Lovely free gifts from Nowhere!

Five bits of news from Nowhere!


This week the contractors started working on Nowhere Bookshop.

It’s more expensive and will take longer to finish than I imagined but we’ll find a way to make it work and I’m getting slightly more excited than terrified and that feels like a good change.


Not long ago I said that I really wanted postcards for Nowhere Bookshop and then I immediately got overwhelmed and never thought about it again until Victor surprised me with this:

Want one? Of course you do. And if you spend $30 (pre-shipping/tax) at Nowhere we’ll slip one in your package for free!


And (from now until Monday) if you spend $50 (pre shipping/tax) you get a Nowhere sticker and if you spend $100 (pre shipping/tax) you get a nowhere enamel pin. Click here for details.


We were going to try to stock a hoodie but they were all either super expensive or not size inclusive so instead we’re offering a limited raglan shirt with the dreamy Nowhere label:


Yes, there will be a 2020 Bloggess Calendar!  Still working on it though.  But for now, head over to Nowhere.  I’ll see you there.

A little pre-James Garfield Miracle post

So.  If you’ve been here long enough you know that every year we do The James Garfield Miracle, a strange but lovely event where people who might not otherwise be able to give their kids a present during Christmas/Hanukkah/whateveryoucelebrate post their small wishlist and then strangers randomly fill their lists.  It is wonderful.  And terrible.

Wonderful because…honestly, I don’t have enough room to put all the stories here and we’ve been doing it long enough that kids who were gifted once are now gifting other families.  Some of these stories absolutely melt me and I’m so lucky to have been able to witness them or be a part of them.

And it’s terrible because of all the reasons you might expect.  Mostly because after a decade of giving, the few scammers have found us and even though there aren’t many it can feel so disheartening and exhausting to deal with.

So many of you offered to help and I cannot thank you enough for all that you do and all that you offer but that is a giant responsibility with lots of potential issues and I never want to be in a position where I (or anyone on my behalf) has to decide who needs help and who doesn’t or who has to handle money or confidential information.  And honestly there are already organizations out there who do this incredibly, like Toys for Tots and Elf Louise and a bunch of wonderful local groups and I totally encourage you to check them out right now if you need help or if you want to help.

So…will we still have The James Garfield Miracle this year?

Yes.  But in a smaller and simpler way.

In the last ten years (ten years!) the miracle grew to include clothes and food and gift certificates and tech and shoes and it got nuts.  And frankly, I understand the temptation some people had to ask for a lot because it’s scary to be without.  But this year we’re going back to the simple way this started.  Just one simple, but lovely present for each child.  Does your kid need a present?  Awesome.  Because I really want to give them one.

So this year I’m going to come up with a few different choices that I think are great presents and if you need one you can choose one of those toys to put on your list.  Or if you have two children you can pick two from the list.  You get the idea.  The main thing that I want to do is to make it to where the few scammers realize it’s not worth pretending to be people just so they can get extra play-doh.  Plus, this is simpler and less overwhelming for parents and hopefully it will be much easier for everyone.  And who knows…maybe in the future we’ll get big again.   But for now, this seems good.

It’s totally okay if you decide not to help out this year and as always we’ll also be supporting Project Night Night (which sends wonderful care packages to displaced kids throughout the year).  I have a few thousand dollars saved up to help buy toys but you should know that all of that money came from ads or affiliate links or book sales so even if you don’t spend anything know that you are helping people just by being here.

We won’t start this until next month but I do need some help now.  The first thing that I need is any suggestions for what the gifts should be.  I’m looking for substantial gifts that Prime eligible, are between $20-35 each, and that span from baby to teen but that an adult wouldn’t really be tempted to have.  (Things I’m look at are:  a magnetic building block set, a fancy art set for teens, a kids art set, a lego set, exploding kittens (the game, not actual kittens), a fluffy stuffed animal, the hardcover set of Curious George, etc.)  Any suggestions?

