It’s okay to be a little lost

I’ve been sharing a drawing every week of the plague (except I think I lost a week to depression. Sorry) and it’s time for a new one.

drawing with "It's okay.  As long as we're lost together" written on it.
Click to embiggen

As always, you can print it, color it, burn it, whatever you like.

The world is a scary place. Every day it seems so a little more.

People are angry, and rightly so. And some scream and some fight and some whisper and cry…and all, I suspect, feel a little lost sometimes.

It’s such a human thing that brings us all together, as much as we may hate to admit it. So whether you are feeling lost in the world or your life or your own head, know that we are with you. Know that there are kind people fighting to make the world a better place and that you will find your place in it. Again and again.

I promise.

PS. I shared this on social media this week but just in case you don’t follow me on insta or twitter and need a reminder:

I see you

If you look hard enough you can see when I go missing. I hole up inside my head and I drop off of the internet and I don’t return calls or emails. I tend to disappear from myself at the same time. I put on a smile the same way that I put on a mask when I leave the house…because I’m contagious in a way. If I spend enough time around you you’ll feel it. Empathetic people or people with their own demons are most vulnerable.

Sometimes I wonder if this thing in my head is like a virus. Maybe I pick it up from the wind when the world is on fire. Sometimes, when it’s very bad I worry that I’m making the world worse with my broken mind. I know it’s not true, rationally, but rational doesn’t really translate in my head when things get sideways.

I am very lucky. I have such amazing support and fantastic tools and medicine and doctors and a community of people behind me. And still I struggle. So perhaps today you don’t have all of that behind you. Or maybe you do but you’re still struggling…with the things in your head or the things that are real and terrifying. Wherever you are, right now, I want you to know how needed you are. I want you to know that you are important and loved and that even if you feel alone, know that you are not. You make so much more of a difference than you know…just by being alive. Just by being here.

If you can, text a few people today to let them know that you care. I don’t know why but it helps. It helps them and it feels like a tiny lifeline even if they don’t respond. It reminds you that you love. It reminds you of the good things that tether you to reality rather than the lies your brain may tell you. It reminds you that people are worth fighting for…and that one of those people is you.

If you are reading this, I love you.

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And now, the weekly wrap-up.

Except…well, not exactly because honestly I’m a bit too tired to round up all the links of stuff that happened this week and I’m giving myself permission to skip all of that because I know you’ll understand. And this post is sponsored but I’m donating the proceeds to the San Antonio Food Bank because they really need help right now.

This week’s wrap-up is sponsored by Wild Yonder Botanicals (1% for the Planet Member) have brought back monthly delivery of their gem and honey infused minerals bath salts! They can be used for a relaxing bath or as a body scrub! They are made with pure essential oils, resins and herbs and are infused with biodynamic organic honey they pick up locally from the longest running biodynamic farm in the country. You can also choose to have face scrubs delivered too 🙂 Starting at just $7.99 a month with tons of love and shipping included. You should check them out here.

Book club time. Grab some booze. Or a cat. Or both. YOUR CHOICE.

YOU GUYS.

Okay, first off, today we’re opening up the discussion for this month’s Fantastic Strangelings Book Club selection, Catherine House.

Someone remind me to make Dorothy Barker bookmarks one day when I have more energy and design skills.

Have you started it yet? Have you finished it yet? No pressure because there are no rules for this book club but if you have drop down into the comments or go to the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club Facebook page to discuss. I actually really liked it the first time I read it and LOVED it the second time because I was able to pick up all the nuances I missed the first time around. (I always have to read our selections twice because my memory is so terrible I forget the plot within a month. This is a blessing and a curse but at least I can read the same book over and over and never get bored with it.)

AND! Here’s something I’m so excited about. Next month’s book. You guys.

Dorothy Barker is not shown because I only have the digital advance copy of this book. Sorry.

Okay, first of all, it is so deliciously dark and twisted and I was really afraid that the publisher wouldn’t be able to get us enough books but they were so excited about being chosen as June’s book that they printed up a batch specifically for us and printed inside every book they included this lovely page:

How fucking cool is that? Answer: Very cool.

A tiny taste of They Did Bad Things:

And Then There Were None meets The Last Time I Lied in this dark and twisty psychological thriller.

In 1995, six university students moved into the house at 215 Caldwell Street. Months later, one of them was found dead on the sofa the morning after their end-of-year party. His death was ruled an accident by the police. The remaining five all knew it wasn’t, and though they went on with their lives, the truth of what happened to their sixth housemate couldn’t stay buried forever.

Twenty years later, all five of them arrive—lured separately under various pretenses—at Wolfheather House, a crumbling, secluded mansion on the Scottish isle of Doon. Trapped inside with no way out and no signal to the outside world, the now forty-somethings fight each other—and the unknown mastermind behind their gathering—as they confront the role they played in their housemate’s death. They are given one choice: confess to their crimes or die. 

They Did Bad Things is a deviously clever psychological thriller about the banality of evil and the human capacity for committing horror.

