am I keeping sane? Uh… Struggling with that, lol. You have your miniatures, I have Play-Doh. Seriously. At last count I had roughly 3,000 mini Play-Doh shapes/trinkets I’ve made and let dried and have displayed on a bookcase. Most of them are really simple, nothing more than squares or other simple shapes with a few blending colors, but it’s so relaxing and so much fun. (I use clear fingernail polish to cover each piece for shine and to protect against cracking, it’s fun to apply that too!)

    I did laundry yesterday for the first time in literally 6+ months. I mean, we haven’t been wearing dirty clothes that whole time, we hand-wash pieces in the sink as needed but have been avoiding the laundrymat. We did two loads yesterday, which is probably like 1/4th of the laundry we actually have, but a little at a time is much better for the anxiety.

  54. I really miss hugs. So, here’s a virtual hug for you! But I’m happy being at home with my working-from-home hubby and our dog. I’ve been reading lots of good books and co-writing a screenplay. Looking forward to reading Broken! Can’t wait! Love to you! 💜

  55. My version of adult crafts is paint-by-number kits from Michael’s. I find it both intense and soothing somehow, and can get lost for hours dabbing the pretty colors onto the canvas.

  56. I bought new living room furniture for the first time in 13 years. At first it was going to be just a couch and chair. But then I realized I wanted new end tables to match the color of the TV stand and bookshelf. And now I’ll need new lamps. And then I’m looking at the space and now I want an area rug. Or, area rugs. And it’s become a whole THING but it’s been wonderful to actually have something fun and nice to look forward to that’s not just me manufacturing things to look forward to.

  57. What a fabulous display!! Please let us know where that bookshelf was purchased, I see that several of us are interested!

  58. We’re on week 3million 42 of preparing to build our house (okay maybe it just feels like that) Currently we’re trying to figure out getting a wood pellet boiler and hoping for an early spring (dang you punxsutawney phil) so we can break ground soon. But we’ve sorted out solar installation and are hopeful that the pellet boiler will work out so yay being greener eventually!

  59. Those wooden puzzles are absolutely beautiful! AND you did an amazing job on the bookshelf. You are the Multi-Talented Renaissance Woman! I bow to you! I would love to try making a tiny clockwork creature, but don’t know if I have the patience anymore. I used to have at least a couple of cross stitch projects underway, something on my knitting needles, a felted animal or some-such thing being worked on. These days I am lucky if I make it through my email. I’m supposed to be “working” but keep getting diverted by much more interesting things, like your posts. Thank You again for choosing me to gift Let’s Pretend this Never Happened! I will keep and cherish it….and read it often. Reading is one thing I can do these days! I love you and your tribe!

  60. Doing better here in Idaho….on a Stage 3 Covid, so can have small togethers…weather has been nice, but it is going to suck now until May!!!!!
    Getting your new book from Nowhere asap!

  61. Things I’ve been doing to stay sane: decorating the inside of the house for Valentine’s Day and the outside for Mardi Gras, taking up a collection and ordering diverse books (some from independent bookstores) to put in little free libraries, going for walks, playing Scrabble, playing Jackbox games with friends over Google Meetings…

  62. I found out that if you are on a device or the computer a lot, you should use eye drops regularly, even if your eyes don’t feel dry or you don’t wear contact lenses. It will help your eyes in the long run.

  63. My friend shared a video of her dog (neither of whom I’ve seen in a year) burrowing and rolling around in the snow, and that’s like the only thing getting me through this week.

  64. I’ve been colouring in the ‘You Are Here’ book that I’ve had for a few years and it inspired me to make some pages for a friend to colour. (She finds proper ones too fine to colour between the lines and her OCD won’t let her colour outside the lines even a bit). I love making it.

    This week I read ‘The boy, the horse, the mole and the fox’ by Charlie Mackesy (I think that’s right), which has inspired me further. If you haven’t read it, it’s a lovely book full of simple kindnesses. He also puts some of his work on his Facebook page, so you can get an idea of the book from that. https://www.facebook.com/Charliemackesyart

  65. I find sanity in reading, naps, and the little page-a-day calendar crosswords, which are not super hard but also challenging enough for that half hour of sitting on the couch after school before my eyes won’t stay open anymore. And I got my first Covid vaccine today, so I’m holding out hope that maybe summer won’t suck this year? Maybe? Eagerly awaiting my copy of Broken!!!

  66. Hi Jenny. HUG HUG HUG HUG HUG.

    I’m staying sane by cleaning, putting together puzzles and playing with Harry Potter Legos. I’m also at the mercy of my adorable cat and I do what she wants, when she wants, which means lots of chase the dot. She chases. I don’t. And then lots of cleaning. Organizing the outside to stay okay on the inside.

  67. I’ve been working and watching the impeachment hearings. This morning a coworker emailed me and mentioned that it’s a holiday weekend—I didn’t even know! That brightened my day. I took tomorrow off and gave myself a four-day weekend. I have no idea while I’ll do. Maybe read a book or two or three or four….

