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Hiatus and Story Re-release Announcement! Now with bonus rag doll creep out!

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Hey there Troutnation (citizenship optional, a tweep just suggested that and I thought it was hilarious), I just wanted to clue you in on what’s happening next week! After I post the next 50 Shades Freed recap on Saturday, March 23rd, I’ll be taking a short break from blogging to catch up on projects (such as finishing the last two chapters of The Boss and putting in some serious word count on my upcoming YA from Entangled Teen, Such Sweet Sorrow), as well as working on cleaning up some of the broken links and consolidating the Buffy recaps onto their own page.

On April 1st, I’ll be re-releasing my short story, Sex, Lies, and Inventions here on the blog in a few different ebook formats. This one will be a freebie, as it will later be spun into a longer project. And no, that’s not an April Fool’s day joke, I’m not smart enough to pull those off.

Then, April 2nd, things will be back to operations as normal, and I’ll go back through and break all the links I fixed, just so nobody thinks I’m trying to get too classy for my own britches.

In the meanwhile, let me introduce you to someone very special to me.

You’re going to want this musical accompaniment while I introduce you:


Okay. Let me introduce you to my first love, John Denver.

Why are you screaming like that? Is it because the dye from her embroidery thread mouth and heart have run over the years and it looks like she’s drooling blood? Don’t worry. That bothers a lot of people at first. But once you get to know her, you’ll see that it’s all a part of her charm.
John Denver was sewn for me by a friend of the family when I was about three years old. Because I was three, I named her John Denver. I thought that was the most beautiful name in the whole wide world, for the most beautiful doll in the whole wide world. When I got her, she was about my approximate height. She also had a calico dress, apron, and puffy cap. These items have been lost because I borrowed them for dress up. They were my size, and we shared clothes often when we first met.
Over the years, John Denver has been through a lot, including a three year imprisonment in a garbage bag in my mom’s basement when we didn’t know where she was. But now she’s living with me, much to my husband’s chagrin.
Why chagrin? Because my husband, Mr. Jen, is terrified beyond all comprehension of John Denver. He doesn’t like her “weird face” or her “weird name.” He hates that she is roughly child-sized and always seems to be “accidentally” posed right behind him when he’s on the computer or playing a video game. He looks up, sees her from the corner of his eye, and is immediately creeped out.
I don’t know who keeps doing that to him.
Maybe it’s because she never blinks. Her innocent blue eyes are wide and all seeing. Perhaps he’s afraid she’ll look into his soul. Or perhaps he’s creeped out by the way I will sometimes use her as a puppet, miming the doll slowly drawing its hand across its throat, then pointing ominously at him. Maybe he’s just afraid a spider will crawl out of her orange yarn hair, as happened to me once upon a time.
I have still never quite forgiven her.
These days, John Denver spends her days on a chair in my office. Sometimes, she wears a Star Wars shirt. Somedays, she goes au naturel. Sometimes, she holds an instrument like a ukulele or a baritone. Hats get involved.
This year, John Denver and I will be celebrating our thirtieth anniversary of everlasting friendship.

ME AND JOHN DENVER BFF’S FOREVER!

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37 Comments

  1. I have a huge, child-sized bear I was given when I was 4- his name is Howard Ruth (Howard for Howard Cosell, Ruth after me) and he only has one eye now. I think he and John Denver would get along very well!

    March 20, 2013
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  2. Unfortunately, none of my childhood toys survived my older brother's onslaught of terror. Thus I envy the bond you and John Denver have. You know what? I rather like the idea of a vampire John Denver.

    It's bloodylicious.

    When I close my eyes, I can *still* see Rainbow Brite's head on the shovel handle. *shudder* You don't want to know what he did to My Little Ponies.

    March 20, 2013
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  3. fran
    fran

    Lovely, lovely John Denver! How does she get along with these creepy “The Children”-like things you posted a while ago?

    March 20, 2013
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  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    When I was 3 an adorable pink lamby arrived I my Easter basket. His name is Baa Baa. When I was 6 my family was in a very bad car accident. While I was in the hospital a male nurse (he might have been an orderly, I was six. I didn't ask) anyway he used to visit me on his breaks because I cried a lot because I was lonely (I had never been away from my mommy at that point in my life, and she spent a lot of time at a different hospital with two of my older siblings who nearly died.). He smuggled me ice cream and gave me a stuffed dog. The dog is named Ruffy.

    Baa Baa and Ruffy hang out together in my bedroom. When I'm sick, they get in bed with me. Before my real dog died, he knew to never hurt them. Sometimes he would cuddle with them, especially when he got a bit old and doggie senile. The are the best friends ever.

    March 20, 2013
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  5. Nim
    Nim

    In that last picture it certainly does looks like John Denver is of the vampire persuasion. You might be onto something here.

    March 20, 2013
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  6. Nim
    Nim

    Really looking forward to the re-release of Sex, Lies, and Inventions! Thanks for making it available here. I can't wait to read it.

