June 8, 2010

Talismans, anyone?

Webster’s defines talisman as “an object held to act as a charm to avert evil or bring good fortune”.

I grew up with talismans, mostly religious, rosary beads and such. Now that I write fantasy, I have a few around my computer. They serve as potent reminders that supernatural elements are integral to my stories. And if they bring me luck, well, I won’t say no. ;-)

The first two are rattles, good for shaking when my mind is stuck. One comes from Yosemite, brown and round and open-mouthed, ready to whisper words of encouragement. Another was forged from a Gerber baby spoon. How clever is that? Helps me focus on my young audience.

The other three are power stones I bought in Maui. The dragon, my Chinese astrological sign as well, symbolizes wisdom and nobility. The hummingbird stands for joy, miracles, and beauty. The seahorse brings confidence and grace. All qualities I’d like my work to reflect.

How about you? Got any lucky charms?


  1. I bought a rattle in Yosemite once. I loved it but gave it away as a gift. What a great idea to have it handy to free the mind. I may have to acquire another!
    Right now, I have a shell bracelet I made, an enamel seahorse and a plush blue whale who will sing when squeezed. I am writing underwater and they ground me. :D

  2. I keep three things on hand: pictures of both my boys, to remind me why I do this. A panic button, that has the voices of Hoops and Yoyo from Hallmark cards that places a rendition of "Stay calm...stay calm...no wait, PANIC!" when you press it, just for a stress release. Thirdly I have Mr. Socky, a puppet my son made for me from an old stuffed sock when he was three or four. At the time my computer was in a dark corner of a basement and my son didn't want me to be alone and frightened while I wrote, so he made him to keep me company.

    My son is 14 now, and I still keep Mr. Socky close by. :)

  3. My one talisman is a Turkish evil eye to keep malicious spirits away.

  4. Tricia: A new rattle is as good a reason as any to revisit Yosemite.

    Angela: I love your story about Mr. Socky. So sweet!

    Stephanie: Keeping the bad spirits away is important, but don't forget to invite the good ones in.

  5. Love this post, Kathryn. Next to my computer, I keep a box of crystals carefully selected to harness creative energies. They're very pretty. However, my 'real' talisman is a small copper-colored metal cache box my Grandmother Viva gave me when I was 8 or 9. She left a tiny note for me inside written on pink paper and folded into a tiny square. I used to keep the box near my typewriter. Now it sits by my keyboard.

  6. VR: Crystals for creativity, yes!
    I'm curious, what did your grandmother write?

  7. Tee hee! I knew you were going to ask me that. Let's just say it was mushy note addressed to her youngest granddaughter and namesake. ;)


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