  68. My library does the Blind Date with a Book every March or May. Because February is Freedom to Read here in Canada. It always goes over well no matter the season.

  69. Things keeping me sane: Reading on all kinds of topics fiction and non-fiction, riding my horses, baking (giving baked goods to guys who work at the horse stable). Taking breaks from the news.
    I have found that talking to a psychic helps me when I’m having mental issues better than a therapist.
    Today I ordered a copy of “Broken” from the Nowhere Book Shop.
    Did you see that Stephen Colbert ran a commercial during the Super Bowl for an independent bookstore in North Carolina?

  70. I can’t say that I’m completely sane but my pets help. Books are a lifesaver. My surly teenager is not 😂. Being able to connect with people online whether it’s texting/calling/Zoom, just knowing I’m not alone.

  71. Those are super fun! My son and I built a mechanical bunny one, and it was a lot of fun! It’s hard staying sane these days, and all stuff seems like little stuff. I’ve been knitting again, finally, and reading, and doing some random acts of kindness, just to feel connected to the world. We’ve been so locked down and isolated. It’s going to be very, very cold, so maybe we’ll do some baking. Hang in there Jenny and community!

  72. A friend and I are sharing a coloring book across a few states. She started it in January mailed it me and I have February to color a page and send it back to her. It’s fun to get mail, and to see what she colored. We also write little notes to each other. It is an easy no stress way to just say ‘HI’ and share our love of coloring to de-stress.

  73. I just wanted to say to the people who posted here about things not going well: I see you, and I’m sorry, and I hope things turn around for you. I’ll be thinking about you and send my best wishes and hopes.

  74. I never heard the word orrery, so I learned something painlessly today. Now to slip it into a conversation! I love that you do them, Jenny! What patience they must teach you. And by the way, your book shelf is gorgeous and absolutely perfect for your puzzles!

    I have been knitting/crocheting hats and scarves for homeless people. I have used up most of the yarn I have and am now working on my co-worker’s stash! I thought I was a hoarder but she definitely subscribes to the theory “she who dies with the most yarn wins!” I’m not displaying my hats or scarves on a beautiful shelf, though, just in the bag for now. This is how I keep my hands busy and my brain under control so pandemic yarning is a good thing. Take care, Jenny. I just love the little wooden puzzles! I am in awe.

  75. How on Earth do you keep the cats from ravaging that bookcase? (Which is brilliantly constructed, by the way).

    I don’t think I have the patience or dexterity to put together tiny pieces of anything. And Every (my cat) would just find a way to return it to its being in pieces state. But I love the little fuzzy monster so… I will live vicariously through you in that regard.

  76. Sanity? Not a chance. Regarding others comments, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is really good and based on actual book women and blue people. I love The Midwives! I have watched all on Netflix but haven’t given up hope of more. I’ve ordered Broken for my friend and for me. Still may sign up for a virtual book tour stop. I tend to pass your books along often and repurchase for myself because I can’t bear for anyone to miss reading you!
    Thanks for the must needed hug! Right back at ya!

  77. So nice to read the bits and pieces of interesting, mundane and sometimes outright frightening things you and your followers are up to. I am work at home and slowly, piece by piece making a big mess of my craft room in the names of organization and purging. I got good news from the gut doctor yesterday (not cancer) and I survived my 6 hours of every covid vaccination reaction possible. I almost feel guilty that the weather is so beautiful that I took a nice stroll at lunch today. Almost, but not quite.

  78. Oh my fish!!! We have the same bookshelf! (I have 4 of them… Had to get two more after the first two got filled. Lol)

  79. Dear Jenny,
    I am sorry you are lonely. Same, girl, same. I’ve been working a lot, which is just dragging me down, too. I feel bad about that because thousands of people would be grateful for the work.
    I love your wooden puzzles! I struggle with the tiny bits, but those look doable.
    Your books are all lovely. I wish to order some books, as soon as I save up a little more! Anyway, back to work I go! Hugs to you and yours!
    Be well, V

  80. Dear #60, we’re all being shittier versions of our not cooped up selves, firstly. Secondly, I’d be happy to send you things you need assuming I have it. Plenty of warm socks, lots of blankets, maybe jackets/snow pants/boots my kids outgrew but we haven’t done anything but store.
    Do you have a place you can have things mailed to that isn’t your home address, in case you don’t want that to be public? And if so, post it on this page as a new post snd a list of needed things. I wish I had an extra roof or electric blankets but at least post a list. How you get it can come later.
    Hold on. We all need you.

  81. I misspelled my name. I’m Sarah. # 94. Fuckitall. Even my aggressive autocorrect has given up.

  82. I have a new dog who thinks peeing and pooping the in corner is the way to go. On the one hand, she is lovely company; on the other hand . . . Love your display except don’t you have cats? In my house, cats plus high places mean jump right up.

