Fake Fandom Or The-Green-Thing is more interesting than a football

IMG_5635

The Green Thing

I live in the Northwest so you can imagine that there is a lot of green, blue and silver/white everywhere I go. We never watched sports on TV while growing up. In my home as an adult we no longer even have anything other than streaming sources. My only child who is sporty is my adopted son! I’m a geeky, book reading, movie watching, puppet making, cross-stitching, artistic, animal adoring, self sustaining mini-farming, mothering writer.

IMG_5661

Seahawk theme puppet #1

IMG_5629

Seahawk gal puppet

IMG_5657

Seahawk puppet #2

After the Superbowl last year the sense of joy and elation around the entire Puget Sound was so high we kind of felt left out. My daughter had a wonderful idea of making para-cord bracelets in sport team colors. Para-cord bracelets are one of her hobbies though she rarely sells any so we are trying to do better.

I decided I will support her and my own chances of selling things by making some puppets using team colors. I placed three blue puppets and three of other colors on my in-progress rack. I started picking eyes, accessories, features, etc. Now a week later two of the other colors are done and make me smile.

IMG_5628IMG_5647

During the same weekend the Seahawks again won a chance to go the Superbowl, I still feel nothing about the three blue puppets in their varied stages of complete.

Ahhhh! Fake fandom. You can’t fake being a fan. But I don’t have to feel anything for these puppets because someone will still love them.

IMG_5655IMG_5659

I have an event in 30 days. MythicWorlds! I need puppets to sell along side copies of my book. If three puppets get homes because other people are fans then I have succeeded in bringing them joy. Which means no fake fandom for me. I’m a supporter of fans!

I will just keep making fun puppets!

Be a Dragon

e33h0

I love these sayings going around about being yourself. My favorite, naturally, is about being a dragon. Maybe it’s a good idea to just be a dragon rather than yourself. Honestly I don’t advocate hiding from yourself… unless you’re actually a big scary dragon. I’m a big scary dragon and a big scary wolf. This whole post is getting a bit crazy maybe!

I love dragons. The red guy above is one of my soft sculpture dragons. I’ve been making them since I was fourteen. This is a fancier one with beaded wings. Would you be a dragon if you could have scary teeth and beaded wings?

Dragons definitely have an easier time cooking things, but it wouldn’t work well if you prefer a veggie based diet. Roasted veggies anyone?

What would you be if you could be something else? Being a Unicorn is a popular choice, but dragons often have prehensile talons. I like being able to open a door. And I would be a nice dragon… most of the time. If I was a unicorn people would want to touch me, pull out my hair and ride on my back. No one would do any of that to a dragon. So yes. I’ll be a dragon.

What will you be?

“I wanna be JUST like you!”

cc8si

Father and Son Nigerian Dwarf Bucks. Blue eyes, Identical markings and their tails even curl the same direction.

 

Many children have turned to a parent at some point or another and said, “I wanna be just like you.” They copy us and follow our example–until the teenage years when things can go quite opposite! We mimic to learn. We mimic to improve, but eventually we have to start emulating other people and become our own person.

Mimicry or Emulation? This very topic was brought up on The Voice. The judges said that they seek singers who are emulating their favorite singers and styles, not mimicking. Emulation allows for creativity and individuality.

When I was young there weren’t people that I want to just meet and shake their hand (then never wash it again), but there were people who I wanted to work with someday. I wanted to learn from their skills. I wanted to watch them create the magic I loved. Then I wanted to go out into the world and do the same.

A fairy created in a workshop taught by Wendy Froud and Brian Froud.

A fairy created in a workshop taught by Wendy Froud and Brian Froud.

Many years ago I had a rare opportunity to take some workshops from the Froud family. Wendy Froud was the second to top person I wanted to work with as a child. She helped give life to Yoda, Jen and Kira of the Dark Crystal and many fun creatures from Labyrinth. Brian and Wendy Froud are amazing artist in both 2-D and 3-D mediums.

I sat across from Brian and next to Wendy as they guided us through the making of a clay fairy figure. Amazing is just not enough to describe the experience. I learned so much from them in the handful of workshops they did in my region.

Mowquin, the water Fairy. A rod puppet created during a Toby Froud workshop

Mowquin, the water Fairy. A rod puppet created during a Toby Froud workshop

Their son, Toby, is another great artist that I also got to take workshops from. One of my favorite puppets is from the rod-puppet workshop I took from him. I keep waiting for them to do another one in driving distance of my life, but I do have to keep trying to expand my skills from what I learned already from them. I have tons of ideas that mesh my novel writing and puppet work together. Now if only the kids would learn to go to bed at a realistic time!

The top person on my list of people I wanted to work with… He’s not available. Jim Henson taught me many things without me having to meet him. In losing him just before I reached adulthood and headed to The Creature Shop to knock on the door and ask for work, I learned that I had to pace myself. I was prone to overworking and ignoring problems. I wish he hadn’t. I wish he could still be here to enrich our lives with his magic. I regularly watch his works and through them develop my own skills of story telling and puppetry.

