Jenny Lawson “The Bloggess” Gets Furiously Happy con Queso with an Interview, an Announcement and an Old-School Giveaway

September 21, 2015
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Jenny Lawson is my BFF and it just so happens that she has a book coming out tomorrow. Or today if you are currently in Australia. I say that because a whole chapter of her new book is set in Australia…and I know that everything Australian in the book is 100% true because I happened to be with her in Australia when it happened. So sayeth the Koala.

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Exactly. And that part didn’t even make the book. A lot of other things did though, things that were even better. But the book isn’t about Australia, not at all. It’s about being furiously happy…which, granted, is somewhat easy to do when you are in Australia, but that’s not really the point.

The point is about choosing. Choosing life. Choosing happiness. No, more than that, choosing to be freaking furiously happy no matter what is going down. And with Jenny, there’s always a lot going down. At this point, she would make a really lewd joke and I wouldn’t get it or even know what was going on, and then she’d tell me between fits of laughter what I had just said and then I’d be like, crap, now I have to edit that out, that’s not at all what I meant, and then she’d laugh so hard she couldn’t breathe and we’d forget what we were talking about because she was now effectively dying of not breathing. And really that’s sort of what the book is about. Seeking and finding and celebrating happiness and laughter and joy even in the midst of confusion and embarrassment and suffocation. Or something. It has a lot going on. And it’s good. It’s my favorite thing she’s written yet. Keep reading.

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A little backstory: Jenny and I have been friends for a decade now. We met through blogging when she was writing for the Houston Chronicle on Mama Drama and I was writing here at Blog con Queso.

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Photo credit: Ed Schipul

One time we threw a party called Mama Drama con Queso at a random Mexican restaurant for really no reason at all.  (We even had a logo! And listed and linked everyone who attended. Old school, y’all.) It made zero sense, but it was fun. That pretty much sums up most of my favorite things.

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And this pretty much sums up our friendship right here.

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Over the last decade, we’ve been to an embarrassing amount of blogging conferences together. I even help run one now. I know, so nerdy. So fun. Photo credit: Rita Arens 

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And here we are at the Kirtsy book launch, where Jenny was first published. I think that’s true. This was in her “I wear comfort wigs everywhere” phase.

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We quit our jobs at the same time. (Purely coincidence. She left to write a book. I left to take naps in the middle of the day.) Photo credit: Karen Walrond. Although I’m not sure how that’s possible since Karen is in the photo. Magic!

 

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We moved to the country at the same time. Related, her dead dog was half pulled up from the grave by vultures. So I helped run off some vultures. (Texas forever.) All that was in her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. 

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This was us the moment we found out that her first book had debuted #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Oh yes it did. So now you’re caught up. And now Jenny has a new book that’s coming out, and we are furiously happy about it!

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Are you ready? Because new book. And it comes out tomorrow (today if you’re in Australia). And you should get it. Like right now. Go.

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While you’re doing that the rest of us will look at this photo of Jenny and my son Harry, who happens to be turing 10 on the same day that Jenny’s book comes out tomorrow (today, Australia). He is a bit younger than 10 in this photo. THAT IS HOW LONG IT TAKES BOOKS TO COME OUT. I feel like we’ve been waiting for this one forever. And now it’s here! Finally!

So let’s do this. An interview with Jenny Lawson, a big announcement and a totally rad and ridiculous giveaway. Keep reading. And get ready to get happy. Furiously Happy. 

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Laura: Hi Jenny. You are nice. And I like your outfit. What are you doing?

Jenny: Thank you!  They’re pajamas.  Don’t tell anyone.  BTW, your hair looks fantastic.

L: Thanks! It’s real. Okay, some serious like I know what I’m doing questions now. Are you ready?

J: Ready! And I will try to pretend like I’m a responsible person who answered these questions on time. * cough *

L: Okay. Let’s go.  When we met, you were doing spreadsheets for a living, basically. Did you ever think you’d be writing books?

J: Yes. I just didn’t think people outside of my house would ever read them.

L: Fair enough. But then they did! And people seem to like them. I’d even say they’re quite inspiring. So what are your greatest creative inspirations? 

J: I read a lot.  Possibly too much, if that’s possible.  Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, and David Sedaris inspire me with their irreverence and humor in tackling hard subjects.

L: Good answer. Remember that time you stalked Amy Sedaris? Good times. Ok. What is your favorite word? 

J: Tintinnabulation: The sound of ringing bells.  My favorite definition of it though is the lingering sound of a ringing bell that occurs after the bell has been struck.  I love that there’s a name for that noise that comes after a noise.

L: Deep. What is your least favorite word?  

J: Panties.

L: Valid.  And what is your favorite curse word?

J: Fuck.  It’s a verb, a noun, an adjective.  It’s positive or negative depending on the tone.  It’s the most flexible thing I own.