  83. Wow, Jenny! I’m impressed with everything you are doing and creating. Personally, I’m slogging through my 8 hour a day desk job, getting nearly nothing done all week and feeling crappy about not being able to pull out of this funk. Now, I’m working off the clock to try to make up for it. If I wasn’t doing that, I’d probably be drinking wine. I can’t find any creativity in this extremely long year. So, I’ll drink wine and work off the clock so I can maybe feel a little better when I start working again tomorrow.

  84. Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for a fun post! I’ve been looking for something creative to do so I’m going to check out the links you left for the laser cut puzzles and give one a try! Have you ever done quilling? I could see you doing that!

    I live on Vancouver Island in BC Canada and our weather is nice. I have hummingbirds at the feeder and Roses still in bloom. Take care!

  85. I love stopping in here to see what you and all your slightly broken followers are up to. The people who misspell their names, and the person who has grass growing in their car, and unfortunate #60, who is battling daily to not throw in the towel. (I feel you #60)
    Your wooden puzzles are amazing. Do the gears and stuff move? Also, I love the idea of the book blind date.
    I’ve been doing some self therapy by writing short stories based on all the facockied stuff I’ve been through in my life, and it’s helping.

  86. Sarah #95/Sarsh #94: I kinda like the name “Sarsh.” Maybe you just gave yourself a new nickname.

    My bright spot this week is I FINALLY succeeded in getting appointments scheduled for my COVID-19 vaccinations! CVS Pharmacy in my little Southern California town actually received their shipment of vaccine and opened up appointments this morning. My best friend and my in-laws were successful, too, so things are looking up. Unfortunately, my husband isn’t eligible yet (he’s younger than I am…yes, I’m a cougar) so that sucks.

  87. Hi Jenny. I adopted a shelter kitty I named Seamus. Now my other fur baby has a buddy. I live in Minnesota and it’s brutal outside. It’s supposed to warm up next week so maybe I can go for a short walk to keep me from losing my mind. I hate being stuck indoors! Thanks for your posts. I look forward to them. Etsy has the best stuff. I’m addicted. I might need an intervention. Stay safe. Hugs.

  88. So…Honestly? The fact that people have pushed my 2 newest songs to 1K+ plays each on that streaming service that starts with S is keeping me going. That, and making a conscious choice to do self-care when I can. KC and I have been scheming about some other interesting things to do, and that’s exciting, too.

    Really looking forward to the new book.

  89. Cats and books keep me somewhat sane. Although I’m considering hospice fostering a cat and I’m not sure how much that will do for my sanity as it will be incredibly sad when she dies. But then I think how wonderful it would be to give her a home for her last time on earth instead of her dying at the shelter and I think maybe that might outweigh the sadness. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need more books and cat cuddles though. I love your blind date with a book idea. If you ever decide to do it online somehow I’m totally in.

  90. Thank you, Jenny, for existing out there in the ether. I feel stronger knowing you are out there somewhere for reals.

  91. Howdy neighbor, from Houston! Dreadful weather indeed… we are trying to stay warm with grilled cheese and soup and cuddling with our animals.

  92. I could see myself doing one of those. But I promised myself I’d finish that Doodle-Art poster first that I started when I was on bedrest, pregnant with my daughter. She’ll Be 42 this spring…

  93. Keeping me sane? I’m not entirely sure I AM sane anymore. (*puts hand next to mouth and whispers* I probably never was actually, now that I think about it.)
    Anyhoo, we’ve been getting snow every other day here, so I’ve been busy dealing with that. When I have time for anything else, I’ve been watching Brad Mondo videos on Facebook, and trying to remind myself that it’s ok to rest. There’s so much I *should* be doing, I just have no motivation to do much more than sit and stare at my phone after shoveling and riding along in the plow all day.
    I am also excitedly waiting for my delivery from Nowhere! Monsieur Francís Boucouix and I are excited for our personalized copy of Furiously Happy!! That has been keeping me going for a couple weeks. I found my other copy, but that’s ok, because I have a friend who needs it. 🙂

  94. Hullo! I’m existing! I’m staying in touch with friends via discord and playing final fantasy xiv online. It’s an MMORPG, so I can run around and pretend I’m outside as a cute little cat girl. It helps. I spend a lot of time outdoors just fishing in it because I like being outside.
    The goats are all settled in and hating let me repeat H A T I N G the cold ass Michigan weather and tons of snow.
    Other than that, I was proud of myself because I realized today was Thursday and not in fact Blursday eleventy billion. Oh I also registered for college at 41 yrs old. Just an associates degree, but I need to do something to keep me sane. Fuck this immunosuppression keeping me home forever.
    Welp, that’s the skinny on me, hope you are doing well and keeping sane too! Many hugs! <3
    Kristi

    (I hope that sounded like an old pen pal letter! It felt like it. I also hope you see and read this!)

  95. OMG, I cannot believe you do those, OK, not just you but anyone! I was blown away by the artistry and details involved!! Beautiful. You are amazing……..

