Monday, January 26, 2009

"The Jester's Guild" series by Alan Gordon has been keeping me pretty busy. I'm on Book 4, I think, and I have read all of them except Book 1 - "Thirteenth Night". The books take place in Europe and the Middle East during the early 13th century. And they follow the adventures of the jester, Theophilus, his jester wife, Claudia and extended family members who are added on gradually as the stories unfold. Gordon's premise is that there is a Jester's Guild and that jesters are entrusted with the mission of keeping peace and avoiding war. The books have plenty of violence and lots of mysteries, jests, jibes, jokes and jocularity as well - to say nothing of puns and ribald insults - oh AND political intrigue.

Well, enough about books. I have to tell you about my new style mentor, Michelle O. Yep, the day after the inauguration as I was getting ready for work, my eyes fell on a two page spread in one of my favorite weekly women's mags about Michelle's style and how to duplicate it. I was wearing a simple strand of faux pearls and there was a little blurb about adding brooches to pearls to add glitz. Off I went looking for brooches and I found an old clip-on earring that worked every bit as well. I may not be tall; I may not have a slender curvy figure; I may not have a coppery complexion BUT I can dress up my pearls - faux or not - just like the First Lady.
AND people commented on my stylish necklace all day long. I felt so fashion-forward-ish. Thanks, Michelle. Just another reason to be grateful that there are Obamas in the White House.

Saturday night, I was part of the madness at the Storytelling Potluck at Richland Monthly Meeting in Quakertown. Don't believe it when people tell you Quakers don't know how to have a good time. There was laughter and singing and silliness. We even had a few death scenes. John Callahan (NOT the mayor of Bethlehem, PA) was the Master of Cermonies with his bodhran and dramatic drumming. Chaz Kiernan and Betsy Whitman and I were the token "professional" storytellers. But those Richland Friends didn't need us - not much anyway. They spun tales that touched hearts and split sides. There was even a quilt story in there as well. I'm going to the next Storytelling Potluck Richland Meeting hosts whether I tell a tale or not.

I'm telling this coming Saturday, January 31st at the Charles Brown Ice House in Bethlehem, PA at 10 am. Winter stories and a Chinese tale or two because TODAY begins the Chinese New Year Celebrations. I get to do a storytelling workshop at 11 am as well. Go to the Family series page at Mock Turtle Marionettes site for info on times, cost and directions.

Good night.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year! Time for another installment of Things I Miss.

I miss Quick & Simple magazine. It was a women's weekly and none of the articles were more than two pages long. It had lots of sidebars, lots of photos and every week there was a different "Spot the Differences" photo puzzle. Unfortunately, it was too similar to a couple of other weekly magazines and it ceased publication last summer.

I miss meeting my friends at Barnes & Noble for Sunday morning coffee. We didn't do it too often but now we are "too busy". Boo.

I miss Christmas carols. Yep, one day after New Year's and all the radio stations are back to business as usual. We have a few more days of Christmas, guys.

I miss the little magazine I put out for family and friends for a couple of years, BackPorch. I miss researching different ways for people to live full lives without spending money.

I miss writing for the Parkland News, another weekly publication that bit the dust. The East-Penn Press family of weeklies was too well entrenched for the weekly News newspapers to get much of a market. But for a little over a year, I wrote about books and literacy.

I miss waiting for another Harry Potter novel to come out.

I miss snow. I mean REAL snow that falls soft and silent and stays for days. I also miss being able to stay home to enjoy the snow. So maybe I don't miss snow all that much. Maybe I miss the idea of snow.

I miss people - the ones who grew up, moved away, retired, flew off to be somewhere else. Luckily, new people enter my life. Still, they never fill the holes left by the people I miss.

I miss making stuff for the craft fair. This is, of course, a temporary missing because there will be another craft fair and another mad crazy rush of making things out of pudding cups and lightbulbs and old t-shirts. But I'm not making those things right now and I miss it.

I miss Nanowrimo. I can always try to write 1700 words a day WITHOUT the pressure but Nanowrimo is FUN. So, now I'm doing nanorewrimo or something. The book I wrote this year ROCKS! But it needs a lot of work.

I miss Nerdfighters - sort of. Now that Paper Towns has become this big best selling mega blockbuster book, I miss the buzz of the Nerdfighter tour and watching Hank and John Green get all excited and big eyed and crazy. Write another book, John. Maybe Hank can write a song about no more Harry Potter books.

There are other things I miss, like national fiscal responsibility and a stable economy. I've never known Peace on Earth but I miss it anyway. I miss gasoline for 99 cents a gallon and I miss not having to work for a living - but that was looooong ago, now.

Well, enough about all the missing. Change comes and takes stuff and people away and washes stuff and people into our lives. More things to love. More things to miss.