Wizard of Oz

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scisspartsTo be alive, or not to be alive? That is The Question. When it came to the part where Hazel and Ruth would start helping lost dolls, refurbishing them so that they can be loved again, how to handle that part of it? Should they go dormant while they were being worked upon? Wouldn’t it be a little odd to have a talking head?

From Chapter 29 Pinky’s Repair:

“This won’t hurt a bit,” Ruth said as she picked up what looked to Hazel like a very sharp and deadly pair of scissors. “I need you to firmly pull Pinky’s arm out away from her body,” Ruth softly explained to Hazel.


Scarecrow is still alive and talking, even though he’s in parts!

“Wait!” cried Hazel. “How do you know it won’t hurt?”

Ruth smiled at her. “Because everything I’m about to do here, I learned to do on Elizabeth. And Elizabeth’s just fine. Aren’t you, Elizabeth?”

Hazel looked warily at Elizabeth, who nodded.

“Now, I need you to firmly pull Pinky’s arm out away from her body,” Ruth repeated.

Could you go to jail for doll murder? But Elizabeth smiled at her reassuringly, and she didn’t look scared, so Hazel took a deep breath and did as she was told.


scissoz1aI really, really thought about this. I wanted to avoid that whole part of the story altogether and just perhaps neaten their hair and have new outfits made for them, but my brothers insisted. So I wrote the chapter a little tongue in cheek. And they liked it! So we kept it.

Pinky lives and is aware during the whole thing. I can thank Mr. L. Frank Baum for that. The Oz books are my earliest influence. I loved them all and have read and re-read every one that I’ve been able to get my hands on! In Oz, magical creatures live even when they’re in parts. And secretly, I still talk to these girls when I’m working on them. If it’s good enough for the creator of Oz, it’s good enough for me!

Happy Friday Eve Day!

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From Kansas To OZ

Hot via the magic of email! Here they are!

First off, the sketch:


And now, in drenched, Oz-like color:


drevilcBut, wait! Now that I saw it in color, I noticed something missing. And, NO, it wasn’t to delay-Nina-for-the-next-chapter-set-of-illustrations-so-that-there-was-finally-a-chance-that-my-charmingly-child-like-sketches-could-be-used-instead!

I can’t believe you’d think that.

See if you can guess what was added in this final, final version. Answer at the bottom of the post:

HT_30-1Lastly, “The Milky Brown Eye.” Here’s the sketch:


And in color!

HT_31As always, Nina’s done a perfectly lovely, if un-childlike job. Which is fine, if you like that sort of thing (which I confessedly do)…This is one of my favorites so far.

So, did you notice what was missing from the first illustration? It was hard to tell from the sketch alone:

RNsLook closely:


drevilsoonIf you noticed Ruth’s necklace appear in the second version, you were right! Ruth had to have her necklace, she put it on just before the opening of Elizabeth’s box. It wasn’t until I saw it in color that I noticed it was missing.

We just got Nina’s sketches for Tuesday night’s chapter!

There are a few changes to be made.

I’m sure she’ll work with her usual skill and speed.


Until tomorrow!

Nina, A Rare Miss(ish) and a THEME!

The site was down for awhile this morning, hence the Late Start. I feel like a kid again! Get it? LATE START?! KID?!! Comedy GOLD!

Ah, the art for Chapter 9! Much controversy behind the scenes, but it was too late to do anything. First off, the first, A Strange Drive Through Town:


Look! Do you see it? The word “STOIC” in all capital letters on my notes!

Nina’s much better take:


FIN SIDEA little note about Ruth’s car: in the text, the car is a four door. It wasn’t until later that I realized that Nina had made the car a two door based on the toy I’d sent, which only makes sense on her part. Whoops!

I’d have to change a lot of text to make the car into a two door in writing, for example Ruth reaches in from the front door to unlock the back. I’m hoping maybe it won’t get noticed. DON’T TELL ANYONE!