  96. Getting by on memes and pet pictures/videos. Also being part of podcast communities and their associated facebook/discord groups.

  97. Been knitting, crocheting, putting together 1/24 scale rooms/shops, playing Lord of the Rings Online with my hubby, hugging my kids and the cat…. Love your shelf of pretties!

  98. Um why don’t you sell the wooden kits in your shop? Then we could buy from you and support Nowhere even more! And why don’t you sell your finished ones for pickup only? That would be sweet. Yeah, making those looks like tons of fun, but having one made by THE Bloggess would also be so great.

  99. Well, I finally got my car out from under 2-plus feet of snow that came down on our heads last week so yay? I guess. They’re calling for more snow. The city streets department has officially given up and are hiding snow under the bridges down by the river. I anticipate one heck of a bank-overflow, come the melt. I’m contemplating the wisdom of organizing a hunting party to go after that varmit Punxsutawney Phil who said we’re getting 6 more weeks of winter. You want in on it? 😉

  100. If you are feeling stabby, you should give needle felting a try. It has been one of the only things to keep me sane during… well, life. And the joy I got when some one saw me felting a life sized snowshoe hare and asked me if I was doing voodoo…

    Hang in there, you aren’t alone❤️

  101. Jenny, Im going to order one! What kind of glue do you recommend? Glue and I don’t play so well together.

  102. Can’t wait to read your new book! So what’s going on with me? Hmm, oh there’s this. I published my first book. Is 53 too late for that? Guess we’ll see!

  103. It always feels a bit surreal reading your posts about being in lock down. Down here in New Zealand we are super lucky with no restrictions except international travel. Anyway, just wanted to say I’ve had a few blind dates with a book, some via the local library and some from bookshops. I’ve had great books each time. Great idea and I love that you make use of your damaged books to gift to others.

  104. Sending you love and hugs right back! I’ve decided to start therapy again, and since it has to be remote I’m feeling good about it since I’ll be able to do it in my PJs from bed.

    I just did my annual winter splurge on nice body wash to treat my skin in the dry weather (I’m in Chicago). So now when I shower it smells yummy and my skin is happy.

    I’ve been watching videos every day from an elephant orphanage in South Africa (HERD) on their YouTube channel and it brings me so much joy and peace. Elephants are so amazing and watching them interact and learn about their personalities is just really nice and wholesome.

    I also just bought myself a weighted throw blanket for my couch and oh boy it’s just the best thing ever. When I roll out of bed sleepy and cold, I turn on the heat and curl up on the couch under it and wait to warm up and wake up. Very soothing.

    And last night I decided that when I buy my first adult house and get dogs, that every year we will sit down for a formal family portrait in matching outfits and I will hang a print of this on the wall, so that when I am an old woman I can look back at all the amazing furbabies I had over the years and how much love we shared.

  105. Well, it’s been an odd couple of days and weeks indeed. Weather in PNW is wonky. Mother Nature can’t decide if she wants to be sunny or grey and slushy rain. Just yesterday, a sunny day, a yellow jacket (queen as it was huge) flew into my living room buzzing its crazy self all over the place. Now today, freezing and sleet-ice-snow mix with ants crawling around my kitchen! What the heck? If locust show up tomorrow the apocalypse is on its way. Just a warning. Honestly appeasing my free time work weaving crafts and youtube.
    Also, excited for your new book! Been rereading the 2nd one and laughing along with you.

  106. Next year is my 40th high school reunion. We haven’t had one in 19 years so I created a virtual reunion on Facebook. We haven’t tracked down everyone yet but we’re having so much fun catching up with each other. I recommend it.

  107. I play Stardew Valley and share funny youtube videos with my friend. I spoil my pups with homemade pate. Even though the garden is a disaster, I’ve started a small army of tomato and pepper seeds. It’s nice to meet each little seedling when it wakes up.

    I’m really trying. This last month has been rough.

    Thank you for asking. I think I know you know how much it means for someone to ask.

  108. Not well. I’d love to say I’ve been reading, and I have but not as much as I like to. I’m laid up in be like, lying on my left side almost 100% of the time, since just after Thanksgiving because of my back and I’m bored. I rarely go out anyway due to depression & social anxiety so social distancing is my norm, but I haven’t even been able to get out to walk the dog (thank goodness for potty pads and teaching old dogs new tricks), and I love walking him, especially when it snows which I keep missing. The being in bed is just top of the back and a bunch of other health issues that I haven’t been able to take care of, some that making tough, because of Covid and that’s that part of it that ticks me off. Hopefully, with the vaccine, things will start moving along finally. 2020 can burn in a fire. Thank goodness I preordered your book so I have something to look forward to soon.

  109. I replaced the battery in my pedometer in case it ever gets above 90 billion degrees below zero here in Minnesota and I can go walking outside again.. Hah! I also replaced the battery in a small clock that I keep in my bathroom. And I vacuumed a part of the living room and my bedroom.

