In Praise of Found Things.

Emily Ebeling, the professional photographer and friend who compiled the lovely winter shots I posted in “Where and Why I Write,” also took a few shots of this:

DSCF9041

Just a necklace, right?

The actual finding took place a while ago. At the time my graduate school experience mirrored the Minnesota spring: cold and messy. One afternoon I spotted this bright red in the muck. Even with the dirt and oil, I could see it was something beautiful. It just needed a home.

My daughter loved it too, which is nice, until one realizes that a baby prefers to show her affection by slobbering all over it. Often the necklace ended up by my computer because it was in the only room we kept closed off. During my first NaNoWriMo, I pulled elements from the book room into my story because, well, they were there, and I was writing against two clocks, one of which was capable of screaming when ignored for too long. Wonderland conundrums, Neverland mermaids, Sherlock Holmes, and…my necklace. My female protagonist needed a memento of her family, and it seemed as good a token as any.

With each draft, I nurtured those cuttings from the classics to become unique elements in my story-world. The necklace, too, became more than just a token. It symbolized my protagonist’s sacrifice. It lured enemies out of the dark. It foreshadowed a secret lineage.

It became one of the most important pieces of my story.

Not bad for a random find in a parking lot.

12 thoughts on “In Praise of Found Things.

  1. Pingback: The Old Crown | Jean Lee's World

  2. Reblogged this on Jean Lee's World and commented:

    As we tread closer to my giveaway on September 1st, I thought I’d share one more piece from my first year in blogging. This brief post touches on the beauty of inspiration found in the littlest things, and what began as a convenient insertion for the sake of a word count quickly became one of the most important symbols of a novel series.
    Yes, I still have this necklace, and yes, I’ve received a few other pieces of jewelry over the years I wouldn’t mind writing about. I’ll never top my son Bash, though–all it takes is an acorn for him to spin a tale about fire trees and squirrel firefighters saving the acorns of safety.
    Lesson learned, writers: never underestimate the power of a found thing. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love an object with history. This one is a beauty, I can see how it could inspire you.

      I wonder how many other people saw it and ignored it, or just didn’t notice it? It was obviously meant for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! When I originally posted this, I panicked at first that the original owner would see it and hunt me down, and then I’d have to buy or her off or something. Thankfully, that’s not happened yet. 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s