January, 2014

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Friday Flights of Fancy

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My Mom is here! My glorious Mother! So this, fair maidens and knights, shall be a quick post. New art from Nina!

Please forgive me if I’ve posted some of these before. I am currently rather heavily drugged and practically incoherent. My keyboard is slobbery with drool, I drag one of my legs when I walk. I run into walls…You get the picture. No worries, ’tis only temporary. As a reward for your patience, I’ve posted a BONUS sketch that I KNOW you haven’t seen below.

First of all, remember my post about scents and how fruit and perfume Do Not Mix? Here’s my sketch to belabor that fact, featuring poor ol’ Marlene:

HT-045 The Gift NG

And here’s Nina’s:


Same chapter, here’s “The Mimic” (remember that Marlene has no magic, and cannot see the dolls):

HT-046 The Mimic NGNina’s:

Sk_HT_46Next, Smith and Jones from Chapter 21 A Place For Everything:

HT-047 Before The Fall NGNina’s!

Sk_HT_47Same chapter, Smith & Jones take their punishment (and I don’t care WHO you are, high heels all the live long day is PUNISHMENT.

HT-048 Teeter Totter NGFinally, Nina’s!

Sk_HT_48BONUS! Here’s a sketch for this next week’s chapter that didn’t make the cut. Sometimes when I can’t decide what to pick to illustrate, I’ll put two choices out there out there for my siblings to help me decide. This one is “the road not taken.” Marlene and Maxwell are together again! I called this “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle” and secretly almost wanted to pick it for that name alone, although nobody ever really sees what I call my drawings anyway (‘cept YOU, of course!):

HT-051 Jingle Jangle Jingle NGHow could Maxwell resist a face like that? Such charm! Such…something indescribable!

Have a GREAT Friday! Go BRONCOS!!

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One Fall. SWOOP!

This most recent installment, Chapter 23 Leap of Faith and the previous Chapter 22 Remembrances & Regrets that I wrote about yesterday, were two of the last chapters written. They came out of nowhere but are now two of my favorites.  They made even the fair Mayor of Rolfe mist up a little bit when she read them!

In Leap of Faith, Ruth leaps into a grave to create a distraction. Now, I myself have never done that of course, but I love the dark humor of it. And I needed to lighten things up a little…

While I was indisposed at the hospital, Nina sent a whole lotta art. To help us catch up with the illustrations, we’re going to go to one illustration per chapter, saving the second illustration for the book in print. That tangible, glorious book will be a Must Have!

And now for some of those new sketch installments. I have previous ones, but since these most recent posts have been about Chapter’s 22 and 23, I’ll premiere those here today.

Here’s my sketch for Remembrances & Regrets. I call it “The Slide”:

HT-049 The Slide NGBecause of my less than stellar skills, I drew Olivia’s silhouette on the porch stairs rather than in the snow. I mentioned it in my notes, but it was missed. However, Nina did such a wonderful, poignant job that I’m going to change the text a little in the book. I love her drawing just the way it is. See if you agree:

Sk_HT_49She captured the emotion of the moment PERFECTLY. Here’s my initial sketch for “Leap of Faith”:

HT-050 The Leap NGNina Strikes Again:Sk_HT_50Tomorrow, more art! AND! We are working out the kinks for rescuing Once Loved Dolls. We had GREAT response to our ad and final coordinating is being completed. This is going to be no fly-by-night operation! It’s going to be rather official, with clipboards and white boards and everything! Whilst still retaining it’s love and charm, of course. ‘Til then!

One Fell SWOOP

hollyYou will probably find this hard to believe, but I was strange as a little girl. And were it not for one particular friend during my formative years, who knows where that would have led…

When my family moved to Hawaii in the sixties, I was three or four years old. How lucky was it that we just happened to move next to a family with an equally strange little girl? Her name was Holly and we were inseparable. Beyond friends, beyond sisters even at that time.

H and ROur mothers, when they bought us dresses, would sometimes buy an extra one for the other of us. Holly and I were both blond, her eyes were brown and my eyes were blue, and therefore our dresses would be the same in everything but color. She would get the orange dress, I would get the navy, we got our hair cut alike…practically twins.

It was Holly that I played dolls and made up dances and plays with. It was Holly who was coaching me as I sang on top of that rabbit hutch. I still remember exactly where Holly’s teeth landed on my cheek when we hugged so hard after she got back from a trip to Europe. We were so glad to see each other again that she didn’t have time to close her mouth from our shouts of excitement before we were in each others arms, crying with joy.


If I had to guess, I’d say this was near the very end of my time in Hawaii.

Then finally came the time seven years later for my family to move back to the mainland. Back then there was no such thing as Skype or Facebook, and long distance phone calls were only for the direst of emergencies. We wrote for quite awhile and I would have dreams of Hawaii being just on the other side of that snowy mountain in Cedar City, Utah, but inevitably, Holly and I lost touch and grew apart.

Because she was such an important part of my life, my memories with Holly figure a lot into Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway, including one of the sadder situations.