I was lucky to get tickets to a showing of Toby Froud’s Lesson’s Learned. They are doing a showing of Labyrinth with it. It is bound to be such fun. I’ve wanted to see his new show since the Kickstarter information about it led me to donating all I could at that moment: Five humble dollars. Toby’s friend, Sam Koji Hale, is creating a puppet film called “Monsters of the Sky”. Between the two of these films I feel a resurgence of my dream to create films with puppets that emulate “The StoryTeller” and “The Dark Crystal”. I really hope that getting to see this showing will add to my inspiration that may take years to lead to this dream. I know I’ll talk about it more. My biggest dream was to work for Jim Henson in The Creature Shop. Someday I will live a measure of that dream by creating puppet films of my own.

So the point of all this is that mimicking is okay, but emulation is the goal. Emulate the people you admire and become someone that others will wish to emulate someday.

What do you aspire to be? Who do you emulate to become that future self? What is your biggest dream?

Whirlwinds

Wow! I hadn’t realized the passage of time. We ended up moving two hours away from everything we know followed by two trips out of state in a row. Only in the last two days have I been able to sit down and think about more than the list of what needs to be done–NOW!

IMG_3526

Two days after we moved I had the first promotional event for my book. I sold three paper copies and had a lot of interest in the e-book. I love that event filled with people being whatever they want to be; faeries, mermaids, lost boys, ogres, pirates, etc. If you can dream it, you can be it when you are in the Realm.

IMG_3634

After that we headed out to a family reunion. My children grumbled and groused as we packed and drove. What could there possibly be to do on the Oregon Coast?! We got there as the sun was setting. They ran through the sand with joy on their faces no matter the age. This may have been the first beach experience for most of my kids. The next day they wouldn’t leave me alone until we went back out to the sandy expanse. The days went by too quickly.

IMG_4014

Now it is time to unpack, organize and get the kids registered for school. Interestingly enough the mascots for the Jr. High and High school are the Whirlwinds and the Tornadoes. Living in the Northwest this holds no local significance. But looking back at the last few months I see my life! Spinning, spinning, spinning around me until it finally settled back down leaving me to figure out which way is up.

IMG_4174

What has thrown your life up in the air? How did you re-balance your days afterwards?

IMG_3694

This beautiful night flyer loved my book! Or maybe just didn’t like being disrupted by my customers.

Goats in Cloaks

We have milking goats. The first babies of the season were born this last week! In the next few weeks I will learn how to attach video (Yes, I am technologically challenged.) For now enjoy cuteness through photos!

IMG_0960 This is Booster. I love his blue eyes!

Last night we made the kids coats. It was like pinning Elven Cloaks on Hobbits! Aren’t these boys stunning?

IMG_0965Meet Rocket. (His brother is Booster)

IMG_0885Poor little Bilbo was so tiny he could sit on the edge of a shoe box.

IMG_0972

Meet Booster, Boomer and Curly

I understand if you need to get a drink of water to deal with the sweetness!

IMG_0982Kids and Kids

Spring must be on the way ’cause baby goats are here to play!

I hope we were able to give you a smile or two.

Our Favorite Halloween books

Image

We have two books that we have loved since my kids were little. It’s exciting having a little one again after half a decade. My older children and I have been reading the first of the two to my toddler. The other one is a good choice for a story before bed later this week. We would love to find more fun holiday books over the next few months.

This Is Not a Pumpkin by Bob Staake

It is made very clear that you can do a lot of things with this large orange orb that has a stem, but no matter what you do with it, the orb is still not a pumpkin. Quite simply pumpkins cannot smile.

And

Jon Pig’s Halloween by Jan Waldron pictures by David McPhail

Jon Pig is afraid of witches and monsters so while his friends go out to trick-or-treat, he stays home. Baking eases his anxiety so he goes to the kitchen and starts to create some treats for his friends. Suddenly someone knocks on the back door. Who could it be? And will he find more fun than fear in his unexpected guests?

Do you have a favorite Halloween book? Please share with us.

Loss vs Potential Loss

mirishana 6th

    Today our dogs got out. We searched all over and couldn’t find them. Imagining the worst we went to school, running home between classes in case they came home. Finally on the third trip home I called out their names, sadness weighing me down and the possible loss hanging over my head. I called out again and our small dog, a smile on her silly face, came running towards me from the neighbors house. Sure enough our big dog was close behind. We’ve had our little dog for eight years. Our pets are members of our family. I locked them up and hurried back to the school so I could give my daughter a thumbs up through her classroom door. I can’t imagine she could concentrate with the fear and worry for her canine friends.

This had me thinking about Loss verses Potential Loss. My main character is facing the possibility of losing a loved one in the chapter I am currently revising. I spent the morning considering what do to if the loss of either of our dogs occurred. We are human. How could we not imagine the worst, but pray for the best? When we experience loss we mourn, we come to a place of acceptance and keep going.(at least we hope to do that much) If the loss is something that might happen, if we don’t know if or when the loss will be definite, we can get stuck in a horrible place of fear, anxiety, premature sorrow…

IMG_1714

My character actually ends up having the potential loss end well only to discover another loss is eminent. We read books with both these situation all the time. We can feel for the characters because our dog did run away a time or two, a friend did quit being our friend, a person beloved to us did pass away. My heart goes out to anyone that is currently experiencing a loss. Which do you think is worse? Maybe both are just as bad. What is your experience? What did you feel when you didn’t end up having to mourn?