Hello, dear readers,

I'm so happy to show you the cover of my next novel, coming on October 27, 2015!

The exquisite cover illustration is by Greg Ruth. Gorgeous jacket design by Elizabeth B. Parisi of Scholastic.

I love the swirling movement in the art-- there's a lot of swirling imagery in the book, and Greg captured it so beautifully.  I also love the ethereal quality, so airy and infused with light.  And I love how the colors near the girl's head are warm and golden, and then the palette moves down to cooler, moodier grays and greens, and then, once again, is grounded in golden light.

The girl pictured is Esma, who calls herself The Queen of Lightning, and the boy in the field of on her skirt is Teo, who narrates most of the book (the parts set in the mid-20th century).  The contemporary parts of the book are narrated by his grandson, Mateo.  Like my book What the Moon Saw, this one also spans generations.

(In case you're wondering whatever happened to The Impossible Caravan, this is that book!  The title changed to The Lightning Queen, but the name of the caravan in the story continues to be The Impossible Caravan.)

Here's a summary of the book:

     Nothing exciting happens on the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico. There’s no electricity, no plumbing, no cars, just day after day of pasturing goats. And now, without his sister and mother, eleven-year-old Teo’s life feels even more barren. Then one day, the mysterious young Esma, who calls herself the Gypsy Queen of Lightning, rolls into town like a rush of color. Against all odds, her caravan’s Mistress of Destiny predicts that Teo and Esma will be longtime friends.
     Suddenly, life brims with possibility.
     And magic.
     And danger.
     With the help of a rescued duck, a three-legged skunk, a blind goat, and other unexpected friends, Teo and Esma must overcome obstacles—even death—to make their impossible fortune come true. Their destiny will span generations and ultimately depend on Teo’s American grandson, Mateo, to be fulfilled.
     Inspired by true stories from rural Mexico, this astonishing novel illuminates two fascinating but marginalized cultures―the Rom and the Mixteco Indians. Award-winning author Laura Resau tells the exhilarating story of an unlikely friendship that begins in the 1950s and reaches into today.

Ages 8 & up * Scholastic Press * 
available as hard cover, e-book, and audiobook* October 27, 2015 release

You can pre-order it now!

I encourage you to check in with your local indie bookseller about pre-ordering, too!

My brilliant editor with a big heart, Andrea Davis Pinkney of Scholastic

Here's a bit of background on the book, excerpted from my Author's Note in the back:

     I felt fortunate to form meaningful friendships with Mixteco people when I took a teaching position in the remote mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. For two years, I was welcomed into Mixteco communities, first as a teacher and later as an anthropologist studying their culture. During this time, I heard stories about the beloved gitanos, whose caravans had shown movies in this region years earlier. I knew that gitanos (also known as Rom or Gypsies) have been misunderstood throughout the world, so I was intrigued by how fondly local people spoke of them. Like the Rom, the Mixteco have also faced prejudice and racist treatment for centuries. I felt drawn to explore the fascinating relationship between these two cultures.
     As I developed this story, I wove in realistic and mystical elements of oral histories I heard in Mixteco villages. The initial spark for this book came from the experiences of a ninety-six-year-old healer named María López Martinez (lovingly nicknamed María Chiquita—María the Little One). When she was a young girl, a gitana fortune-teller told her she would live a very long life. Shortly after her fortune, she grew ill and appeared to die. Inside their hut, her family held a candlelit vigil over her apparently dead body. At one point during the mourning, a drop of candle wax fell onto María Chiquita’s body. Somehow, it woke her from death!
     She told me that her time in the other realm gave her powers to become a healer. She lived to age ninety-seven, and near the end of her life, she proudly pointed out that the gitanos’ prediction had come true. I returned to María Chiquita’s village for her cabo de año—the candlelit one-year anniversary of her death. I’m grateful to continue a friendship with her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter.

You can read more background on The Lightning Queen in another blog post I did here.

Thanks so much for swinging by!


Announcing my next book... THE IMPOSSIBLE CARAVAN!!!

 photo credit: Charlie Cox of Irish Rose Farm



Hello, dear readers!

I can finally announce the news I've been hinting at for a while now (and which some of you already know via Facebook and Twitter)! Here's the official announcement of my new book deal!!!

