Let’s do something fun.

This weekend I did a book festival in Pennsylvania and when I got off the plane I was like, “OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THE TREES. THEY’RE CHANGING COLOR” and the uber driver was like, “…Uh… they don’t have trees where you come from?” and that is a fair question but the thing is that these trees were like red on one side and yellow in the middle and green on the other side, like autumnal rainbow snowcones and maybe you’re reading this and going, “Again…yeah. That’s how trees work” but that is not how trees work in San Antonio, where they are either green or brown or dead. I don’t know why I just assumed that when trees change colors that they would be green one day and red the next but it was sort of amazing and mortifying to see that they actually TURN colors. It makes me wonder what amazing thing I take for granted in seeing that other people would be awed at and I’m not sure what that would be but it did remind me of the importance of embracing moments. Which leads to this:

When my last book (Broken) came out it was in the middle of covid so I didn’t do a book tour. I did one incredibly limited signing at Nowhere and that was it for in-person events. But this weekend at the Harrisburg Book Festival I did my first full signing in so many years and it was amazing and made me realize how sad I was that I never had a real book tour for Broken.

But then I remembered that I own a bookstore and that rules about when you do things are dumb so I’ve decided to do a Second-Chance Book Tour where I basically just hang out at Nowhere Bookshop one day and if you missed having any of my books signed you can just stop in and I’ll sign it for you. I should have all my books available but if you bought one before just bring it in and I’ll sign it or double sign it. Also, I encourage you to do whatever it was you missed during covid. Did you miss prom? Come dressed in your prom dress. Did your community opera get cancelled? Stand in the middle of the bookshop and serenade us for a minute. Did you not get to propose in public? Come do it again in the romance section. Did you never get the chance to wear some fancy-ass hat or weird robe or want me to officially give you a medal for completing your reading goal? Let’s do it. But bring your own medal. Unless I can find some by November 26th (Sunday). That’s when we’re doing it in case you’re in San Antonio for Thanksgiving weekend. And if you can’t make it you can always get a signed copy of anything right here and I’ll mail it to you. More details to come but feel free to let me know if you have suggestions for this weird-ass, one-year late, one day, second-chance book tour that will consist of raccoon stamps, some sort of special drinks I haven’t decided on yet, probably empanadas, me breaking into improptu readings every so often even if only 5 people are there while wearing some ridiculous thing I never wore in public because I thought it was too embarrassing. Put it on your calendar. It’s free.

In slightly related news, yesterday I went to the store to personalize books and, as always, I fucked up at least one in every 10, including this one which was supposed to be a gift in lieu of a birthday card:


In my defense, I’m an idiot and this is proof that I can never stop overthinking.

PS. Also slightly related, a lovely friend named Gina emailed me recently to tell me a story. She was with her friend Bryan who’d been my very first book signing many years before when he was fighting leukemia and I’d written “Kick cancers ass!” This time he was back for the FURIOUSLY HAPPY tour and I was thrilled to be able to write a new inscription:

And his friend Gina had her inscription request written on her post-it (because I need all the help to write things correctly) and she requested a similar, inspirational “Keep kicking ass!”

Last week she sent me a picture of what I’d actually written and I was like, “Oh Gina, no. I didn’t.” and she was like, “Girl, you 100% did and I love you.”

Reader, this is what I wrote and handed to her:

Y’all. What.

Luckily Gina thought it was hilarious and it became a fantastic inside joke with her friends for years (and I just mailed her a handwritten note to stick in her book apologizing and explaining why I shouldn’t be allowed to sign things) but now I’m just wondering how often I’ve accidentally written stuff like that to other people??

Do other authors do this? Can I blame this on my dysgraphia? Should I come with a warning label? Do I owe you an apology for something I wrote that I was certain was just fine but was actually awful?

Either way, please read this and feel better about yourself in comparison.

PPS. Last week I went in to sign books and the Nowhere team was like, “You signed this one to Azaria but it’s supposed to be to Jordan. Azaria is the person who bought it as a gift for Jordan” and then I was all, “I actually did realize that after I’d already started it, so to fix it I implicated Azaria in a bank heist in the inscription and then wrote a PS on the bottom to Jordan telling him that he should save this book because if he ever needs an alibi for a bank heist he can could just use this book to prove that Azaria was the criminal mastermind, and I realize that’s tricky for Azaria but you know what’s an even better gift than a personalized book? A PERSONALIZED BOOK AND A LICENSE TO ROB A BANK. Technically I just made this a much better present and made Azaria look like a dangerous bad-ass” and then my team with was like, “Yeah. Let’s maybe just have you sign another book.” Which is fair, I guess, but maybe don’t rob any banks, Jordan.