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L: What is your favorite room in your house? 

J: My office.  It’s filled with books, my computer and a shitton of taxidermied animals wearing Victorian clothing.

L: Not unlike the taxidermied animals you wear out in public. Favorite spot in the world not in your house? 

J: The swing in my backyard with a good book.

L: Speaking of, what are you reading right now?

J: I always have a lot of books going at once because I like to read what best fits my mood.  Right now I’m rereading Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune for the 5th time, Kindred for the 2nd time and Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood for the 1st time.

L: The best part about being your age?

J: I don’t have to go to high school ever again.

L: Nightmare job? 

J: Scorpion tester?  Is that a job?  Because I wouldn’t want it.

L: I don’t think that’s a job. But maybe. In Australia or something. That’s a teaser for the book. Get it? How about a talent you wish you had? 

J: I wish I could not care what people think about me.  That probably isn’t a “talent” but it’s something I’m working on.

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L: Your definition of kindness:

J: Forgiving someone who never said they were sorry.  It’s a kindness to them and to yourself.

L: Your definition of awesome:

J: This guy: https://instagram.com/dallasclayton/

L: What’s your favorite new discovery or find?

J: Calamityware.  It’s like the blue willow china my mom had, but infested with octopuses and pirates and aliens. http://calamityware.com (This just in: Calamityware has added to the giveaway below. Keep reading…)

L: A six-word memoir that captures your life as an artist OR your art life.

J: “I apologize for everything in advance.”

L: Okay, but that should not apply to this new book because it’s awesome.

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L: But shifting gears, this is The Queso after all, so here are few Texas questions for you. First, what’s your favorite Texas food?

J: Kolaches.  Not the meat ones.  The fruit/poppyseed ones.

L: Your favorite season in Texas?

J: We have seasons in Texas?

L: Allegedly. What about your fave Texas word?

J: Y’all.  It’s almost as versatile as “fuck”.

L: Almost. Where’s one place in Texas that everyone should visit?

J: Big Bend

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L: What’s one quintessential Texas experience everyone should have?

J: Watching a thunderstorm storm blow in from your porch.  That amazing smell of rain hitting dust.

L: Texans get a lot of crap for being obnoxious…and sure, we get that…but what’s one thing that makes Texans unequivocally awesome and/or pretty great?

J: Friendliness.  Especially in the country when every time you pass someone on the road you wave at them.  Not a full wave, but lifting two fingers from the steering wheel in recognition of “I see you.  We’re both here.  Thanks for not hitting me.”

L: Who is your favorite Texas artist right now? Music or Maker.

J: Miranda Lambert.  She’s perfect to sing along to when you’re really angry or really happy or both.

L: Favorite thing about being Texan?

J: That there are so many definitions of being Texan.

L:. Preach.

J: Right?

L: Completely. Favorite “Texas” recipe? 

J: Um.  Booze slushies?

L: Interesting. And you don’t cook, so very apt. I will follow up with you on this later. I see Jenny’s Boozy Slushies recipe will be here in coming weeks.

J: No.

L: Yes. 

L: Okay, where’s your recommended spot to get the best queso?

J: Your house.

L: Aw! Come over right now!  

J: I can’t I have a book coming out tomorrow and I can’t find my shoes.

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L: Legit. But seriously now, let’s get serious. We’ve all read this blog post which was the origin story and inspiration for Furiously Happy…but what inspired you to take it to the next level and write this book?

J: Being a bit “touched” is so intrinsically part of being me that I thought it would be the next logical book.  Write what you know.

L: What was your favorite discovery you found when writing Furiously Happy?

J: That even people who didn’t have or understand mental illness were still interested in learning about it.  I was afraid that this book would have a very limited sort of audience but it turns out that everyone can relate to a little bit of crazy.

L: What is the one thing you want people to take away from Furiously Happy?

J: That depression lies.  That everyone is fighting his or her own personal battle.  That kindness saves lives.  That being different is nothing to be ashamed of.  Wait, did you say “one thing”?  Sorry.  I suck at math.

L: That’s okay, I am too, and I like all those things. The more, the merrier. And the book covers even more than that. As well as our trip to Australia and a fancy dermatologist amongst other things. But all and all and in the end, what’s your favorite definition of Furiously Happy?

J: Madly joyous.  That looks like I just used a thesaurus but I did not.  I can’t even find my thesaurus. I suspect it was abducted by possums.

L: What’s your deal with possums, man?

J: What’s YOUR deal with possums, man?  You’re practically infested with them.  We went on the other side of the world and you still managed to find them.  I think you might be haunted.  With possums.

L: Rude. That’s also a teaser for the new book, yes?

J: I can not confirm or deny this.

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The above photo is also a teaser for a chapter in the new book. It’s less scary than it looks. Possibly.

