Archives for the month of: February, 2013

robe

Yesterday was the day. The first anniversary of my blog. Unfortunately the protagonists were missing. What a sad situation. I couldn’t really celebrate, could I? Not without my Dedes?

I have to admit, when they went into their strategy meeting I was shocked to hear I wasn’t invited. My initial thought was I must convince them they really need me. But being forced to step away from my Dedes and keeping myself busy with other stuff I had neglected for some time, I realised they need to explore their own ways. In the end they will figure out they need me more than I need them.

Do they really think they can do away with their artist? I am quietly confident I know the answer.

Let’s face it, it is a power game. One day they are scared of a looming end because I don’t look after them well enough. The next day they feel so confident and cocky about their own ability. Convincing themselves they could do a much better job than me and they should do  away with me altogether.

I wish I wouldn’t get involved in their little games, but I am not super-human. For some reason or another I always end up in the thick of it.

I am not sure what happened, but last night when I came home from sports the door to their meeting room was flung wide open, light still blazing, and no Dede to be seen. I looked in all their usual hang-outs, but the only thing I could find was a discarded robe. They must have left in a hurry.

I know by now they have a habit of leaving in a huff, but they always come back.

While I am waiting, I want to remind our readers that our story-telling competition is still on until 4th March. I called it a competition for lack of a better word and because you can win a Dede book or postcards. Alien still wants to have a new background story :)

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alien spaceship

No news from the Dedes. They are still in lock-down.  I had to entertain myself last night, which was very difficult, as they were in the only room that still has a light. You might know that we are currently remodelling the house. When I was walking from one end of the house to the other I thought I saw an alien spaceship through the window in one of the empty rooms and I had to grab my camera. I finally realised how much I miss taking photographs of subjects other than the Dede puppets. They better be careful. Their strategy meeting might backfire if they don’t tell me soon what’s going on. I might rekindle my love for photography.

On closer scrutiny the glowing spaceship unfortunately turned out to be the old bathtub illuminated by the lights from the room where the Dedes had their meeting.

do not disturb

Sorry, I can’t tell you much about the Dedes today. They left a sign on the door and went into lock-down. Of course I didn’t think it was for me and walked straight into the room. Woohoo, you should have seen them!

“Can’t you read?” Devil shouted at me.

“But… I live here. I have to get my…”

“Look, we’re having a strategy meeting. It will take all day. We have to nut out what we are going to do over the next year!” Mouse explained.

“Without me?” I asked very surprised. They can’t really make decisions without me, I thought.

“You wouldn’t be of any help. You are the worst planner on the planet. It drives us up the wall that you always just go with the flow.”

Cash Cow came to the door where I was standing like a possum in the headlights. I even had my hand still on the handle.

“We will tell you later what we came up with” she said and quietly shut the door in my face.

I didn’t dare interrupt them again and opted to go to work without breakfast. I have to warn you I will be very, very grumpy today.

mouse high five

Alien was indeed a bit too impatient. He had just left the room when the first story arrived. Written by his admirer Leopoldine from Austria, it’s a lovely long story in German recounting what happened when Alien was first beamed down to this place in the Dede World.

Mouse was truly delighted when the first story came in and she sends a big fat thank you to Leopoldine. Part of her delight was that she could stick it to Devil. Even though he is a very good mate of hers and she loves working with him, he can be a bit of a bully. Maybe it is a male thing – he truly believes he has the final say in everything and can get quite loud if he doesn’t get his way. He wasn’t a great fan of the story-telling competition. But Mouse stuck to her guns, trusting that Alien had come up with a good idea and believing she had good support from the rest of the Dedes, who – she sensed – were keen to try it.

Yesterday Mouse noticed that she might not have been totally clear with her rules. The story doesn’t need to be very long, it could also be a very short story, or even an extended caption. And everybody is invited to write, not just long-standing friends of Alien :). At the same time we don’t want to bully anybody into writing only because they are a long-standing friend. It is just an invitation to be creative. We are really curious what you make of us :)

You also can win the book ‘Hermit’s Web’ or 10 Dede puppet postcards. The rest of the rules you’ll find here.

