Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The things around us

I quite enjoyed the responses to my recent post that invited people to look around themselves--right at that moment--and see their surroundings. Among the many fascinating things people saw were a "glazed, ceramic cup with a monkey's head" and a "lone fish cracker shaped like a whale that my kid won't let me throw out."

One common writing prompt is to start with a physical object, or a group of objects, and build a story around them. Whose seashell / scarf / perfume bottle is (or was) this? How did it get here? For a group of objects: How do these objects all relate to one another?

More questions to spark a writing exercise: Does this object inspire pride, dread, elation, nostalgia, sorrow, anticipation, regret, or a belly laugh? Is the object worn and battered, moldy or dusty, brand new, or has it been lovingly tended through generations? Is there perhaps something magical about this object, or historically significant, or just personally inspiring? Does this object remind you of a special person, or a special occasion? Or does it remind you of something about yourself that you always want to remember--or that you'd rather forget?

We all have our tools and our talismans, and plenty of stories to go with them.

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