Personally I find the mystery genre a little hit or miss but this one really did it for me. I think you’ll like it.

Happy reading!

I think we could all use a little good news.

This week has been really hard in our house but I’m ending it (the week, I mean) on a very positive note because of you.

I made these ridiculous Furiously Happy raccoon masks as a joke and I said if anyone bought any I’d donate the profits but so many of you have ordered them that as of this morning I’ve been able to give $1,000 to the San Antonio Food Bank (who have really been struggling and can use the help) and all of that is down to you guys.

me wearing a mask with a raccoon face
Honestly, it’s sort of terrifying.

I love y’all so much it hurts a little. But in a good way.

********

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by M. E. Evans, who wrong a hilarious book you should read. It’s called Naked (in Italy): A Memoir About the Pitfals of La Dolce Vita. Imagine a story about two dysfunctional families and forbidden love. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet if Juliet spent her days at an overpriced art school painting porn star vaginas and Romeo’s mom was obsessed with ironing underwear. Also instead of suicide there’s a poodle. And agoraphobia. You should check it out. And you can get the eBook of Naked (in Italy): A Memoir About the Pitfalls of La Dolce Vita for just $2.99 for a limited time. 

This garbage is all of us. But in a good way.

So today I was outside and found this in the backyard:

Turns out it is a junk bug, aka a lacewing larvae of an aphid lion and it is covered in garbage because that camouflages it from the rest of the world. Except that the garbage it’s carrying around? IS THE CORPSES OF ITS ENEMIES.

So basically it’s a goth packrat who just wants to be left alone and really shouldn’t be fucked with and I can’t help but feel that this bug is the perfect mascot for this entire year.

Horror and pigs

Hello! I had a shitastic mental health day yesterday and sort of fell into a lot of self-hatred but today I feel a bit better and hopefully you do too. If not, know that this will pass. Keep breathing.

I can’t remember if I took my ADD meds this morning but I suspect I didn’t so I blame that for this very random blog post that sort of goes together and sort of doesn’t.

SO. My friend Laura (of Beyonce fame) had this uncle (PJ Allen) who was a parade float maker 50+ years ago and years ago they auctioned off the ridiculous stuff in his giant barn and that’s how I ended up with a life sized Marie Antionette and a giant portrait of Martha Washington and bird cages and baby carriages and boxes and boxes of crumbling crepe paper flowers and this pig:

It’s about 4 feet tall and I assumed it held something and also it was wired for sound at one time which makes me wish PJ Allen was still alive because I really want to know what the pig was screaming at people as it paraded down the street. When I originally bought it I thought I’d put a chef hat on it and put it in the kitchen but it was filled with wasp nests and I am lazy so instead it just lived in the garage.

BUT! Then the plague came and I was bored so I decided to do a pig makeover because I thought this pig should probably live at Nowhere Bookshop. And after many hours of elbow grease and strange looks from my neighbors, she is done.

Victor and Hailey think it looks weird because the eyes are too small so I may have to fix those but I texted a picture to Elizabeth (illustrious manager of Nowhere) to see where everyone else stood on pig eyeballs and she was like, “Huh. It’s a little creepy, don’t you think?” And I was like, “WHO EVER HEARD OF A CREEPY PIG, ELIZABETH? Oh, except for the demon pig in Amityville Horror. Omg. We have a name. Jody the Amityville pig. WE ARE A GREAT TEAM.” She hasn’t responded to me yet but probably just because she’s so overwhelmed with how well we work together.

Also, Jody is too heavy to pull in and out of the shop every day so probably she’ll live in the back hallway next to the bathrooms so she can keep you company while you wait to pee and tell you what author is coming to visit next. But I’m still not sure about the eyes.

Anyway, speaking of horror, this month The Fantastic Strangeling Bookclub is reading Catherine House which we’ll discuss probably next week so you have time to sink into the weirdness of it, but we also did an optional book for anyone who wanted an extra distraction and I finally feel good enough to discuss so let’s do that today, okay?

The optional book was HORRORSTĂ–R by Grady Hendrix and for me it was the perfect distraction. Funny, witty, scary. It seems counterintuitive to love horror when you have an anxiety disorder but I think the great thing about supernatural horror is that you can exercise your fear on something you don’t actually have to worry is going to happen to you. Unless you work at a haunted Ikea knock-off, I guess.

You can go to the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club page on Facebook to discuss, or if you hate Facebook you can leave your thoughts here in the comments. Also, even if you haven’t read the book, let me know what you think about Jody. Should the eyes be bigger? Is she creepy? If so, should I put her inside one of the bathrooms so that she makes people pee faster and there are never any lines?

PS. The folks are wordpress are helping me with a little revamp and that means that my blog might load weird for a few days while we fix things. Like, right now the first 7 comments on each blog post are sort of covered by sidebar stuff so I’m going to fill those 7 comments with random trivia so that you can skip them if you can’t read them or read them and be smarter if you can.

EVERYONE WINS!