L: Right but now to the questions we’ve all been wanting to know: Is blogging dead? No really. Is it dead? The blogging? HA HA HA. Hahahahaha. Ha.  

J: What’s “blogging”?

L: That’s what I thought. What else do you want us to know?

J: That my feet are shrinking.  They got bigger when I was pregnant but in the last 6 months they’ve shrunk and now I’m walking out of all of my shoes.  What does that mean?

L: I think it means you’re probably going to be the next helper on Doctor Who. Or personal assistant. Or whatever.

J: COMPANION! And You’re Fired!

L: Okay, Donald. Role of BFF is so wide open for the taking, folks. Because nope.

J: Yes! And okay, you’re not fired. But you just have to watch it with me, YOU HAVE TO! You will change your mind.

L: No, no. I already watched that one long one with you and it was totally scary, like worse than Fantasy Island scary. And I didn’t like it. And I still have bad dreams about that creepy kid. 

J: No. You have to keep trying. You have to watch at least three. That’s the rule. TRY! TRY AGAIN! Everyone knows that. You have to watch three.

L: I will watch three if you will come back and tell us your favorite boozy slushy recipe.

J: Okay. I’ll make something up.

L: Deal. But most importantly, before you go. What’s the password?

J: Password.

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Are you still here? Still reading? Well if so, I’m extremely impressed because that was long, so you get two rewards.

  1. You get to be one of the first to know that Little Ms. Jenny Lawson will now be writing at The Queso from time to time. Oh yes she will. And two…
  2. We’re going to do an old school, old fashioned giveaway here. Old school blogging, y’all! If you leave a comment here on this post, you will be entered to win the randomly selected by randomized Bloggess Prize Package that has at least seven things in it. Probably more. Here’s what that looks like. At least.
The Old School Giveaway Bloggess con Queso Prize Package

A signed copy of Furiously Happy.

A signed Traveling Rory. The original Traveling Rory, in fact. Total collectors item.

 A signed copy of Jenny’s audio book which she recorded herself. Well, I mean it’s her voice reading it.

Some other random crap I find around that I get her to sign. This could be anything. God help us, every one.

Basically anything else I think of or find to throw into the care package. It will be good, y’all.

A certified certificate that states that you are a WINNER!

Some Sour Patch Kids.

Aaaannnddd….THIS JUST IN!…

The artist owner of Calamityware has reached out to us and he would like to play along in the Furiously Happy Old School Giveaway Bloggess con Queso Prize Package madness so he is throwing another high-quality item into the mix:

(Only he’s not actually throwing it, because it’s porcelain, and he is responsible.)

AND Jenny’s favorite Calamityware plate 

So LEAVE A COMMENT RIGHT HERE telling us what you think of Jenny and/or books and/or possums and you are immediately and instantly ENTERED TO WIN! And my God, I hope you win.

Also, go to Jenny’s At Home Book Party on Tuesday night and join us at Book People in Austin on Wednesday night.  In Houston on Friday night. In Dallas on SaturdayAnd/or go see her anywhere on the road between now and December.

Or come back here. She’ll be here, too.  Consuming Queso as per usual.

But first…

A FEW BIG UPDATES!!!!!!

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A) Jenny’s book debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List! Whoa! Go Jenny! Go You!

Also…

B)  Here are some photos of the goods one of you will win!  Here’s how it shakes out.

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There’s the whole signed Furiously Happy package of goodness. Book that she used to do her reading (the book she read from) at her first Furiously Happy Tour Stop book reading (!) which happened in Austin. Signed copy of the audio book. Signed Rory mask. And the original traveling Rory. 

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I forgot to pick up random items in my house, so I just pulled random items out of my purse for Jenny to sign. Like some playing cards, a receipt, a package of tweezers, a scarf. Oh and teabags…signed by Jenny, Victor and Hailey. You can have tea with the whole Lawson family.

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Plus, Calamityware added one of Jenny’s favorite plates to the mix: Tentacles. 

Plus, a certificate, some other things, sour patch kids. It’s really good. You’ll see. But this contest is almost over (midnight CST 10/2) so if you haven’t left a comment to enter, do that now!   On this post.

Also…

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C) Our Texas Conference for Women giveaway ends tonight, too (same time, midnight CST 10/2) so if you haven’t left a comment to enter that one, do that now!  On this post.  We’ll be there. You want to be there. Celebrate good times, c’mon.

Go.

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714 Comments

  • Reply nettie reynolds October 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Her books continually inspire me. What a great interview!

