Monday, December 28, 2009

Dummy up...

I have considered several styles of dummy for presenting to publishers. In the past I have done the labor intensive stitched kind, with heavy board covers and also the double stick adhesive type as well as accordion folds and taped together versions. For the book I am working on right now I used a new system that suited the style very well. Since I am able to hand deliver this one, it won't matter that it is a bit heavy. I took an older sketch book with hard board covers and used it as a base. Then I glued each page into the book on the empty pages. I had just enough leftover sheets in the sketch book to accommodate the dummy.

Although this wouldn't be the best choice for one that I mailed on spec, it is a great way to showcase the sketches for this particular project. I was even able to slip a DVD with the PDF for the sketches into the book. The images are blurred for privacy of the publisher, but you get the idea. I liked the way the presentation turned out.

Because I have a nice new wide body printer I can actually print out the spreads up to 13 x 19 inches. I can make a dummy with those as well as this kind where I have to cut the pages apart to put them in order. Maybe variety is what I like when it comes to dummies. *:)

Do you have a favorite way of creating a dummy?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Through the Fog

The family members that had to travel here have traveled home. Those who could not make the trip have called, chatted and sent photos and videos for us to enjoy.

Now today, those of us who live in this house are quietly settled into almost normal daily activities. The tree is still trimmed and shining brightly. The manger scene invites discovery from all who pass by.
Often the characters are rearranged to suit whomever is visiting.

Basically all is quiet. Outside a heavy fog has cloaked the forest from view and the snow has begun to change yet again into something not quite snow and not yet slush.

Although it warmed up today , I am sure the bears are still deep asleep and waiting out the rest of the winter safe in their special hideaways. When the cold returns with ice and snow the deer will begin to arrive.

In the meantime, soups are made, leftovers are served, more cookies are baked, puzzles are put together, books are devoured and all is calm.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Amelia Mae was always the one to explore her surroundings. A true pioneer she was the first to discover the unusual tree at the top of the mountain, near the edge of the forest. The sound of tiny giggles drew her nearer and nearer. There she found tiny beings with wings. Much smaller than the birds of the forest it was clear that these creatures could actually be transported by those very birds. Seeing the future of flight in the various wings around her she decided right then that she would one day become the first woman to fly around the globe.
And, of course, she would do that with a set of her very own handcrafted, highly polished wings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Because her hair was forever UNdone
Angela Ann would be the one
To venture out on a bright sunny day
with friends who stick with her all the way

Friday, December 18, 2009

Did you Trim the Tree?

Along with that question comes another... who helped?

In our house my strong husband wrestles the tree and lights into position and I get to hang our treasured ornaments on the tree. Some of those are over a dozen snoopy plush characters that one of our daughters has given us over the years. Another is a gift from our other daughter, a small owl that goes on first. Others include favorites of our son when he was little ( now a dad with little ones of his own) and some that I made from sculpey clay and one shiny one my neice made from an old CD disk. Others include handmade gifts from friends, students and my mom and dad and my husband's family.

Do you decorate as a family? Do you have special favorite ornaments? Do you have a blog where we can see your tree?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Magical Snow - And snow stories WANTED (*:)

It usually comes in the night..... covering the old snow with bright new flakes that greet us in the early morning. Magical snow that wipes away the dust and debris. Magical snow that makes hearts sing. Magical snow that brings the bright promise of more joy to come.

Now, I am sure there are as many views of SNOW as there are types of snow. What is your view? Do you love it? Hate it?
Share your SNOW stories here!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Shepherd's Play

The Shepherds Play is being performed again this year by the Life Sharing communities of our Monadnock region. With each performance a it is clear that the actors and their assistants are truly touched by the spirit of this Holy season.

There are so many reasons for this. One of the truest meanings of Christmas is found in the love that is given to those who live in the life sharing communities. The residents in these family homes are always excited to perform the play for our community. This year's cast is made up from those who live at Plowshare Farm, Maple Hill, Tobias and Four Winds communities. Director Kimberly Dorn Bay welcomes us each year to witness the wonder of the season as told in this production.

The play itself is an abridged version of the Oberuferer Shepherd's Play which is a medieval religious mystery play. The roles in this play were passed down from generation to generation and involve the simple story of shepherds coming together to follow that all shining star.

Finding no room in any of the inns Mary and Joseph are given rest in a small stable with friendly animals to help keep them warm.
Later in the play as the Angel Gabriel slowly lowers a star on a stick over Mary, Mary slowly forms a cradle with her arms and we know that the Christ Child has been born. Silence at this point in the play is overwhelming and the moment is truly devine.

Children in our audience love to see the shepherds arrive and enjoy their antics and comical performance. Coupled with this is the touching moment when the shepherds give their precious gifts to the Christ Child.

As a bit of background the Oberofer Shepherd's Play: As early as the 16th Century a group of German people migrated to the little ilsnad of Oberufer on the Danube close to the frontiers of Austria and Hungary. With them they carried a cycle of religious plays which had been handed down by oral tradition through the generations. The plays were preserved unaltered to the method of acting and the words and songs and in the 50s and 60s Karl Julius Schroer a professor of folklore transcribed the dialogue from the region's farmers who were the actors.

The Shepherds play is performed each year in many languages in many schools and churches worldwide. Audiences are given song sheets to participate in the opening and closing songs and help to lead the actors to and from the stage.

Our local church Union Congregational has the pleasure of hosting the Life Sharing Communities as they perform the play each year. Shepherds are also evident in the form of the helpers who assist the performers in their roles. Quietly holding, leading , singing and speaking with and for the actors, are directors and assistants who dress in subtle costumes and are more of a background than performers. The roles given to the actors from these communities are taken seriously, performed with love and to this day bestow a special blessing upon all who witness the play.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Do camels eat carrots? If they do they are sure to be CRUNCHY. Actually they eat mostly grasses. When people keep camels as pets, they may sometimes give them carrots, but generally carrots are way to rich to be a steady diet for a camel and should only be used as a snack.
"Clarise Camel Chews Crunchy Carrots Cautiously."