Introducing the first book pick for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club!

Hello and welcome to the first month of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club!

If you’ve already become a member of the book club you got an email yesterday telling you what our first book pick is.  Yay!  (If you didn’t get that email check your spam filter and if it’s not in there email us at orders@nowherebookshop.com so we can make sure you’re in the system.  This post will cover most everything in the first letter.)

If you’re reading this and going “THERE’S A BOOK CLUB?  HOW DID I MISS THIS?” then yes, there is and you should click here if you want in.

So first off, THANK YOU.  I honestly was crossing my fingers that there would be at least 50 people in this strange little book club.  At present?  There are over 1,100 of us.  WTF, y’all.  That is amazing for a lot of different reasons but here are just a few:  This enables Nowhere Bookshop to stay in business even during these months where the building is being gutted and costing a fortune.   And secondly, an author selling 1,000+ books unexpectedly can make such an incredible impact.  It helps in ways you can’t possibly imagine and it helps grow the industry so that more people are able to tell their stories.  It encourages publishers to take chances on authors and that means more stories for all of us.  Everyone wins.

The only downside is that because I so drastically underestimated how many of you wanted in to this amazing club it means we need to switch over to a different payment system because the one we were using would require us to print out each one by hand and then our hands would fall off.  So, if you’re a member you’ll be getting an email from us via Zoho Subscriptions (sometime between now and Wednesday) with your subscription info that you just need to enter your payment info into.  Sorry about the growing pains here.  Using Zoho will simplify billing for us going forward and will make it easier for you to manage your subscription without having to contact us first.  (PS.  You’ll be billed on the 10thof each month in case you’re wondering.)  If for some reason you haven’t received the Zoho email by Thursday reach out to us at orders@nowherebookshop.com and we’ll help you.

So now for the exciting announcement.  The first book will be going out to you later this month and it’s so good.  It’s called Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford.

(Synopsis:  Follow Me to Ground is a haunted, surreal debut novel about an otherworldly woman and her father who are touched by the power to heal illness and live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals – or “cures”- by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily buying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Slim but authoritative, Follow Me to Ground lingers long after its final page, pulling the reader into a dream between fairy tale and nightmare, desire and delusion, folktale and warning.)

I’m not sure if it’s horror, sci-fi, fantasy realism, folklore, or all four but it’s really haunting and weird and strange and beautiful and as soon as I read it I immediately gave it to my mom to read so I could discuss it with someone and I can’t wait until you read it because someone needs to talk it through with me.

The book isn’t released in America until the very end of the month but we reached out to the author and publisher and they were so thrilled to have so many of you wanting to read it that they agreed to send us copies early. Also, as a bad-ass surprise thank you the author is personally signing 1200 bookplates for the first 1,200 members so if you get in early enough you’ll see that in your package along with your pin and book.

WHOOP!

There is a facebook page for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club but if you don’t do facebook and still want to discuss the book you can totally do that here.  Each month when the book ships I’ll announce it on the blog the comments on that post will stay open on that post for discussion. Also, if you just want to read the book and not discuss anything you are not alone so no worries if your favorite part of the book club is just reading and then avoiding all contact.

A few of you were concerned about what the costs were going to be each month since all books have different cover prices and that can be hard to budget for so we’ve decided to just charge a $25 flat fee for each book (plus tax if you’re in Texas, and shipping) each month.  Most hardbacks are $23-$27 a month so we’ll eat the extra if it’s more and if we end up with a less expensive book that month we’ll add something extra (like Nowhere postcards or magnets or stickers) to make sure you always get your money’s worth.  (Shipping is $5-8 if you’re in America but outside America it’s $20, which is sort of insane and makes me want to open a tiny outlet in Canada in the future.)

The books and nameplates should come in the next week or two (the author is in Ireland signing her little fingers to the bone right now) and as soon as they get here we’ll start packing them and whisking your lovely packages off to you.

Happy reading, you magnificent lovers of books!

PS.  I just devoured the book for February and it is SO GOOD, y’all.  It’s non-fiction true crime history and so fascinating.  And I haven’t read the book I think I’m picking for April yet but what I’ve seen is hilarious and you are going to love it.  I don’t want to give out any titles until we’re sure we can get enough books to fill all the orders but I’m so excited.

