Last week we talked about how no two writers will come up with the exact same story, even given the identical prompt. I was thrilled at everyone’s ideas, and even more tickled that with all the great ideas, not one person copied another, nor did any of you go in the direction I had in mind myself. When you worry that some other writer has already written your wonderful idea, remember what we did last week, and keep charging ahead with your story. Today we’re going to talk about the magic of objects.
Not long ago I posted about boxes, and the fascination I have for them. But it’s not just boxes that end up catching my eye. All sorts of objects have a strange way of getting my attention, almost as if they have a magic of their own. Many years ago, there was a store here in town that sold remaindered retail stuff. Discontinued wallpaper border, chipped china plates, wine glasses with no matches, garden statues and candlesticks and craft supplies…honestly, you never knew what you’d find in there. I could hardly stay away, and ended up visiting once every other weekend, just to search the shelves for some treasure. I bought a resin statue of a beer-drinking monk, a brass thurible, a fake Russian icon of the Holy Mother, an unpainted ceramic dragon, and who knows what all else. It reminded me of Ali Baba’s cave.
The store is long since out of business, but my love of wandering remains. And I find myself coming up with ideas for magical items when I stroll the aisles of places like Big Lots (a closeout/overstock department store). There are tools so specialized I couldn’t begin to figure out what they’re really meant for, kitchen and dining implements that I’ve never seen in all my days. The three-headed pipe…maybe you’re supposed to hold it grasped in your fingers, recite an incantation and magical energy will pour out of one (or all three) of the openings. The crystal ball that might be for candles…surely it’s an urn that dispenses wine forever.
So here’s today’s writing exercise. I’m going to post a photograph of some random objects. Pick one, and tell us what kind of magical item it is. Name it, tell us what it’s made of, and what it does. Even the dangers of using it, if there are any. You don’t have to limit yourself to one – you can go for all four if you like. And if you come up with something that will work in your story, so be it. Ready?