60 thoughts on “Let’s do something fun.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. The good thing about your signed books are that they are unique and quirky just like you! Nobody is going to be able to forge the fabulousness that you write so think it more as a forgery proof system then a mistake. We love you just as you are. Don’t change one single thing 🙂

  2. It somehow seems better than me… I screwed up my own signature on some bank documents! Bankers do not like do-overs.

  3. Jenny, you can write any damned thing and it will be BETTER than what I would intentionally write. And better even than what YOU intended to write. (That may be your superpower.) xo

  4. If I were remotely close to you, I would come perform a one-woman musical improv show for you in the humor section, and it would be incredible. (I missed out on my last class and run of shows from The Second City music conservatory during covid).

  5. My brain works just like yours!

    Maybe I should get help for that?

    Nah, I like it too much.

  6. Love that someone might wear their prom dress. My daughter was class of 2020 and they missed so many things like graduations and proms. If we were closer I would bring her. Love your book inscriptions. Have wonderful Second Chance Book Tour.

  7. I’ve had an awfully terrible day and you just made me laugh so hard I cried and I needed to do both of those, thank you.

  8. There’s no such thing as ‘too many cakes’. Maybe ‘not enough forks’ . . .
    You’re awesome. We all do stuff like this, you’re just more public than most of us.
    Keep it up !! You keep us going 😘💕💕

  9. My cousin has written several books, and she autographed a copy of her first book to me with:
    “Sorry we locked you in the bathroom when you were 5,” which I had no conscious memory of, but which I found funny. When her 2nd book was published, she totally forgot what she had written to me in the first book, and signed the 2nd one with “Sorry we locked you in the bathroom when you were 5.”
    I have to assume she really was sorry.
    I don’t think she has signed her third book to me, but I could be wrong, I’ll have to check. It would be hilarious if it said “Sorry, not sorry” or something like that.

  10. Things to do tomorrow:
    1: Get book
    2: Forge Jenny’s name and permission slip for bank
    3: Rob bank, say Jenny said it was “O.K.”
    4: Enjoy my new striped outfit and shower shoes

    (Seriously though, those prison jumpsuits look comfy. ~ Jenny)

  11. I want to come in my graduation regalia! I had to “graduate” in my living room☹️

    (DO IT. ~ Jenny)

  12. If this makes you feel any better… many years ago, my late sister and I were supposed to go to a book signing with David Sedaris. She ended up having issues with her endometriosis and couldn’t attend. She asked me for a *very* specific inscription for her book to make her feel better. I have no sense of shame, so I agreed.
    Mr. Sedaris, ever up for a challenge, gamely wrote “Good luck with your snatch!” for my sister and then proudly pointed out how he’d drawn one for her despite “not having any expertise with them.”
    So, yeah, authors write weird stuff all the time and it always makes our day. Keep being awesome, Jenny.

  13. Can I bring a copy of the book I wrote and have you sign it (instead of me)? I feel like it would lend more legitimacy to it being a book lmaoooo

    (Yup. I’ll sign anything. I even signed a tongue once. It didn’t work well. ~ Jenny)

  14. Oh, I know about the trees changing color thingy. My best friend attended college in Arizona and missed the changing seasons and colors in New England so much she moved back here. We get tourists from all over the world coming here to see the fall foliage.
    And I moved to the upper Midwest for awhile and had to move back East because all the grocery store brands were not my favorite brands and they didn’t have Fluff and they called soda pop instead of soda. The things you take for granted when you visit or live somewhere else…sigh.
    I love that you are doing a Covid lockdown do-over book signing in your store. That’s just awesome! Your fans can make up for the loss of those opportunities and get to see and hear you in person.
    I wish I was able to travel to join in this event.
    Your fabulously broken brain does weird and wonderful things when you see the world and sign your books.
    Don’t ever change, you’re perfect just the way you are!

