National Museum Of Toys And Miniatures

Hello out there!

Hello.

Hello?

I said HELLO! Is anyone listening?

So anyway…

This week we attended a very unique museum here in Kansas City: The National Museum Of Toys And Miniatures. It was wonderful! My gosh, I just kind of randomly suggested it because I had seen it mentioned somewhere. We didn’t have anything else going on that day, and we were looking for something different to try, and this was it. I’m so glad we went!

The museum is broken into two sections, the miniatures section and the toy section. When we first headed toward the museum I assumed I’d enjoy the toy section a lot more than the miniature section, but I was actually quite surprised at how great the miniatures section was. I liked it more than the toys, believe it or not. I wish I had taken more pictures so I could show you, but I didn’t take very many. But the miniature section had whole houses at like 1/300th scale or something. And the detail! Wow, I can’t even fathom how they did some of it. It looked like they took homes and workplaces and schools and hit them with the shrink ray from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.

Side Note: If you are too young to remember the movie Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, or you somehow don’t have any clue what I’m talking about, you stink and I don’t like you. I saw the movie in the theater, at least ten years before my own birth. Yes, I know that’s not even possible, but come on, I’m feeling old now.

—sigh—

So anyway, some of the detail on the miniatures was just impossibly good. They even had paintings on the heads of pins! How do you do that? And fleas! Oh my gosh, they had fleas that were dressed up in tiny miniature clothing! Crazy!

While I liked the toy section, I was a tad underwhelmed at that part. There were a lot of cool things there, don’t get me wrong, but the miniatures were on the first floor and we saw them first. That made the toy section less impressive by comparison. There were a few historical toys and all, but not nearly as many as I expected. I think the ones I liked most were things from my childhood, like the video games and things like that.

They did have a room there in the museum where you were allowed to build your own little battery operated robot-like thingy. Here’s mine:

It kind of has crooked legs, and it doesn’t work super great right now, but I was in a rush. They were closing in just a few minutes, and I didn’t even have a chance to let the glue dry before we left.

Here’s my wife’s:

Hers worked out a lot better than mine. She did a really good job with it.

How they work is that you put all these pieces on the cup, and then the little battery powered motor on top spins, turning a clothes pin, and causes everything to vibrate. These vibrations cause the cup to shake around on its legs, making it move about the table.

Again, mine kind of slides to one side because I got the legs crooked. My wife’s works better.

I think I get style points, though. Right? Right? No? Awwww, you’re a tough audience.

So, anyhow, go check out the museum. It’s like $5 a person to get in and you get to make and take home your own toy, so it’s an amazing deal.

Have a good weekend!

Why Are Query Letters So Daunting?

Hi all!

So I’m now at the point in the process that I feel like I should be writing query letters to agents, as I really want to try going the traditional route with publishing this particular book. It is the most thought out, worked on, and detailed of all my books, and I think it came out better than I imagined it would when I began.

But I find the process of searching for an agent to be so counter to my personality that it just terrifies me in a lot of ways. I’m shy, but I’m supposed to talk about my work and myself? Ugh! I’m a timid person by nature. I’m working on that, and in a lot of ways I am so very much better than I used to be, but I still even have a hard time telling the cashier at the grocery store that the item scanned in at full price instead of the sale price listed on the shelf.

There should be an easier process.

I have no clue what it is, and maybe this is already the easiest way, but it is so difficult for me. It feels like I’m a seventh grader who has to stand in front of my English class and give a ten minute presentation about Jack London (with visual aids made by myself, no less) because the teacher thinks it’ll be good for me. Yeah, that was a real thing there. I nearly wet myself when I did it, too.

So what would be the easier way? I’m not asking because I want to get out of this, I’ve already figured out that this is the game and it is how I have to play it. I’m just asking as a sort of academic exercise. An ‘If I were Queen for a day, I’d make this change’ kind of thing.

Yes, I like to do those things. Ask my wife.

Anyway… just venting. I’ll be writing some queries soon.

What else is new? Um… not much. I’m going to go to the eye doctor today. Our hamster is getting more used to us, but still nibbles on our fingers a lot. It was so hot here yesterday that I thought I’d evaporate. Things like that.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Hamsters & Weddings & Editing, Oh My

Hi everyone!

We went to the wedding last week, and it was wonderful and beautiful and I think I even teared up at one point. Turns out a Catholic wedding is quite a bit different than what I’m used to, or at least this one was, but everything was very nice. I wish the couple nothing but the best, and hope they have a long and happy life together.

The day after we got back we did get our little hamster, Emmie!

Here she is coming out of her little igloo:

And here is one of her coming out of the little clubhouse I made out of craft sticks:

We haven’t had a chance to take a lot of good, clear pictures of her yet, she’s so timid! But we’ve been working on getting her used to us touching her. I’ll give her a little treat (sometimes she’ll even come take it from my hand) and while she’s nibbling away on it (the treat, not the hand… well, that too) I’ll reach down and pet her back. She’s a dwarf hamster, so her back is kind of her front, middle, ends… everything all in one. She’s kind of like a big cotton ball, really. So cute!

We’ve had to take part of the stuff out of her cage now, since she had way too many places to hide and we couldn’t get her out in the open to try to get her used to being touched and held. But it’s been five days now, so we’re working on it. Tonight we will try some more. She’s getting better, and she comes over and sniffs sometimes if I put my hand down in there, so she doesn’t seem all that scared now. We’ll get her to the point that we can pick her up soon, hopefully.

My proofreader (aka my dear wife) has gone through my book and made some suggestions. I have corrected all the typos she found, and made some changes to part of the scenes she had concerns about, and I think it’s getting pretty close. I’m going to have her check over it one more time before I can say for sure that I’m happy with it, but I’m getting there.

The weekend is upon us! I hope everyone has a good one!