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A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony Requires Friends

A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony Requires Friends

We have forgotten that we are magical, but all it takes to be is to remember. I tweeted this today, and it really sums up best the way I feel about my latest book project. Some book projects are releases of energy stored inside, toxic energy that needs to be let go. I’ve had plenty of those, and they are therapeutic in the way that they diffuse a situation that seems overwhelming painful in silence.

Some book projects, though, are pure creations — they are spells, ceremonies. They are magic. And by writing them, they whisper to places inside yourself you forget were there. They make you friends, and they help them, too. And if you work hard, maybe their magic will infect and inspire and others to remember that we are nothing but miracles in a mundane, profane world. We just need to give in to our magical origins. When you take a minute to listen, the incantations are whispering in your soul.

A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony is a dream project because it began as a dream, mine. I woke up processing a vivid dream of being shrunken by a wizard who collects tiny art and crafts dollhouses. My dream life consisted of being handled and chased by these giant fingers in a miniature pine house. The catalyst for my shrinking was that a jealous girl sold me to the wizard to remove me as competition. This dream haunted my brain until I made a sonnet about it, the title of this book and a poem published in December by Mojave Heart Review.

In the sonnet, A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony, I began to flesh things out a bit more about the shrunken girl. I knew, for example, she was given a potion that shrunk her. She was a troubled young woman, an artist, abused and codependent.

I showed this poem to a friend of mine, the editor of Ghost City Review, Justin Karcher. It was different than a lot of my poetry more fantasy/fairy tale, and he responded to it in a way that made me feel like it was as special as I felt. He eveno referred to the wizard/tiny art collector in the poem as a great male character. It tickled my brain a bit because I’d always wanted to do a poetry book with Justin as we have collaborated on other projects, poetry and an anthology. I made my case to him, and he said he’d considered it.

The Wizard of Oz drawn by L. Frank Baum


Excited by this possibility of this I turned to my Capricorn squared (we are both Capricorns and friends), Tianna Hansen, the editor in chief of Rhythm & Bones. Tianna I are anthology partners, and she’s published me numerous times in her magazine. She’s also the publisher of my forthcoming book Puritan U. I told her about my excitement about this poem, the potential book with Justin and how based on his comment about characters, I felt we were about to write what I was calling a poetry play.

Tianna was very intrigued. We’d both been hard at work on our sexual assault anthology You Are Not Your Rape. It is such a powerful project to give victims of sexual assault, ready and willing to speak on their assault, a dignified forum in print to do so. It also required many hours reading of extremely dark, true stories. It required a lot of time and energy that we might devote to writing. For Tianna, as the publisher it still is.

Speaking to1 her about this whimsical project, I could sense how much it spoke to her. Not just as an editor, publisher but as a writer. Both of us, I think needed a fantasy outlet removed from reality and the confines of normalcy. We needed magic. And when she heard about this, she immediately asked if there were any other characters. As it happened, there was one: my rival who sells me to the wizard to be shrunken and removed from the lead of The Firebird.