Dolls, fairies, and magic

Charlie_in_his_tuxedo_520x600
Jo here, Charlie by my side.

I’m off on my travels on Thursday, first to a conference in Ithaca, NY, then to New York for a bit of business, then to Ottawa for my son’s wedding. That’s why Charlie is so spiffy. Everyone agreed he had to be at the wedding, and as the best man etc are in white tux jackets and black pants, he had to be in style.

This may seem rather strange to you. I would first point out that I’m a writer. I let imaginary people live in my head and talk to me. Sometimes I talk back. Of course I married someone as weird as I am and genetics has to do its bit for the offspring. But we often wonder whether we have actually been hosting an alien these past 22 years. What better way to observe Earthlings in their natural habitat?

We certainly never planned to give a home to a Cabbage Patch doll. It was Christmas, 1984 and Cabbage Patch mania gripped the land. The stores had run out. If a store got a new shipment, people lined up and then fought each other for the boxes. It was ugly out there. Tickle-me-Elmo was a pale comparison. We had two sons, however, a toddler and a seven-year-old, so we were totally free of Cabbage Patch insanity.

Move on to the school Christmas fair. You know how it is. You buy a ticket for every raffle. Of course, when the grand prize of the evening was called — the solitary, precious CBK — our name was on the ticket. All around, little girls burst into tears and fretful parents gnashed their teeth. I headed for the stage intending to ask them to draw again, but by the time I’d fought against the exiting crowd nearly everyone was gone. So I took the box and left.

Clone
My first inkling of what had happened was when my son fretted that there wasn’t a baby seat for the boxed doll. Charlie had begun to weave his spell.

It wouldn’t have been the same at all, I’m sure, if he’d been a girl. I can’t imagine a Mandy with blond wool bunches sliding so smoothly into the family. In fact, he’s bald, and that, too, is part of his magic. That wool hair is so obviously false.

It all started so innocently. He came, bald and babyish in a peach colored stretch sleeper. Come to think of it, I don’t know where that went. He probably hunted it down and burned it at some point. As the boys grew, he grew. He acquired trousers and a baseball hat. He had Halloween costumes. As a teenager he developed a strong taste for bling.

He’s been to England, Bruges, Versailles and university. (Only for a visit. We’re not entirely mad.) He dictated that we become a refuge for other #3 head bald CBKs, which is why we know have four. He’s probably planning world domination, but could Cabbage Patch dolls do a worse job that we’re doing?

Essentially, he’s our family mascot, so he’s off to the wedding. I’ve left a post for next week and I should have computer access and be able to pop in now and then.

I have no idea what thoughts this might stimulate. Do you have treasured dolls? I was never a soft toy keeper myself. Do you think writers need to be a bit crazy to work here?
Or a lot. I do worry sometimes that trying to be sane, or heaven help us, “professional” can kill the magic. “A professional writer writes,” I want to snarl. “It’s nothing to do with how one dresses, or even whether one can make witty lunch speeches.”

Faerymnew

Have you read Faery Magic? I gather that many North Americans think of fairies as Tinkerbell or the tooth fairy. Not me. I spent many of my childhood years convinced that fairies were real. Why did I put that in the past tense? Of course they are. I know now, however, that they’re not the flower fairies, but Faery – mighty and mysterious, and probably best left alone.

Aurevoir.Trarsm_1
Jo

30 thoughts on “Dolls, fairies, and magic”

  1. My mother-in-law spent one frantic Christmas trying to get three Cabbage Patch dolls for my three daughters. She was successful at last, but the real hit with my youngest daughter was her Koosa, a strange animal-like companion to the C.P. doll she got for her birthday. Koosa has also traveled internationally and is old enough to drink now–21. My 23 yr. old daughter has finally stopped bringing Koosa with her everywhere, but it did spend four years in college, where it must have helped her graduate Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. Koosa has several changes of clothing, even tho it was meant to be just furry. Your doll looks quite splendid. Have a wonderful wedding!

    Reply
  2. My mother-in-law spent one frantic Christmas trying to get three Cabbage Patch dolls for my three daughters. She was successful at last, but the real hit with my youngest daughter was her Koosa, a strange animal-like companion to the C.P. doll she got for her birthday. Koosa has also traveled internationally and is old enough to drink now–21. My 23 yr. old daughter has finally stopped bringing Koosa with her everywhere, but it did spend four years in college, where it must have helped her graduate Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. Koosa has several changes of clothing, even tho it was meant to be just furry. Your doll looks quite splendid. Have a wonderful wedding!

