I’m packing away some things in a box; books, beautiful cloth I can’t decide how to sew, purses, beads. These aren’t everyday items, in fact they’ll be put away for months. But I can’t get rid of them. They’re my talismans, and each tells a story of the friend or stranger who sold or gifted them to me.
We can learn a lot about ourselves, and our characters, by looking at the talismans of the times. In writing non-fiction, what tangible items stay with you over the years? In fiction, what do your characters cling to like safety blankets, or albatrosses? Having in mind the great losses suffered during the Accra floods, what items leave an absence when they are lost, destroyed or taken away?
For non-fiction writers; pen a list of 10 meaningful items. Pick two and in 10-minute free-writes, tell the story of how you acquired each item and why you keep it. Then, write about something you no longer have.
For fiction writers; use a character from a work-in-progress and describe the items in their purse, bag, or pockets. Why does the character carry each item, what is its usefulness (or uselessness)?