    I am trying how to do this zoom thing and experimented yesterday with colorful scarves as a backdrop. I’ll have to see how it looks.

    I napped a lot. Which I usually do.

    I yelled in my head at people on twitter. Well, usually in my head. Sometimes out loud.

    I’m surviving, in this year fifty gazillion of The Great Pandemic of the early 2000s. I have toilet paper, coffee, and small chocolates. Plus books. My supplies are good for the moment.

  110. Well, since you asked… (Venting ensues, no one needs to read it really, I just have to get this out)

    Last month, I finally had my first mammogram, and wey hey! Look there, a strange smallish mass in my left breast, how nice. So I came back for an ultrasound; I’m a devout Non-Mom, so I’ve never seen one except on TV, it was weird. The tech gets a doctor, who explains that it’s “most likely a cyst”, but they will have to do a fucking needle biopsy. “What, RIGHT NOW?!” No no, in a few weeks, you can go now. The hospital wouldn’t let me bring my Vulcan in with me (have I mentioned that I’m the kind of agoraphobe that can’t go anywhere alone? Especially something like this?), so I held my shit together long enough to get out to him in the car and just start shaking and crying with fear.

    Today was the biopsy, and even though I cleared it ahead of time and he was wearing a mask AND gloves, the snotty girl at the check-in kept saying no way, it was Hospital Policy Set In Goddamn Stone that he couldn’t wait for me in the waiting area and he had to go wait in the car. Well. Yeah. I freaked the fuck out and said I was leaving too and screw the lot of ’em and ran around a corner to hide. “Nice work, guys, she’s run off. (Vulcan voice engaged) I want to speak to whomever is in charge here” A guy comes out and they start talking about how I’m having a panic attack over it all, and I pop back up and say “Hey man, they’re gonna stick needles in my tit to take chunks out. DO YOU GET IT? I’m already freaking out AND I’m on TWO Ativan right now. I don’t want him IN there with me, I just NEED TO KNOW that he’s nearby if I need him, or I walk!” He looked around and said that since he was masked AND gloved, they could make a quiet exception. Once I see he’s secured, I head off to the biopsy room. The procedure wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be (especially since that shot me up with Lidocaine first), I kept repeating “I am a Daughter Of Celts, an Amazon, a Klingon Warrior, and I CAN DO THIS” and they sent me home with a small icepack Ace bandaged to my boob. Now I’m just staying stoned as humanly possible and trying not to worry until Tuesday, when they give me the results. They seem pretty certain it’s nothing, but come on, even if I didn’t have GAD I’d still worry.

    Wow. Thank you. I just realized why I was doing this: I have NO female friends. Just gay guys and nerdboys; much like the character Heather Feather @33 mentioned, “weird and socially awkward with most women, but interacts more comfortably with men because she doesn’t have typical female social group behaviors, and she’s honest and open about her likes and her ambitions and blunt the way men typically are” So I have really close male friends, but no one female to commiserate with, and here I am, venting. Thanks for your hugs and love and encouragement and for being YOU, Jenny.

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon With a Sore Lefty

  111. Over covid spring last year my husband fenced in a huge area of our back garden b/c all of a sudden we had herds of deer. So now, still in isolation b/c shitty immune system, I thought I’d start my seeds in a new seed starter system to prepare for spring planting (I’m in FL). I’m used to at least a 50% failure rate for sprouting in these starter systems and I seed accounting for that failure. OMG THEY ALL SPROUTED! I’m now looking at literally almost 100 different types of cherry tomatoes and about 50+ different types of basil seedlings. and that doesn’t include the sunflowers, cukes, dill, and some odd flower seeds my daughter picked out.

  112. Our High School Library did Blind Date with a Book and it was awesome!! So much fun! I LOVE LOVE the bookcase so unique!! I’m reading, puzzling and snuggling with my puppy! Oh and planning a move to the frozen north – MN – why? o’ why? LOL!

  113. My biggest quarantine hell is trying to get my teenagers to do anything school related. If I could, I’d say fuck it to school the rest of this year, nobody is learning anything anyway, at least in my house. I’m so tired of the emails from teachers, the attitudes from my kids and my own general self loathing about it. I must be a terrible mother and all that. To cope, I’m spending a lot of time cleaning (which isn’t like me at all, I mean I love a clean and straightened house but with work, and kids who don’t give a shit, it’s really hard to get anything else done.) So now at least I can look around the living room and kitchen while I’m working at my desk and things look nice. I don’t have any energy left for crafting, my winter hobby, plus, crafting is too messy and I don’t want to have to clean that shit up, so my days are pretty boring. One other positive thing is that I’m starting seeds now for my garden. My plan is to hang in the yard as much as I can this summer. Right now it’s below zero so it will be a glorious come May. Here’s to finding joyful moments so that we all survive this mess.