    Reply
  3. My mother-in-law spent one frantic Christmas trying to get three Cabbage Patch dolls for my three daughters. She was successful at last, but the real hit with my youngest daughter was her Koosa, a strange animal-like companion to the C.P. doll she got for her birthday. Koosa has also traveled internationally and is old enough to drink now–21. My 23 yr. old daughter has finally stopped bringing Koosa with her everywhere, but it did spend four years in college, where it must have helped her graduate Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. Koosa has several changes of clothing, even tho it was meant to be just furry. Your doll looks quite splendid. Have a wonderful wedding!

    Reply
  4. Jo —
    A writer’s mind! Who else but a writer would imagine a CPK is really an alien observing human lifestyle!
    I really need to get a doll, I think. My first born is now 16 years old! I’m too young to have a 16 year old. My baby is 12.
    Fairy’s — hmmmm. I never thought they were Tinkerbell-like. My grandmother is/was Scottish and very superstitious. Motivationaly speaking, fairy’s were more like cats. They’d come at night and steal a baby’s breath or even the whole baby. They brought unwanted mischief with them. One never wanted a fairy to take interest in the family. Grandmother didn’t really believe in fairies, but used them as some sort of malevolent force to threaten us with.
    We, being smart, never believed her.

    Reply
  5. Jo —
    A writer’s mind! Who else but a writer would imagine a CPK is really an alien observing human lifestyle!
    I really need to get a doll, I think. My first born is now 16 years old! I’m too young to have a 16 year old. My baby is 12.
    Fairy’s — hmmmm. I never thought they were Tinkerbell-like. My grandmother is/was Scottish and very superstitious. Motivationaly speaking, fairy’s were more like cats. They’d come at night and steal a baby’s breath or even the whole baby. They brought unwanted mischief with them. One never wanted a fairy to take interest in the family. Grandmother didn’t really believe in fairies, but used them as some sort of malevolent force to threaten us with.
    We, being smart, never believed her.

    Reply
  6. Jo —
    A writer’s mind! Who else but a writer would imagine a CPK is really an alien observing human lifestyle!
    I really need to get a doll, I think. My first born is now 16 years old! I’m too young to have a 16 year old. My baby is 12.
    Fairy’s — hmmmm. I never thought they were Tinkerbell-like. My grandmother is/was Scottish and very superstitious. Motivationaly speaking, fairy’s were more like cats. They’d come at night and steal a baby’s breath or even the whole baby. They brought unwanted mischief with them. One never wanted a fairy to take interest in the family. Grandmother didn’t really believe in fairies, but used them as some sort of malevolent force to threaten us with.
    We, being smart, never believed her.

    Reply
  7. Oooh… 1984, the year I graduated from high school. Siblings #5 and 6 were goolge eyed for CPK’s. Alas, none were available in PA either. So my mom made them. Yup. Puckered face and all. My mom is a genius.
    And, I’ve never read FAERY MAGIC. I must admit fairies have always been very Tinker-bell like in my mind. Precocious little imps that like to poke fun. But, I’m gathering that perhaps I’ve missed something. And of course, I can’t have that. Hope Amazon has the book in stock.
    Congrats on your son’s wedding, btw. Will you be showing that very cute picture to his blushing bride? Does Charlie get to tag along on the honeymoon?
    Nina, liking that other people hear voices in their heads too

    Reply
  8. Oooh… 1984, the year I graduated from high school. Siblings #5 and 6 were goolge eyed for CPK’s. Alas, none were available in PA either. So my mom made them. Yup. Puckered face and all. My mom is a genius.
    And, I’ve never read FAERY MAGIC. I must admit fairies have always been very Tinker-bell like in my mind. Precocious little imps that like to poke fun. But, I’m gathering that perhaps I’ve missed something. And of course, I can’t have that. Hope Amazon has the book in stock.
    Congrats on your son’s wedding, btw. Will you be showing that very cute picture to his blushing bride? Does Charlie get to tag along on the honeymoon?
    Nina, liking that other people hear voices in their heads too

    Reply
  9. Oooh… 1984, the year I graduated from high school. Siblings #5 and 6 were goolge eyed for CPK’s. Alas, none were available in PA either. So my mom made them. Yup. Puckered face and all. My mom is a genius.
    And, I’ve never read FAERY MAGIC. I must admit fairies have always been very Tinker-bell like in my mind. Precocious little imps that like to poke fun. But, I’m gathering that perhaps I’ve missed something. And of course, I can’t have that. Hope Amazon has the book in stock.
    Congrats on your son’s wedding, btw. Will you be showing that very cute picture to his blushing bride? Does Charlie get to tag along on the honeymoon?
    Nina, liking that other people hear voices in their heads too

    Reply
  10. In my travels I once visited the “hospital” where the CBK’s were “born.” It was–well, beyond description. This coincided with the absolute apex of the mania.
    And as you might imagine, the creator of said dolls had the most awesome house, in its day it was Trump-esque.
    I certainly don’t not believe in fairies. And elves. I’m fairly sure I’ve encountered them in various places.
    Hope your family, Charlie included, have a lovely wedding, Jo!