In Chapter 22 Remembrances & Regrets, it’s revealed why Hazel’s mother is the way she is, so careful and afraid of everything, and why the mention of relatives makes her cry: Olivia’s husband, sister, mother and niece were all killed by a drunk driver who later escaped.


And when we were older.

In one fell swoop, Holly’s mother, sister and grandmother – three generations – were killed by a drunk driver who later escaped.

When this terrible event happened we were grown women with families of our own. We’d seen each other once or twice over the years but had changed too much over time; the childhood closeness was gone. But for that one awful conversation we were back to where we’d always been; Side by side as little girls, sharing funny and sad and scary remembrances of when we were younger. Those formative years when a mother’s love is so important.

We’ve drifted in and out of each others lives over the years and I can’t recall when I spoke to her last, but still. I am heartily, heartily thankful for that childhood we had together. I’ve said it often: Holly saved my life.

This is an “About” from last week’s chapter. Last night’s Chapter 23 Leap of Faith that premiered last night is a continuation of 22’s Remembrances & Regrets.

Nitroglycerin Groundhog Day

nitroglyground“Come to the hospital,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. “You’ll be out the same day…”

WELL. I know better now. Turns out, once you’ve had a taste of Ruth the Patient, you just can’t let go, apparently.

I went in for outpatient surgery last Thursday, and just got back yesterday afternoon! So, almost five days! I was so surprised when the doctor said “triple hernia” I forgot to use my “Did you by chance mold a six pack into the mesh?” joke. Shoot! Well, hopefully I won’t get a third chance.

A hernia is where something in your body goes where it doesn’t belong, and you’re extra susceptible to it if you’ve had a recent operation because scar tissue is weak when it’s on the mend. Only surgery will fix it, they’ll go in with a mesh to repair the “wall” to put the out-of-place organ back where it goes.

nitroglycerinI can hear it now, even though I was out: “We’re gonna need a bigger mesh.”

But it’s done now and this time I’m going to be a lot more careful than last. I’m going to treat my stomach like it’s nitroglycerin. Nowadays, nitroglycerin is used for all kinds of things. People even swallow it! However, when I first heard the word “Nitroglycerin” it was spoken with reverence and fear. It was that liquid that you would see some sweaty bad guy carrying ever-so-slowly, his eyes never leaving the glass vial, doing everything to keep that liquid level. Because if it fell, KABOOM!

My doctor says, if this happens a third time, LOOK OUT.

So! Stairs, one step at a time (like both feet meet on the same step before the next step is taken. It keeps me young!), no bending or lifting or anything like that. Lucky you, I can still write! Lucky for Nina, I can still sketch(ish). And I can still train my minions, bwahahahaha!

nitrobabeI was completely off the internet for the entire time I was away. Response to our ad for sewers and cleaners of dolls was roaring, so I’ll be working on that as well. Some far flung angels have come to help me out, and my biggest battle will be not to become completely helpless so at the end of the six weeks of healing with the angels having flown I don’t sit in my bed and cry out, “My kingdom for a diet Coke!”

In the meantime, things are moving on! Tonight, at midnight! One of my favorites, Chapter 23 Leap of Faith is premiering! Because SOME of my angels work from far away…

Bless you, angels near and far!

Wee Small

the-thirsty-crowYou know what you do at 3:00 in the morning of the day you’re going to have surgery on your stomach? You trim your toenails! Because heaven knows how long it’ll be until I can scrunch down there again!

And THIS after going to bed at as close to midnight as you can get because that’s the cut off time for consumption of any kind and you want water, because your radiators – which you quite love and are very thankful for in the double-digit below zero temps we’re having – cause the winter air in your house to be very, very dry.

Now I’m going to attempt to go back to sleep, otherwise I’ll be unbearable (to who, I wonder?). Therefore, tales of Chapter 22 Remembrances & Regrets will have to wait, because I don’t want to rush it.

So, g’night all! Either I’ll be here tomorrow or Monday!

Lesson Learned!


Robin Williams in 1989’s “Dead Poet’s Society.” Good flick!

I’m sure you know how it is. You have an encounter of some kind, you think it went well, and then…you start second guessing. “ACK! Why did I say that?!” you ask yourself. And you beat yourself up a tiny bit.

Well, don’t! All we can do is our best at the time, right? For example, I’m a pretty healthy person – or have been my entire life, until that wee little major surgery from the burst appendix. And to be fair, this is my FIRST time getting older, so…I figured I had the operation, I would heal, and that would be that.

As you may already know, that was NOT that. Turns out there’s more to healing then not lifting heavy things for the prescribed time. Turns out using centrifugal force to throw a red rubber chicken for your dog to play fetch is not an ideal thing to do, even if the chicken isn’t that heavy! It’s the twisting that’s the thing. So now I have this hernia that feels a lot like an alien is invading my stomach. And therefore I’m going back for more.




That has been my cry ever since I saw the movie “Dead Poet’s Society.” I will seize the day – if there’s a good chance I’ll never see a person again so as to save myself some awkwardness.

