We interrupt the Karagöz Christmas broadcast to offer thanks…

…and to announce that we have reached over 100 followers and had 10,000+ visits over the 5 months of our existence! These stats are small potatoes to some, but the Karagöz puppets (and their human) are spinning and dancing with pride.  These stats represent a goal we were aiming for when we started this venture back in July.  Now we just need to keep on bloggin’ and finish the manuscript re-draft over summer 2012 so we can shop it around for sure rejection! 🙂

Tombs of Karagöz and Hacivat in Bursa, Turkey

Image of Karagoz and Hacivad's tombs in Bursa, Turkiye via Wikipedia

I started the process of writing about what I call my “road trip through cross-cultural marriage”  in large part due to inspiration from my good friend Trisha Thomas over at www.mozarellamamma.  Mozzarella Mamma is  a fabulous blog about deadlines, diapers and la dolce vita (a.k.a. an American journalist parenting kids in Roma with an Italian husband). You should check it out.  Trisha has been scribbling notes on napkins and notepads for years – and her skills as a raconteur extraordinaire are unmatched.  She always brings down the house.

Here, the Karagoz puppets are riding in my lavender scarf - typically worn by men and women near Urfa. Those puppets were telling me that my academic writing is EVEN more dry than the land in this part of Southern Turkey, near Sogmatar where we were looking for an ancient temple to the sun and moon Gods and Goddesses but found many satellite dishes instead. They were telling me to let them help with the writing - which I eventually did.

So, my skill isn’t in bringing down the house, but I do love to write, and given that I was steeped in every imaginable fairy tale compendium as a child (far beyond the Brothers Grimm),  I love to write stories as well.  As an undergraduate student, I studied anthropology – and thus my love of the observation of culture and understanding cross-cultural conflict was born.  Although my professional writing is as dry as a bone found on a hot  summer day in the desert near the Syrian border, in, say, Sogmatar, pictured here, somehow the Karagöz puppets came to me naturally as a way to spice up my observations.

These tiny wax paper puppets in my head “embody” the at-times confusing messages racketing around the brain as they relate to the management of cross-cultural moments galore in my Turkish-American marriage.   I have a few faithful followers and readers who see some glory in this madness – so I am going to keep on going.  Doing this kind of writing has been like manna from heaven in an otherwise statistics and bureaucracy-filled world of work.  So, thanks readers for your support – but most of all thanks to M. without whom, as he loves to say, there would be no slowly-by-slowly blog.  Even though I shudder with horror at the idea of him heating up chili in the can on our stove (as he learned to do in the Turkish army and which sometimes explodes) on the nights I am teaching (along with Kenne the puppet who is focused on etiquette and appearances)  –  without M. there would certainly be less light and lightheartedness in my life.  Thanks, M. for supporting this project! Seni seviyorum!

Here, Kenne is shuddering and spluttering in angry horror at the evils of heating up one's dinner in the can in which it was packaged - M.'s specialty since his stint in the Turkish army. Oh, that's right, you can't see Kenne as she is an imaginary puppet in my head. Right.

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13 Responses to We interrupt the Karagöz Christmas broadcast to offer thanks…

  1. Jack Scott says:

    Congratulations. You might think it’s small beer but it isn’t. Ours is a minority sport so to get anyone to read a single word is a major achievement. Well done. Give yourself a deserved pat on the back!

  2. Liz Cameron says:

    Thanks, Jack! Appreciate the encouragement!

  3. omentide says:

    I love reading your blog and I enjoy hearing from the puppets.

    You’ve reminded me of several things in my life that I should not forget.

  4. Liz Cameron says:

    Oh my goodness, such kind words. I am so glad to hear this.

    Be well and best of luck with the construction!

  5. Alan says:

    . . my glass is raised! Congrats on the milestone – onwards and upwards.
    Will send you and M a separate email with some pics of the temple to Sun and Moon gods.

  6. Awesome job!! Keep up the good work. It is a beautiful website and fascinating to read, and I now know how hard these things are to keep up, so hats off to you!!!

  7. Pingback: Surviving and thriving: Christmas 2011 with the Karagöz puppet troupe | Slowly-by-Slowly

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  9. Pingback: Puppet laryngitis: On stories, (Turkish) soldiers and writing: Part II | Slowly-by-Slowly

  10. Pingback: On stories – and on being human | Slowly-by-Slowly

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  12. Pingback: Peynirli Poğaça: Karagöz urges me to get baking and forget academia « Slowly-by-Slowly

  13. Aya says:

    Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just ciuuors if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

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