It’s Friday and that means it’s time for you to come into my office so I can show you all the videos I’ve saved for you this month. Sit on my lap, sweetness. Here we go.
Before I start this, I’m hearing from a few people that their comments are being posted as “anonymous” instead of under their names so could you check and see if everything works for you? WordPress is weird sometimes and I don’t know if it was just a glitch last week that’s been fixed.
Secondly…welcome to December! I’m currently into day 4 of a depression and not enjoying it at all but reminding myself that the dark months can bring some dark moods and that this will not last. If you are in this same spot I’m sending you love. Keep breathing and remember that depression lies.
Third…this recommendation from Charlie’s Queer Books is so far my favorite of the season, and as a chaotic bisexual myself, I support this message:
Fourth, want to see what we’re reading for our book clubs this month?
This sweeping and evocative novel follows a young woman escaping her past in postwar Paris as she searches for Ernest Hemingway, the larger-than-life man she believes to be her father.
It’s an unexpected and transporting story about coming into adulthood—from escaping our pasts, to the stories we tell ourselves, to the ambition that drives us – as we seek to find out who we are. Loved it.
Seen here with Ferris Mewler, who fittingly, is a Hemingway cat. (Do you know about Hemingway cats? Basically Hemingway loved a bunch of cats with extra toes and after he died his house in Florida became a museum and home for his cats. It currently houses 50 descendants of his cats and the majority have thumbs like Ferris and I can only assume they constantly turn on all the faucets and wreak havoc as well.)
And if you’re in the Nightmares from Nowhere book club we’re reading Where the Dead Wait by Ally Wilkes, an eerie, atmospheric Polar Gothic following a Victorian explorer in search of his lost shipmate and his own redemption. Also, cannibalism. Obvs.
Seen here without any pets because I read the advanced copy online. (Dear horror publishers: SEND MORE ARCS.)
Fifth, if you want a last minute, easy Hanukkah/Christmas gift try a subscription to one of our book clubs? You can buy a subscription here and we can give you a little certificate you can print out to hide under the tree telling them all about what they’ll be getting in the mail. It’s the gift that lasts the year! (Unless you want to do it for less than a year, which is totally fine.)
We have Nightmares from Nowhere (where we send you a new horror book each month and MY GOD this is the time to read if you’re a horror freak because the horror genre is on fire right now.)
We have The Happy Endings Book Club (where we send you a new paperback romance in a club that celebrates love in all its forms.)
The Little Bitty Book Club (where we send your favorite little one a brand new hardcover picture book each month.)
Need more than one book to get you through the month? I haven’t read as many as normal (sorry) because my depression has gotten on top of me a little, but two new December books I really liked were:
The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder by Douglas Preston – A fascinating collection of true stories of Egyptian burial chambers, prehistoric ruins, pirate treasure, bizarre crimes and more. So good.
Dazzling by Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ – Magical realism and Nigerian mythology combine in this strange and surreal debut novel. Weird as hell, but in a good way.
“Hey. You. Pick me up.”
“You. I’m talking to you. MA’AM. RESPONDEZ SIL VOUS PLAIT.”
“GIMME UPPIES NOW MOTHERFUCKER, OR I WILL START SCREAMING.”
Act 4 was not recorded as the photographers arms were full of cat. Thank you for understanding.
This is my post from yesterday’s substack for my mom because I love her and she doesn’t understand how substacks work and wanted to read it. My substack is just a place for sharing my art each week but it’s somehow become more than that at times and I apologize for sometimes being more wordy than arty:
Last week was very peopley. My parents came to stay, and Hailey and their sweetheart came home from college, and I spent hours at the bookstore signing anything that people wanted to bring in. And so I am absolutely on-the-floor exhausted because I am a forever introvert, but also feeling so lucky that I was able to see the people I love. So many people who stopped by Nowhere had the same shaky hands I do and were helped in line by friends or family who understood their anxiety and encouraged them to do the hard thing and were proud of them for doing something that might seem so easy for others who don’t deal with mental illness, but can sometimes feel incredibly difficult even when it’s also wonderful.
