Hazel & Me
If you could write any story you wanted to write, something you would enjoy reading, what would it be? For me it would involve things I love. I would intertwine fact with fiction – and sometimes what is fact and what is fiction might be just the opposite of what you’d expect.
I’ve been collecting composition dolls for a long time. These are dolls from the 1920s to the ’40s or so, the first inexpensive dolls that nearly everyone could afford because they were made of sawdust and glue. These dolls speak to me. Literally. They tell me their stories and beg me for clothes and ask me to make them presentable once again so that someone new can love them. Some of them are quite picky; choosing fabrics can take almost as long as sewing their dresses and coats. Some of these dolls have years of grime on them. One poor girl even survived a fire!
I don’t own “mint dolls” (dolls that have never been removed from their packaging to help boost their market value) because to me they are sad. They’ve never been loved! They’ve never been alive! Which brings us back to the story. For any story to be good, there needs to be a hero. Or, in this case, a heroine.
Hazel Twigg is a lot like myself when I was a little girl. I’m proud to say she has a very vivid imagination and a good notion of right and wrong. I would also love to add that she is fearless and ready for any task and quakes at nothing.
Alas, such is not the case. Like myself at her age, Hazel Twigg is afraid of everything. Of things that she would probably never encounter in the regular day to day of modern life. Silly things like gypsies and gruel. What, then, would she do if unforeseen events actually did occur? What if she were taken out of a very safe haven, a cocoon devoid of sharp objects even, and thrust into a situation unknown?
Ooh! Ooh! And pictures! My book would also have pictures! Colorful ones! Wonderful ones! Full of perfect detail and shading and depth. And I shall draw them MYSELF!!!
Oh. Oh, I SEE. Well, hmm. Perhaps drawing people isn’t my thing.
HA-HAH!!! I bet I can draw THINGS! Things like a MAP!!
Oh, dear. Ahem.
Allrighty, better see if we can find an artist to do it then.
HMPF!! Bet she can’t do MAPS!!
Oh. Ooh, and look. The hands look all “hand-like” and everything. Well, if that’s what you prefer…
These drawings were for the 15th version of the book. There have been 27 in all, and I think I finally got it right. We’re waiting to see what miss fancy-pants artist does with the new version. However! Not to be outdone, I’ve been PRACTICING. Meet Hazel Twigg:
I keed, of course. I did that a long time ago when I first dreamed of her. With a MOUSE, where there is no erasing. With my RIGHT HAND (I’m a lefty). Funnily enough, I don’t think the artist is quaking in her boots. But, then! I found a book pretty much entitled, “How To Draw.” And after much erasing and left-handed smudges, this is what I drew.
Better, but we want the book to be finished sometime this decade. Now, we’ll see what Nina does! Challenge accepted, I’m sure.