Happy birthday to us!

Once read that in some Slavic countries some people believed that those who were born on “the unclean days” – from Christmas Eve through Epiphany (January 6th) – were given special powers and may become vampires or vampire hunters. Seems like a weird sort thing but since I’m half Slavic and I was born today I think that makes me half vampire and half vampire hunter and that probably explains why I self-sabotage so much and also why garlic gives me a headache.

But since it’s my birthday that means presents! But I don’t need anything so instead I’m giving you a present because I just found a box of hard-cover copies of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and they literally don’t even make them anymore. (The hard-cover version, I mean. You can still get the soft-cover.)

Want a signed copy? Just leave a comment and I’ll pick 10 of you at random for a vampire birthday surprise! (Just make sure you leave me an email address that you check.) Also, I only have pre-paid flat-rate US mailers so I can only send to America. Sorry, Canada et all. I still love you. You’re just really expensive. (Because you’re special.)

PS. If you already have a copy of LPTNH you can go over to the NowhereBookshop instagram where they’re giving away a gift card today for my birthday. YAY FOR ANY BOOK YOU WANT!


This isn’t a real post.

Hi. This isn’t a real post. It’s just me dropping in because a few people bought memberships to the Fantastic Strangelings book club for presents and were like, “Could you maybe make a video welcoming them so I can show it to them on Xmas?” and that seems like a really wonderful thing so I made one and if you also happen to be giving the gift of a membership you can use this link to surprise your loved one. Please be aware that it is ridiculously unprofessional because that’s how I roll.

Actual screenshot from the video.

Also, if you sign up for yourself or for others tomorrow just know that we probably won’t process it until after Xmas but you’ll get your first book (The Thirty Names of Night) and your pin in the same package very soon.

And thank you for your support! You are magic.

PS. Some of you missed out last time we did a Nowhere Bookshop hoodie/tshirt campaign so if you missed it they’re available to order for one more day.

It’s okay to not be okay

I have written and rewritten this post a dozen times but here is the gist. It’s okay if the holidays don’t look like you think they should look this year. It’s okay if you don’t have a tree up and don’t have a bunch of gifts under the tree that doesn’t exist or if you just decide to postpone xmas to next year and instead eat reheated tamales in your pajamas and watch tv and play Among Us all day. In fact, that is what we will be doing. Please feel free to join us in spirit. Or in real life if we happen to end up in the same online game lobby. (I apologize in advance for murdering you.)

I’ve been fighting off a really tough depression lately and I know I’m not alone. The holidays can be hard and sad and complicated even at the best of times and you add in the expectations of yourself and others and then multiply it with a lack of sunshine and a pandemic and it’s not wonder this year feels disorienting. So I am giving myself the gift of changing my expectations. Last night Hailey and Victor and I watched Prom (the musical) and Hailey and I loved it and Victor pretended not be into it but even he can’t deny the magic of Meryl Streep. And it was really lovely and made me realize there are probably a ton of great movies we should watch over Christmas but I don’t know what they are because I tend to focus on horror so today I am asking you for your recommendations on what we should watch during our Christmas marathon. Uplifting. Funny. Not saccharine sweet.

I’ll start. Some of our favorites lately were Ted Lasso, Enola Holmes, Happiest Season, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

Your turn.

You deserve a break.

I was going to write something more serious today about how we have to give ourselves a break during this weird time but then I got overwhelmed with it and decided to give myself a break and instead do what I would do if you were here in my office with me. I would say, “Have you seen this?” and laugh as we looked at ridiculousness on the internet. So let’s do that, y’all.

For real though…I can’t do this shoot-the-thumb thing and I feel dumb:

I feel you, cat:

Alright, I feel better. You?

Beauty is in the eye of the beast holder

So this week I was very surprised to find a giant mysterious package at my front door:

If I was smart I would have done an unboxing video but I am too impatient so I ripped it apart to find the taxidermied monster head I forgot I ordered.

This is not that unusual because I order stuff and forget that I ordered it all the time and it’s like a Christmas present to myself from insomniac me, and I realize that this isn’t really the sort of thing you forget about, but in my defense it’s been a month since I bought it and in ADD/quarantine time that is like 870 years ago.

It came from one of my favorite stores, Loved To Death, which recently closed its physical location but still exists online. It was the store guardian for many years and I always loved it because to me it’s the perfect combination of Jabborwocky mixed with Where the Wild Things Are and I thought it would be great for the bookstore because it’s so literary but Elizabeth was like, “what. no. stop” and also I didn’t remember how enormous it was so there’s no way I could hang it at the store and not have children hang on it and/or be devoured by it so now it lives in my house.

The lights in the room sort of make it hide in the shadows and I realize it might look a little unsettling at night as you can tell by this picture of Dorothy Barker who seems to be in the process of literally shitting herself.

But in the daylight is it exactly the lovely, protective guardian I knew that it would be and after we sprinkle a little holy water on it I’m quite sure that Victor will learn to love it and not sigh heavily every time he passes by it.

But now there’s the problem of a name.

I’ve been giving it a new name every few hours but lately I’ve been stuck on Bernard because it really looks like a Bernard and also that was the name Maurice Sendak gave one of the Where the Wild Things Are monsters. But then I’m like, am I wasting a monster because there are so many good names and I also like Tina Fang, Bitey White, Matt Demon, Slay Bradbury, Will Feral and Tooth Bader Ginsburg and JESUS I NEED HELP.

Victor agrees, but probably not for the same reason.

PS. Want to see its original iteration from 9 years ago when it was made by Ranson & Mitchell? Of course you do. And here’s a bit of background on how it was made.

PPS. Utterly unrelated, but a bunch of you asked for a bloggess 2021 calendar so here it is. Because 2020 has to end eventually.

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