who is ruby charm?

Ruby Charm is a character from a children’s book I started writing and illustrating years ago. I have yet to finish the book, but different versions of Ruby are taped to my wall (and sometimes fall out of folders) in my office/studio.

Ruby was inspired by an eerily beautiful, old Javanese Wayang Golek rod puppet that my husband gave me for Christmas back in 2000. We found her in an antique store in the Eastern Market in Detroit, but I could not afford to spend what little money I had at the time on a puppet. Months later, when we got up Christmas morning, she was propped up under our Christmas tree. I am still touched by my husband’s thoughtfulness.

The puppet has been perched high on a shelf overlooking my room ever since. She is quite old. Her clothing is fragile and faded and the paint on her face is chipped, but I think she is stunning. Almost magical. So it seems fitting for Ruby Charm to be my mascot–a pseudonym for creative projects moving forward.


The original Wayang Golek puppet that inspired Ruby Charm and a recent rendition of her.