  114. There’s not a lot of sanity happening….kids on different school schedules, hating their schoolwork and refusing to do it and not giving a fuck about failing, while I’m struggling to not apologize to the teachers bc why can’t I get my kids to do what they need to, and I’m not working……my husband has been the bright spot and I have a few good girlfriends who I would have drowned without. But, they all work. And I’m sitting here like, why can’t I be the super-stay-at-home-mom like all those other chicks? I’m struggling while I get to be home all the time. Isn’t that messed up?

  115. I love your wooden art and shelves! I am taking a grad class and teaching 9-12th grade English. We just went back to full-time in-person learning. Oh my my! Do these puppies need it. Right now, chilling with a four-day weekend in Crawford County, PA. Weather is supposed to freeze our boogers by Sunday. That’s all I got. I love your blind date book ideas.

  116. Moving from making masks that are donated because others donated the fabric and elastic to me and Dad was a Volunteer Fireman so the greater good was instilled in us.
    Getting to make baby clothes for 3 ladies who I consider my “nieces by choice”. Love your wooden creations.

  117. Zoom exercise classes are hard because you can’t always figure out what you should be doing. Zoom exercise classes are easy because you can sneak under camera range and fake it.

    I leave you to figure out which I was doing today

  118. Hi Meghan (#35), I loved the “Book Woman…” so much! I tried to get everyone i know to read it and find more books by the author, sadly without any luck.

  119. Hard week. My identity has been stolen so spent days contacting credit bureaus, credit cards, and businesses. Tired of everyone today.

  120. #14, I must know more about the grass growing IN your car. I’m sure there is a logical explanation. Jenny how in the heck can you make those with arthritis? Of course I’m much older than you but it takes me forever to finish wreaths or color due to mine.

  121. Hugs to all of us trying our best to just “whatever” right now.
    #130 STORM THE KLINGON: I just wanted to wish you well. I hope your results come back benign. I had a core biopsy this past summer for the first time and I agree that it was hard to have to go alone due the pandemic. My results were benign and now I know what to expect if I have to do it again. You’ll be sore for a few days and pretty bruisy probably…I can still see my tiny incision scar plus now I have one of those cool tiny metal “clips” inside my boob for all eternity! Oh also, the hospital gave me a tiny simple teddy bear (actually looks like a dog toy) that some volunteers made to comfort me during the biopsy….I thought that was so sweet and you better believe I clutched that thing like a 3 year old the whole time! Boob stuff is scary, but most of the time it’s nothing…

  122. I’ve made 5000+ masks. I’ve switched gears and am using mask scraps and other fabric scraps to make dog and cat toys for local shelters. I’m also making infant burial gowns out of my old prom dresses and eventually my wedding dress. Sewing is keeping me sane during all of this!

  123. I was so lonely last night too. And then I got into a spiral that maybe I was boring and it occurred to me that maybe I was just bored and that doesn’t equal boring. And my ADHD is keeping me from focusing on projects so it’s basically Food Network and British detective shows all the time over here. I can’t wait for your virtual book tour. Hugs back to you.

  124. I’ve been writing my fingers to nubs…mostly in an effort to avoid the work-at-home hubby and cleaning house. I have a few weird little kits like that, but they’re strange origami kind of things, and I’d have to actually clean house to be able to spread out on the table to do them, so…I’m very impressed. And anxious for your new book which I’ve preordered, but I’d love to get an autographed copy hinthinthint. You totally rock!

  125. Like everyone, I have been sleeping very poorly this last, um, year, so I decided to re-read fav children’s books again whenever the insomnia/anxiety strikes. But sadly, my previously beloved Nancy Drews are just SO lame now, so unspeakably dated and just … *really* bad. So I have switched to cookbooks, the kind with lots of charming, well written anecdotes such as Laurie Colwin, Nigel Slater, Rachel Roddy. Surprisingly calming at 3 am! And thank you too, Jenny <3 I always find something here that is cheering or affirming – and often both!

  126. OMG! That wonderful little Gypsy Caravan has stolen my heart. Thank you for sharing your wonderful wooden toys with us. It gave me a huge smile today.

  127. Big hugs back at you – I think we all feel lonely and disconnected these days. But I never fail to smile when I visit your page, so thank you!

  128. I’m SOOOoooooo looking forward to your new book..I mean I look forward to April as well (so tired of snow here in MI) but love love love your stories Miss. As does my 16 soon to be 17 year old…funny thing, when she reminded me recently that she’d be 17 this April I paused for mere seconds, shook my head and out of nowhere just said “No”. Just calmly no emphasis just “No”. Surprised myself but it was how I felt. She asked immediately what I meant and I said I think you should be 16 for one more year as I’m not really ready. She patiently explained that time can’t be stopped and that she would still turn 17 whether I liked it or not and I said we could just pretend then…it will be for the best.. LOL. And its not about my aging or her even being a young adult entering senior year of high school..I just think this is a good age and we should stay here for just a bit longer *heavy sigh*…So yeah looking forward to April all around LOL!!