The second thing I need is for you to share any suggestions you might have for people who are struggling this year.  I suspect almost all of us have been there and if you are struggling please know that you are not alone.  Just being with your children is a wonderful thing and it is not a lie to say that your kids favorite toy is you.  Personally one of my favorite xmas memories was when my mom made a giant kettle of popcorn and we used a needle and thread to make giant strings of it to hang all over the house (And each other) and then my mom read us a million library books.  To this day it is one of my favorite memories.

Thank you all for listening and for supporting and for just being altogether awesome.  More on this in a week or two.


The terrible things we love

So earlier this week we looked at the things that we hate that everyone else loves and as I was looking through your comments I was like, “You people are crazy” but then every 10th thing or so I’d be like, “OMG, YES, COFFEE IS DISGUSTING!” or something similar.

So today let’s go the opposite way.  What are things that everyone else hates (or at least is confused about) that you love.  No judgement.  Probably.

I’ll start.  Things I love that most people give me the side-eye about but that I still love anyway:

The taste of envelopes and stamps.  Double spacing after periods.  Zima.  Taylor Swift.  Picnics in graveyards.  Hanging empty cicada exoskeletons all over my clothes like jewelry made of skin.  Pineapple on pizza.  Syrup on eggs.  French fries inside milkshakes.  Pokemon Go.  Taylor Swift.  Love After Lockup.  Pimento Cheese.  The Twilight books.  Mindless busy work.  Super sour cherry pie.  Creepy dolls.  The taste of baby aspirin.

Your turn.

Things I hate that everyone else loves.

A new writer asked me yesterday how I deal with negative reviews and the answer is that I don’t deal with them.  I let other people I love check that shit out and they tell me if it’s something I should take to heart or not.  Sometimes feedback can be really helpful but often it just fucks with your head so it’s good to have someone who isn’t you look at it objectively so you don’t have that shit in your head forever.  The thing I’ve learned that is the most helpful is this:


And that’s actually great because if I was for everyone then I’d be so bland and pointless that no one ever would say, “OMG ME TOO!  I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY WEIRDO.”

You are totally not the only weirdo.  Welcome home.

Whenever I start to doubt that someone rejecting me isn’t necessarily a reflection on me as a person I remind myself that there are amazing, brilliant things that are so important that people base their lives around them but that I personally do not get the appeal of at all.  It’s not that I’m better than those people and honestly I wish I loved a lot of stuff that I don’t because I know I’m missing out, but we are all unique and that is what makes it so magical when we find the things make our hearts sing.

So, right now, I want you to share at least one thing that everyone else in the world seems to love but that you could totally do without for the rest of your life. And remember that even though you don’t like it, it doesn’t mean those things aren’t important.  That goes for you too.  Not everyone is going to like you.  But so many people are going to love you.

I’ll go first.

Things I could live without forever that the rest of the world loves:

Tolkien.  Oreos.  Steely Dan.  Cherry popsicles.  Sweaters.

Your turn.

PS.  Later this week we’ll look at things you love that no one else seems to appreciate so start thinking about that too.

Well that was awkward.

I’ve been a little MIA because I was in a depressive episode but today I feel human again so I’m going to write quickly in case it comes back.


This weekend I did my TEDx talk in a giant theater in front of hundreds of people.  I practiced my speech for hours and hours but I continued to blank on it because my depression shows up as brain fog and memory problems so in the end I broke all the rules and carried my crinkled notes up on stage with me.  It looked ugly but frankly, depression is ugly sometimes and since my talk was about mental illness it at least fit the theme.

I had all these ideas about how my TED talk would look…about how I would learn to wear makeup and get my hair done and buy a new outfit and have slides and photos and just nail it.  In the end I wore an old dress, had my hair in a fake ponytail, gave up on slides because I was too exhausted to make them and walked on to stage wearing old slippers because I’d literally forgotten to change into real shoes before leaving the house:

But all I was focused on was just giving my talk without freaking out or throwing up on stage because I was at that point of my depression where you have to just pick the necessary stuff to worry about because you don’t have enough energy for the rest of it.

