October 31, 2007

Pumpkins rot after Halloween!

Pumpkin with music
time = 17 seconds

October 23, 2007

"Open the gates!" bunraku

Time = 1:03
"In this bunraku scene, the puppet heroine wishes to help her lover outside Kyoto, but the gates to the city are locked. She climbs the watchtower and rings the fire bell, causing the gates to open so she can reach him. Notice the awesome puppetry work and realism of the gestures." Notice the ash drifting down gently. Does this frantic action remind you of Romeo and Juliet? Lovers shall not be torn asunder.

October 20, 2007

YuBaBa in the Bealeton stacks

October 19, 2007

Introduction to bunraku

Time = 7:03

"Bunraku is an integration of narrative, music, and puppetry." Popular traditions from the Middle Ages continue today. At the end of the 16th Century, bunraku began. Listen to the Tayu, narrator, and Shamisen player bring this exotic art form alive. Search the catalog from Japanese Language resources if you'd like to understand what is being sung about in these traditional, yet exotic, performances.

For more sights into Japanese artistry, read In Search of the Spirit: the Living National Treasures of Japan by Sheila Hamanaka. Can a person be a treasure? This book "describes the creations of some of Japan's Living National Treasures, artists who are involved in various Japanese arts, including Yuzen dyeing, bamboo basket weaving, Bunraku puppetmaking, swordmaking, Noh theater, and neriage ceramics."

October 16, 2007

Bunraku Puppets

Puppets and puppeteer of Bunraku
Time = 9:54

Sit with one master bunraku artist. He shares the mystery of every facial expression on these sophisticated puppets. Examine the strings controlling eyebrows, eyes, mouth, and neck. "You must always move the head in a gentle circular motion." What is a lady's proper center of gravity? See the hidden fist that is a knee. Her sleeve will be withdrawn to reveal the wooden mechanism that controls the puppet hand-gestures. "When the puppet is experiencing feelings of joy, 'Oh, how delightful!' I am transferring my feelings of joy to her. If the character feels sad, I feel sad, too." It is not just one man controlling the expressiveness of each character. "All three puppeteers must be synchronized emotionally. It would be difficult to move the puppet if we had different states of mind."

Learn how to build your own Bunraku puppet.

October 15, 2007


Goth Sock Puppets
Make goth, punk, emo, or whatever, sock puppets. Give your puppet a mohawk or mullet, a piercing or a tattoo. Black and white socks are the basis for these quirky puppets. You can trim with safety pins, chenille pipe cleaners, novelty yarn, google eyes, buttons, pompoms, ribbons, beads, and jewels if you want. All supplies will be provided.

Warrenton Library: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Bealeton Library: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5

Can you make this lamb puppet punk?

Sock Puppets sing

Stand By Your Man - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
time = 5:42

Featured in this video:
William Shakespeare - Sonnet #18
Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Louis Armstrong versus Neil Armstrong

October 10, 2007

Want to be a teen author?

TeenInk is a magazine at Fauquier County Public Library, written for and by teens. You can also read Teen Ink online and find out how to submit your own work.

Have you read teen authors S.E. Hinton or Christopher Paolini or Ned Vizzini or Dav Pilkey? You are never too young to start.


National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of junk. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and -- when the thing is done -- the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2006, we had over 79,000 participants. Nearly 13,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap: What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: Sign-ups begin October 1, 2007. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

(information taken directly from NaNoWriMo website)

October 5, 2007

Soldiers and Letters

Please read these exerpts from letters written by Bealeton teens who attended the Cards for Troops program.

One card from all the teens:
"We're all from Fauquier County, Virginia. We either live on farms, in apartments, or in town, but we all love Virginia. Hopefully your time overseas won't be much longer, so you can come back to Virginia. Will all the best hopes +…"

Individual cards:
"I hope you are safe back there and you are very careful."
"I hope you are well and I wanted to thank you for everything you have done."
"So, to a soldier I have never met, I apologize, and am giving my thoughts to you."
"I really hope you like this letter and the pictures along with it."
"I want you to know that we're thinking of you and your friends out there."
"I love you - don’t die!"
"Hope you have a safe time."
"Thank you for fighting for us."
"I bet it is really different over there."
"Thank you so much!"

Here are a few books from the Fauquier County Public Library collection. Each publication offers personal and unique letters written by soldiers. Be sure to sample each book for new perspectives.

Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam
by Walter Dean Myers
"A young American soldier waits for his enemy, rifle in hand, finger on the trigger. He is afraid to move and yet afraid not to move. Gunshots crackle in the still air. The soldier fires blindly into the distant trees at an unseen enemy. He crouches and waits -- heart pounding, tense and trembling, biting back tears. When will it all be over?

Walter Dean Myers joined the army on his seventeeth birthday, at the onset of American involvement in Vietnam, but it was the death of his brother in 1968 that forever changed his mind about war.

In a gripping and powerful story-poem, the award-winning author takes readers into the heart and mind of a young soldier in an alien land who comes face-to-face with the enemy. Strikingly illustrated with evocative and emotionally wrenching collages by Caldecott Honor artist Ann Grifalconi, this unforgettable portrait captures one American G.L's haunting experience."

182 Days in Iraq
by Phil Kiver
"Phil Kiver's real life, moment-to-moment journal of his assignment as an Army journalist in Iraq is honest, irreverent-gripping and emotional one moment-a howl the next. Kiver, pictured above, in Iraq, with one of his heroes, Oliver North, doesn't dress for company. His journals are raw reaction, impression, and introspection. This, folks, is what it feels like to be Phil Kiver in this war in Iraq-missing his wife, lounging at one of Sadam's pools, angry with the brass, witnessing the deaths of children and comrades, nighttime explosions too close for comfort, pasta with the Italians, toasting the fallen with the Ukrainians. It's a delirium of experience with this journalist sorting through the rubble and smoke in search of the story that will one day be history."

by Michael Moore
"The controversial filmmaker shares a collection of letters from active duty soldiers, their family members, and veterans who express their thoughts and feelings about the current war in Iraq."

This "exploration of warfare from the perspectives of soldiers and civilians draws on letters collected by the author during his search for wartime correspondences, featuring the writings of soldiers from every major American conflict."