Making tiny newspapers…

These tiny newspapers are made out of thumbnail photos and index cards.

I’ve long loved dollhouses, and a 1978 TOMY Smaller Home and Garden, which I had as a kid, figures prominently in a recent short story I just finished.

As the story’s really personal and takes place between the Challenger and Chernobyl disasters–a pretty intense, very sorrowful and terrifying time for any teenager, let alone one who’d just lost her mom–I’ve decided I’m not going to try to place this. It’ll be this year’s holiday chapbook instead.

Problem: how to convey in the cover art that these horrific events play into the story without being too insensitive? One of the things I loved about my dollhouse was all of its tiny: tiny forks, tiny board games, tiny magazines, tiny records. I thought it’d be cool to take two of the most famous headlines from those events, make them into tiny newspapers, and set them next to the dollhouse’s Bentwood rocker replica (which I ordered, but hasn’t arrived yet, because YES! you can still get the stuff on Ebay). The rocker also figures prominently in the story.

The Smaller Home and Garden Living Room set came in two kits. This is the one with the Bentwood rocking chair, and it’s in mint condition (I just purchased the set on Ebay). For purposes of shooting the cover art, though, I’m not taking this set apart. I have another chair I just ordered for about $9 that’s used and will do the job, so I don’t have to take this out of its original packaging.

This idea later became “why not make a set of these newspapers for each of the chapbooks?” So … the making of 800 tiny newspapers begins. As of today, I only have to make 636 more! It’s actually very Zen. When I’m home from work and done writing or working on the magazine for the day, it’s very calming to sit and focus on this while listening to a TV show.

The plastic bags arrived yesterday. Here’s a preview!

If you’re not on my chapbook mailing list and would like to be, please reach out to me through my contact form (or if you’re a friend, hit me up on Facebook).

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at

Posted on March 3, 2021, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff, Short Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. OMGosh, what a fabulous idea, and you’re so skilled. Look how tiny those “newspapers” are!

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