Children's: Middle grade
Americas Award-winning author Laura Resau's THE IMPOSSIBLE CARAVAN, in which an indigenous boy and a Romani (Gypsy) girl form a friendship in rural Mexico that spans the rest of their lives and embraces magic, music, and predictions of impossible destinies, to Andrea Davis Pinkney of Scholastic, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Erin Murphyof Erin Murphy Literary Agency (world).

(Expected Publication Date: Fall 2015.  And note that the title might change!)

You guys, I'm so excited!  This is a new publisher and editor for me, and I've heard incredible things about them both.  I've been working with Andrea on revisions this summer, and I keep pinching myself because she is a dream to work with... this whole experience, in fact, has felt like an abracadabrant dream.

I got the idea for this book about 15 years ago, when I was living in an indigenous region of Oaxaca, Mexico, teaching and doing anthropology research.  I met a 96-year-old healer named Maria Lopez Martinez, lovingly nicknamed "Maria Chiquita," and her daughter, Fidelina.  We immediately hit it off, and after Maria Chiquita gave me a limpia (spiritual cleaning involving chanting, praying, and beating me with bundles of herbs and spitting on me with alcohol), she and her daughter told me I reminded them of the gitana (Gypsy/Romani)  women who used to visit their Mixtec village in the mid-20th century. They launched into enchanting stories about the caravans that would show outdoor movies and tell fortunes and bring joy and excitement to their community.

 I could only find this small-resolution image of the three of us

I ended up becoming good friends with these women, and although Maria Chiquita passed away a year later, I went to her cabo de anno (that double nn is supposed to be an n with a squiggle above it but I can't figure out how to do that in blogger!)  This was a beautiful candlelit gathering a year after her death in which we honored her spirit.

 "Drops of Wax" illustration by Emma Shaw Smith

Maria Chiquita had a big effect on my life, and I ended up weaving her stories about the gitanas into a short story called "Drops of Wax" for Cricket Magazine-- my first big publication.  Fast forward about ten years, after I'd published seven books and was struggling with what I thought would be my next book-- a YA fantasy that my writing friends and I referred to as THE CHOCOLATE BOOK  (or, THAT  #$&*! CHOCOLATE BOOK).  This was the spring of 2013, and man oh man, was this book giving me trouble!  It was super-intricate, jumping around in time and space, leaping from one character's point of view to another... and then there was crazy-complicated fantastical world-building I was getting lost in...

Around that time, I took a trip to Half Moon Bay, California for an author visit and walked along the succulent-covered ocean cliffs.  It had an almost magical effect on me... I started getting vivid glimpses of a new story.... a story that was for younger readers, and involved the Romani (Gypsies) and a Mixtec village... and it felt graceful and fun and soul-soaring to me.  I decided I needed to give my poor brain a break from THE %*&!@ CHOCOLATE BOOK, and this new story was the perfect project.  I jotted down bits of dialogue and scenes and imagery in the little notebook I carry around with me, and started getting really excited about it.  It felt deeply special to me--  after all, the novel had been brewing in my unconscious mind for the past fifteen years.  I'd written that short story, but I'd always had the sense that I wanted to weave some of its basic elements into a full-length novel someday... and the day had finally come!

The book was a pure joy to write... I ended up finishing a solid draft by the fall-- in less than six months, which is really fast for me.  Then, for a few months, I asked some smart and generous writing friends to critique it, and I did a few revisions.  By the winter, my agent was reading it, and then, in the springtime of 2014, Andrea Davis Pinkney made the offer. Then I had to sit on the news all summer long until the contract was signed and the deal officially announced. So... it's been a fruitful and exciting year!

SO many people have helped me with this manuscript... the acknowledgments will be looooong! My friends in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca were enormously helpful, and I feel bowled over with gratitude.  And my writer friend, Ron Cree, contributed awesome real-life stories about some unusual pets he had as a kid-- this helped me with "character development" of the rescued skunk and duck in the book.  (You can read his hilarious stories here and here.)

The abandoned, injured gosling my family and I rescued back in May 2013 was also a big inspiration for the duckling character in the story.  Here you can see photos of Baby Goose Grape (and also read another true, funny waterfowl story.)

My friend Charlie Cox helped with some of the Romani (Gypsy) elements in the story-- he lives on a farm on the outskirts of town, and has Romani vardos (caravans) and Gypsy horses!  Here's a post I did after he invited me out to his farm and graciously showed me his vardos.