  129. Your wooden contraptions are amazing. I’ve seen kits advertised, but have not been inspired to purchase one. However, you may have inspired me to try one once I get more horizontal surfaces cleared of other stuff.

  130. We’ve been doing a lot of camping. Easy to forget the Covid when you’re in the mountains in trailer by yourself, your spouse and your dogs. Hang in there!

  131. I’ve always wanted to go to one of your book tour stops but the thought of actually physically going has stopped me. I am now plotting out how I can go to your virtual book tour. I have a 2 year old who doesn’t let me do things by myself, even when her father tries desperately to entertain her alone, but maybe if I attended while sitting outside in my parked car….

  132. Things I learned the last couple of weeks:

    1. You can freeze-dry many different kinds of foods, and the results are usually awesome—airy, lightly crunchy, and super tasty.

    2. Freeze-dried Sour Skittles are more addictive than crack.

    3. If you eat them like popcorn for a couple days, you can actually feel a new case of diabetes starting to kick in (I got a nasty dry mouth that wouldn’t let up until a few days after I ran out of skittles).

    4. You can also tell from increased sensitivity that the citric acid in Sour Skittles is eating away at your teeth.

    This has been a public service announcement. 😉 Don’t be like me, gleefully eating that lime one I found on the floor and was probably licked or batted around by a cat.

  133. Honestly this post was the little pick-me-up I needed right now, air hug from dreary Hunstville, AL! College classes are kind of kicking my butt this semester (but less so than last semester!) cause it turns out that online only and ADHD don’t mix *super* well, but I’m finally getting back into digital art and am trying to start going for runs (or jogs. Or slow walks) again, cause it’s easier for me to finish schoolwork when I have something to look forward to doing once it’s vanquished. And at the very least, my cat is a big fan of the fact that I’m home a lot more now.
    Thanks so much for your blog and all you do, these may all be little things but some days that’s all that’s needed.

  134. @#142 Angela: Thanks, Toots, you’re a peach (and aptly named)! I *really* needed it. May you arrive in Sto-Vo-Kor a half-parsec before the Fek’lhr knows you have left your shell!

    Yeah, I forgot the part about them installing the marker; I kept joking that my husband had my titty Lojacked so I couldn’t wander off too far. I also forgot the part about how I got a full-on crazy-aura migraine about 20 minutes before we left for the hospital, and I was under orders NOT to take Excedrin; took an edible, smoked a bunch, went through the whole mishigas, came home and repeated steps 1 and 2, then slept for like 12 hours (I didn’t sleep the night before; waking up early is too hard). Just not my day in general, but doing better now.

    Thanks again!

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

  135. Jenny, I’ve been wanting to share my experiences with ECT and Ketamine with you. The Ketamine has saved my life. Hit me up if you want to talk about it! Your a bright light in this miserable quarantine. Thanks for putting yourself out there for all of us who suffer from mental illness. Zaniiaim@gmail

  136. Reading—in spite of cataracts, floaters and migraines!!! I just read a new YA author who is AWESOME and looks so much like your Hailey it’s uncanny! Check her out on Twitter @nataliecparker & @ncparker on IG! The Seafire trilogy: SEAFIRE, STEEL TIDE & just out —STORMBREAK! I loved the first book can’t wait to read the others! Scheduled for my vaccine shot on March 3!! Wish me luck!! ☘️

  137. #146 Have you ever read Trixie Belden books? So much better than Nancy Drew IMHO! Also check out the new YA books I praised in post above by Natalie Parker: Seafire, Steel Tide and Stormbreak!!

  138. Treading water here in GA. I look forward to your blog and check daily! Working from home and homeschooling my 2 kids has been a lot, but they’re happy and healthy – I think that’s a lot to ask of the last year. Thank you for all that you do! Reading your posts is a bright spot in an otherwise pretty shitty reality!

  139. I’m feeling depressed today because last night we talked about maybe canceling our trip to an indoor water park in March for my husband’s 40th and definitely not accepting the invitation to a group Valentines date because our friends aren’t as cautious as us. Plus I made a chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day but I used Hersey’s bc I couldn’t find another cocoa at the store and Herseys gives me headaches so I literally can’t eat it. I was picking at frosting last night and today I feel slightly headachy. And I just want this stupid pandemic to be over before I have to postpone our Disney trip AGAIN. Or I want to magically find a vaccine appointment since I’m eligible due to my asthma.

  140. I hope you’re starting to feel better! Making things is my way to feel good too. I’ve been doing a lot of painting which is really fun. Working on some Blythe dolls that will eventually be for my granddaughters, when they are older. I’ve been trying to keep I touch with them during the pandemic as they in Texas and I am high risk and have had no shots yet. Plus my son and his girl friend are not careful about their own exposure. And my son’s been an asshole to his girlfriend, the woman who had and is raising his girls. It makes me angry and embarrassed as he’s treating her like his father, my former husband treated me! Abuse, it must stop. I feel like such a poor excuse for a mother.
    I really look forward to your posts and your new book.