    March 20, 2013
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  7. That's fantastic! My childhood toys were all misplaced during one of our moves when I was a kid/preteen, and never recovered. It's quite sad and I'm glad you still have your creepy awesome doll to terrorize your husband with.

    March 20, 2013
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  8. Katie
    Katie

    And there's a creepy doll
    That always follows you
    It's got a pretty mouth
    To swallow you whole

    March 20, 2013
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  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    You, Jenny, are the cutest person to have ever lived!

    March 20, 2013
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  10. Teresa
    Teresa

    What a great post…Freddy Mercury…giant childhood doll with an awesome name…news about more free reading from awesome Jen…
    Thanks!

    March 21, 2013
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  11. Awwwww, I had a stuffed cat named Patti (but usually I said it like 'Paddy' because I had important stuff to say really quickly or something). I'm surprised she still has her original red ribbon, but she's waiting for me back in Indiana when I'm done at school. <3 Usually she is bed decoration but whenever I am sick or upset she and my movie collection are down for personal time.

    March 21, 2013
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  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Mom made me a Raggedy Ann doll that looked just like John Denver, except doll-sized, for my first Christmas. The year I turned 6, I was given a child-sized stuffed teddy bear, who I promptly and non-imaginatively named “Brownie Bear.”

    Raggedy Ann and Brownie Bear went everywhere with me. They went with me to college and when I moved into my first apartment and when I got married. Brownie Bear guarded me from nightmares and spiders well into my mid-20s.

    Then our house flooded, and Brownie Bear was soaked in flood water. Complete waterlogged, and we'd had to evacuate the house so he was soaked for quite a few days. Unsalvageable. At least I still had Raggedy Ann . . . until our new puppy, Sirius Black Lab, decided she was a dog toy and ate her face. I still haven't forgiven Sirius.

    March 21, 2013
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  13. HellaNova
    HellaNova

    I think I broke something laughing.

    March 21, 2013
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  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Haha

    March 21, 2013
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  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I have a doll with a fairly realistic baby face that I got for Christmas when I was about four. His name is Fred. I used to carry him everywhere I went. My mom told me about a time when she took me to the post office with her. I was holding Fred in a very not-a-way-you-should-hold-a-baby way (probably thrown over my shoulder by a toe or something) and apparently his face looked real enough that this lady kept peering around everyone else in line looking somewhat horrified that my mom allowed me to hold an infant. I still have Fred even though his head is held not-always-successfully to his stuffed body with a shoe string. Yeah, his head falls off a lot.

    March 21, 2013
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  16. Polliwog
    Polliwog

    It makes me happy that your doll is named John Denver, seeing as my favorite dolls as a child were named Bumperhead and Information.

    (Information was later renamed Lisa after my entire family insisted that I had to give her a “normal” name instead of a “stupid” one, but she was always Information IN MY HEART.)

    March 21, 2013
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    • Delta Juliet
      Delta Juliet

      I love this whole story. But then when I was four I named my kitten Acorn so I was always a weird one for naming things. And yeah, I got some grief for poor Acorn.

      November 13, 2014
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  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I had a doll similar to this one! It was great until my mom told me a story about a possessed doll that tried to smother a little girl while she slept. Who does that?? lol It was bigger than me and I was terrified. John Denver is pretty fantastic though 🙂

    March 21, 2013
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  18. Hillaire
    Hillaire

    I had a pair of stuffed bunnies in wedding gown and tux whom I named after my Aunt Robyn and Uncle Dennis, because they were my relationship role-models when I was six. They are now divorced(my aunt and uncle, not the bunnies) And I do not know what ever happened to their bunny-selves.

    March 21, 2013
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  19. Serenity
    Serenity

    I have a lifelong friend as well! His name is Fluffy and he is the world's first dog to be cured of AIDS. When I was about 7, my sister was swinging him around by his floppy ear and tore it off; I was devastated, and the worst disease a person could possibly get (in my child's brain), was AIDS. My godmother reattached his ear and he was cured! Therefore, Fluffy is an AIDS survivor. I still sleep w him every night and cry on him when I'm upset. I honestly don't remember when I got him, I just know I've always had him, and he stuck by me when I was worried my other stuffed animals would be jealous that they didn't get to sleep in my bed so I took to switching animals every night.

    March 21, 2013
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  20. I have a Teddy Bear I got as a tint tiny baby person, she is missing a of her fur, had been stitched up (rather poorly by 13 year old me) and had to wear a dress to cover her bear arse (see what I did there! 😉 ) But I Love her more than anything! We will be 36 in June! 🙂

    March 21, 2013
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  21. zee
    zee

    Rainbow Brite caused the Great War between me and my older sister. She gave me her Rainbow Brite doll, then told me she hadn't and stole it back. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    I love her, but maybe her head on a shovel isn't the worst thing.

    March 21, 2013
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  22. zee
    zee

    I love how you torture Mr Jen with John Denver (or is it John Denver making you?), cracked up reading it.