    Reply
  11. In my travels I once visited the “hospital” where the CBK’s were “born.” It was–well, beyond description. This coincided with the absolute apex of the mania.
    And as you might imagine, the creator of said dolls had the most awesome house, in its day it was Trump-esque.
    I certainly don’t not believe in fairies. And elves. I’m fairly sure I’ve encountered them in various places.
    Hope your family, Charlie included, have a lovely wedding, Jo!

    Reply
  12. In my travels I once visited the “hospital” where the CBK’s were “born.” It was–well, beyond description. This coincided with the absolute apex of the mania.
    And as you might imagine, the creator of said dolls had the most awesome house, in its day it was Trump-esque.
    I certainly don’t not believe in fairies. And elves. I’m fairly sure I’ve encountered them in various places.
    Hope your family, Charlie included, have a lovely wedding, Jo!

    Reply
  13. Jo,I love Faery Magic. How often do you get so many great authors in one volume? My often-read copy is due for a replacement, so I am happy that it is being reissued. I also feel compelled to add that I think TRAR is superb, a perfect conclusion to a stellar series.

    Reply
  14. Jo,I love Faery Magic. How often do you get so many great authors in one volume? My often-read copy is due for a replacement, so I am happy that it is being reissued. I also feel compelled to add that I think TRAR is superb, a perfect conclusion to a stellar series.

    Reply
  15. Jo,I love Faery Magic. How often do you get so many great authors in one volume? My often-read copy is due for a replacement, so I am happy that it is being reissued. I also feel compelled to add that I think TRAR is superb, a perfect conclusion to a stellar series.

    Reply
  16. My sister is several years younger than me so she went through the Cabbage Patch mania ever though she was headed for her teens when the dolls came out. Her dolls were happily sitting on her shelf for several years when my daughter was born. There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.

    Reply
  17. My sister is several years younger than me so she went through the Cabbage Patch mania ever though she was headed for her teens when the dolls came out. Her dolls were happily sitting on her shelf for several years when my daughter was born. There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.

    Reply
  18. My sister is several years younger than me so she went through the Cabbage Patch mania ever though she was headed for her teens when the dolls came out. Her dolls were happily sitting on her shelf for several years when my daughter was born. There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.

    Reply
  19. “There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.”
    Jo covers Charlie’s eyes and ears!
    A visitor once innocently told us this story. At her daughter’s school they did one of these simulations of parenthood but they had Cabbage Patch Kids to carry around with them everywhere.
    She got into the spirit of it and decided the doll didn’t weigh enough. So she slit it open and filled it with 8lbs of pennies! Aieeeeeee! Fortunately, we were out having a drink at the time.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  20. “There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.”
    Jo covers Charlie’s eyes and ears!
    A visitor once innocently told us this story. At her daughter’s school they did one of these simulations of parenthood but they had Cabbage Patch Kids to carry around with them everywhere.
    She got into the spirit of it and decided the doll didn’t weigh enough. So she slit it open and filled it with 8lbs of pennies! Aieeeeeee! Fortunately, we were out having a drink at the time.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  21. “There is video tape of my daughter doing tremendous harm to the poor babies.”
    Jo covers Charlie’s eyes and ears!
    A visitor once innocently told us this story. At her daughter’s school they did one of these simulations of parenthood but they had Cabbage Patch Kids to carry around with them everywhere.
    She got into the spirit of it and decided the doll didn’t weigh enough. So she slit it open and filled it with 8lbs of pennies! Aieeeeeee! Fortunately, we were out having a drink at the time.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  22. My sister went through the CPK phase. She had TONS of them. I think the only one that is still “part of the family” is Baby Greg (yes, he’s one of those bald baby CBKs; makes one wonder, doesn’t it?). Baby Greg arrived the same day my little brother was born, making him 20 now. GACK!
    BG always looks a little out of place in my Goth-Punk sister’s room, but he seems happy enough to be there (lounging on the bed next to the six-foot stuffed crocodile with a patch over one eye). Maybe I need to get him an Anarchy onesie?