  15. This is 100% awesome and hilarious. These are the best kind of book inscriptions!

  16. I believe you do need a warning label. Might I suggest, “interactions with said human or their work can result in uncontrollable laughter and may cause you to be ejected from your cruise ship cabin due to disruption of their quiet vacation enjoyment.

    Yes. That actually happened, and no, I don’t travel with them anymore.

  17. See, now, I would seek out the book that had multiple hats on fire (I just had to backspace and correct fats to hats, so it isn’t just you) drawn on it by the author. Even though I have all of your books, I may just rebuy one with a request for multiple fats on fire drawings by you and this time, the mistake was intentional because who am I to argue with divine inspiration?

    (I thought maybe you’d misspelled “farts” and wanted multiple farts on fire and was imagining how to draw that. ~ JEnny)

  18. See, now, I would seek out the book that had multiple hats on fire (I just had to backspace and correct fats to hats, so it isn’t just you) drawn on it by the author. Even though I have all of your books, I may just rebuy one with a request for multiple fats on fire drawings by you and this time, the mistake was intentional because who am I to argue with divine inspiration?

  19. As someone who grew up in and around Harrisburg, but spent 4 years in Texas as a young adult, I can completely understand how you would be amazed by actual in-person colorful autumn foliage. It’s just one of those things, like snow, mountains, and summers where the actual temperature doesn’t get above 100, that we tend to take for granted up here. Amazing Texas things (to a native of the Northeast) might include wild armadillos and horned toads, drive-thru liquor stores and how many stars you can see when you are in some of the truly rural areas.

  20. My best friend Lenny calls me Rustica and I call him Shitina for fun. Years ago Mariah Carey was signing CDs and I asked her to sign one for him “To Shitina.” She looked at the post-it and said, “Shitina?” I thought quick and said, “It’s his drag name.” She said, “Oh, of course,” and signed it to Shitina. He could not believe it when I sent it to him.

    I agree there is no such thing as too many cakes.

    Keep kissing ass! LOL.

  21. You’ve just given this travel disliking girl an impetus to go to Nowhere! Plus it’s my bday weekend.

  22. I got to see you in ohio a ways back and will NEVER explain to my kids why my book is signed “To my favorite mortherfucker, Amanda”. It’s just more fun that way 😉

  23. Thank you for making me laugh so hard that I might:
    a) Kiss ass
    b) Draw a bunch of cakes
    c) Pee my pants
    d) All of the above
    Actually, I don’t want to kiss ass!

  24. I wish I could get there because I adore your and I would love to stand there and be autistically awkward in front of you. I think you would understand. 💜💜💜💜

  25. If we already have 2 copies of signed editions of Broken (Yay Fantastic Strangelings) could we theoretically send one copy back to get personalized as long as we pay for shipping?

  26. I went to your Harrisburg event & got all fan-girly when it came time to meet you because I adore you and your ridiculousness so very much. Thank you for an enjoyable afternoon!

  27. OMG, for the first time in years I’m seriously considering forming a Barbershop quartet so we can come to your shop and perform one of the songs our chorus was prepared to sing on stage at our Regional Competition in April 2020. I’m planning something! I’m looking forward to a challenge! What a strange feeling….

    (Do it. ~ Jenny)

  28. Thanks always for making me smile. I often read your blog aloud to my husband who reminds me of your Victor in a lot of ways (even though I’ve never met him or you for that matter) but you bring this tired mom a lot of joy so keep kicking-kissing ass Jenny!

  29. I LOVE this idea!! I wish I could be there! Please keep doing this every year forever and ever until I can make it in to see you. Then you can stop if you want to.

  30. Don’t apologise; I would expect nothing less from you if I asked for a signed copy. If they don’t like a mildly manic inscription they won’t like the book and you’ve saved them the bother of reading it 🤣

  31. I never thought I say this – but this is a moment I wish I still lived in Texas. I’d have you hand me my college degree. And maybe sign it.

    (I totally would. ~ Jenny)

  32. Please do this. We are already planning a girl’s trip to join the party. BTW- is the bookstore big enough for everyone??????????????????????

    (That’s why I’m doing it all day. People can come and go and not have to worry about big crowds. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  33. I have lived in Texas all my life except for 10 months when I was in Portland,OR. I LOST MY MIND taking pictures of trees during the fall. SO MANY COLORS!