PPS.  Are you overwhelmed by this long post?  No worries.  Here’s the TLDR: If you’ve already signed up for membership you should have an email telling you that you’re gonna be getting an email which will tell you how to sign up for the subscription service in the next few days.  If you didn’t get that first email from us within a day of signing up just let us know at orders@nowherebookshop.com.  If you don’t get the second letter from us via Zoho subscription by Thursday just email us and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of.  If you haven’t signed up yet but want in then just go here to sign up and you will get the welcome letter from us (basically everything in this post) within a day or so (we’re doing this all manually so please be patient) and then the zoho email later to complete your stuff.  If you want to sign up now but can’t afford it at the moment you can be an honorary member and read along with a library copy.  The Facebook page is open to everyone.

PPPS.  For real, thank you.  I super crazy love you.

 

 

 

 

I should make people sign an acknowledgement before they come in the house.

So the exterminator came over and asked to use the bathroom and I was like, “Sure” and then I heard him yelling and assumed he was yelling at someone on the phone in the bathroom but he was getting more upset and then I realized he was yelling, “I SAID, THERE’S SOMEONE IN HERE” in a really panicked sort of way and that’s when I realized that Ferris Mewler was mad that someone was peeing without him and was doing that thing he does where he tries to open the bathroom door and if it’s locked he hangs on it and aggressively stomps on the door jamb so it sounds like a maniac is pounding at the door while trying to force the door knob and I was like, “SORRY, HE DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH OR HAVE PERSONAL BOUNDARIES” and I realized that he would never believe that a cat could open doorknobs while pounding on the door so I took a picture and then I thought it was probably even weirder that he could hear someone trying to break the door down while someone else took pictures and that’s why I have to hire a new exterminator.

Happy New Year!

Last year was hard.  Lots of personal struggles and mental illness bullshit and seven family deaths in the last six weeks.  I had some wonderful moments but I also often felt like I was slogging through life and that I would never finish anything.  But in the last few weeks the depression that slows me down so much lifted and I was able to work again like an almost normal human being and last night, just hours before the new year rolled in, I finally finished edits on my next book.

MAY I REQUEST THE LOUDEST OF WHOOPS?

Of course, it’s possible that I will need more edits and even if the edits are accepted I still have to do copy-editing and legal review and a million other things but it is such a relief to know that right this moment my next book is close to being done.  And hopefully this year it will find you in the world.

I’m writing this to remind myself that it can be done.  That even when life and the world and your broken brain seem to collude against you things will brighten again.  I’m writing this to remind myself that even when I feel like a failure these small steps forward eventually add up to something.  And I’m writing to remind you of that too.  It’s okay to struggle, to feel worthless, to fail and to question…but you will get through this.  I will too.

My amazing friend Adele Morse agreed to read some of my book as I was struggling to finish it and it inspired her to create an amazing faux-taxidermy mascot for the book:

Her name is Shirley and she’s misplaced her glasses, her wine glass is empty and she has a giant bowl of comfort macaroni and cheese that is not sharing with anyone and I have never felt more seen in my life.

So here is to full glasses and more macaroni and finishing books and to remembering that it all works out in the end.

Probably.

Happy 2020, y’all.  Shirley and I are toasting you right now.

Happy birthday to us all!

Hello and happy birthday to us!

If you too are born in the perineum of no man’s land that stretches from Christmas to New Years I salute you and recognize your struggle.  But today is going to be different because today is now your birthday too and if you are reading this my birthday wish is for you to do something really lovely for yourself or someone else today.

Go out for pie, watch your favorite movie, buy that thing you’ve been thinking about, take a lovely long bath, bring donuts to a friend and re-watch your favorite movie, go snuggle animals at the shelter, rob a bank, go to the park, whatever makes you happy.

And then when someone says “Why are you doing all this nice stuff for yourself” you can say, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.  I DESERVE IT.”  Or you can just say, “It’s a birthday gift…because I’m a good friend“.

Happy birthday, us!

PS.  Unrelated but fun:

Revenge is a dish best served…meowing.