And now, the CONTROVERSY! My sketch for “The Transformation”:

1blogaNina’s *nearly* divine take:


There are two things wrong with this picture. First off, HMPF! Has someone been telling Nina tales that I might be a teensy bit jealous of her skill?! Because she’s making me look old and perhaps ever-so-slightly addicted to Botox! Plus, Ruth is getting a bit fatter, not that that’s here nor there, but look:

The sketch:

RuthsketchaaafaceNot bad! But then came the color version:








It occurs to me as I look at this that perhaps I’ve been spoiled. So, never mind! Especially when you look at a close-up of what I drew:

1blog Lastly, and more importantly (this is the problem that there wasn’t time to fix, so there it stays), is Hazel’s changing height.

When I was thinking about how to approach that for today’s blog, I thought to myself, “Hey! That’s kind of like Dorothy Gale’s changing hair in the Wizard of Oz movie!” And guess what? That kind of CONTINUES the theme from yesterday! KISMET!

If you look at Nina’s above illustration, Hazel is now the size of “a lovely 12-year-old” as one brother put it. But only a day or two have passed! This won’t do! But it’s too late to fix! THEREFORE! Hazel will become a petite nearly-eight-year-old again in future illustrations. She shall shrink before our very eyes.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with one of the many quirks of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” (like the fact it had five directors and lots of controversy behind the scenes), on of them is that the length of Judy Garland’s hair kept changing. Witness:

dorothy hair1dorothy hair2









So! Hazel’s height will be our Dorothy hair! AND! OUR LITTLE SECRET…


Have a great weekend!

It’s like Thunder! Lightning!

Time for Marley to start clanging his chains again! (April 2nd post: My heaters rattle like the Dickens…Comedy GOLD!)

Iowa, I love you! Day before yesterday it was 80 degrees. Now, today: rain and thunder. Tonight: SNOW. Up to five inches! And howling wind throughout. Could things get any better?! I’m being 100% sincere here, my favorite seasons are fall and winter and from my first lawn mowing to my last I am eagerly anticipating that hint of chill in the air, that hint of color change in the trees. Winter is having its last hurrah and it shall be glorious.

My assignment from my dear brothers that I love so much: Watch the movie ‘Apollo 13,’ because apparently “Somebody needs a lesson in perseverance.” I’m no Sherlock, but I think they mean me. So yesterday as soon as the library opened and I learned they had it (on VHS. Not to brag, but I have both VHS and dvd playing capabilities. What is this “Blu-Ray” I hear talk of?) I trotted on down the street in the hot weather with my faithful dog Teddy in tow.


Toto from “Wizard of Oz” was a Cairn terrier too.


When I sent these pictures to my Mom, she thought Teddy was a toy. It was only the slight movement of his head between the two pictures (see it?) that convinced her otherwise.

Poor Teddy! He’s afraid of thunder! I know I’ve mentioned him before, but here’s his story: Normally, I’m a mutt snob and I would never have a pure-bred, but this little dog fell into my lap. When I saw him running so happily at the farm where Adam spent his summers I said, “Now there’s a dog! Not too big, not too little, just right.” The owner’s ears perked up. They were looking for a home for him (he wanted to be king of the castle and their three other dogs felt the same way) so for $10 and a plate of chocolate chip cookies ‘Teddy Bear’ was mine!

We tried to change his name but couldn’t. Besides, he looks like a teddy bear! The blonde, mohair, old-fashioned kind. He’s gotten me through many a hard time so I’m glad I can help him in turn with today’s storm.


Might I recommend the Nina spa? It does WONDERS for one’s face!

I’m also going to work on the final editing of “Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway.” We’re starting to get the color illustrations for this final version of the book and it’s truly getting exciting. Nina does great work. Here’s an illustration she did from the now defunct first version. It’s all coming together! All it needs is a little more perseverance.

Knock on wood. (If you’re lucky, you will have that song stuck in your brain all day. Yer welcome.)