Being a great author doesn’t mean you know how to be awesome on social media. Everyone goes about it differently–deciding how much to interact, what to post, and what sort of information they plan to impart. Taken altogether, this blend of personalities can feel like a party.
The life of that party? Very possibly that is author and illustrator Ursula Vernon. Do you like visual diaries, funny comics, and occasional surprise fiction? Lessons on flora and history? Are you guys seeing this?!? This is so great.
You may remember that Vernon wrote a piece recently for this very site about the hardcore world of gardening. Within it, there was a rant about Incan potatoes, and the sad state of American potato varietals. There is also a Storified version of this rant on Twitter, prompted by nudging from author Kevin Hearne, with all caps thrown in for good measure:
But if that’s not your beat, you should check out Vernon’s Tumblr (which is under her second pen name, T. Kingfisher) for her illustrated journals! Where there is more talk of gardening, and life, and other fun minutiae:
Also posts depicting the softer side of plant rearing:
I make a big deal about the ruthlessness of gardening and all, how I am a mighty slayer of weeds and bane of invasives, but the truth is that I just transplanted a plant that wasn’t doing well, and when I lifted it out, an earthworm was left behind in the hole.
So then I had to go back and get the plant’s worm for it because I was afraid that they might be friends.
And sometimes sketches of fish!
Once in a while there are perfect comics like this one, that features a tiny moose by the end. (You should read the whole thing here):
But even if you don’t head over for the sketches and art, there are stories in abundance. For example, a true story about Vernon’s childhood, and “the thing” that she knew hid right behind her in her grandmother’s bathroom. (This tale eventually veers into precognition and predestination, believe it or not):
It seemed to me, looking in the enormous bathroom mirror, that I could see every part of the bathroom except the spot directly behind me, so that was where the unseen creature must be standing.
I didn’t know what it looked like. I had a vague feeling it was grey and shadowy and very flat, with long arms. I thought it would probably have eyes, but no mouth, but that was only a guess.
If I moved suddenly, it moved with me. At first, I thought it was just much faster than me, but that seemed sort of improbable–and when my mother would come into the bathroom, it wouldn’t matter how fast it was, it might risk being caught because there wouldn’t be any place it could stand that one of us couldn’t see it.
If fairy tales are more your beat, Vernon wrote her own version of the story about frogs falling from a girl’s lips when she speaks. It’s called “Toad Words”:
I spent a lot of time not talking. I got a slate and wrote things down. It was hard at first, but I hated to drop the frogs in the middle of the road. They got hit by cars, or dried out, miles away from their damp little homes.
Toads were easier. Toads are tough. After awhile, I learned to feel when a word was a toad and not a frog. I could roll the word around on my tongue and get the flavor before I spoke it. Toad words were drier. Desiccated is a toad word. So is crisp and crisis and obligation. So are elegant and matchstick.
Frog words were a bit more varied. Murky. Purple. Swinging. Jazz.
And that’s only a fraction of what you can find over on her Tumblr blog. If you’re in need of fascinating information and a wealth of fun illustrations, you should head over to Ursula Vernon’s Tumblr, follow, and enjoy. (We certainly have!)