  34. Hi Jenny, I very much enjoyed “JENNY LAWSON In Conversation with CHRISTOPHER MOORE” on 4/21/21 for the virtual book tour for Broken. Such a delight in the midst of dreary ole Covid. And thank you for that.c

  35. I screwed up your inscription to my sister if that makes you feel better! I got mixed up on what I thought was a gift note that would be printed off. So, in addition to a long winded message that made no sense coming from you, I made you sign her book “Love, Worm” (her nickname for me). But you also drew her a cake, so you saved it! And she loved it anyway. Gosh, I hope this makes sense. I’m nursing my baby at 4:30 AM and I’m so very very tired.

    (I love this so much. ~ Jenny)

  36. Like Lisa Beijan and Viki Fratelli (Viki did you know your last name is the Italian word for brothers?) I graduated with my Master’s Degree in 2020, via Zoom from my dining room (ha ha that rhymed)! I soooooo wish I could be there along with Lisa and Viki and have a graduation ceremony in the Education section. Any other 2020 graduates out there? My math brain turned this post into an inequality.

    Regalia. Degree. Nowhere. Jenny. > Regalia. Zoom. Living Room. Noone.
    (The symbol > is read: Is Greater Than”)

    Sorry for rambling,

  37. …I think when you mess up a book enough that the staff says you have to do it over for the “real” copy, it would be entertaining to keep the messed-up book and have a pile of them for sale at Nowhere as Authentic Signed Screw-ups (possibly with a post-it note saying what it was *supposed* to say, if there isn’t any, like, address or phone number in the personalization). Some of the oops-es are probably inherently funnier than others (see also, this post), but I bet there would be takers for some of the more mundane errors as well, like “Happy Anniversity, George!” or even just books specifically personalized to someone who is the wrong someone… who knows, Steppanie might finally find something pre-personalized to her name! 🙂

  38. Hilarious, as always. Do you speak at university commencements? I asked if they might have someone interesting (I might have asked if there was any possibility of an interesting speaker) and my kid’s school replied they haven’t decided yet.

    (I’ve never been asked before. I’m always hoping some college will offer and will pay me with an honorary degree in something ridiculous like Cat Dressing or 16th century merkins. ~ Jenny)

  39. Well now I feel terrible. When I ordered books from your shop recently I felt really unsure about how the whole personalization thing worked and wrote a bunch of nonsense to be to my friends from you and really should have thought more about just letting you be you because that’s like a million times better than anything I came up with! (Metz)

    (Metz! I loved your personalizations. It was like I was getting let into your friend group. ~ Jenny)

  40. This post was so excellent -first the hats on fire and then the “keep kissing ass” had me unexpectedly laughing hard in my office (i dont laugh at much actually).
    I am in Texas as well and that tree color you describe checks out. Loving your posts and book suggestions. Currently reading Fever House. I will stop by Nowhere and sing you a Knack song.

  41. The San Antonio trees sound like the trees here in Australia. Here, they are green or green/grey all year round.
    There are a few that do that showing off red/yellow brown business, but they’re ferals, brought in from other places, other climates.

  42. By early May of the first spring I lived here, I was petrified because the trees had not yet sprouted leaves. I honestly thought there was something wrong! I was informed that no, this is normal timing up here and there would be leaves again very soon. One morning I got up and BAM! baby leaves everywhere. What can I say, I was new to both winter and the mountains.

  43. You are so awesome. Don’t ever change and i wish i lived closer to your 2d chance book tour extravaganza!

  44. I related your tree story to my partner when I returned to Chicago from a business trip yesterday. On a different note, we visited our younger kid/his partner in Austin TX earlier in the month and we made a special day trip to San Antonio to visit you in your store. [I didn’t really expect to see you in-person, but I was sure hoping to.] The store is beautiful—exactly what I expected from your videos in the past. I especially love to buy signed books when we’re traveling. I chose Rick Riordan’s latest from your shop. Thank you! XO

  45. Of course! Let’s attempt a soothing routine. Shut your eyes, inhale deeply, and visualize a calm and pleasant environment. Imagine the specifics: the hues, the noises, and the peaceful atmosphere. Breathe deeply for a few more times, letting go of any tension or stress with each exhale. For a short while, you can repeat this practice to help you unwind and concentrate on your mental health and know more about mental health and spravato treatment,/a>.

  46. I’m wondering if I can send you some fall tree pictures from Pennsylvania?

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