Therefore, in my “Thank You” note to the doctor who saved my life, I wrote a “thank you” (that’s a given), I mentioned that I’d written a book (I usually don’t self promote. For example, whenever I did plays in the past I never, ever told anybody, but with Hazel Twigg, something is different. I 100% believe), gave the HT website address (SO unusual for me before now!), and added the following words (or something to this affect): “Ah, if only you were single!”

He probably didn’t remember, right? I mean, I’d even forgotten that I’d written anything of that nature! But now, thinking back to that meeting to schedule my follow up surgery – I mean, our date, I recall that he asked me how my book was going. With a smile on his face.

Gulp. Oh. That’s right.

Yessirree, lesson learned. I’ll still “seize the day” every now and then. But only when I’m really, REALLY sure.

Tomorrow, before I face the dragon (and thankfully I’ll be out most the time)! Chapter 22 Remembrances & Regrets is based on a true story. See you then!

Got a DATE With an ANGEL


He looks just like THIS.

…and I don’t wish to brag, but he’s a DOCTOR. And this is our second date. This could be getting serious.

Our first date was super spur of the moment. This time, we’ve matured beyond that. I won’t tell you exactly when (must protect ourselves from the paparazzi, after all!), but if you were to try to reach me at say, 11:00 on Thursday morning and I weren’t here, well.

What I like about him is that he cares about what’s on the inside. Even so, I’m gonna wanna be thin, so I’ll stop eating and drinking at midnight the night before. That should do the trick.

Wish me luck!  I’ll still hang out with you here in the meantime, of course.

Tonight, at midnight! Chapter 22 Remembrances & Regrets explains a LOT about Hazel and her mother’s past.


Many Splendored Things


Luke & Laura, from General Hospital.
This is kind of what me and the doctor look like, when he’s not on duty and we time travel back to the 70’s and hang out amongst duct work.

Yesterday I was telling Julie that I didn’t know what I was going to write for my blog today. She suggested doing a redux of a past post. Well, I wasn’t going to, but then I got all excited last night because today I’m going to see my doctor boyfriend (note: if you’re over 27 and not related and not married or if I don’t know whether or not you’re married, you’re my boyfriend. I have SEVERAL. Not to brag) so I couldn’t sleep.

BatmanclimbSo! Speaking of boyfriends, who wouldn’t want a superhero? Even if he’s a tad grumpy? Aw, BATMAN, you’re not fooling ANYONE.

Wish me luck with my doctor boyfriend! Don’t be jealous!


Disclaimer: Sometimes I do these posts late and night when I can’t sleep, which can occasionally lead to them being kinda, shall we say, LOOPY. Such as this post. I should change it, write something better and more noble, perhaps, but I cannot. For I have bigger fish to fry….it being FRYDAY and all. Somebody STOP me!!

We are working to ketchup here (get it? KETCHUP? Do any of you even LOOK at the gallery photo up above?!) with illustrations. Coming soon! In the meantime…

I was at the doctor’s office the other day with my beloved sister Julie, who also happens to be THE MAYOR, thankyouverymuch, and she read me a funny joke out of the handy “Highlights” magazine as we waited. Wanna hear it? Here it goes:

Once there was a car completely made out of wood. It had wooden tires, a wooden body and a wooden engine. What do you think happened when the car was started up?

Wait for it…(here’s a picture of a Highlights magazine while you try to guess. YES, it’s still in print, and was actually quite entertaining)…

ketchuphighIt WOODEN GO!!

Now, perhaps it’s because we were hanging out in a doctor’s office, but I thought that was a pretty funny joke.

ketchuptwighLooking for an image of the Highlights magazine, I found this:

As it so happens, when I’m doing labor in my sewing room, sorting through dolls, choosing fabrics, making patterns, etc., etc., rather than listen to music I will watch the same movie over and over and over. It’s white noise and the occasional glance because I’ve seen it so many times before, but I enjoy it. I will watch the same movie for months and sometimes years on end. I wonder what would happen if I ever kept count?

Anyway, my current movie of choice happens to be “Twilight.” Don’t be a hater! CONFESS, you secretly love it too!

Say what you will, that Edward Cullen character is a pleasure to look at and don’t we all dream of being loved as much as he loves Bella?

Which led me to create my very own fan art (because I am mature that way and am secretly a giggling teenager at heart), modifying a quote from the movie:

ketchupedmeWAnd THAT is my post for today! A joke and some eye candy! IT’S FRIDAY, WHAT COULD BE BETTER?!

Have a great weekend! GO BRONCOS!! GO 49ERS!!

It’s Kind of a DRAG

Harvey Korman, Tim Conway

Harvey Korman

…and secretly, I like drag. For some reason, men dressing as women – especially when they don’t really look the part –  tickles my funny bone!


Eric Idle of Monty Python

From “Some Like It Hot” to Harvey Korman on the “Carol Burnett Show” to Monty Python to “Kids in the Hall”! So I had to do a little bit of that – but just a little.

Enter Smith & Jones in Chapter 21 A Place For Everything.

Really, that is all I have to say about THAT. Chapter 21 is a short chapter, and therefore, this is a short post!


Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in “Some Like It Hot.”



Kevin McDonald from Kids In The Hall