NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Inspirational Talismans

Small confession, folks: Small because a lot of people already know this about me; confession because, well, not everyone does.

I keep stuffed animals around.

No, not that kind (taxidermy--ew). I mean plushies. The fun kind that I look at throughout the day and think, Oh yeah--work is supposed to be play for me. (And it is, most of the time.) So I thought I'd introduce you to some of my pals.

This is Snort, who sat on my desk throughout the writing of The Key & the Flame. The book revolves around the element of fire, so a dragon ... well, you get it. He came from a shop at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS.

Yes, that is Hedwig, fresh from the Harry Potter series. Since those are some of my favorite books, Hedwig deserves a place of honor. She was acquired at a shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL. (I know ... so cool, right?)

 Aslan the lion sits on my bookshelf in honor of The Chronicles of Narnia, my very favorite series of books from childhood. If you haven't read it, I can't think why you're hanging out on this blog instead of snatching up your very own copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Aslan was snagged from my daughter's collection of stuffed animals when she decided to cull the herd one day. *Whew* We nearly lost him.

Mortimer the Moose has no literary reference whatsoever, but he's cute as all get-out and represents the first stuffed friend I acquired in adulthood. He was a souvenir from my sister, who bought him on a trip to Jackson Hole, WY.

 Jabbers the parrot is one of the few genuine Beanie Babies to ever grace our home. I'm nuts about birds of all kinds, especially parrots, but they're so beautiful and wild I can't bear to keep them in cages. So Jabbers is my substitute. He was a gift from one of my lovely sisters-in-law.

Gimpy the frog came to live with me when I broke my wrist back in August 2011. It was a particularly sucky month, to be frank, and the broken wrist capped it nicely. I had to wear an external fixator for several weeks, so I looked kind of like a cyborg. Gimpy, a gift from my sis, made me feel less alone.

Pooh, my Bear of Very Little Brain, is both a tribute to A. A. Milne, who I love dearly, and to my daughter, who worshipped all things Pooh-related for a big chunk of her life. She's much bigger now, but Pooh never grows up, so he remains very special to me. Also, he's downright huggable. He came from a toy store that closed a long time ago in our suburb.

I bought the Reader Owl years ago because I thought she was hilarious. She used to sit on my desk when I was a teacher's aide and amuse the kiddos. Now she sits on my file cabinet and reminds me of the first rule of good writing: Read! Read! Read! I think she came from our local Borders Books, whose demise I still mourn.

Finally, Áedán is a little bean-filled plushie who represents the Golden Salamander in The Key & the Flame. Just as he's lucky for Holly, he's lucky for me, and sits on my keyboard while I write each day. My daughter found him for me in the gift shop of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, one of our favorite haunts.

Now tell me: What talismans do you keep?

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