    I didn't have any toys like that, really. I'm from a big family, it was hand-me-down city (“Oh, Siobhan, you're too old for that bear now, and your little sister likes it” – yeah, keep liking it Chloe, it's MINE. She now does the same thing, but with my clothes.) but there was one bear I got to keep. He was called Big Ben. He wasn't big, he was blue and badly stuffed and I loved him. And yes, I named him after Big Ben. Kids names are so funny. Although, my son seems to lack this sort of imagination. He said his bear was called Teddy *facepalm*.

    March 21, 2013
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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    March 21, 2013
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  24. I thought about this song yesterday too – that can't be an accident… I'm pleased to meet you, John. It looks like your nose is bleeding but I like the devil-may-care charm of it. Like a Fight club babe.

    March 21, 2013
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  25. Micaela
    Micaela

    Why do dogs like to eat faces? I had a similar problem with my min pin Lily Potter. She ate the face off my favorite hello kitty stuffed animal 🙁

    March 21, 2013
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  26. I would like to apply for citizenship in Troutnation…. Do I have to like, get you pregnant or something? 🙂

    March 21, 2013
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  27. It was the burned-out eyes that bothered me most. Black-ringed holes, instead of a happy gaze. At least he left the star on her cheek. Sigh. It wasn't just a beheading. It was all out desecration witnessed by a six-year-old me.

    I *hate* the smell of burning plastic, its a trigger for the trauma I went through. Oh, the trauma. My mom got a replacement, but it was the smaller size, and I noticed. It wasn't the same, my nightmare was real, dammit! Oh, the boo-hooing by me. And death glares at my brother.

    Remember Toy Story? Sid? For a good many years, that is how my family referred to my brother, Destroyer of Toys.

    I handmade dolls for my kids in their likeness. They took them over to their father's for a sleep-over. His girlfriend threw them away. Can you believe that shit?

    Toys are fucking sacred, man. Sacred.

    March 21, 2013
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  28. Bumperhead and Information are the best doll names, ever. In fact, would you mind if I nicknamed my sons Bumperhead and Information??

    March 21, 2013
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  29. Polliwog
    Polliwog

    Hehe, go for it!

    March 21, 2013
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  30. I HAVE THE SAME DOLL. My mom made her for me for Christmas one year. I have Raggedy Andy too, and they are huge and floppy and awesome.

    My husband also finds them alarming. I never thought of giving them plastic weapons and using them for a campaign of creeping terror… life around here just got 50% more interesting. 🙂

    March 21, 2013
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  31. I'm so glad none of you died!!

    I also got my lovey, bunny named Beatrix, in my Easter basket. my first one. She's named after Beatrix Potter. 🙂 She's about three feet from me right now.

    March 22, 2013
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  32. ednaz
    ednaz

    I have many stuffed animals that I got from my Hoodlum over the years (and a couple from when I was a kid).
    I thought about selling or donating them and I just can't seem to do it.
    I asked my Hoodlum if he would mind if I sold them. He said – 'They're yours, aren't they?'
    One million bonus points for him.
    If I ever did sell/donate them, the kids would have to be super awesome. And they'd have to sign a waiver that they would never tell me if something untoward happened to them.

    March 23, 2013
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    January 31, 2014
    |Reply
  34. Delta Juliet
    Delta Juliet

    I have an old bear named Normand. My Dad (Normand, duh) bought him for me and brought him to the hospital the day I was born. He has lost his nose and mouth but stuff has one and a half eyes (one of them is chipped). He sports red checkered overalls and currently sleeps on my oldest sons bed. He knows Normand is old (he turned 40 this year) and to treat him right 😉

    I am loving these stories!

    November 13, 2014
    |Reply
  35. anon
    anon

    Wow I thought I was the only one to torture my poor husband with old dolls!?! My Uncle and Aunt bought me this freaky clown for my first christmas, I was 2 months old. Somewhere along the way he was named Clowny. I place him around the house to scare my husband. He thinks he looks like the clown from Poltergeist and his arms are going to reach out for him. He also looks weirdly at my two dolls I still have, one, since we were poor and couldn’t afford cabbage patch dolls, my grandmother made, the other was just this freaky looking doll that I LOVED to death! I got her for my 4th christmas from my great grandmother. She would blow kisses. But on the way home I fed her some mcdonalds fries and she stopped kissing. As I grew older I always wondered if they were still rotting in her belly. Her neck also like others here was not all that secure. I tried sewing it on better when I was about 8, but it didn’t work. I also gave her a hair cut which made her look even scarier. She was my best friend though! I would wrap her in a blanket and take her on walks and talk to her. I remember once bringing her to a store and some nasty old lady came over and sweetly said “oh you have a baby there… can I see?” I pulled the blanket back smiling up at her and she very quickly recoiled and walked away. I cried for weeks. Now 30 some-odd years later I still hate that woman!

    December 12, 2014
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