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

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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.

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Seahawk theme puppet #1

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Seahawk gal puppet

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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.

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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.

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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!

It’s the time of year for getting Squash-ed!

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Pumpkins are one of the great things in life. My family went to a pumpkin patch as part of our attempt to go on adventures. Some adventures will be close to home and some will be far away.

Saturday the sky was prone to fits and bursts of precipitation, but sunshine would break through as well. As part of teaching money skills, each child had a baggie of 8 quarters or more.

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It was raining when we left home, but thankfully stopped as we parked. It was like the fair at a farm! You could hurl pumpkins, go through corn mazes, play different games and more, but we just wanted pumpkins.

Our first stop at the farm was the pricing examples. Each size was labeled with a price and each child determined what sizes they could get with their money. (my older ones had more money since they want to carve the pumpkins and the younger ones will only be painting theirs)

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We found the closest field of large orange orbs and started our hunt.

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After picking our pumpkins we paid and headed back to the van when suddenly the clouds burst out in a downpour. Once home we sat in the driveway watching the flood down the windshield and the hail attempt to attack us. Then we made a run for it.

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We all had fun. Part two of the adventure will be in the next week: turning pumpkins into decorations.

Enjoy these pictures of our pumpkin adventure.

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Have a wonderful Harvest month everyone!

Insanity Days

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Some days are utterly crazy. Last school year it was Tuesdays. I called them Insanity Tuesdays. I wasn’t ever home more than a half hour before I had to drag another kid to another appointment, to another activity, to another class… From speech therapy to church activities, it never failed to be Tuesday that things happened to happen.

Life ends up with so many strands to follow that it might as be a bowl of spaghetti squash. Everything gets so busy I’m not sure how I a whole month ends up passing as if it was a day. Even with all the planned appointments and meetings and trips there ends up being messes that show up to make the day more interesting. Raising seven children likely adds to the insanity for me. I do try to treasure the good moments I have with them. This next year I will go from one to three teenagers and so many preteens! Life will be full of new adventures to write about. Or are they misadventures?

During the busy times that rain down upon me, I seem to go missing from online sources. This last insanity week lasted for two! Our phone and internet was down 90% of the time which makes an obvious reason for lack of internet presence! I know everyone understands this phenomenon to a degree.

So when I am silent consider me Missing In Insanity Action, but that I will probably rescue myself and show up again with more tales to tell and fun adventures to record.

What do you call your very busy time periods?

“I wanna be JUST like you!”

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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?

In the beginning…

IMG_5240Born during a severe snowed in week in the Northwest while dancing the line between Chinese New years.A dragon like mom and big sister or a rabbit? Quite the beginning

What is the best beginning you have ever read, watched or heard?

A beginning can make all the difference or it can just be a place to start. We all have our own beginning. We have many beginnings throughout life. But what beginning have we seen, heard, read or watched that moved you or you related to or affected you deeper than others?

Leave a comment! I want to know what kind of beginnings are the best to everyone else.

Reading and Watching Funk

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I’ve experienced a weird phenomenon since April 1st or perhaps a few days earlier than that. I can’t find books or shows or even movies that really are satisfying. Nothing inspires me enough to pull me out of my funk. I’m just restless.

Granted I did have the kids finish school, move two hours away from everything I know, go to Oregon to vend my puppets and promote my book then turn around and go back to Oregon for a family reunion on the beach. Now I’m trying to unpack and get caught up on everything, but still nothing quite satisfies or helps me feel balanced. There is such a stack of books,TV show episodes, and movies that I have in my list of things to finally get to, but even they have not been enough.

Have you ever felt this way?

Add to that my inability to write much of anything for book two of my novel or any of my other books and this may be the biggest funk I’ve been in ever!

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This last week I tried another book, but it was too dark for how I feel lately. Moving so far from things I know, I am a bit lost and frustrated. I miss people and routines I’m used to. I drive on roads I have never been on before and don’t understand any directions people give me. (thank goodness for smart phones and GPS!)

I love our new place and am learning roads and meeting people so that frustration will ease with time, but the lost feeling is similar to when I left the West Coast for the first time ever and flew all the way to New England the summer before my college senior year. I had an internship that was required for graduation. I managed to get something like no one had before that allowed me to travel and work with artists from New York who loved the summer theatre in New Hampshire where some got their start. It was an incredible experience and I went back for two more summers, the last two of the very old theatre’s life. So I know this lost feeling will also ease with time.

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A few days ago I skimmed through my kindle reader, swishing book cover thumbnail images up and down.

Hmmm… What can I read? That? No. That? No way! This?

There it was! It was something that wasn’t dark. It was something that wasn’t going to rip up my emotions. So, yes, I’m part way through book one of The Anne Of Green Gables series! I love the movies. I love the books, but I haven’t read them in ages. Maybe when I’m done I’ll re-watch the movies too. The are eleven books in the e-book collection I got about a year ago so this should fill my spare moments for awhile, perhaps for long enough to get through this funk.

Hopefully the funk ends before new episodes of Doctor Who are available. Definitely I need this funk to end before the next three deliciously enticing episodes of Sherlock! What will I do if I’m not over this funk before the last installment of The Hobbit!?!? (Yes, this warrants multiply exclamations mixed with question marks.)

What do you read when you are in a funk? What do you watch to get out of frustrating gunk?

Comment and share your helpful ideas!

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Looking for an adventure to read?

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