Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big News! It is moving day!

I have just been offered a new job working at Nora Elementary in Indianapolis!  I am very excited to roll up my sleeves and work in the trenches of a school library.  It promises to be a rewarding learning experience for me.

And... I will have most of the summer free for my performance events for Fantastic Fables.  Perfection!

It is very sad to leave all of my fun-loving co-workers at the Monroe County Public Library.
Change is always bittersweet. 

Does anybody have any boxes?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bloomington Storytelling Project has created online archives!

Thanks to the hard work of my friend Laura Grover and her crew of folks at WFHB, the Bloomington Storytelling Project is officially archiving true stories online. 

For this project I shared the story of a chance meeting in "Are you Linda Rudd's Daughter?"

You can now tune in every Saturday at 5:30pm for the new program, The Porch Swing, featuring local Bloomingtonians sharing stories from their lives.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Artists and their Children

Blueberries for SalAs a child I loved the picture books of Robert McCloskey. I always wondered if some of his characters were inspired by real people. Well today I had my question answered!

McCloskey did have daughters named Sal and Jane. To what extent Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine were based on real incidences, I still don't know.
(If you do- please tell me!)

So far- none of my stories are based on my daughter, Emmaline, but she is the official taste tester of all of my tales. I take note of what she requests over and over again. Her current favorite is "Hansel and Gretel."
Thank you- Em!

I need all the inspiration/input I can get.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Evil Eyebrows

My new friend Robin Lee Holm of Adzooks Puppets gave me a wonderful tip for making my characters look more evil. Point the eyebrows down!

So my new evil witch for the story of Rapunzel has got some thick slanted eyebrows.

I decided to leave the eyes soft because I think that this character secretly wants to be a mother. She is lonely. Her problem is that she doesn't know how to love. Through her actions and her face, she sends a mixed message.

Thanks Robin for the tip!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And the lucky winner is....

The winner of the CYPD conference drawing for a free show from Fantastic Fables is...

drum roll please...

The Marion Public Library Children's Department!

Congratulations Cheryl and Company!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Cough, cough...

I am now going to quote Napoleon:

"What is history but a fable agreed upon?"


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

Surely the job of fiction is to actually tell the truth. It's a paradox that's at the heart of any kind of storytelling.

-Jeremy Northam

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Face of Penelope

Of all of the puppets I have recently created for my retelling of Homer's the Odyssey, my favorite is Penelope. This character is the gentle and loyal wife that Odysseus pines for during his long arduous journey. She is the root of his homesickness.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Boy and the Ghost

The Boy And The Ghost
I have discovered another folktale that is found all over the world under different pseudonyms!

Sometimes called Jack and the Ghost, Tinker the Ghost, Esteban and the Ghost or simply The Boy and the Ghost this is a tale of a poor character who goes off to seek his fortune and encounters a ghost who helps him find it. The ghost appears bit by bit as his body parts fall down the chimney in all of the versions. Why the ghost haunts the house and how our main character handles the apparition, however, differs greatly from tale to tale. The subtle variations to this story leads me to wonder about what those alterations might say about the cultures in which it is found.

I especially loved San Souci's The Boy and the Ghost with illustrations by Pinkney.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jataka Tales

Jataka Tales
I have just discovered the ancient Buddhist stories known as Jataka Tales. I read Ellen Babbit's book created in 1912 that focused on retelling the animal stories. My favorite was the Foolish, Timid Rabbit. It was very similar to the Chicken Little story. A melon falls out of a tree and a mob of animals get caught up in the hysteria. A lion saves the day by introducing logic and reason to the scene. AND- hooray! the lion suppresses his carnivorous ways and no one gets eaten. I am much more comfortable with this than Foxy Loxy.

And I must say that it is wonderful to discover a whole new genre of folktales!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Images from my own personal mythology

When I was a little girl, this watercolor painting hung in my family's bathroom. My mother had purchased it overseas somewhere in the sixties. Sometimes I would imagine that it was a man carrying many flowers and at other times it was an alien flower monster with the legs of a man.
I am thinking about incorporating this image into one of my children's programs, perhaps recreating the flowerman as a puppet.
What does this image say to you?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Website Launched and the Story of Odysseus

My company, Fantastic Fables, has officially launched a website! View it at: fantasticfables.net
Ironically, I have been researching Homer's Odyssey to create a performance enhanced with puppets for the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana this summer. The set will be handpainted and inspired by Greek art. Puppets will be flat paper silhouettes. The form of the Trojan Horse, the Cyclops and the Sirens are gradually taking shape.
As Odysseus embarks on his sea voyage, I too am beginning a new chapter in my professional storytelling career. Hopefully I can cut the underworld scene from both! Wish me luck.