Dear Readers, you would be hard pressed to find more thrilling news for any author, and I am so excited to share a huge event in the real life of the fictional Myrtle Hardcastle!
A couple of months ago, I received this email from Alisha Cole of the Westport Historical Society, totally out of the blue, and promptly had a proper, ladylike attack of heart palpitations:
I am contacting you to invite you to participate in the 2022 World Doll Day. This is an annual event of doll lovers around the world celebrating the love and happiness that dolls bring by the giving of a doll. This year’s theme is about dolls and books. The committee has fallen in love with Myrtle Hardcastle and would like her to be the star of the day. The committee is working on dressing a doll to be Myrtle.
A MYRTLE DOLL?! Well, needless to say it took me about a nanosecond to reply in the enthusiastic affirmative. It’s possible I did not manage to sound remotely professional about it. Founded in 1986 by doll artist Mildred Seeley, World Doll Day celebrates the history, tradition, and outright joy of dolls, by urging doll lovers everywhere to spread the fun by giving a doll to someone special.
This amazing event is organized and sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, the Westport Historical Society, and the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. A doll artist from The Doll Cradle in Shawnee, Kansas, is working on Myrtle’s costume, which will be modeled on a 12″ ball jointed doll from Ruby Red Galleria dolls.
Regular readers of this blog know that I am a longtime historical costumer and have spent the last few years making Victorian costumes in miniature for my own Myrtle Hardcastle doll, a vintage 18″ doll from Battat:
But I never dreamed that anyone else might also be so inspired—let alone such prestigious institutions! This is certainly an incomparable moment in my career! I am (hyperbole—mostly) dying of anticipation to see the Myrtle doll.
BUT WAIT! There’s more! I will be giving the keynote address and a presentation during the event, and registration is open now. Attendance is free, and the first 250 attendees will receive a free doll! I’ll have a few friends with me, as well.
Of course, my own Myrtle doll must have a new frock for the event—I’ll be debuting her costume from the newly-released cover of Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery #4, In Myrtle Peril!
Please join me, Myrtle, the Kansas City Public Library, the Westport Historical Society, the UFDC, the Doll Cradle, and the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures on June 11 to celebrate World Doll Day!
Don’t miss the reading list that KCPL has put together for the event (the scrolling frame at the bottom of the page)!
And if you can’t attend in person, consider joining the celebration by giving a doll to someone special! See more here: World Doll Day/The United Federation of Doll Clubs
I will have more exciting World Doll Day news and updates as we get closer to the event, including highlights of a behind-the-scenes tour of the doll collection at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures! (That sound you just heard was a Highly Unprofessional Squee.) Stay tuned!