(Not so) Private Affairs

On completion and new beginnings

Bouquet 07 by Nontemporary

Hello, wherever you might be. It’s looking like a late night for me in New York and I had something very different that I wanted to write about after a brief hiatus but it’s been hijacked by the printing gods so I’ll save it for next week when I can attempt to do it more justice.

In light of this, I’m thrilled to be able to say that Private Affairs, an idea that I’ve been sitting with for what feels like forever is actually going to make it into the “real world”. It hits the press this Wednesday 18th November so if you’d like a copy, make sure to order one here before then.

For anyone who is new to Send Virtual Flowers, welcome! Private Affairs is a photobook about “everything I may or may not have posted to Instagram between April — October 2020 but lived instead” and you can read more about its premise here.

On completion

I’d like to express that completing Private Affairs means a lot to me — the engagement and very thoughtful conversations I’ve had with some of you played a large role in persevering with this project and I’d like to say a huge thank you. Making a book, as I have learned, is a costly and complicated process especially during covid. I nearly gave up on many occasions but in a year of such distance and so much digital, I can’t wait for that one tangible moment: holding something in my very hands. If it ends up in yours too, I sincerely hope that you enjoy it.

It also represents overcoming a larger personal creative hurdle which constitutes working on infinite projects but feeling like I never follow through or bring them to fruition which to me is coming to mean: into the physical and corporeal world. There are many things I love about digital and its vast capabilities — even writing this newsletter — but in thinking so much about the past and the future, and the ephemerality of the present, I know there will come a day when I won’t want to show someone a website or a feed or a ~meta concept~. I’ll want the real thing and the effort that it takes to produce these things also feels significant.

Beyond that, I’ve been trying to make a habit out of telling people every single time something they do/say touches me. So much in life goes unsaid and it’s easy to have no idea how you have impacted someone. Each of you has impacted me by simply being here and cultivating this reflective space, one that feels explorative and safe and often a refuge from the rest of the internet. I would like to thank you too.

On new beginnings

I’ll remember Washington Square Park on Nov 7th for the rest of my life: the alarmingly hot sun beating down on us, the sheer and unbridled electricity that lit up every crevice of every corner in New York City, the collective outpouring of joy and hope and nourishment.

It represents a huge turning point in what has been a long and hard year. For the first time in a really long time, I actually feel excited for the future. I feel like I want to be part of it and that maybe, just maybe, we can steer the blazing energy on that day towards a better future for everyone. Let’s get to the work!

And on that note, I’d better get back to some of my other work. I look forward to switching things up next week and hope that things are switching up for you too, in the coolest and most unexpected ways.


I’m Emily Nabnian and Send Virtual Flowers is a weekly digital bouquet from me to you about that moment when the feeling strikes. It is an experiment in alternative modes of communication inspired by the things that touch me and perhaps you too. If someone came to mind while you were reading this, consider passing the bouquet along by sharing.