|Posted by friendsofrupert on January 8, 2013 at 3:40 PM|
Merry Meet Again!
I was recently contacted by Daylina Miller, a reporter with a local newspaper - The Suncoast News - who wanted to do an article on alternative faiths. I was delighted to welcome her to The Glitter Dome for a tour and interview. Because this particular interview does not have an electronic version, I have re-typed it in full to post here. I only regret that I cannot share the wonderful picture she took of me an my Rupert puppet for the article.
West Pasco author pens pagan children’s book
Latest in “Rupert’s Tales” series to be released this year
- by Daylina Miller of The Suncoast News
NEW PORT RICHEY – In a candy-colored house off Washington Street lives a women who goes simply by the name of Kyrja. Her multicolored home, recycled lawn decor and brightly painted garden planters attract the stares of passers-by – perhaps even more than her hot-pink-colored hair does.
Kyrja has only lived in that house for 2 ½ years, but for years she has authored fantasy novels for all ages. More recently, she is the author of a series of children’s books called “Rupert’s Tales.”
“Rupert’s Tales” revolve around the adventures of a cinnamon-colored rabbit named Rupert and his furry friends. Rupert teaches different facets of pagan religion, introducing children to concepts like “The Wheel of the Year.”
The series began as a nagging thought in the back of Kyrja’s mind. One day in 2008, the pressure to write the little rabbit’s story overcame her and she left her construction job in the middle of the day to go home, muddy boots and all, and sit down and put pen to paper.
“I thought that’d be it,” Kyrja said. “But I’d opened the door and Rupert has come to live with me permanently. He was always there, just waiting for me to pay attention.”
Above Kyrja’s couch hangs the first painting of Rupert done by Tonia Bennington Osborn, the artist who illustrates Rupert’s journeys.
The rest of the house is an eclectic mix of recycled art projects, Disney memorabilia and painted murals. Paint covers every surface and you can’t leave the house without taking some glitter with you, which is why she and husband Randy affectionately call the house the “Glitter Dome.”
“No surface is safe when I have a paintbrush in hand,” Kyrja said, laughing.
Even in Kyrja’s kitchen, creativity abounds in an island that serves as a makeshift holder for bottles of other paint and art supplies and a dishwasher that holds her spices.
Very little negative feedback has come from the pagan community, but those unfamiliar with pagan practices and ritual are another story, Kyrja said. While she declined to comment on specifics, saying she’d rather focus on the positive over the unpleasant incidents, she said she knows that no matter what anyone does, someone will complain about it.
“There are always parents that are going to freak out with anything they perceive to be different than what they’re comfortable with,” Kyrja said.
To those who don’t embrace pagan beliefs or customs, Kyrja said, she always tells people that “all knowledge is worth having and it doesn’t have to threaten what’s important to you.” Her parents are devout Catholics who raised her in the traditions of the church, have all her books and are very proud of her, Kyrja said.
Kyrja’s third book on Rupert, titled “Rupert’s Tales” Rupert Helps Clean Up,” is due to be released sometime this year, although a specific date has not been set, and teaches children about reducing, reusing and recycling.
Kyrja is also working on a video series set to air at the end of January that will present more of Rupert’s tales, plus topics like the science of magic, mundane and magical uses of herbs, moon phases, tools of the craft and more.
The video podcasts, which will be recorded mostly by Kyrja in her home studio, are set to stream through the Illuminati Network website, an organization dedicated to providing information from an occult perspective to promote diversity and understanding.
In addition to writing about Rupert, and soon, broadcasting his adventures, Kyrja performs his adventures via storytelling and songs at local pagan festivals. She performed at 22 events in 2011 and 27 in 2012. her fluorescent hair, infectious laugh and tendency to burst into song at any given moment draw the attention of children and adults alike.
Kyrja keeps the door open for visitors and encourages neighbors to stop in for a tour of the inside when she’s not busy standing on a ladder to paint a ceiling mural, or writing about Rupert’s next great adventure.
“It’s not just about education and entertaining,” Kyrja said. “It’s about positive proclamations. You are good. You are enough. You matter.”
Thanks for being a Friend of Rupert