  • Reply Alanna October 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Jenny Lawson is amazing and one of the funniest writers in the history of laughs. She’s an inspiration to all otherwise slightly-unhinged and gives us the strength to be all, “Yeah, I’m crazy but that is awesome and I don’t need to explain it to you because my cats get it.” I’m so grateful she shares her writing with the world and that she truly cares about her tribe. Also, I loves books and I’m warming up to possums because one lives under my neighbor’s porch and I dropped my sandwich the other day and instead of attacking me, it looked at me like, “Sorry about your sandwich but I’m gonna eat it now so thanks fam, I’ll try to stay out of your garbage.” I felt very at one with nature and happy to share my tuna sandwich with someone in need.

  • Reply Audrey October 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Awesomely (it’s a word) fun give-a-way!!!

  • Reply Jody October 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I think you are both cool and the first book made me laugh so hard that I had to force myself to put the book away. WTH??

  • Reply Karen Miller October 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I love Jenny and her books. She is a ROCK STAR!!!

  • Reply Denise Rutledge October 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I’m a winner at life, but typically not at contests. I should probably not being telling you this, but I read Jenny’s first book as a digital copy intended by use as free matter for the blind. In order to read the book, I had to download it to the account of someone with a visual impairment. I actually teach students who are blind, so I was really just demonstrating to some new students how to download books onto this accessible app, yadda, yadda. Then I started reading the book (not with or in front of kids, mind you), and realized how G.D. funny it was and how insanely inappropriate for any of my young readers it was, but somehow failed to remove it from the device (and consequently finished the whole book). So I sinned. I don’t even have a visual impairment. Not that having one is bad. It’s actually beautiful and I love my job. And I would like to win this new book so that I don’t have to cheat the system, people who are blind or Jenny out of anything tied monetarily to the publishing of these fantastic novels. The end.

  • Reply Cris October 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny on her last book tour. I was thrilled to find she was everything I’d expected from her blog.

  • Reply Konrad Yarbrough October 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I have been a fan of Jenny AND her family AND her friends for years and it has been a long strange wonderful trip. Whenever I try (not that it takes much work, mind you) to sell someone on Jenny, her blog and book(s), my go to infotainment note is that hers is the first audiobook that I know of that comes with a blooper reel. This lady is reading from a book she wrote about her own life and she can’t keep on tangent. And the publishers were all “What the hell, this is too good to lose” and they pressed it!! Insane! I love that she does that to anyone that spends time with her or at least with her words.

  • Reply MsDarkstar October 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    I was so sad to miss the book signing in Dallas but sometimes duty calls and that was the day for me. Amazon somehow managed to find a way for it to take over a week for my copy of the book to ship from Ft. Worth to Dallas (it’s MAYBE an hour and a half trip, y’all) so I JUST got it but want the audiobook with a burning passion (no, not the type you just take a few doses of antibiotics to clear up) but don’t really want to have to rejoin audible although I will if I have to because I (not so) secretly like to pretend that Jenny’s reading to me and it’s comforting.

    Also, if you ever go on vacation and Jenny needs a fill-in friend named “Laura”, I volunteer as tribute. We don’t even have to talk, we could just hang out, drink booze slushies (I’ll even buy the booze) and watch whatever movie Jenny wants to watch. Heck, I’ll even make the popcorn. Or a pizza (and I’ll totally remember to check the oven to make sure the instructions aren’t still in the plastic sitting on the oven rack).

  • Reply Kristen October 2, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    I love Jenny because of the amazing work she’s done bringing people together. All the weird people! All the great people who need somewhere to belong! She’s given us a place. I’d love to win this prize! 🙂

  • Reply Kelly Collins October 2, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Love Jenny, love her writing!!

  • Reply Stephanie October 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Jenny changed my life. Her blog connected me to a group of people that save me every day. Because of Jenny I refuse to live in the dark. I refuse to feel shame or guilt because of my mental illness. I choose light, but before Jenny I didn’t even know that was an option. I owe Jenny a debt that I can never repay but will live every day trying to.

  • Reply Jenn October 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I posted in the wrong place. Asshole migraine meds.

    Well of course I adore Jenny. She is brave enough to shine a light on the darkness that is depression. I mean depression and mental illness are usually aren’t talked about because they ARE so dark people hide it. They shove it in a sock that they shove in a shoe that they shove in a bag they shove in a duffle that they shove in a suitcase they shove in the deepest closest they have and then they slab the door and lock it. Jenny has flung open that door and given everyone else battling depression and mental illness freedom to do the same and let out our crazy without shame. And with some laughter, too.
    Even if I don’t win, I think Jenny needs to know what a big freakin deal it is that she shared so much and so freely. She may never know the lives she saved. But, her bravery did save lives. Thanks, Jenny.

  • Reply Cindy October 5, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Life can be pretty crappy, but the one thing I’ve found to be the best way to get through the crappy parts is having a good sense of humor. Life can be crappy, but really really funny all at the same time. Jenny is one of those people that gets that laughter helps get you through the crappy parts. She’s also pretty dang fierce and braver than I think she really knows.

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