So I went on stage, almost immediately said the f word multiple times.  And then about halfway through my talk I felt a panic attack rising up in my throat.  My chest hurt and I couldn’t hear anything but my heartbeat and I was fighting off the hyperventilation that comes next.  I tried to slow my breathing and thought I’d play it off as a dramatic pause but I couldn’t speak so the silence got longer and louder and then I knew it was way too long and awkward to go on.  I didn’t even have the excuse that I’d forgotten my speech because it was right there in my hands.  I considered running off the stage but I knew I would never go back on if I left so I stayed there.  I let it wash over me and focused on my breathing and the deathly silence of the theater.  And after what felt like hours but was probably less than a minute I explained what was happening.  And I started again.  And I finished.  And then I ran off the stage.

I have no memory of that speech except for the panicked voices in my head in that forever silence.  I wasn’t there to see how it went over.  But Victor was in the audience and he texted me.

I got a standing ovation.

Right now the TEDx team is editing the video so it should be public soon.  I was told before that if I had a panic attack or fucked up really badly they would edit that out so I told myself that only the people in that theater will have seen the worst, most terrifying moment I’ve ever had on stage, but now I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be better left in.  I don’t know how they’ll edit it but I’m okay with either way.  There is something freeing about having your worst possible nightmare come true on stage….about knowing that you can survive it.  About knowing that people are so much kinder than you imagine.  That most people are on your side even when your own head is not.

Thank you for reminding me of this.

Never change, Japan.

Victor just came back from Japan, where he always looks for the most ridiculous stuff he can find in street vending machines.

Vampire collars for cats, tiny peach hats (with beavers on them for some reason?), blob fish skull caps… these are a few of my favorite things:

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…behold.

Skunks farting out other animals.


Let’s Pretend This Is Sunday

So yesterday I had a weekly wrap-up to write but I didn’t because I am irresponsible and also I was very busy trying to not get Victor arrested and finding a home for a dead owl.

Let me explain.

Victor is in Japan and he found this adorable, old, tiny taxidermied owl at a flea market and bought it for me because the way to my heart is old dead things.


But my father is here and is a taxidermist and has to know all the rules on birds of prey and turns out that if Victor brings an owl home he might end up in jail.   I considered whether jail was worth it because Owlexander Hamilton already had a tiny place in my heart but Victor is too pretty for jail so instead we needed to find a new forever home for a forever dead flea market owl who can’t leave Japan.

This was a job for twitter…clearly.

And twitter was up for it.   THIS IS WHY SOCIAL MEDIA EXISTS.

Within an hour a lovely family had agreed to accept Owlexander into their home.  And all was right with the world.

Until I realized I forgot it was Sunday and didn’t do this weekly wrap-up but technically I think it’s still Sunday in Japan so let’s just say this counts.

On to the wrap up!


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


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Wild Yonder Botanicals.  From them: “Winter Daze Gift Bundle is here! From the family studio of Wild Yonder Botanicals, an indulgent collection of their most loved botanical offerings for body and soul. A nurturing gift of self-care during the hectic Winter Daze ahead. It includes tons of stuff, including a limited edition Winter Daze botanical perfume, the famous Illuminate face serum with Lotus and Jasmine,  an essential oil-infused Anti Bad Vibe car freshener and more! Use code:thebloggess for $50 off when you pre-order it here (shipping Dec 2nd) and make sure to check out the Grateful Dead TM line!”  You should totally go check it out here because it sounds lovely.

Happy Halloween!


Scare me.

In honor of Halloween I’m watching horror and reading horror and honestly it’s not that different from any other month except that everyone else is also watching and reading and I end up buying all of the halloween decorations in the stores that I can use as my everyday decor.

So for today tell me a horror book or film that is underappreciated that everyone should watch:

I’ll go first…you should totally read My Sister, the a Serial Killer.  My only complaint is that it’s too short.

And then you should watch The Golem.  I’m a fan.  Ooh…or I am the pretty thing that lives in the house.  Or Little Monsters.  (The 2019 one.  Not the one with Howie Mandel.) Sorry.  That’s more than one but I couldn’t help myself.

Your turn…

A little mouse makeover.

I’m hearing that Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is getting a small mousey makeover.  I haven’t seen any of them myself but the new cover looks pretty dang cute…

Tell me if you come across one!