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Japanese Paper Stars

I spent yesterday folding Japanese paper stars with Joyfully Reviewed as part of my gifts to the readers sitting at my table for the upcoming Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend, specifically for the big Saturday luncheon.

Japanese origami stars

The ribbon these are made of is particularly fun because the writing glows in the dark. They’ll be going into the base of my table decorations at the event and hopefully go home with the readers I meet at my table. Aside from being extremely cute, there’s a story behind these stars and a cultural practice from my childhood in these.

Story Behind Origami Lucky Stars

Should we start with “once upon a time”?

There was once a little girl in Japan named Hoshi. She loved the stars in the night sky and would lie on the grass at night,staring at them. As hours went by, she would wonder how the tiny stars could shine so bright, remaining suspended in the air for so long.

One night, the stars fell out of heaven in a shower of light. So many fell, Hoshi was afraid there would be no more. Saddened, she ran to her home and found herself an empty glass jar. She took up paper and folded one paper star for each spot she’d seen fall. Within the night, the little girl folded perhaps a hundred paper stars.

And yet, she was still saddened because many more stars had fallen fro the sky and she hadn’t been able to fold a paper star for each of them.

The next night, she saw only a few stars in the night sky. She ran and knocked on all the doors in the village, asking all the little boys and girls to come out. She explained to them her worry and each of the children wanted to help. That night they made two thousand stars. Every child placed their own stars in their own jar.

As they watched the sky the following night, more stars appeared in the night sky and the children cheered. After such a magical achievement, Hoshi was inspired.

“These stars are lucky because of us. From now on, these paper stars will be called lucky stars.”

She also looked up at the stars in the night sky and said, 

“Whenever a lucky star is made, a falling star is saved.”

~ story paraphrased from Secrets Behind Japanese Origami Lucky Stars and origamiway.com.

Paper Stars and Piper’s Childhood

My grandmother taught me to fold paper stars for luck during my childhood summers in Thailand. This is a Japanese folk tale, but the practice spread to Thailand and other countries. I was taught to pick a pretty glass jar, fold stars of colored paper, and present the filled jar as a gift.

I fold them now to wish luck to those I meet and gather the tiny paper stars in a jar to give as a gift.

It’s a gesture that’s about effort and consideration, wishes for luck and thoughts of friendship. I very much hope the readers at my table will enjoy them.

Play Find the Piper at RT16 in Las Vegas!

FOR_Drake_elevator cling_v4_signing_webRT16 in Vegas is my first con as Piper J. Drake, the first of the year, and wow, it’s going to be an activity-packed week!

The RT Booklover’s Convention is an amazing event, filled with great authors and readers, and incredibly fun. I’ve attended for several years in a row now (as PJ Schnyder) and I’m looking forward to participating on several romantic suspense panels and reader events as Piper.

My True Heroes series launched in January of this year and I am super excited to go see this graphic in real-life at RT, covering one of the hotel elevators. It’s going to blow my mind!

Giveaway!

Readers attending RT: I would be so happy to see pictures of you taken next to or in front of this graphic on the elevator at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Take a picture, post it to FB, Twitter, or Instagram and use #FindthePiper. I’ll have a special gift bag for one of you after the Giant Book Fair on Saturday!

 

Piper’s Scheduled Appearances on Panels and at Events:

First Timer (aka Virgin) Orientation

This convention orientation is designed for all first-time RT attendees. We’ll give you the “quickie” seminar experience. Trust us: if this is your first-ever RT Booklovers Convention, this could be the most important 60 minutes of your week! After you head to registration, get your bag of goodies and experience the initial shock and awe, you’re going to have questions. That’s where we come in. Come join us for an hour that, for some, has been a life-altering experience. We understand what it’s like — your virgin year at RT! Here is where you get your questions answered, meet other first-timers and become part of a special group like no other during convention week.

Host(s):

Tuesday, April 12, 12:15pm-1:15pm, Brasilia 6

Steampunk: The Diverse Punk

Sin City Murder Mystery!

Think fast. Love slow. Keeping great pace!

Romantic Suspense: Alpha Heroes and Kick-Ass Heroines: Romantic Suspense Characters That Make Readers Cheer

Romantic suspense is filled with super-hot alphas and kick-ass heroines, but how to craft those three-dimensional characters so readers will cheer for them until the very last page? These best-selling authors will discuss the building blocks of fan-favorite characters, the role of the heroine in romantic suspense, breaking characters stereotypes, balancing character and plot, crossing genres and more!

Moderator:

Panelist(s):

Friday, April 15, 10:00am-11:00am, Lambada

Memorable Themes and Settings in Romantic Suspense

From treasure hunts in the Caribbean, to the jungles of Central America, from New Orleans society and cemeteries to Key West intrigue: how to incorporate memorable themes and settings into romantic suspense.

Panelist(s):

Friday, April 15, 11:15am-12:15pm, Tropical C

Intergalactic Bar & Grille

Attention starship crew! Charge your blasters and get ready to repel the invasion of the dastardly alien space ducks as we drink, snack and indulge in sci-fi silliness at RT’s only sci-fi party. Win prizes! The first 200 crew members to report for duty get goody bags loaded with swag. Brought to you by Captain Linnea Sinclair and her trusty space commando authors!

Host(s):

Friday, April 15, 2:45pm-3:45pm, Brasilia 2