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Euclid Beach Amusement Park

Published May 14, 2017 by The Merida Review

 

This photo fell out of a book about Euclid Beach Amusement Park that I recently bought at a library sale. It’s of course not labelled, but I assume it’s at Euclid Beach Park, because why else would someone have put it in the book? Unlabelled photos always make me kind of sad. I am very curious (some might call it nosey) by nature and I want to know all about the lives of these people, and all I have is one little moment snatched from time. So I’m filling in little details from my imagination. Mom doesn’t look very happy, either about having her photo taken, or about being there. Who knows? Maybe she’s just had words with her husband, who is the one taking the photo. Or maybe she’s increasingly embarrassed by how she looks in photos and doesn’t want to see another one. Note the string indicating that the kid has a balloon tied to his or her arm. A boy wouldn’t wear a hat like that, would he? Let’s assume it’s a girl. Do you think it was the girl who grew up and laid the photo of herself and her mom in the book? The little girl’s shoes and socks are in Mom’s lap. One can only imagine all the sand that’s going to have to be brushed off that little dress (and Mom’s dress, too) when they leave the beach. Oh, but it’s worth it, to sit in the sand with a pail and a shovel. (A pail that has the word “Island” written on it.) Mom’s pocketbook is laying in the sand beside them. I wish Mom could’ve taken her shoes and socks off and be wiggling her toes in the sand as well, but maybe it wasn’t appropriate at that time. Someone, folded over the top part of the photo, so that it wouldn’t show the boats and all the people standing on the dock (or I assume it’s a dock). Perhaps they thought it cluttered up the picture. Perhaps they wanted the moment in time to be all about the mother and child, and not the crowd of people and boats behind. Perhaps they wanted a simple memory. But whose memory? Who are these people? I will, obviously, never know.

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

Published September 8, 2016 by The Merida Review

 

 

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

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Photos that could be me

Published August 21, 2014 by The Merida Review

Excuse me. I mean, really.

You don’t know what a french fashion doll looks like?

We are the ultimate in doll art, and you have no clue what I am?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions since I started writing this thing. One person even said (and I quote), “I didn’t know they had Barbie dolls 150 years ago.” So, I’ve taken my little stiff doll finger and googled (something which you could have done way easier than me!) and found a couple photos that could be me. But aren’t. I know that some authors are so famous they have no private life, can’t even walk down the street! and I don’t want that to be me. So, no on pictures of me. But here are some of my kind:

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That should clear up some of the confusion. Barbie dolls, indeed. Hmmph.