Five Months and Counting

Hello there, and Happy 2012! Sorry to be away so long — I hate when this thing sits idle, but it’s been a busy couple of weeks.

I’m still due to deliver the first draft manuscript of Jim Henson to my editor in May (which I choose to define as “by close of business on May 31”) — and looking at my outline, that means five chapters in five months. Even I can do the math on that one.  At the moment, I’m deep into Mystics, Muppet water ballet sequences, and Fraggles — so if you’re a Muppet fan, you can guess how far along that makes me.

I spent the first week in January, in fact, back at the Henson Archives in New York, where archivist Karen Falk once again took extraordinarily good care of me, patiently helping me locate and carry one box after another to the office they’d set aside for my use.  (If you’re interested, here’s an interview with Karen Falk, where she talks about the the actual layout and look of the Henson Archives—which does not resemble the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

We also had the opportunity to oooh and ahhh over her advance copy of the new Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand graphic novel, which is every bit as terrific as it sounds (and I just received an e-mail earlier this week informing me that the copy I had ordered from amazon back in June(!) should be arriving this week).  Jim and his long-time writing partner Jerry Juhl began writing Tale of Sand in the mid-1960s, during an incredibly experimental time in Jim’s career. They continued to tinker with the script on into the early 1970s before finally setting it aside in the midst of Sesame Street fever and the countless other balls Jim was juggling at once. It’s very different from most of the Jim Henson projects you’re familiar with — and yet, it’s also “very Jim,” especially the Jim at that time. Be sure to check it out—it’s not only an intriguing story, but the book itself is also a really nice piece of work.

Let’s see, what else? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be up and down the Eastern Seaboard to take care of some more interviews, each of which should be a lot of fun. I also get to work my way through films like The Great Muppet Caper and call it work.

Finally, I can’t resist passing onto you some New Year’s Words of Wisdom from the Always Remarkable Neil Gaiman — who really hopes you will make mistakes this year.  Click here and read on.

Happy New Year. Make mistakes.

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