These are links to working drafts of written portions of the project. Everything you see as a PDF is my "sketch" for the sculpture it will eventually be. That is, every bit of text linked to here will eventually be hand-lettered/drawn as a card, note, newspaper bit, or as part of Brian's movie script or Drey's diary, with ink or pencil on cut or cut-and-bound paper. Some of these are still in draft and unfinished, but I am posting them anyway. They'll occasionally be updated. Click on titles for links to text.
Articles in Sparkleton Crier
Cards and Notes
Beam Library letter (see drey's library card paperwork: text here / drawing below)
triple tongue songs (drey's band)
My birthday is coming up and Henry thinks we should have a girl jump out of a cake. I always liked that idea until I grew up and realized how hard it must be for the girl. I mean, either she gets too hot, or the cake doesn't get hot enough, and what's the point if you have to sacrifice one or the other. I just don't think it's fair for the girl, but to keep her o.k. you would have to have mushy, undercooked cake. And who wants that? It's a birthday, you need to have cake.
So I said this to Henry and I think he is probably still laughing. I said, "How do they survive the heat?" and he said "How does WHO survive the heat?" and I said "The girls in the cakes" and at first he said "They're insulated" in this way that was totally serious and made me think maybe it was o.k. after all to have a girl in a cake. But he kept staring at me and then I knew he was just being Henry at me. I had my bass on and so I started back up with the bassline I was practicing (for "MAIL ORDER MOTOR OIL", which is NOT easy!) and tried to concentrate on that. But right at the part where it goes: baunp bnaup baun-baun he made a Henry explosion of laughing and yelling and pushed me over on the bed and the neck of my bass hit my real neck and it hurt, which he was sorry for. But then he was going on and on about how I thought it was a real girl inside a real cake inside a real oven when really it was just one of those things: a real girl. And the cake was cardboard. And you don't cook it. Which then is like, "WHY"?
Oh, how could I know these things when I have never had a girl in a cake. Maybe I would know if it happened to me. But, it's just another thing I have heard about.
Tammy is Drey's friend who is in the Demo derby. Alma runs the rooming house. Both: Pencil, colored pencil and ink on cut paper
Yo-yo found in woods
Everyone knows the yo-yo was a popular hunting instrument way back when. For small birds, you really couldn't beat the old out-and-back. This leaves you with your tool rather than rooting around for pebbles after the kill. However, working with a yo-yo can bring trouble. Ryan Camp recalls the time he wrapped his around a tree... with a paper nest in it! Ryan shared his story from the next booth over. "As you know, a paper nest is all chewed-up leaves. They put their slobber on a leaf and chew it up and then they build a house with it." "A house full of stingers!" piped Warren Flavey. "That's right!" said Ryan, revealing his chapped elbow, which still holds several scars.
This week, our boys Henry Bline and Brian Muntis stumbled upon an old yo-yo off Noname Rd. We had word from them at Wooly's Dinor, where they were each enjoying a serving of meatloaf and milk. "Gus, 'stumble' is the right word" said Brian when this reporter asked. "Ha! I still have string around my ankle. Thing put me face down in moss!" added Henry Bline. At least it was moss. The yo-yo had engraved in it the name "Cassie" We can only guess it belonged to Cass Roder, who in her time was a celebrated yo-yoer. Brian offered, "Let's give it to Drey. He's visiting [the Rest Home] this afternoon. He'll find out." Whether Drey Fank will speak audibly when he tells us is another question...
In closing Henry insists on including this quip: "Okay, so, guess what I have around my ankle, guess what I have... a frayed not! Get it? Afraid not!"
Excerpt from Brian's Movie Script
Drey's friend Brian Muntis is working on a screenplay about Sparkleton. He's going to try to apply to movie school with it. He's lent it to Drey to read and that is why it's in the room. This is going to be drawn text, like the diary and newspaper, but on 8 1/2 x 11 (or satisfyingly slightly larger) white paper. Here is an excerpt, 1st draft.
I may not have mentioned here.. Beam is a nearby town, and is fictional but not unreal the way Sparkleton is. Beam is just like any real town and the Bundt County Bus Service runs between the two.
Bundt County Bus Service. Return trip from Beam. Sparkleton passengers are on the way back from errands or the New Supermarket. Everyone is bundled in winter coats, most of them wool and plaid. DREY FANK has visited the Beam Library and borrowed several do-it-yourself taxidermy books, because he still struggles with asking questions of other people. As the bus turns onto Route 918, DANA GRINT and ELISE FRAINE are in conversation about various acquaintances in Beam.
(CUE MUSIC - Beach Boys I KNOW THERE'S AN ANSWER As the passengers sing through the song)
I know so many people there who think they can do it alone.
Yes. They isolate their heads and stay in their safety zones.
DANA considers this, and then leans forward and asks Elise:
Now what can you tell them? And what can you say that won't make them defensive?
Here WARREN FLAVEY, with a knowing look at his fellow passengers, chimes in.
