♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you still have a treasure from childhood, can you tell us about it?
How about any of your characters?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Back in October of 2018, I wrote a short article on a hospital stay I experienced as a small child. This resulted in me having one of my oldest life artifacts: Pinky. I know you’ll probably wonder how I could possibly keep such a thing around, considering I loath clowns, and it’s barely more than a scrap. Let me tell you, Pinky is why I got through that trauma. I believed as a girl that he protected (yes, he. and you can read that in the older article, too).
My childhood had some major traumas. This small fabric friend helped me negotiate my brain’s healing from those scary experiences. The side-eye game is on point. I felt safe under those eyes. Somehow, it felt as if Pinky could see the things that were unsee-able and keep them away.
Pinky sits next to my bed to this day, right beside the stuffy that inspired my Zo Duck Series. Do I still feel safe. As houses. That clown has the power. If you know, you know.
Do such totems exist within the realm of my work, though? There’s nothing from the childhood days of my characters that exists in their stories to serve as this kind of memory/protection, or what not. They do all have something, however, which comes to them either in the course of the book, or back to them from earlier times.
First, there is the picture that Emily gives to Joseph, stolen from her parent’s collection. This serves as a reminder to keep him pushing forward through the war and all that comes to end him. Next, there is Claire’s lipstick. Some think this item is less important than it is symbolically, but I assure you, it’s meaning is on par with my Pinky. That lipstick is an anchor to better more stable times and the freedom of adulthood that Claire has long sought. It is breaking from the abuse, surviving, and normalcy. The bombs are dropping, but Claire still believes in life after the attacks come, and that it and she will prevail. Red lipstick, also, became a glorious symbol of feminine power from the time of WWII to present day.
Lastly, I’ll speak on Maiel, and the feathers on her barracks apartment wall. Those feathers are from General Mikhael. Their power is to watch over the individual who keeps them. Indeed, they were gifted to her by him. Their presence is not only symbolic of their growing bond, but his unyielding protection promised to her. In the sight of them, she is always protected. This (SPOILER AHEAD) is a good reason for why Dominic moved them to the wilds of Eden. The feathers were most definitely left behind! Those watchful eyes would have detected all his moves, and he couldn’t bear that.
Covering the childhoods of my characters isn’t the purview of any of my books thus far. That said, it is richer to have mementos crop up from earlier times. I have items in my keep that are from my earliest times, and it makes sense that others would as well. However, not many people who experience trauma hang onto things from those times before. They can be sources of grieving, or the trauma included losing all their things. For me, it can be bittersweet to see these items, even as I pass a great deal of the surviving toys and books on to my daughter. They from safer feeling times, when someone else buffered and protected me from the big bad world that always seems to be on the precipice of ending. So, too, Maiel’s feathers create a bittersweet nostalgia in the moment they’re rediscovered.
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Stevie Turner says
Pinky was a comfort to you in times of stress. Most kids have their comfort blanket. I had books. In dark times I would grab my favourite book and clutch it to my chest.
Captain Maiel says
I definitely had those later. 🙂
P.J. MacLayne says
I have a hand-crafted troll that a friend suggested works to protect me. It’s a comforting thought.
Captain Maiel says
That’s fantastic! I bet it does, too. Stuff like that from friends have serious power.