I was going to write about this, but then Xmas happened and I got distracted so in case you didn’t see it on twitter…this bit of magic happened:

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Victor:  Why do you keep calling the cat by different names?

me:  Because there are so many good ones and I can’t pick just one.  Margaret Catwood?  Jules Purrn?  Emily Lickinson?  Purrman Meowville?  Jane Pawston?  Holden Clawfield?

Victor:  Terry Scratchett?

me:  Never change.

 

 

 

 

 

Book-Loving Strangelings Unite!

Have you ever wanted to join a group of well-read, like-minded weirdos who have your back and aren’t afraid to stab a bitch in the thigh with a fork if things get out of hand?

Have you yearned to join a book club because you love reading but you have misgivings because it would require you to leave your house and put on pants and talk to people in real life?

Have you ever read a book and thought, this is the best thing I’ve ever read but I’m not sure anyone else in the world will get it and then later you find someone whose favorite book is also about murderous dwarves or true stories from morticians or hilarious essays or some other thing you thought made you a total weirdo but actually made you just the right kind of weirdo?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your presence is formally requested at the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club.

badge for the club. includes image of bloggess, hamlet von schnitzel and books

WTF is a Strangeling?

A strangeling is a word I made up to describe those people who are strange and unusual in the best possible way.  They often feel like outsiders or misfits until one day they find their strange tribe of others and then realize that they are not alone.  Additionally, your spellcheck will try to change it “strangling” and that actually makes things very interesting when you email your dick boss that you can’t stay late because you have work to do for your strangling club.  EVERYONE WINS.

What is the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club?

It’s a monthly book selected by me delivered right to your front door.

What does it cost and what do I get?

There’s a $10 enrollment fee to get set up.  Then you’re charged the list price of the book (plus tax if applicable) and shipping every month when the book ships out. All books will be brand new that month – some hardcovers and some trade paperback originals.  You can cancel at any time.

What else do I get?

Each new enrollment gets a bad-ass Nowhere Bookshop enamel pin in their first shipment. We’ll also include little gifts randomly throughout the year.

When will the book club actually meet?

HAHAHAHAHA.  Oh, you’re serious. This is a book club made by introverts for introverts so you never have to actually leave your house unless you totally want to.  We have a special facebook group where we can discuss the book and make friends and feel social even when we’re hermity and maybe sometimes we’ll even be joined by the author.  If you live in San Antonio I’m guessing there will be meet-up by members all the time so if you want to come out and have a drink when the store opens that will totally be amazing.

But what if I’ve already bought this month’s book? 

These will all be new releases so hopefully that won’t ever happen but if for some reason you have a weird conflict (like the author looks like the girl who stole your Lisa Frank notebook in 7thgrade) then you can email us before we ship and we’ll try to send you something else or you can skip that month and pick back up next month.

I already have too many books.

I’m sorry.  I understand these words separately but not in that order.

I can’t afford a membership and now I’m sad.

I totally get it.  If you can’t afford to be an official member of the club you can still be an honorary member.  I’ll be announcing the book of the month online so you can join our discussions there.

Can I buy a membership as a gift for someone else?

Yes you can!  And just like your own membership you can cancel at any time so if you want to just give a membership for 3 months or a year or whatever you can do that without fear of being locked in.

So what do I do now?

Click here to join the crew now.  Or if you have questions, just email us at orders@nowherebookshop.com.

Did we just become best friends?

Yup.

Butthole sunbathing

me:  On Instagram I’ve been seeing these people doing “perineum sunbathing“.  It’s  literally tanning your butthole.  Supposedly 30 seconds of sunlight in your butthole is equivalent to a full day’s worth of sun so allegedly you supercharge yourself.  Through your butthole.  And this seems ridiculous for a lot of reasons but mostly it just seems illogical because the dog is sunning her butthole all damn day and she’s…well actually she is sort of supercharged and has way too much energy, but I’m pretty sure that’s not from a solar super power coming from her butthole.

Victor:  …Huh.

me:  I’m sorry what was your question?

Victor:  How was your day?

me:  Oh right.  It was fine.

Books!

Nowhere Bookshop is currently in transformation mode…

(The ancient tile is still safe under that rubble, btw.)

