A Galaxy of Giggles for next summer

How do you get an astronaut baby to sleep?

You rocket!

Baby is getting ready for our show A Galaxy of Giggles for next year’s Summer Reading Programs, which has the theme A Universe of Stories. Baby even has a jetpack!

Photo by Heather Harlan, Oct. 2018

Photo by Heather Harlan, Oct. 2018

It’s true. A couple of months ago, on my way to the Missouri Library Association performers showcase, I found myself at a Build-a-Bear shop in the mall. There I found the perfect pink jetpack, exactly the right size for my baby puppet. I ran to the car and got her so she could try it on. It fit! The pink even matched her leggings.

This is part of my process for creating a summer reading program. I think about what I already have that would fit the theme, I do research for new material, and I keep my eyes out for accessories for my puppets. For months now, I’ve been gathering space-related stories, songs, fingerplays and puppet hilarity. I’ve got a special puppet for the show and am working on possible voices and miscellany.

I also name the show and write a blurb. I keep it general enough that I can add ideas, but close to the prescribed theme. Here’s next year’s show description:

A Galaxy of Giggles

Hop on board this story shuttle for an out-of-this-world mix of stories, songs, stretches, puppets and general silliness with storyteller Priscilla Howe. Warning: there may be aliens!

Have suggestions? Let me know in the comments or by e-mail!

Travel projects

I write this from Belgium, where I'm performing and visiting friends for a couple of weeks.  I have several days free and had good intentions of working on two specific projects: 1) cleaning up the translation of the story of Berthe Aux Grands Pieds, which I call Queen Berta and King Pippin and 2) finishing the first draft and beginning the rewrite of my National Novel Writing Month novel from last November. 

Today I sat down with my laptop, ready to begin the first project. Alas (or as I might say here, 'Hélas!'), just as in this picture Queen Berta is sitting forgotten in the forest, far from Paris, where she should be, the translation is sitting cozily in my external hard drive at home, far from Belgium, where it should be.

Source : acoeuretacris.centerblog.net sur centerblog.

I'll have to work on it when I get home. In looking for a good picture to use for this post, I came across an excellent summary in French, so I'm doubly wishing I had brought my work with me. That story deserves to be known.

So I'll be plowing ahead on my novel. I find it good to have a limited number of projects when I travel for extended periods. In 2008, on a month-long trip to Brazil, I took only one book, a collection of Grimm Tales. I had been hired to perform my programs Grimm for Grownups and Cheerfully Grimm for the first time a few weeks after I returned, so I spent my free time working on the stories. In 2009 when I came to Belgium, I sat in my friend's kitchen by the hour working on the translation of Queen Berta and King Pippin. Now, I'll turn my attention to this short novel for older kids. Having a smaller pool of projects makes it easier for me to focus.

I wrote most of the first draft of this novel as part of National Novel Writing Month in November. I succeeded in the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month, but I didn't finish the story. I think I only have a couple more pages to wrap it up, and then it will be time to rewrite. I admit it: I like beginning projects and often get bogged down with the hard work of editing and rewriting.

Before I begin, it might be good to take advantage of the rare sunny weather here. Quite often when I'm here in February it's raining or spitting snow. For the past four days it has been cold and clear.

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