My life is weird.
So, the last four-ish years were somewhat ridiculous. Not in a good way, either. Ridiculous in a good way is, WOW HEDGEHOGS CAN TALK NOW, THAT’S CRAZY, AND ALL OF THEM HAVE DEEP, COMPLICATED THOUGHTS ABOUT SPACE TRAVEL, HOW RIDICULOUS. Ridiculous in a bad way is, DONALD TRUMP IS PRESIDENT AND THERE’S ALSO A PANDEMIC COMING.
Further, being on Twitter during this time was just magnifying the ridiculousness (which I originally types as “ridiculocrity” which is not a word but maybe should be), because we were all ants under the sun-touched magnifying glass of our own collective rage. It was just, we were angry. All the time. I was too, I’m not saying it to blame anyone. It was hard not just to want to bite your phone every day.
At the time, there were people who would do daily affirmations and motivations and such, Maggie Smith comes to mind, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and they were great and lovely and genuinely nice in that stop here and rest kind of way. It’s dangerous to go alone, take this! So, I wanted to do that, too. To be additive more than subtractive, to put something nice into the world, even if it was silly or cringe or what-not. Of course, given that it’s me, I couldn’t really leave it alone at “nice,” and so I would take nice motivations and mutilate them in my twisting grip until they were something, uhhh, different. Something weird. Something often at least a little bit monstrous and occasionally in all-caps.
I had no end goal for this. I know some people feel that tweets like these are performative, but I mean, yeah? Obviously? The fuck do you think I’m doing on social media? Once upon a time Twitter may have been a water cooler but it has for a good long while now become a stage, and we’re all on it. Thing is, the performance so to speak was always an earnest one. I did it because I liked it and I hoped other people liked it too. That was the only aim.
Fast forward to a year into doing it or so and, an editor at Rizzoli Books, Jessica Fuller, called to say, and I’m paraphrasing, THESE ARE FUN THEY SHOULD BE A BOOK. She probably said more words. And they definitely were not in all caps. But I mean, yes? Yes! Hell yes. I didn’t know what she had in mind, but she said she wanted art.
And I said, I think I know the artist. Like, I didn’t merely know a potential artist, I had… really one artist from the get-go who I felt was destined to draw this book.
Natalie said yes.
Jessica put together the tweets she wanted for the book.
We edited the text.
And now it’s here, in your hands. Or, maybe it’s not in your hands, but it damn well could be, if you’d dare to summon it with the matter of your willpower and currency (or library card).
It’s so weird that it exists. I’m really very lucky as a writer and I’m honored to get to do what I do and to have my… brain spasms somehow spawn things like this into the world.
The art is wonderful, and really, is the reason to show up.
I hope you check it out and enjoy it. It makes a good gift! As long as the person you’re giving it to has an, umm, slightly tweaked sense of humor and doesn’t mind profanity. Or possums. Or giant eye-butts. Because there’s a giant eye-butt in the book. That’s just how it is, I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Seriously, awooga, awooga, this book isn’t for kids, despite the fun cartoons.)
Anyway, your options for procuring a copy include but are not limited to:
Doylestown Books (ask them to see if I can sign it, and I might be able to swing by and do exactly that, and in fact I may be soon in possession of bookplates also featuring Natalie’s signature).
Obviously, buying from an independent bookstore is good for the bookish ecosystem and also your soul. Many ship! Including my two locals, listed above.
Enjoy the book.
Become the cosmic possum, the cyborg pterodactyl, or the magic skeleton you wish to be.