Currently we’re doing planning for design and layout apparently now I have to start thinking about actual books. Who knew?

The shop is big but not big enough for every type of book we’d like so I wanted your thoughts on genres. Personally when I go into a bookstore I go to memoirs, nonfiction, sci-fi, horror, art, short stories, YA, graphic novels and the children’s section. That means that my view of bookstores is a bit limited so I wanted to see what parts are your favorites so I can make sure I didn’t miss anything or underestimate a section.

Help a future bookseller out?

Also, a lot of you have asked how you can help support and get involved with Nowhere and I think I have an idea for something really fun but I still need to work on it so stay tuned.

PS. If it won’t let you choose more than one genre you can click “return to poll” and add another vote for another section.

The 10th Annual James Garfield Miracle!

Hello and welcome to year 10 (TEN?!) of the James Garfield Miracle!

As you probably know, last year got gross when we had a few scammers show up and I considered just stopping the whole thing.  Many of you offered to help this year but frankly there are already organizations who do this shit way better than us so instead of just chucking the whole thing I decided to do one more year of the miracle but instead we’d go back to the simple, small way that this started.

So, if you are struggling this year and you need help getting your child a present for Hannukau/Christmas/whateveryoucelebrate then I am ready to Santa Claus it up and drop one lovely toy at your doorstep.

To make it fair and easy for everyone I’ve selected about 100 different gifts that I’ll link to and if you need help this holiday then you can pick one gift for each of your children from that list to put on your wishlist.  They’re all around $20-35 each and there’s stuff for babies to teens…art kits, book sets, dolls, science kits.

I always use the profits I make on affiliate links to buy toys for kids so that means that if you’ve clicked on one this year then you are the reason why I’m going to be able to buy toys for at least 100 kids this year.  That is amazing and I’m so grateful.  Thank you!

The wishlists will be posted in the comments so (as always) if you want to buy a present for a stranger you totally can.  Or you can donate to Project Night Night, an amazing organization that provides a tote bag, book, stuffed animal and security blanket to homeless or displaced kids throughout the year.  I just started today off with a $500 Project Night Night donation in you honor.

SO…if you want in on this you have to read all the directions and stick to the rules or otherwise you will be set on fire and pushed out a moving plane.  Or just banned.  Or maybe I’ll just delete you comment and look at you with that disappointed look your mom gives you when she knows you’re trying but are still fucking up.  One of those.  Here are the rules:

IF YOU WANT TO GIVE:

Okay, how do I do this?

You are my special angel.  Just look in the comments and find someone who has an unfilled Wishlist.  (If there’s nothing on their list it means their toy was already bought- yay!)  Buy their present and make sure when you check out that you select their shipping address.  (It won’t give you their full address but it’ll tell you the town you’re shipping it to.)  If you try to fill a wishlist but it doesn’t give you a shipping address that means the person didn’t assign a shipping address to the list so delete their present out of your cart and go to the next wishlist.  If it says “these are duplicates.  Someone else may have already bought this” when you try to check out then someone else already bought the stuff so delete it and try another one.

But what if I want to give more?

Then find another list and fill it.  Or donate to Project Night Night.  But don’t fill lists that aren’t following the rules or are asking for more because then it gets nuts.  After Xmas we’ll  open up a post where people can ask for food or clothes or whatever but for this Jame Garfield Miracle it’s just one simple gift per child.  🙂

IF YOU NEED HELP:

You are my special angel.  Here are the things you have to know:   You have to make a BRAND NEW wishlist, you can only choose one gift per child to put on your wishlist, and it has to be a gift chosen from this list.  In your comment you need to say the city and State you’re in (it has to match what you have on your wishlist), how many kids you have, and a link to your wishlist.  (Add your country to the comment you’re outside of the US so people in your area can find you.)  Do not make multiple wish lists.  Just make one.  One of the most important things (people do this wrong every year so PLEASE do this part right) is that you have to assign a shipping address for this specific wishlist.  I’ll give you the details on setting up the wishlist below.

But what if I want something that isn’t on the list?

Sorry!   Next month we might do an open post where you can ask for clothes or food or specific stuff but for this it’s just one simple present from the list.  🙂

What if I want to make wish lists to surprise other people who I think need help?

