All posts for the month September, 2016

photos of some of the dolls who inspired Irene, and a couple of me.

Published September 8, 2016 by The Merida Review




This is me, singing. (Duh.) Look how into it I am. Impressive.


Me holding a guitar. This how I usually look when I’m just sitting around (not!) Ohio cornfield in background, so no one confuses me with a city girl.



Me, again. In Merida, backstage, while we were doing a play. I was the assistant director. I am great at being an assistant director. You just run around doing things other people tell you to do. Why I look so calm there, I don’t know, because I don’t remember ever being calm during a performance.


These photos are from a photo shoot for a video that my guitarist was less than impressed with. I thought it was absolutely awesome. I think it has a total of 49 views on youtube, so I guess I’m just not finding the right audience for it. Look up Keeping it All by Cher Bibler and Dave Harms. Warning: loud rock music. You have to keep it on for 30 seconds to have it count, so don’t turn it off right away! Anyhow, this is Penn, holding the cardboard guitar. He’s really a Tonner and has a Tonner name, but to me, he is just Penn.


To the right, with red hair and a blue brocade dress, is Irene. The doll that started it all. I was sitting at my desk trying to figure out something to write, and she was on a shelf beside me, and I had just come back from a doll convention and my mind was all full of dolls, and I started writing a story through her eyes. She started out the protagonist, and then fantasy took over and the protagonist turned into a french fashion doll, who I unfortunately do not own, and never will own unless I find a really rich husband (anyone know of one?), but hey, fiction is fantasy, right? So this is Irene, the best friend.

These aren’t the way doll collectors normally treat their dolls, is it? But I swear no dolls were injured in the process. There was just some hair fixing and dress straightening when it was over. And the poor metal head who is the lead singer (metal head, how apt) had to get back into her horrid homemade 70s Little House on the Prairie type dress and bonnet. She is demanding a new outfit. She’s into punk. I’m pretty sure she’ll never enter a doll competition. She’s asking if she can get a tattoo and dye her hair purple.



That Penn, he sure knows how to woo the ladies. She is a Gail Wilson kit that I made myself. Impressive, huh?


Less impressive is the Betsy McCall rag doll on the right. It was my very first attempt at making a doll, though, so she has an honored spot on the shelf. She is standing by Irene, and in the background is the Peruvian witch doll.


A close up of the Peruvian Witch doll. She doesn’t really appear in the book, but we talk about her; she’s the one who taught Kim what she knows about magic. I make her sound scary in the book, but she’s actually a happy soul. You can take all sorts of liberties with fiction, however. She was my souvenir from Machu Picchu. I found her in a grave. Ha ha, no I didn’t. I bought her from a craft vendor who claimed she was made of antique fabric, but I took that with a very large grain of salt.


On the left is the doll who inspired The Grand Duke. I glamoured him up quite a bit, though. Made him less Little Lord Fauntleroy and more Clark Gable, I think. Again, poetic license.


I also lusted after a Queen Anne, and while living in Mexico, I commissioned this (on the right) from a woodcarver who lives near Chichen Itza. I gave him a bunch of photos and told him to do his own thing. She turned out really awesome, I think. He doesn’t have any power tools, it’s all hand carving. She is my Madame Zamalka. Or as close as we get. She had to borrow a dress for the party, she had nothing suitable to wear. She’s in a Tyler Wentworth gown. She had to give it back after the shoot was over, she’s not happy about that.


Not related to the book at all, but look at this drumset! I was so impressed with myself. I had so much fun doing this. My kitchen was covered with dolls for a week. Notice in the background a Tinfoil poster with my photo on it, not a great photo or anything but an actual Tinfoil poster for an actual date we played. This album was just me and Dave, so we didn’t call it Tinfoil. We’re working on a cd with the entire band right now, however.


The after-party. Notice the little bottle of champagne and the champagne glasses. They all got absolutely wasted. Well, you would too, if you had to go back to quietly living on a shelf after this.


Totally unrelated, a doll I just finished. All by me, no pattern, no kit. A photo for the dress. I’ve apologized to her for the lumpy misshapen legs, but she says never mind. She wants me to have another doll party so she can come, too. I think she needs a little color in her cheeks. And she doesn’t have a name yet. I’m not sure other doll collectors have as much fun with their dolls as I do.