    Reply
  23. My sister went through the CPK phase. She had TONS of them. I think the only one that is still “part of the family” is Baby Greg (yes, he’s one of those bald baby CBKs; makes one wonder, doesn’t it?). Baby Greg arrived the same day my little brother was born, making him 20 now. GACK!
    BG always looks a little out of place in my Goth-Punk sister’s room, but he seems happy enough to be there (lounging on the bed next to the six-foot stuffed crocodile with a patch over one eye). Maybe I need to get him an Anarchy onesie?

    Reply
  24. My sister went through the CPK phase. She had TONS of them. I think the only one that is still “part of the family” is Baby Greg (yes, he’s one of those bald baby CBKs; makes one wonder, doesn’t it?). Baby Greg arrived the same day my little brother was born, making him 20 now. GACK!
    BG always looks a little out of place in my Goth-Punk sister’s room, but he seems happy enough to be there (lounging on the bed next to the six-foot stuffed crocodile with a patch over one eye). Maybe I need to get him an Anarchy onesie?

    Reply
  25. I was in high school when the CPK craze hit. I worked in a local TG&Y, similar to Wal-Mart. Talk about absolute chaos! Every time we got in a shipment of CPKs we dreaded it. I’ve never seen adults get quite as hateful and down right rude as when they were trying to get one of those dolls. I think that experience is why I never worry about getting the latest craze for my kids. I don’t even want to be part of that crowd.
    As for my own beloved toy, a family friend, Beverley, — maybe that’s why I was attracted to Jo’s work from the get-go — who had no girls of her own, gave me a small Teddy Bear when I was about 4. Teddy has a jingle bell in one of his ears. She also made a small quilt to fit my baby-doll bed. Beverley died few years later and those two items became cherished posessions overnight. I still have them both, so that makes Teddy 35 now. He’s one of two animals/dolls that my children were never allowed to play with. The other is one of the C&H sugar cane twins that my grandma, now deceased, gave me. I only have the girl left because my sister hit one of her friends over the head with the boy and decapitated him (the doll, not her friend).

    Reply
  26. I was in high school when the CPK craze hit. I worked in a local TG&Y, similar to Wal-Mart. Talk about absolute chaos! Every time we got in a shipment of CPKs we dreaded it. I’ve never seen adults get quite as hateful and down right rude as when they were trying to get one of those dolls. I think that experience is why I never worry about getting the latest craze for my kids. I don’t even want to be part of that crowd.
    As for my own beloved toy, a family friend, Beverley, — maybe that’s why I was attracted to Jo’s work from the get-go — who had no girls of her own, gave me a small Teddy Bear when I was about 4. Teddy has a jingle bell in one of his ears. She also made a small quilt to fit my baby-doll bed. Beverley died few years later and those two items became cherished posessions overnight. I still have them both, so that makes Teddy 35 now. He’s one of two animals/dolls that my children were never allowed to play with. The other is one of the C&H sugar cane twins that my grandma, now deceased, gave me. I only have the girl left because my sister hit one of her friends over the head with the boy and decapitated him (the doll, not her friend).

    Reply
  27. I was in high school when the CPK craze hit. I worked in a local TG&Y, similar to Wal-Mart. Talk about absolute chaos! Every time we got in a shipment of CPKs we dreaded it. I’ve never seen adults get quite as hateful and down right rude as when they were trying to get one of those dolls. I think that experience is why I never worry about getting the latest craze for my kids. I don’t even want to be part of that crowd.
    As for my own beloved toy, a family friend, Beverley, — maybe that’s why I was attracted to Jo’s work from the get-go — who had no girls of her own, gave me a small Teddy Bear when I was about 4. Teddy has a jingle bell in one of his ears. She also made a small quilt to fit my baby-doll bed. Beverley died few years later and those two items became cherished posessions overnight. I still have them both, so that makes Teddy 35 now. He’s one of two animals/dolls that my children were never allowed to play with. The other is one of the C&H sugar cane twins that my grandma, now deceased, gave me. I only have the girl left because my sister hit one of her friends over the head with the boy and decapitated him (the doll, not her friend).

    Reply
  28. I just finished Faery magic and enjoyed it. The retelling of Rapunzel was good, but the witch Aldara’s name….Aldara is a prescription cream used to treat genital warts. I guess that’s the trouble with “made up” names. You never know who else has used it in what contect.

    Reply
  29. I just finished Faery magic and enjoyed it. The retelling of Rapunzel was good, but the witch Aldara’s name….Aldara is a prescription cream used to treat genital warts. I guess that’s the trouble with “made up” names. You never know who else has used it in what contect.

    Reply
  30. I just finished Faery magic and enjoyed it. The retelling of Rapunzel was good, but the witch Aldara’s name….Aldara is a prescription cream used to treat genital warts. I guess that’s the trouble with “made up” names. You never know who else has used it in what contect.

    Reply

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