One mom came in with her young daughter who was just as shy as I was at her age and she was so patient and kind and created such a lovely, safe place to encourage without shame, and the conversation I had with her daughter was like talking to me when I was little…a way of saying to little me that it will get better…that we are not alone…that all of the best people are a little bit different. I’m so lucky to be able to see this in real time. I’m so lucky to have friends and family and community who support me even when they don’t understand me, and to be able to see others being supported as well. It reminded me of the fact that sometimes we don’t always have safe places to hide when things get scary, and how important it is to be able to create those soft places inside ourselves where we can give ourselves the love and understanding we need. But more importantly it reminds me of how often others become our safe places. And also how often we heal and grow ourselves by becoming a sanctuary for others.
I have a lot of people who say incredibly kind things to me about how I’ve helped them or people they love, but I wouldn’t be able to do that without others saving me, again and again. And that means you too. If you read or listen or care then you have helped save me and I can’t tell you how much you’ve done. The ripples you send out make such differences that you may never see, but if you want to just one small example, look at me. Thank you for giving me shelter from the voices in my head that aren’t always so kind.
In case you can’t read the tiny words I wrote on this weeks drawing: “If you can’t find a safe, gentle escape, you can always build one inside of yourself… And with enough practice, you can become one for others.”
This Sunday I’m doing a Second-Chance Book Tour and that means we’re having fun at Nowhere and you need to come because I’m bringing the most ridiculous gifts for you. Keep reading for details.
And if you can’t make it to San Antonio you can still be part of it because I’ll be signing books for you too and if you order online this weekend you can get 20% off my signed books using the code SURPRISEME. Just let me know what you want me to sign when you order your books, but be aware that if you say “dealers choice” you may get something insane. Need proof? I was going to share some of my recent autographs here but it was too image heavy so I put them on instagram if you want to click through the slides to see 70 examples of why I shouldn’t be left unattended with books and markers:
And I just did a live instagram video to show you everything we’re doing on Sunday and it was a mess but very indicative of everything I do, so here you go:
Come see me, friend.
Nowhere Bookshop is in the news!
For an absolutely ridiculous reason.
Last week we got a one-star review that was so accidentally entertaining to the team that they decided to share it with the world:
The post went unexpectedly viral (for a small indie bookshop, that is) and our booksellers demanded shirts with their favorite terrible reviews, which we’ve now opened up for everyone for a limited time.
It’s ended up on several news outlets, which is really quite lovely and bizarre:
This is currently the second most popular story on the San Antonio Express:
Very weird. But nice.
Also, some people have asked me why we keep porn in the kids section and I’m baffled too because we don’t even keep porn in the porn section. In fact, we don’t even have a porn section. Sorry to disappoint. I assume this is really about LGBTQ+ books? Or maybe it’s about science-based books for children that discuss where babies come from? Or maybe The Very Hungry Caterpillar was just too phallic? No idea.
We also have at least three items in the store that don’t have expletives written on them but we are considering investing in a label-maker so that we can remedy that, and (if requested) our baristas can probably write creative swears on your coffee cups.
Nowhere is a reflection of the team who creates it and almost every week I have someone tell me how happy they are to find a safe and inclusive space where they can explore new worlds and learn and hide away in the stacks or read and connect with other like-minded weirdos. That said, I do have friends and family who consider themselves somewhat conservative who really love the bookshop, even if not all the books speak to them. Some of them are slowly growing to appreciate that reading about race, or sexuality, or feminism or any of the hard subjects that we may fear can lead to a greater understanding of the human race and help how we can celebrate our diversity and create compassion for others and ourselves. And some of them just like our offensive sock collection and wine and would prefer I stop correcting their pronoun usage but are grudgingly getting used to it and I appreciate it. If we celebrate diversity we have to celebrate that each of us brings our own perspective and knowledge and flaws and that is a lovely thing. I hope to see you Nowhere.
Unless you’re just an asshole.
Don’t come if you’re an asshole.