What I See When I Walk Into My Study

My writing room at home is very small. And cluttered.

But I don’t look at the mess when I walk in the door. I look at the poster that is staring back at me on the vaulted ceiling, staring me right in the face.

This man changed my life. With a sock puppet. And a big imagination. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are all about Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and The Muppet Movie. Pure imagination, inspired hilarity, and boundless invention. When I’m asked who my heroes are, Jim Henson often beats out J.R.R. Tolkien as my answer.

Seeing him as I walk to my desk, I am truly inspired. This guy started with nothing more than a piece of fabric, a couple of ping-pong-balls, a black marking pen, and a big idea. When I’m writing the Auralia’s Colors stories, if I get stuck I sometimes ask, “What would happen in this scene if the characters were Muppets?” I’m reminded that I need to create the character’s unique voice and mannerisms in my head, just as each of the Muppets had their own personalities. When I ask “WWJHD?”, things happen.

So I am very, very interested in this news.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • http://www.coulterfamily.net/ScottCoulter Scott Coulter

    They seem eager to point out their “hopes to attract notable star cast in key roles” but what I’ll be more interested in is: how many of the other muppeteers will be involved? A big part of the interest for me will be accuracy of the “behind the scenes” views of the creation of Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.

    One of my favorite memories of Jim Henson was seeing him on the Tonight Show (back in the good-old-days when Johnny Carson was still around). That younger version of myself was so delighted to discover that Jim Henson talks like Kermit (by which I mean, of course, not that Henson had a squeaky frog voice, but the way that when he said certain words, it reminded me of Kermit). I think the way Henson said “puppeteer” was the word that most delighted me.


  • http://www.CriesOfTheHeart.com criesoftheheart

    Henson was and is a genius. I’m totally with you.

    And “Muppets From Space” cracks me up every time.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    Fixed. Sorry!

  • http://djp72.wordpress.com/ djp72

    the last link just goes to the picture. it doesn’t go to any news… help!