Devil said to Mouse we shouldn’t exclude our Facebook fans either. Mouse doesn’t have much experience with Facebook and she  isn’t quite sure how it would work for them sharing their story with our blog friends. But of course if they want to do something they are very welcome as long as they let us know where to find their story.

mouse alien sush

“And, and, and…?” Alien asked excitedly when Mouse started up the computer this morning.

“What?”

“Do I have a new story?”

“Not yet!”

“What do you mean? Are you telling me nobody has written in?” Alien’s face dropped.

“I knew it will be a disaster” Devil interrupted. “We should have gone with my idea!”

“Give it time! It can take a little while to come up with a new story” Mouse replied calmly.

“Where I come from….” Alien started.

“Shssh.” Mouse put her hand over his mouth to quieten him. “you are not allowed to say anything until next week. You don’t want to influence anybody in their writing.”

“At least tell the readers they can find the rules for the competition in yesterday’s post!” Alien begged.

“C’mon, our readers are not thick!” Mouse replied and left it at this. “A bit of patience wouldn’t go amiss.”

alien competition

The anniversary is drawing closer and the Dedes are still trying to come up with a catchy idea to celebrate.  Mouse suggested writing  a summary of the highlights of last year. She loves writing and would be happy to do the extra work. But Devil couldn’t see how the readers could participate. This was the most important requirement – our readers should be able to take part. He suggested having a gallery of the best images on face book and asking the viewers to vote on which one was the best. This idea didn’t fly at all. Mouse pointed out that there are only 14 fans on face book, and anyway, the celebration was clearly about the Dede puppet blog being one year old.

Alien listened to their argument and said: “Why don’t we combine your two ideas? Look, we know that my photograph was the best one last year anyway.”

“Who says?” asked Devil. “I know a few images of me which are equally good!”

“Don’t start arguing again, DevilMouse begged. But Alien held his hand up and explained: “Leopoldine said so. She won the postcards in the Super Dede competition. One of the postcards had this photograph, and she told us that I am her absolute favourite.”

“So what do you want to do then? I can’t really see where you are going with this…”

“I didn’t like the story that went with the photograph” Alien continued. “Let our readers invent a new story for it.”

“Ha, that is so silly. You can’t just invent a new story. What has been, has been!” Devil laughed out loud.

“Can’t you? Where I come from we do it all the time. If you don’t like your history you just re-write it!

“That is rather an alien concept” Mouse said. “But why not give it a go?” All the Dedes present turned their heads towards me and waited for my approval. After all, it was my story in the first place. “Go for it” I said. “I think it is a brilliant idea. It’s definitely worth a try!”

Mouse made a few notes on her pad. She is not the most creative one, but she is really good in picking up ideas and seeing them through. “Okay” she said after a while and ripped out the page from her note pad to pin up on the wall. It outlined the rules for the competition. Mouse’s scrawly handwriting is difficult to decipher, so I’ll type out what she had written here:

We would like to invite all our friends to celebrate one year of Dede puppet blogging by having a story-telling competition.

Rules for the story-telling competition

Everybody who wants to take part should copy the image above onto their blog and invent a new story to go with it.

Please send us a link to your blog, so that the Dedes and all our fans can read your story.

First prize: an autographed copy of ‘Hermit’s Web’ the original Dede puppet book.

Second and third prize: One set of 10 Dede puppet postcards each.

The stories can be written in English or German. Should a German story win, we will translate and post it on this blog here for all our fans to read. If an English story wins, we will re-blog and translate it on our German blog.

Competition ends 4th of March 2013 (midnight NZ).

We are looking forward to your stories!

“Oh I am so excited, I am so excited” Alien danced around the table “I will get a new story!”.

“What happens if nobody takes part?” asked Devil

“We have at least tried!” Mouse replied.

snippedy complaining

Snippedy, the clown, also had a suggestion for the anniversary. He wanted all the Dede puppets to have their own dedicated post. A post in which they are described in more detail. More than the two sentences on the “Characters” page, which he describes as a joke.

“This is too impractical” Detail said. “There are 46 Dedes. This would take more than a month.”

“It is easy for you,” Snippedy retorted. “You feature strongly in the story, but for me… I have been around since September and I have only been mentioned once or twice”.

“Hang on,” Devil pointed out. “You were one of the contenders for the ‘Super Dede competition’ before Christmas!”