  141. The library I work at is doing Blind Date with a Book! Mostly to get rid of our piles of YA ARCs, but writing the descriptions has been super fun and so far the teens are taking them by the handful to read themselves and give to friends. ^-^

  142. I love that you’re more impressed by the shelf you built than the models.
    I have cancer.
    The doctors cut it out.
    They did it wrong.
    It got infected.
    They lost my test results.
    Now they want me to go back for another go, I’m not filled with confidence.
    But I found a Helen Kish doll I wanted for $150 so that makes it all better.

  143. Updating my comment because it really is overwhelming,
    I managed to borrow enough cash to keep the kids and myself in a hotel another night but we had to stay home last night and today I’m trying to sell anything I can to get them back into the hotel to stay warm and use their bathrooms, I doubt anything will sell with the winter storm going on but I’m not giving up just yet lol.
    I can’t get over the fact that they more than doubled their price per room since the ice hit, I mean I get it but goodness it went from about 70 a room to now double that! I was hoping my child support payment might actually come seeing as he knows the weather going on and our daughters bday was recently but that didn’t happen either.
    We’re staying strong and trying to stay warm so I guess that counts for something I just really feel like I’m failing here.
    Tomorrow’s a new day so we shall see!!
    Good luck to everyone out there and Happy Valentine’s day to all the lovelies reading this❤️

  144. Hang on San Antonio, our weather is about to take a nose dive down to you. Granted I think it will dump a lot of snow and cold on us first in the Oklahoma area, but our local weatherman who is not known for getting it wrong, mentioned it reaching San Antonio several times during his newscast a few minutes ago. Buckle up and stay warm. At least you have books and puzzles to work on.

  145. Jenny, you are so multi-talented! These kits you put together are marvelous! With all your fun hobbies and your brilliant writing, you make the world better for me.!Thank you for sharing!

  146. For #53, wanting to set books free into the world…check out BookCrossing. It can be done … and you may be able to track your book/s. Got a note about one of mine, about a year and 1,000+ miles away.

  147. Honestly, I’m fighting off another round of depression. There are plenty of externals contributing, but they’re nothing new.

    I keep thinking how you’ve managed to get through much worse dark times. That gives me hope.

  148. I am having a horrible time these days! I have no real friends, no one to talk to. I obviously messed my kids up– I guess I was too over protective and now my youngest wants to take a flight across the country to see her friend and she has never even been out of the town alone so I am beyond sick to my stomach about it, What if something bad happens? Jenny- our girls are very similar if you know what I mean. I love my two kids beyond words so don’t judge ya’ll just ’cause I am a “smother mother”. Now I have no choice but to let go and let them spread their wings some but boy a I sinking down down down. The worry is beyond. I know they grow up and leave but my over protection has bitten me in the ass . Between a move, loosing my job, and now my youngest wanting to grow up- I am not doing so well-at all. Up side – I think I lost a pound or it may be hair loss as I am sick with stress. What is wrong with me- wait don’t answer that.

  149. Best wishes for a great virtual tour. I get that new things are scary. But, you have done lots of new things and are still here to tell us about them. Plus, many of the have turned into things you are great at . . . like writing a book, narrating an audiobook, writing a blog, opening a bookstore, and so much more. You’ve got this.

    I can’t wait to listen to Broken.

  150. #162 – Trixie Belden is the best! Sadly, so few people seem to know about them. I haven’t reread them as an adult, but that may have to be in my future. Seems like we may have most of them hiding in the basement . . .

  151. So my test came back already, and it’s benign. Thank you Guan Yin, Lady of Mercy, thank you again Angela, megashmegathanks to you, Jenny!

    @168 Rachael: I feel guilty for being so happy when you’re going through it like you are, and I’m wishing/sending you strength and healing.

    Same for all you other screwy broads in these here comments: Stay strong. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

  152. Dear Jenny,

    You are such a wonder and inspiration. I read aloud your books to my little girls who beg me over and over to listen to me read your wise shenanigans. I will admit I edit for appropriate language.(They are young).
    They love you so much as do I

    I’m writing to say we CAN NOT WAIT FOR YOUR NEW BOOK!!!!
    We are counting down the days.

    I’m glad you are holding up. I give your books to as many folks as I can, for whatever reason I can conjure up! EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ YOU!

    Hugs-
    Raven W.

  153. I am betting the virtual book tour will go well! You ROCKED the event with with the library a short while back. The time flew and you had me laughing and thinking hard about my own mental health issues and feeling like I have a new friend.

    Some day, I want to go to Nowhere!

  154. Jenny, during the build-a-Pegasus webcast, I asked in the chat whether it would be posted online later because my internet kept crapping out. I was told that it would be archived somewhere, does anyone have a link for that? Thanks 🙂

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