Totems, Tokens and Treasured Memories

The children’s literature world is abuzz with today’s ALA announcements. I know there are Dour Dannies out there, gnashing teeth over the state of such awards. In the words of Scarlet O’Hara: “Fiddle-dee-dee.” I love anything which shines the spotlight on this rich and lush world of literature. I have some catch-up reading to do — I’ve read The Underneath and am reading After Tupac and D Foster, but not the other winning titles — but that’s a lovely problem to have!

Allow me the tiniest bit of nostalgia: it was only yesterday, wasn’t it, that I was awakened by that life-changing call? Since joining the Silver Sisterhood, my writing life has changed in so many ways. One of those ways is that I will always feel a pinprick of jealousy that someone else is answering 500 congratulatory emails, accepting deliveries of bouquets, dancing on cloud 9. Understanding that mix of emotions, a kind-hearted and most generous publishing-world friend sent me a card last year, celebrating my first anniversary of being a Newbery Honor award winner. That card is one of my cherish souvenirs.

It got me to thinking about other items of comfort and inspiration I keep at hand. On my desk is an playing card, folded, origami-style, into a small frog. Next to it sits an acorn from Walden Pond. And the window sill is lined with wishing stones, collected from various beaches I’ve walked. My dear friend and writing partner, Mary Nethery, sent me these stones, gathered from the Eel River near her, each engraved with a letter signifying one of my books. I’ll let you guess which letter stands for which book.

Awhile back, Kim posted photos of her writing shed and I noticed the tokens and talismans that dotted her shelves. I’m curious about your writing space: what are the things you keep on your shelves or on your walls that celebrate your writing self? That comfort you? That inspire you?

No Responses to “Totems, Tokens and Treasured Memories”

  1. Suzanne Williams

    On my walls are framed illustrations from several of my picture books that I either bought or was given by the illustrators. A little ceramic fairy that my friend and writers’ group member, Sylvie Hossack, gave me has perched on my pencil sharpener ever since I began writing my “Fairy Blossoms” series. I also have several pretty glass paperweights to hold down the papers on my desk. And on a knickknack shelf is a collection of glass, wood, and ceramic turtles which remind me that “slow and steady wins the race.”

  2. Mary Cunningham

    Since my YR series is time-travel and many of the characters are ancestors, I keep old photos of g.grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. They take me back to the early 1900s.

    I also have two inspirational stones: Joy and Create.

  3. hippyheath

    I dont have a real work space, and so i work by the window in my kitchen. my little table is flooded with various stones painted and decorated by my six year old. I also have various pictures and drawings from my kids.
    My six year old who enjoys and shares my passion for story telling and illustration inspires me day by day, she has the most wonderful and creative ideas.