updated 01/25/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/25/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Wendy Midener added panache to the already lustrous Miss Piggy by working on her accessories for The Muppet Movie. Then the young designer-puppeteer helped bring forth Bobby Benson's Baby Band for The Muppet Show. But her hardest task as a puppet designer was creating Yoda for The Empire Strikes Back. In a collaborative effort under Muppet wizard Frank Oz, Wendy and makeup man Stuart Freeborn modeled—with "a sense of whimsy"—the prototypes of the tiny sage.

Wendy, 28, was born into the art world. Her mother is a painter, her father a sculptor. As a child, she could never find dolls that pleased her. So, at 5, she began building her own, based on favorite fairy tales she had read. "There were lots of fauns, satyrs, centaurs and things with wings," she recalls. After graduating from Detroit's Center for Creative Studies, Wendy met Muppet art director Michael Frith at a New York showing of her dolls in 1978. He bought several as Christmas presents for Muppet master Jim Henson. Soon she was a Muppet-maker, working in Manhattan with Brian Froud, the illustrator of the hit 1978 book Faeries. They were married in May 1980 and now live in a farmhouse in Devon, England. They have just finished Dark Crystal, a hush-hush fantasy-adventure puppet film due out in May. How has she done it all? She suggests the Force has been with her. "My takeoff point," she says with a smile, "was Yoda."

Lawrence Graham, like most high school seniors, was greatly relieved in April 1979 when his first college acceptance letter arrived. It was from Dartmouth, and within a few days the White Plains, N.Y. student had acceptances from the seven other Ivy League institutions.

He chose Princeton (for its "Frisbee-on-the-lawn" atmosphere), then did further research and wrote the Ten Point Plan for College Acceptance, a witty paperback (Quick Fox, $6.95), to help get the average student into the college of his or her choice. The son of a real estate dealer and a housewife working on a psychology-and-social-work master's (yes, Larry's book helped her too), Graham visited 50 schools in six states to collect data. He found that top colleges seek students with talent and leadership ability who are at the same time unusual. He offers a hint: "Make sure your parents do not join you in the interview." Graham's own credits include editing his high school paper, playing the oboe, working in the Carter White House and producing an NBC radio program on summer job opportunities.

The Ten Point Plan has sold 20,000 copies and landed its author on Donahue and Today. His second book, out next month, is a primer he too will find useful when he graduates with a degree in English in June 1983. The book's title: Jobs in the Real World.

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