 Photo credit: Charlie Cox of the Irish Rose Farm

I've been interested in Romani cultures around the world ever since reading anthropologist Isabel Fonseca's ethnographic book BURY ME STANDING in the mid 1990's.  It made me aware of the misconceptions about the Romani as free-spirited wanderers, and gave me a better understanding of the societal challenges they've faced, historically and current-day. And then, as I did research for my novel, I was fascinated to learn more about the Romani through books, oral histories, and documentaries (the recent movie Papusza was wonderful and moving.)

Researching this book was the first time I used a Pinterest board to collect images, and it was really helpful.  Here are a couple images from the board that helped me visualize the Romani girl in my novel.

(Unfortunately, a problem with Pinterest is that it can be hard to find photo credits for images-- I don't know who took these pics, but if you do, let me know, and I'll give credit.)

 I imagine the girl in front resembles my main character-- I love her confident, almost sassy expression!

Okay, I think this post is long enough for now! I have more inspiration/research background to share with you later, though...  some of it involves my vintage Viewmaster and slide collection, actually. ;-)

On that note, I will bid you farewell!  Thank you for coming by and sharing in my happiness... and I hope you're enjoying these first bits of fall.


The Ducklings of Ron's Childhood


Hello, dear readers!

I'm in the midst of revising my next book (which I still can't tell you about till everything is finalized!)  I've given you a few glimpses here and there, though... A few months ago, I did a post about my writer friend, Ron Cree's, pet skunk that he had as a kid.  Not only is there a devilish rescued baby skunk character in my next book, but there's also a rescued duckling character... and wouldn't ya know it, Ron *also* had pet ducks as a kid. Ron's vivid descriptions of his relationship with his animals and their fascinating behavior were helpful to me in my research...

So, without further ado, I shall paste Ron's incredibly moving childhood duckling recollections (really, I got a lump in my throat at the end...):

"I was in the fifth grade (around 10 years old) when I convinced my parents to let me purchase two duck eggs from the local hatchery.  Eggs were a much easier sell than two live ducklings, and they were cheaper, too.  I think I only paid a buck or so for each one.  They were about ¾ incubated, and due to hatch in just a few days.

I set up a cardboard box in my bedroom and focused a strong, 100 watt bulb on the eggs, which I’d carefully nestled in some towels.  I made sure to turn them at regular intervals and stayed up late most nights, staring at them and dreaming about how amazing it was going to be when they finally produced ducks!  I was very impatient for them to hatch…it was worse than waiting for Christmas.

Even now, nearly forty years later, I clearly remember the excitement of the day my ducks were born.  I watched in awe as the eggs trembled and cracked.  It took a huge amount of willpower to not help them out of their shells.  (I had a book that explained what to do, and it stated very forcefully that you should never “help” your ducklings during the hatching process.)  I could see their bills breaking through the eggs, and the urge to reach in and assist was nearly overwhelming.

After what seemed like hours, both ducklings had fully emerged.  They were wet and peeping up a storm.  The warmth of the lamp dried them off pretty quickly, though, leaving them fluffy and yellow and unbelievably cute.


I named them Puddles and Sunbeam and couldn’t resist picking them up and playing with them, even though they’d just hatched.  It was sort of love at first sight, both for them and for me.

My book had explained the concept of imprinting, and I was eager to try it out for myself.  Less than an hour after they were born, I put the ducklings on the floor and started walking around.  I was amazed (and still am) at how they immediately began following me.  No matter how fast I moved, no matter how I zigged and zagged, they kept right up with me, peeping all the while.

Over the next couple of weeks, we grew even closer.  They’d follow me EVERYWHERE.  I loved taking them outside and showing off for the other kids in the neighborhood.  Even in a crowd of people, Puddles and Sunbeam never lost focus—they always followed me and only me.  I took them to school for show and tell one day and they followed me up and down the hallway and into the classroom.  Even the teacher thought they were adorable.


It was interesting to see the change in their personalities as they grew.  When young, they were easily spooked and tended to stick very close.  I had to be careful not to step on them.  They were always visibly excited when I came home from school and played with them.

As they grew into adults, they became hilarious.  They still followed me everywhere, but now, instead of being tiny and yellow and fluffy, they were gangly, white, and weirdly independent.  They remained quite protective of me and had no problem facing down other animals, like my dog, cats, squirrels, whatever that tried to come between us.  They’d get into the face of anything they perceived as a threat to me.  They were my protectors!

