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Friday, June 8, 2012

Paper Dolls, Sears and Roebuck Catalog, and the Accidental Author

Many authors have said the urge to write was natural and a life-long goal. In fact, it seems that most writers “always had a dream.” This often made me wonder why I don’t fit the mold. Of course, I had an imagination, but don’t all children have one to some extent? Playing make-believe is as natural to little girls and boys as is breathing.

I grew up when paper dolls were popular. When I had a fifteen cents or a quarter, that’s what I bought—a paper doll book. My little sister and I spent many hours of our childhood cutting out the dolls and their clothes. Each piece of clothing had little tabs to fold over the doll’s shoulders or around her waist. We had boxes of paper dolls—Victorian ladies, teenage girls, little children, mommies, and Western cowgirls. We gave each a name, a personality, and emotions.

Shoe boxes held our paper doll sets, and heaven forbid we should ever mix up the dolls and their clothes. If my dolls became intermingled with my sister’s, that was cause for all-out war. The shoe boxes also made very nice homes for paper dolls. For a house, though, we needed beds, refrigerators, stoves, tables, rugs, and chairs. Mother gave us last year’s Sears and Roebuck catalog and we became the nation’s first recyclers. Never threw away a catalog. They furnished our doll homes perfectly. True, everything lay on the floor of the “home,” but that was all right because we played “make believe.”

The paper dolls lived in a world of grand adventures. Why, they went to parties, rode on trains to big cities, married, went shopping, roped cattle and rode horses, met kings and knights, and became princesses and beauty queens. So, perhaps I carried the idea of inventing stories in my head and heart, after all.

Another writer I know calls herself The Accidental Reporter. Well, I suppose I’m The Accidental Author. The first pieces I wrote were scientific research papers and lab reports while attending school. Nothing else, not even a diary. After early retirement, I began to “dabble” in this and that, and one day, I accidentally began to write a story. I say “accidentally” because I only intended to add to my miniscule store of knowledge about the computer, especially WORD 2002. Thus, many weeks later, I had a 90,000 word novel stored—yep, you guessed it—written in stiff, correct, scientific language. The first editor who rejected it said—“this reads like a textbook.”

Oh, I had much to learn, but fortunately, I have an attribute perhaps all authors have—persistence. Also, I’m a fast-learner, and most often, a self-learner. That first novel is still available at The Wild rose press. Title? TEXAS BLUE.


BLURB from 99cent Dime Novel: Charlotte and the Tenderfoot
~*~ While driving home in her buggy, Charlotte Dewhurst discovers a man lying by the road. William Montgomery, an attorney, was passing through the area when accosted by two hoodlums. The resulting court case keeps Will in town. His attitudes confuse Charlotte as he seeks her company, yet proclaims he will soon be moving on. But Will may be the most confused one of all.~*~*~*~
EXCERPT:
“Hi,” he said, as he came to her. “I hear the violin and guitars tuning up.”

She couldn’t help but laugh. “Fiddles, Will. The instrument might look like a violin, and perhaps sound like one if played in such a manner, but here? They’re fiddles. Plain and country, but wait till you hear them play.”

He chuckled. “My mistake. Only one of many since I’ve arrived in Trinity Hill. I’ll get the hang of these western ways yet.”

But probably not here, Will. You’ll be leaving soon. Remember?
~*~*~
AMAZON LINK:
http://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-and-the-Tenderfoot-ebook/dp/B007DIWWGM/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330392989&sr=1-14  

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  
http://www.celiayeary.blogspot.com
http://www.celiayeary.com
http://sweetheartsofthewest.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Celia-Yeary-Author/208687145867971         











21 comments:

  1. I'm glad that found your calling- writing. I am a big fan of Celia Yeary's.

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    1. Oh, thanks so much, Kathleen--big hugs to you!!!

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  2. Celia, we have another thing in common, besides our birthday. I never imagined I'd write.
    My house was so full of younger children, growing up, I couldn't have written if I'd wanted to. But, I did have to come up with a lot of stories.

