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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mayday! Mayday! Gnome Infiltration

Libba Bray holds a gnome stowaway at SCBWI.
     Pay no attention to the headline of this blog. Everything is as it should be. Jen from the Block is not tied up in a closet, fighting for breath. She hasn’t been kidnapped by a gnome named Glenny. In fact, she’s never even heard of Glenny, and he has certainly not hijacked her blog. Glenny has no designs on some insubstantial, blathering account of the publishing industry and how it relates to advertising. A gnome named Glenny wouldn’t care if Jen ever sells a book or not. I mean to, he wouldn’t care about all that if he existed. Which he doesn’t.

     But if this non-existent gnome named Glenny had a blog, it would be about how people shouldn’t pigeonhole gnomes just because some smartass ad writer penned a campaign for Travelocity, featuring a wizened gnome (that was, I’ll have you know, washed up long before the audition) who now gets to tramp all over the world and be filmed lounging poolside and drinking coladas (which is a pansy drink, btw). To add insult to injury, he sometimes signs autographs. Why would anyone want his autograph? He’s nothing more than a Flat Stanley wannabe, gloating about having three dimensions to make up for his lack of literary connections. Flat Stanley is at least based on a book, whereas the Travelocity gnome is merely a pawn in some self-proclaimed ad wunderkind’s demented sales campaign. He is officially a garden ho, not a beloved icon. He gives us—er, GNOMES in general a bad name and makes all humans expect such behavior from every plaster creature in a pointed hat. The madness must end.

     Contrary to popular belief, not all gnomes are pranksters. They don’t control the internet and mess with your computer files (hackers do), or ravage your tulips before they’ve fully bloomed (that’s the deer). They don’t move storage boxes around in the attic, nor do they tunnel under the foundations of your homes, wreaking havoc with the structure. Really, people, you are getting gnomes mixed up with things like poltergeists and termites. Nasty nuisances, poltergeists are. And I can’t even think about termites without itching, so I’ll stop there. Gnomes are different. Most of us…er, them….are serious-minded creatures who like to talk about music and philosophize from atop those little bridges that humans build to get across the koi ponds in their yards. (Or, in cases where the owner of the yard has fewer resources, gnomes recline on giant, plastic mushrooms and ponder the universe. It’s like Woodstock for gnomes, minus the drugs.)

     We like to fish. That much is true. (Who doesn’t?) But we never, ever, ever fish with that moronic smile spread across our faces. Not to mention, we pin our beards up so they don’t get wet. (Oh dear, did I say “we”? I don’t know where my mind has gone. Of course I meant “they.”) There—right there! That’s proof that Jen is not under gnomic influences, for if she were, her mind would not only be intact, but would linger on far loftier topics than this blog traditionally tackles.

     Because gnomes are deep. Far deeper than former advertising professionals. They dabble in improving relations between all creatures. They contribute to world peace and promote great literature. In fact, we…er, they (I don’t know why I keep doing that) would’ve passed more than 500 writers through the third phase of the ABNA contest if given a chance. But gnomes cannot be Vine Reviewers, which—you must admit—is ironic, as there is a definite garden analogy in play. (Yeah, Amazon didn’t buy it, either.) I bet you didn’t know that gnomes idolize writers, EXCEPT, of course, for those who slur gnome reputations and threaten bodily abuse. Gnomes don't like authors of books like this one which provides a guide to surviving gnome attacks. (Like there's a market for that anyway. Pfft.) Those types of writers need to perish in flames, so it’s a good thing we don’t know any. A very good thing.

     Now since gnomes are a noble lot, an ancient clan undeserving of being bullied and/or anihilated, we should all be ashamed of ourselves for targeting them and making their lives a living hell for the past two months just because we happened to be going through “a thing.” At the very least, we owe them an apology. Recompense may be addressed to The Glenny Foundation at

While this is Jen's closet, she is NOT stashed in it.
     I, Jen from the Block, being of sound mind and body (one that is not tied up or otherwise restrained) recommend signing on to the above web site and making a donation ASAP. As for the pink flamingoes, the wind chimes, the ceramic geese (be they clothed or un-clothed) and the Marlboro man-esque cardboard silhouettes, Glenny/Jen says: have at it. They are abominations to both races: human and gnome. You have my blessing. Carry on!

....and congratulations to the ABNA quarterfinalists.


  1. So how do real gnomes feel about a Weasley-style deGnoming? I mean all it really gets them is dizzy and out of the yard... Then again the Lovegoods say a gnome bite is incredibly lucky.

  2. All in all, gnomes are flattered by the way they are portrayed in the Potter series. Oh, who am I kidding! They just like that all the mermaids in the book are ugly. It's about time someone took those mermaids down a peg. Of course I don't presume to know how gnomes really think...

  3. Hold on, Jen! Sylvia is on her way!

  4. I guess I'll fold some linens while I wait. This hostage multi-tasks!