Nope.  But you can totally tell them to come here and make their own.

I’ve never done this before.  How do I make a wishlist?

It’s pretty easy if you follow the formula.  I’ll walk you through:

On Amazon, click on Accounts & Lists and then “Create a list”.

 

Choose “wishlist”.  Name it “James Garfield 2020“, make it public, then choose “create list”.

On the right you’ll see something that says “…More”.  Click on that and choose “Manage list”.  Click on the drop-down for the shipping address and add yours.  Make sure that “keep purchased items on your list” and “don’t spoil my surprises” are NOT selected.  Save changes.

Now go to this list and pick out one present for your child.  When you have the one you want click on the “Add to list” drop down on the right (next to where the price is) and then select your “James Garfield 2020” list.  Click “view your list” to make sure it’s there.

If you have another kid just go back to the list and pick a present for them and add it to the same list.

Now you go to the comments below and leave a comment saying how many kids you have, what city and state you are, in and a link to your wishlist.  That’s it!

So for example, I would say, “Hi.  I live in San Antonio Texas, and I chose the art kit for my daughter.  Here’s my wishlist:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2ZVDARK2A03K3/ref=cm_wl_huc_view  Thanks!”

(A quick note:  The list to choose from is an influencer list which isn’t affected by wishlist buys but if you happen to buy something directly from it I’ll be using any profits to buy more toys.  The list was created by lots of amazing people who came up with diverse toys and books and I’m so grateful to everyone who gave suggestions!)

Now…to go shopping.  Happy James Garfield Day!

 

(UPDATED:  Some of the stuff on the amazon list gets sold out so if it doesn’t give you the product with prime shipping pick something else.  I’ll try to keep the list updated to remove stuff that gets sold out and replace with similar choices.)

PS.  Please please please double check before you hit the submit button that you have assigned a shipping address to your wishlist, that your comment has a link to your wishlist, the city and state you live it and the number of kids you have.

UPDATED: As always, 99% of the people here are amazing and I love you.  Unfortunately there is one person here already pretending to be many different people so it is with a heavy heart that I suggest you donate to Project Night Night or Toys for Tots.  There are still people here who are amazing and need help and want to give help and I’ll still be giving more here and there but sadly you do have to be really, really cautious even with the new rules.  Maybe next year we can find a way to run this through my bookstore so that I can actually see the exact addresses things are going to.  Who knows.  But to everyone who helped and to everyone who opened up about needs and let us have some magic I  cannot thank you enough.   The sadness I feel at the one or two scammers does not dampen the happiness I feel at being able to part of the holiday celebrations for so many.  I super crazy love you.

UPDATED: A little present for you

UPDATED AGAIN (Wednesday afternoon):  Alright…I think this one will work.  Click here for what feels like the 11,000th version of the 2020 calendar:

 

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UPDATED (Wednesday morning):  OKAY, STOP ORDERING.  Zazzle is pulling all calendars because of “content.”  At first I thought that my drawing for June was too risqué:

But turns out they say the police box on the cover is a Doctor Who copyright.  I’m a little irked that all police boxes are not TARDISes but also a little happy that all police boxes are TARDISes and also just really tired of redoing calendars.  But I’m going to fix this one and I’ll let you know when it’s fixed.

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Original posting (Tuesday night):

It took a few days and several false starts and some weird errors where it seemed like it sold out in literally 2 minutes but now it’s fixed…  (I think.)

…so if you want one, just click right here.

(I was going to wait to post this until tomorrow but it’s half off tonight and I’m not sure it’ll still be on sale Wednesday.)

I’ve been working on drawings in the last month when I was dealing with some mental stuff and I’ve included several of those in the calendar.  But if you don’t want the calendar  or money is tight then I’m going to just put a few sketches here and you can just print them out yourself and color them or use them to cover holes in the wall or whatever.  (Click them to embiggen.)

The one above I did when I was feeling a bit angsty.  The one below I did when I was feeling…well…not as optimistic.

I don’t have an ending for this post because my head is made of pudding at the moment and I’m out of ADD meds.  Sorry.

Love.