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    1. Sandra--good--I love to have things in common with special people. You can be my cousin, along with Carolin Clemmons. We have so many things in common, we decided we must be related.
      It's funny--I remember making up stories about the paper dolls. They went to dances, and shopping, and hung out with their friends, and generally had adventures. So, I suppose I was telling stories.
      Thanks---

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  3. "Cousin" Celia, I still have some of my paper dolls. I was always puny and had to stay indoors and rest a lot, so paper dolls were a nice quiet activity I could play alone. By the way,I framed some of my favorite paper dolls and won a ribbon in the collectible division at the Texas State Fair a few years ago. Today's kids are being cheated because their immaginations are not being stimulated as much as ours was.

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    1. Caroline, I couldn't agree more. My grandkids watch TV, movies(Baby Einstein has redeeming qualities but a movie none-the-less), and work on computer programs. I watch my grandson's fingers fly over the IPod and I'm amazed. I'm encouraged also when I hear him and his sisters talking to their toys and interacting, they just don't do it as often as we did. Love that you still have some of your treasured paper dolls!

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    2. Caroline--I guess I wore mine out, because I don't have any left. That's wonderful about winning a ribbon for the collection. It's nice that you saved them that way.

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  4. I also spent all my pocket money on paper dolls. You could get a book with a cardboard doll, a selection of clothes and a story for sixpence in old money (2 1/2 P in new, about 4 cents). I drew extra clothes for them and eventually made my own. In fact, the first thing I ever sent to a publisher was a paper doll book I'd drawn myself, including a story. They said they'd like the story but weren't interested in my drawings. I was mortified and turned down the offer. If only I'd known then how hard it was to get published!

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    1. Jenny--I suppose I didn't realize paper dolls were so widely spread. Well, in truth, I never thought about it.
      I love your story about your foray into the world of submitting. My goodness, you must have had quite an imagination. But at least they liked your story! Today, that's all we want to hear, isn't it?
      Thanks for stopping by....

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  5. Celia, love your post. Took me back so fast I almost got whiplash. LOL I don't have a sister, but I played with my cousins. We made paper dolls and cut out finger puppet princesses. When we were allowed to we bought "real" paperdolls. My favorite was Trudy Burke. I loved her! When I think about it, those were our Barbie and Ken dolls. Thanks for taking me back. ;-)

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    1. Carra--we also made paper dolls, especially clothes for them. That was a lot of fun. But nothing could compare to a new book of paper dolls. I can still smell the paper. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. Your post brings back memories. I played with paper dolls too many years ago, before Barbie and Ken existed!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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    1. Morgan--thanks for reposting this blog on FB. I do appreciate your faithfullness. Yes, our cardboard dolls were the original Barbies and Kens.

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  7. Hi Mona. Sounds like little girls the world over had their paper doll collection. I was a loner enough (my sis is 4yrs older) to NAME every single paper doll and each bit of clothing had matching names!!! What was that about so little time? And yet I also devoured at least 3 or 4 books every week and 8 magazines! Lovely to have this share of your childhood..and pointers for writers!!! (*You're a star* wink, wink)

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  8. Hi, Nancy--it's me--Celia, who wrote this post. Morgan was being a good friend and generous when she posted it on FB. But thanks for responding! I'll pretend this message is to me.
    Probably paper dolls were so popular because they were inexpensive and highly available. If you Google paperdolls, you'll get pages of sites that sell paperdolls, still today. Some are vintage...but some are new.

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  9. Celia-- your post reminded me of my sister playing with paper dolls for hours. Me never. I hated all types of dolls. After I threw the first doll on the floor while screaming that "she was mean"--I have no idea why--my parents and relatives brought me books or balls for gifts. My mother was convinced that I would never have children!

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    1. MONA--that's odd. But probably not so uncommon as it might seem to me. I thought all girls played with dolls and paper dolls. Now look at you, with all those precious beautiful little granddaughters...I ask you...do you buy dolls for them?

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  10. Hi Celia, what a wonderfully nostalgic blog. I was a collector of paperdolls also. All the current movie stars with their beautiful wardrobes. And how my imagination soared making up stories to flesh out their lives. Thanks for memories this brought back.
    Linda

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    1. Linda--isn't it strange? When we all begin talking we realize most of us had the same kinds of experiences. If a girl played with dolls or paper dolls, I'm sure she made up stories.

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  11. I also played with paper dolls. I cut out people from the Sears Catalog and drew clothes for them and the other paper dolls. Loved this post!

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  12. I love to read authors' stories of persistence. Btw, wish I had all those paperdolls I played with as a child. They're expensive collectibles now.

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