“Yes” Snippedy admitted very subdued. “But I didn’t make into the finals. Absolutely nobody voted for me.”

“You should have been more active then” Harvey said. “You should have rustled up all your friends, like I did!”

Snippedy’s eyes got all watery when Harvey said this. We suspect it is a bit of a problem for him. He seems to be convinced he has no friends. True, the Dedes avoid him a little as he always tells the same stories, just like a broken record. When he first appeared they all laughed at his jokes. But once they had heard them for the third and fourth time, they weren’t quite as funny and their response was more a cringe than a laugh.

“What’s the use of being a Dede when you don’t get mentioned…” he said desolately. “I’ll tell you what, if there is an opening somewhere else, I will be the first one to hold my hand up to leave! Nobody will miss me anyway.”

“Cheer up!” Devil recommended, “Who wants to have a sour face around!”

deutsch Frauleins Art

I knew it, I knew it! The Dedes can’t make up their minds about what they should do for their anniversary. Even worse, they are quarreling over whose idea is best. They are not used to brainstorming I guess. They are poo-poohing each other’s ideas and at any one time, one or the other puppet is sulking because they think their opinions don’t get the respect they deserve.

Sure enough, last night Deutsch Fraulein visited me in a huff. Her idea was shot down in flames. Of course, she is convinced her idea is the most wonderful one and she tried to lobby me to take up her case. Deutsch Fraulein would really like to have a photo competition called “My Dede World”. All the Dedes would be eligible to take part and enter one photograph, an interpretation of what’s important to them as a Dede. The viewers could judge which photograph is the best. Needless to say, Deutsch Fraulein has recently taken up photography and is out and about with her camera all day long. It’s a typical trait of the newly converted: She is overdoing it a bit and is getting on everyone’s nerves.

She showed me one of her latest photographs. “So what do you want to say with this?” I asked

“I don’t know, it’s just pretty, isn’t it?”

“There’s more to photography than just snapping something that looks pretty!”

harvey angry

The hardcore Dedes put their heads together again to come up with a good idea for the anniversary. They were having a very animated discussion when Harvey burst into the room airing his displeasure about last Saturday.

“How come” he demanded in a very upset tone, “that you warmly welcome any Tom, Dick and Harry, or Lil’ Sculpture for that matter, but give Pavlova the cold shoulder? Lil’ Sculpture is not even a Dede!”

“That is so unfair” said Mouse. “I tried very hard….”

Devil just looked at her and shook his head to indicate she shouldn’t take the bait. Not an easy feat for Mouse as she has a strong sense of fairness, particularly when it comes to how she treats other Dedes.

Philosopher observed the whole scene from his favorite spot on the sofa. “Give them time, all of them. You should know by now you can’t force friendship!” he said quietly. “Pavlova is a bright young thing, she will find her way! Let them sort it out.”

“You know Lil’ Sculpture might be a bit naive, but he talks to everybody. You just have to love him” added Mouse. She really needed to have the last word.

devil serious talk

Devil is the self-appointed spokesperson for the Dedes. Whenever they are worried about me, he pops around to have a “serious conversation” with me. Last night he turned up again. I had just settled on the sofa, when he tugged at my feet.

“So,” he said. “One year of blogging and you ran out of ideas?” Devil is not known for beating around the bush.

“What makes you think that?” I asked.

“You left it to us to come up with an idea for the anniversary!”

I burst out laughing.

“It’s not a laughing matter” Devil said indignantly. “You know what that means… don’t you? If you run out of ideas, that is the end of us, all of us!”

“Oh no, don’t worry” I apologised and told him a story about what happened to me once when I was teaching. Each week, I started the period by asking my students what we had done the week before to get them to focus their minds on where we are at. One year, the lecturer’s evaluations came in and one bright little thing had commented: “The lecturer doesn’t seem to have a good memory, she always asks us what we were doing the week before!”

“And how exactly does this fit in with your lack of ideas?” Devil asked a little annoyed.

“Of course I have a couple of things up my sleeve, but I wanted to know if you have anything in particular you would like to do. After all, it is about you, isn’t it? Not about me!” I explained.

Devil rolled his eyes and said he would go back to the others to ask them again. As he turned round he said: “But you know you scared the shit out of us… we really thought that is the end for us!”