beckycochrane [userpic]

This started out as one thing and segued into something else

November 3rd, 2009 (12:07 pm)
satisfied

current mood: satisfied

I don't know how fashion photographers do it. Even when your models are dolls, they're hard to photograph in a group. You know nobody will have her eyes closed, or be making a weird face, or sneeze, but during this shoot, I had several hair disasters, a couple of models who insisted on falling over (if they were real, I'd be wondering, poor nutrition? substance abuse?), and two bracelets broke and had to be repaired. Then I thought I had them all posed the same, and only after I saw the photos did I realize a hand is misplaced here, the legs aren't the same there--even plastic models are a pain! Of course, most photographers have assistants to take care of the details, and I only had Margot and Guinness. While they offer loads of moral support, they can't ensure that no model has a stray hair in front of her face.

Here are the Birthstone Barbies I used for my Halloween shoot in order of the months of the year. I combed out the ridiculous curls Mattel gives the dolls and put them all in black body suits that I sewed for them. (I like the way the models on Project Runway look so uniform in their black slips; this is my version of that.)


Patricia, Katie, Dandy, Natalie, Tajma, Toni,
Olivia, Emily, Sarah, Gina, Lily, Ava


If you click here, you can see an embiggened version. Lisa asked the other day how I remember their names, and the easiest answer, for these twelve and the thirteen Top Models I own, is that I give them names that mean something to me, and once named, they become characters. Their characters aren't fully developed with storylines, but every name has a few details connected to it, and enough of them are named for real people to make those connections more memorable to me.

I had the greatest conversation in Jo-Ann Fabrics with a four-year-old boy the other day who was just dumbfounded that I had a doll with me and NO DAUGHTER. That's YOUR doll? You PLAY with it? And though I assured him that I don't play with her, just dress her, I did realize later that in a way, I do "play" with the dolls, and that my year of not writing hasn't really been that at all. The writing is going on in my head as I make stories to match these dolls and their fashions.

I've stopped feeling guilty about all the e-mail that's come to me and Timothy James Beck this year about what's next, when another book will be out. In ten years, I've written or partially written nine published novels, gotten a couple of short stories into print, written some unpublished poetry, co-edited an anthology, and edited or copy edited several writers' novels and short stories. I've come to understand that it's okay--even necessary--for a writer to take a break. One thing this break has allowed me to do is to read novels in wide-ranging genres. While I've enjoyed all this reading, I've found that I still don't want to "write one like Author X." I can only write what I write. But I haven't retired. I don't have writer's block. I'll write when the next story is ready to be told. I assume Timothy James Beck will, too.

That's the most honest answer I can give.

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