I know there's an answer, I know now, but I had to find it by myself!
The passengers nod their heads in agreement. RAY MINER is moved to stand as he sings.
They come on like they're peaceful, but inside they're so uptight!
As RAY delivers this line, the bus jolts forward and RAY tumbles into the arms of his fellow passengers, who have held them out in order to catch him. Everyone smiles.
ELISE (shaking her head)
They trip through their day and waste all their thoughts at night.
The bus has turned down Wider Road and is about to take a left onto Sparklehampton Court. DREY FANK gets up from his seat where he has been watching, wordless. He steadies himself and when the bus pulls up in front of SPARKLEHAMPTON REST HOME, he descends into the snow, turning back to see the passengers continue singing.
Now how can I come on, and tell them the way that they live could be better?
WARREN (nodding and smiling)
I know there's an answer. I know now but I had to find it by myself.
The bus door has closed and DREY watches the bus roll away, swaying with the passengers on the chorus. He shrugs his shoulders and enters the rest home for his bi-weekly volunteer visit.
Erasers Arrive In Error
A truckload of insertible erasers arrived last week at the grounds of PP & P only to be turned away by lack of pencils to put them in.
It seems news of the factory's closing never reached the Rubbit Co., which manufactures the small, pink insertible erasers. Pennsylvania Pen and Pencil's role in pencil production was mainly the manufacture of the wooden barrel and the lead encased within it. The pressed tin crown that grips the eraser was also made at the factory, but the erasers themselves had to be brought in to Bundt County from elsewhere. In 72 years of operation, PP&P drew upon only two companies for this: Erie Eraser, which folded in 1982, and Rubbit Co., which supplies the erasers to several pencil factories in the Northeast.
Marcus LaPonte, rig driver for Rubbit Co., attempted to deposit the load of erasers at PP&P yesterday around 11 am, but found himself alone at the deserted loading dock. There was no-one to receive his order or sign his papers or offer him a cup of coffee. So he turned his truck around, went out onto Rte 918 and followed the sign for Sparkleton, where he pulled over on Bundt Street and made his way to Wooly's Dinor. The large, parked Rubbit Truck attracted many curious folks over to the dinor, including this reporter, and Mr. LaPonte's story was heard:
"I'm a new driver, I've only been driving for a year now. This route was Gary's before, and I don't know nothing about it, just following the protocol. What he (Supervisor) told me was, 'Take these erasers and bring them down to PP & P'. So I did but now you tell me it's closed for long as it has and I tell you I'm flummoxed because I know this was Gary's route before and he never did mention about it getting closed."
Mr. LaPonte then asked to use the telephone to call his supervisor at Rubbit Co. for some clarification. The supervisor, a Mr. Greig, was out to lunch. When the crowd at Wooly's heard this news, Ryan Camp piped up with "Well, if you can't beat em, join em!" and shuttled Mr. LaPonte over to the counter for some meatloaf and milk. As you know, the Wednesday special was titmouse, and our visitor took many guesses before he could identify the mystery meat. Seems he had never had it before.
We were at the Caliper Lounge. Julie and Joanna took me there for my birthday but Beam kids were there. I think they only come because it has a dirt floor and they think that is funny. When we came in the girls told everyone it was my birthday and Frank said, "It's on the house" and they sang happy birthday to me. It was nice, but then we were uneasy. We played darts and Frank let me help him and Russ deep fry legs because tomorrow is Leg Nite. But the Beam kids whispered and looked over and made us nervous. So we sat down again and played hangman, and Julie was going to hang me because all I had was _u_ _e_ _i_ m_u_e and I couldn't get it, and now I get it and it's too late anyway.
So here is when one of the Beam kids came over and hit me on my head. He said "Happy Birthday, Flank!" which kids used to call me in high school, so I was used to it but Julie said "no" that it wasn't meant nicely. Then he went over to Pop Corbin and pointed at his overalls. He said, "Are you in the sack race?" and "It's like a baby's bib" and "Is there a flap in the back" and Pop said, "It's not what you're saying, it's how you're saying it". And they looked at each other real quiet. Then Pop breathed in and said "and don't you hit the boy". The Beam kid laughed but Pop breathed in again and then punched him square in the face! I've known Pop all my life and I never, ever seen him punch anyone, except that dog that came around once who had rabies. The kid fell backwards and his friends stood up from their table all at once, and Julie and Joanna stood up, and I stood up after them, and then everyone stood up, and suddenly there were chairs flying and tables knocking over, kids were throwing cups and ashtrays and elbowing the grown-ups.
The girls were in the middle, pushing over tables so the kids couldn't get at us, and Pop and Russ were chasing them around the room towards the door, there were wings and batter on the floor, and I thought I should do something but all I could think of was to put on another song, and my hands were shaking, and I put on Crazy Train, and when I turned around the whole room looked like an ant war and it made me laugh but that's all I remember from inside the bar because then a cup hit my head...