Friday, May 18th, 2012

Writing Prompt – Tokens of Remembrance

Tea in a clear teacup with a slice of lemon on the side.I have a tea set that belonged to my Grandmother Spina. It’s a lovely shade of periwinkle blue with matching cups and saucers. Not really a feminine color or style, yet feminine all the same because it’s a tea set.

I keep it in the same curio cabinet as my doll collection, and I see it everyday, reminding me of her, keeping her spirit alive.

I love that about the pot. I’ll never make tea in it, never shared tea in it with my grandmother, but the memory of her having it is there all the same.

Things, like my teapot, become talismans, lucky charms, or bridges to the past. Touchstones. Reminders.

They can be motivators, or de-motivators. They can represent loss, or terrible things. Depending on what they represent, their presence can implore you not to act a certain way or do a certain thing.

The “thing” doesn’t even have to be tangible. It can be a once-held conversation, a fleeting thought or a note written on a card.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about a special token from your past. Why do you keep it? What does it mean for you?
  • Write a story about a character who has such a token, and then loses it. What happens?
  • Go through your closet and put your hands in every coat or jacket pocket until you pull something out. Write a story or poem or journal entry about this thing. Or, use this ‘found’ item in a scene or vignette of one of your story characters.
  • Write about something you brought home from a journey.
  • “..a shield lifted up above the side of the ship, and the point of the shield was upwards, in token of peace. And the men drew near, that they might hold converse.” ~ from Bullfinch’s Mythology: IX. Branwen, the Daughter of Llyr. The Mabinogeon. Vol. III: The Age of Chivalry.
  • Write about:
    • a token of love
    • a token of hate
    • something that belonged to your grandmother (or grandfather, sister or brother)
    • a hand-me-down, a used article of clothing, a hole in your shoe
    • something you found in a book (a scrap of paper, a bookmark, a ribbon, or a passage)
  • Enobarbus: How appears the fight?
    Scarus: On our side like the token’d pestilence, Where death is sure.

    ~ William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. Scene VIII.
  • Write about something you found.
  • Write about something you want, but can’t have.
  • Conversely, write about something you wanted and received, but that doesn’t mean as much now that you have it.

Good luck!

1 comment to Writing Prompt – Tokens of Remembrance

  • Oh, this might be my favorite post/prompt yet! I have so many tokens I wouldn’t even know where to start. Maybe I’m just sentimental or maybe I just have a bad memory, but I exist through “external memory” – I don’t put photographs in albums, I make collages of them and hang them on my walls where I can see them; items of sentimental value – like the quilt my mother made or the afghan my grandmother made – are either used regularly, or if too fragile for use, displayed prominently (never packed away out of sight), etc. I love to collect old hand embroidered linens – they remind me of my grandmother who made them by the dozens, but unfortunately I didn’get a lot of her linens so now I buy old ones, knowing that someone embroidered those and would be happy to know they are getting used, and use those as my grandmother’s linens (the few that I have) are too old to withstand washing. I also love old books, especially those with a handwritten note or decidation inside. I’ve taken to posting “old book monday” segments on my blog – pictures of favorite items from my old book collection so these wonderful old books can get out and see the light of day and be shared with others. Oh, this prompt makes me want to run out to an antiques store and scoop up some old books and some old linens and a tea cup or too (because I collect old teacups as well and those I do use, too)!

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