They had their own small swimming pool that they’d spend the day in (during warm weather), and a secure hutch they’d sleep in at night.  They ate plants and worms in the yard, and I had to pay attention to keep them out of my mom’s garden.  (I spent a lot of my allowance on Purina Duck Chow…little pellets of who-knows-what that was the staple of their diet.)  They liked being carried, and I can still remember the feeling of tucking one under each arm like a football and lugging them around town.  Of course, whenever I did put them down, they immediately fell into line behind me and just followed me wherever I went.

They drew a lot of attention from people, but whenever someone would approach us, they’d get all ruffled and start quacking aggressively.  They’d run in circles around my feet.  No one else could pick them up.   

They really didn’t have time for anyone except me and each other.


I can’t say that they were particularly “loving” pets.  I couldn’t cuddle with them or sit with them in my lap.  They couldn’t sleep with me or even come inside the house, once they were grown.  But they were extremely loyal and I couldn’t get enough of them.

For my Mom and Dad, it was another story.  As the ducks became adults, they became messy and smelly.  Lots of poop everywhere.  My parents didn’t like that.  Plus, they were loud.  Their cute peeps became annoying quacks and honks.  They considered themselves the “bosses” of me and of the yard in general.  They were surprisingly territorial.  Most strangely—it was as if they “knew” somehow they belonged to me, and as my pets, they acted “entitled” or something.  It was weird.

I didn’t have them long…maybe a year.  It got to a point where it was impractical to keep them.  We didn’t live on a farm.  We lived in the suburbs of Cincinnati.

So my parents finally convinced me that my ducks would be happier at the city lake with the other ducks.  I didn’t want that, of course, but I was only 11, so I didn’t have much say.

I can remember the evening we took them to the lake and let them go.  They very quickly merged in with a whole group of other domestic ducks, making them impossible to identify by sight.


That night, I tossed and turned and cried and cried and cried.  It was horrible.

I went back to the lake almost every day for a month, hoping to see them.  And I did a couple of times.  They actually broke from the crowd of other ducks and proceeded to follow me when I showed up!

But the day finally came when I showed up and they weren’t there.  Or they simply decided not to follow me anymore.  I eventually stopped going and never saw them again.

I still remember them, though.  Two of my favorite pets ever."


*sniff sniff*  This is Laura here again.  You know, I got inspired to have a rescued baby waterfowl character in this book after I found an abandoned Canadian gosling in the road last year. We brought her home and named her Grape, but soon had to deliver her to the wildlife rehabilitation center.  I cried like crazy, and I'd only known her a few days.  Here she is:

Oh, and one more thing-- if you're in the Fort Collins area, please come by and see me (and wonderful writer friends Laura Pritchett and Kayre Cattrell at the Old Town Book Fair on July 12!  Here are details:

Saturday July 12, 1:00-2:00 pm, Local Author Tent, Old Town Book Fair, 

Old Town Square, Fort Collins, CO

Ask a Writer – or Three!
Have questions about the writing process, finishing your novel, or finding an agent? Or perhaps you'd rather talk about plot, character, pacing, or setting. Whatever the questions, three acclaimed Fort Collins authors will do their best to answer them while chatting about writing and the writing life.
Free and open to everyone!

(See here for details and the full line-up of Book Fair activities.) 


P.S. Besides, Baby Goose Grape, the other waterfowl in the photos here were randomly found through an online image search... I didn't have any pics of Ron's actual ducklings, but you can only imagine their cuteness. 

Ron's Pet Skunk

Hello, dear readers!

If you've been suffering from a horrible allergy season, as I have, this skunk story might cheer you up.  It makes me laugh between sneezes.  (My allergies have been horrendous for the past 6 weeks-- I've gone through so many boxes of Kleenex that I'm going to plant some trees in my yard to make up for it.  Really, I am!)

So, my new manuscript has, among other animals, a rescued skunk in it.  I put out a call for real life pet skunk stories on Facebook as part of my "research."  My good friend Ron Cree sent this one.  (He's also an awesome YA author-- check out his books here!)   

Here's Ron's story, in his own words, and I hope it makes you laugh (between sneezes), too!

For all of my childhood, I wanted a skunk as a pet.  I mean, I was obsessed with the idea.  For all of middle school and for most of high school, I read about them, looked at pictures of them, devoured every magazine article and book I could find about them.
My parents were smart, though.  They always said “no way” whenever I brought it up.  It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that my dream finally came true.

