In my chosen life role as a doll photo storyteller I am sometimes asked by curious people how I came up with my idea to create and share photo stories which are inspired and populated by my doll collection as the characters in my stories. It’s a fair question. I haven’t heard of too many other folks choosing to do this particular sort of storytelling as their life’s vocation. To answer those who are curious about this, I can tell you it all began, quite simply, with the photo you see on this page.
A couple of years ago, when I was just becoming newly acquainted with a brand new friend who happens to live next door to my house, she asked me about my doll collection. At the time the few of my dolls that I had out on display mostly sat on shelves. They needed dusting far more regularly than I actually did any dusting. Many of the other dolls in my collection were packed away in storage.
My doll collection wasn’t really getting much attention of any kind back then. This was largely due to the fact that at that time I had recently moved into my home. So, to be fair to me, I choose to believe that my dolls, if they’d been people instead of dolls, they would have been quite understanding of my need to get settled and moved into my new home, instead of spending much time with them. Dolls, unlike some humans, are amazingly patient that way.
In a series of text messages, my new friend asked me a few questions about the dolls. She asked questions like, “Where did they come from?” “How long had I maintained these same dolls in my collection?” To answer her queries I brought down the doll pictured above from a shelf. I sent my new friend the photo you see here, and with it, I shared that doll’s story. This bright eyed little doll wearing her smart Panama hat was one of my very first dolls. You can read more about her origin in my life here.
In that text message conversation, I shared the story that I just linked you to above with my new friend, and her comment about that particular doll went something like this:
I think that little doll has such a lively look about her! I bet she’s had adventures she could tell you about. Her face reminds me of the old Kewpie dolls. Wouldn’t it be something if you were to someday use your writing talent to tell her stories?
When she said made that suggestion I thoroughly agreed. I agreed with her when she said it, but I didn’t really think much more about the idea once I put that little doll back on her shelf. I can’t even tell you for sure if I actually dusted her before returning her to her regular spot on the shelf. Dusting is not one of my favorite ways to pass my time in this life.
I have been telling photo stories with dolls for many years. I usually tell stories about one of the other types of dolls in my collection, and ordinarily I share those photo stories exclusively in collector groups for that doll type. Just recently, I decided that since I love to write, and since I so delight in taking whimsical and creative photos of my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, why not expand the enterprise? Why not take photos of other dolls and tell stories about them too? Why not indeed! No reason not to!
I have been taking photos and making up stories about my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls since I adopted my very first one back in 1983. In 1983 I was ten years old. While I have nearly always wanted to spend my life engaged in creative writing, this is the one type of creative writing which I have never grown tired of and quit doing. I firmly believe this is a very real accomplishment for me because over the years I have gradually tried my hand at, and grown tired of all of the following: Short story writing, playwriting, writing memoir, and also novella, and novel writing. While all those other types of creative writing were but passing phases for me, my interest and enthusiasm for creating doll photo stories has never waned in the slightest.
So, thanks to that idea planted in my head by my dear friend next door when I first shared that photo with her, I am now happily creating doll photo stories about all the dolls in my collection, instead of excluding all the others to only tell Cabbage Patch Kid doll stories. I’m feeling very pleased to have made this decision, and I’m also happy that since I have begun taking more photos to share in stories with you lovely readers here that my dolls have not needed dusting nearly as often as they did before. At long last, now the members of my doll collection are able to spend a good lot of time off the shelves!