“Hello, Susan Marcus? “Yes, who’s calling, please?” “This is Karen Smith. [name changed to protect myself!] You’re the puppet lady?” “(Clears throat) Yes, I am a puppeteer.” “And you do birthday parties?” “All the time, but I’m booked up for … Continue reading A Bizarre Birthday Bash
After an hours-long drive out of Athens, we reached the mountains. Parnassus came into view. Our ears popped with the change of altitude. We passed through a jarringly Nordic ski village, Arachova, before ascending higher on the sacred mountain, until … Continue reading Dallying in Delphi
Recently, a reader asked about my writing process, especially the way I prepare to write. That person felt at a loss about plunging in during, say, those first 15 minutes sitting in front of the computer and before typing an opening … Continue reading The First Fifteen Minutes
She leaves the book splayed on her breakfast table and rinses her cereal bowl in the sink before returning to the table with a small cup of coffee. Her electric espresso machine makes a doppio nearly comparable to those she … Continue reading No Regrets
I am used to imagining the ways that dragons think and respond to humans, to change, and to challenges. For years, I studied dragon lore and felt the need to write my own story about them, which I did; and while two … Continue reading Did That Dragon Call My Name?
The Dilemma: should I pick up the paperback of Rutherford’s The Forest that I started a a while ago? I’d placed the bookmark at the end of a chapter and put the book down just as the narrative was plunging me into … Continue reading Escape From Planet Earth?
A mild satire inspired by Pulver and Burke’s list of fantasy novel tropes and clichés “And just what qualifies you?” the Priest of the Pram gods asked. “We’re short, for one thing,” the half-meter tall, dumpling-shaped man replied. “Not so little. … Continue reading A Nod to Satire
One of my friends used to post photos of her orange cat on Facebook nearly every day. She enjoyed describing his antics, especially at the end of the day when she would return home to his enthusiastic greetings. She confided … Continue reading If Only Cats Would Talk
My career in puppetry had its roots in a childhood fascination with puppet shows and their characters, stages, props, and sets. Long before the 1969 premier of Sesame Street, Chicago-area children like me could watch a bevy of puppets on … Continue reading She Becomes a Puppeteer
Passersby gathered near the arguing pair of men. With his sharp chin, one man in a silly, high-pitched voice taunted a roly-poly policeman then hit him with a flat stick, on top of his head and across his belly. As … Continue reading Pleased as Punch