I discovered that a friend of my dad’s had somehow come into possession of a de-scented skunk and was looking to sell it.  I jumped at the chance, and without telling my folks, I paid him $15 and took possession of a gorgeous, grown male skunk.

I named him Prints, and he was the coolest thing EVER.

I bought him a small halter/leash, the kind you’d put on a poodle or small dog.  With that, I was able to walk him around.  Traffic would literally screech to a halt when people saw us.

Traits I remember about him:
  • ·         He would frequently go into “spray mode”.  If he was startled or felt threatened, his tail would stand straight up.  He’d arch his back and stare you down.  He’d stamp his little front feet on the ground and hop backwards a few inches.  If none of that worked, he’d whip his butt around and “spray”.  Then, feeling 100% confident that he’d succeeded in warding off any danger, he’d calmly proceed to go about his business.  It was pretty hilarious.
  • ·         He was nocturnal.  He’d sleep most of the day (curled into a tight ball) and was very active at night.  I would let him roam around my room while I slept, and he’d get into EVERYTHING.  He particularly liked going into the closet and under the bed.  He didn’t like being “exposed.”
  • ·         He was very curious.  He’d often strain to see what I was doing if I was at my desk or in bed.  (Of course, he could have just been looking for food.  He ate A LOT.)
  • ·         He was sort of like a cat, in the sense that you could pick him up and pet him.  He’d sit in your lap or fall asleep while you were holding him.  His personality was cat-like, as well.  Sort of aloof, but dumber, if that makes sense.  Like a dumb cat.  Not sneaky, but confident.  (He really thought all he had to do was spray anything that messed with him.)
  • ·         He had a temper, and if I tried doing something he didn’t like, or pick him up when he didn’t want to be picked up, he’d bite, or try to bite.  He was definitely a wild animal.
  • ·         When picking him up, he’d often be real wiggly, and whip his head from side to side, as if trying to bite.  I eventually learned to pick him up by the skin of his neck.

 There was one time, when I was out of high school, that I took a cross-country road trip in February.  I had Prints in the car with me.  I’d made a wooden box with a small round hole cut in the side that I’d keep him in.  He liked the solid darkness of it (unlike a cage), but he could still poke his head out to see what was going on, if he wanted to.  I put the box on the passenger seat with the hole facing me, and he’d stick his nose out every now and then to check things out.

Anyway, we got stuck in a very bad snowstorm in Minnesota, and I-90 was closed.  So we were forced to stop at a hotel for a couple of days.  Trust me, getting a skunk into a hotel is not a good idea.  The first night, I left him in the car.  BIG mistake.  I’d forgotten about a box of Pop-Tarts in my baggage.  But he hadn’t.  He got out of his wooden box and DESTROYED the inside of the car, getting to those pastries.  He literally tore (clawed, gnawed, whatever) his way through the side of my suitcase.  Tore the upholstery.  Shredded clothes, other boxes, etc.  It was a MESS.

So I decided I had no choice but to smuggle him into the hotel.  He liked it.  He got to do his usual nighttime prowling around while I slept.  (Except he decided that chewing up the carpet under the bed was a good idea.)

Unfortunately, housekeeping caught him the next day and I got in trouble.  The manager was called and we were asked to move out, but it didn’t matter, since the freeway opened again later that morning.

I took him to Mount Rushmore and walked him around the plaza on his leash.  That was pretty funny.   
Again, I can’t emphasize enough the REACTION that occurred when people spotted us.  They’d do a double-take, then a retreat, then a confused, whispered conversation with whomever they were with, followed by an “are you crazy?” glance at me, before finally asking what the deal was.


Me again-- Laura here.  Isn't that all great?  HUGE thanks to Ron for taking the time to write this down for me.  I can't wait for you guys to meet the skunk in my upcoming book...


Personalized, Signed Books for Gifts... *and* a Zany, Heart-warming Story of Geese!

 This is baby goose Grape, who we rescued in May, and who inspired the duck in my story.

Hello, sweet readers!

As my Lil Dude often says, "Two things.  First..."

First, just want to let you know that if you'd like any personalized, autographed copies of any of my books for a holiday gift, you can order them at Old Firehouse Books.  In the Notes section of your order (either online or by phone) you can tell them who you'd like me to sign the book for, and anything special I should know about the recipient.  I'll come to the store (just a few blocks from my house) within a day (barring extreme sickness) and autograph the book and then Old Firehouse will mail it to you! Easy peasy. You can also email me directly and give me a heads up so I'll be sure to sign it asap.  (Lauraresau at, subject: Signing Books). I recommend ordering soon to make sure they arrive in time!

Okay, on two Thing #2!  The Geese Story!  As you may or may not know, I put out a call on Facebook for interesting real-life pet skunk or waterfowl stories.  (This relates to my next novel, which I hope to tell you more about soon!)  I got lots of fascinating responses, and I thought I'd feature a couple on this blog... they're too good not to share.

Today's story is from wonderful school librarian, Alexis Gerard, of Maryland.  I'm calling it:

 "Hungover Geese in Cute Sweaters"


When my grandmother was a little girl, she lived on a large chunk of property out in the country. They had many yard geese. Before she was born, her family had gathered on the estate for the holidays. They made egg nog with lots of rum. To cool it, they left it outside for a while. 

The geese found it and drank almost all of it. Some time later my grandmother's family came outside to find the dead birds in the back garden. 

They felt bad about it, but what could they do?  Not wanting the birds' lives to be a total waste, they decided they would pluck the feathers from the geese. 

Some time later the geese came to. Then my family felt really bad as it was winter time and now these poor geese were naked. 

They brought the geese inside for a few days. The women knitted little sweaters for every goose. The geese wore those sweaters all winter until their feathers grew back. 

True story! 


Don't you LOVE it?!  I think it would make an adorable, funny picture book... but I'm not sure about how appropriate drunk, passed-out geese would be for the preschool crowd...

Thank you SO much to everyone who contributed stories... you have tripled the laughter in my life on these dark December days...


 *If you embiggen this photo, you can see some of the greenish-yellow poo that plays a minor role in my novel.*

Oh, Serendipity, I love you!

 Canvas Bowtop wagon, photo credit: Charlie Cox of The Irish Rose Farm

So, a couple weeks ago, we got a sweet little 3-year-old beagle named Wilma from the shelter (photos of Wilma to come in another post soon!)  Lil Dude and I brought her to the Farmer's Market last Saturday. You know how dogs almost magically introduce you to all kinds of interesting people?

Well, Charlie Cox was one of these people!  At his farm stand, he struck up conversation with me about Wilma and beagles... and one topic led to another... and next thing I know, he's showing me photos of his AUTHENTIC GYPSY WAGONS on his cell phone!

It just so happens that all summer, I've been researching all things Gypsy/Roma/Romany/Rom for a new book! Don't you love serendipity?!


I've got piles of books and CD's and DVD's about the Romany-- which are great and all, but I always crave real-life, in-person stuff when I'm doing research.  I like talking to people, going places, interacting, getting a completely multi-sensory experience so that I can make scenes come alive for readers.

Anyway, Charlie very kindly invited me out to his farm/ranch in north Fort Collins-- the Irish Rose Farm-- just a twenty minute drive from my house. He and his wife breed, show, train, and sell Irish Cobs, including "Gypsy horses," which led them to an interest in Gypsy wagons.

I drove out to his farm (so peaceful and beautiful) and discovered that this man is a sparkling treasure trove of knowledge about the Romany-- I felt like I'd just won the lottery, in terms of book research.  I love talking with passionate experts, listening to their stories, scribbling notes wildly in a little notebook.  Major research adrenalin rush.

Charlie has two Romany vardo (wagons), which he acquired in Ireland and had shipped here to the foothills of the Rockies.  (One of the deals was sealed by spitting into palms and shaking hands, Romany style.)

This one is called a Canvas Bowtop, built in the early1900's (1930's, I think). Charlie and his wife, Jan, take this to festivals in the region, showing how it's pulled by one of their Gypsy horses.

photo credit: Charlie Cox, Irish Rose Farm

Inside of the Bowtop, repainted in the 1980s.

 this is the front of the wagon-- driver perches on that little ledge

Detail-- this artist, Tom Stephenson, used a fruit motif

pretty scrollwork in classic Irish Romany colors

In the far back is the sleeping area-- a slide-out bed; the cast iron stove is for heating tea and giving warmth.

Charlie's other vardo is under renovation now.  It's a Burton Wagon, aka a Showman's wagon, built in 1914. The14 layers of paint were in bad shape, so he's stripping it and repainting it in Romany style.

Fascinating, no?!  I was captivated.  (For links to more pics, you can go to Charlie's website-- Irish Rose Farm.)  Thanks for swinging by!  Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of my research-in-progress...