“The words! I collected them in all shapes and sizes, and hung them like bangles in my mind.”
–Hortense Calisher, Extreme Magic
My grandfather continued to do some work after he retired. He had been a carpenter by trade and when remodeling was done in downtown Chino the contractors called him for the “fine” work. He would remove nails carefully from deep carved banister or paneling and doors. The wood was saved and could be used someplace else. Sometimes things were left behind and would be thrown out so my grandfather would ask if he could take them home. He would then fix or strip paint off of desks, chairs, or doors and moldings. He gave me a beautiful desk and chair. He kept the doors. He’d put legs on the them, get foam rubber and make a couch out of the door. My grandmother would sew covers for the foam rubber cushions. There were enough couches for my brother, aunt and our patio. After the door couches he’d start to make other things out of the doors. Some were so nice that he’d replace the doors in his home with the beautiful oak ones that he salvaged.
He was using things that others were going to throw out. Things that someone didn’t want were still good. And with a little effort the things were beautiful. Their found beauty was discovered under nicked paint.
I have many paintings that I did when I first started. They are crap. But some I have torn up and used in collage pieces. Some are so bad that my teacher told me to take them home and soak them in the bathtub and paint something else over them. Then some I have just painted on the other side.
We can do this with our writing too. Maybe someone told you that something was lacking in one of your stories/articles/poems. I hope you didn’t throw them out! I hope that you went back to them and worked on them or turned them into something else. Maybe it was better, maybe not. But don’t throw them out. Hide them under your bed. Dig them out and look at them again. They can be salvaged.
This prompt will take a little leg work unless you have an old desk, dresser or cabinet at home already. If not you’ll have to go to a 2nd hand store or antique store. Look at the desks, or dressers. Open the drawers. Are there seals from the manufacture? Old pieces of paper? Notes, letters? Write about and old desk and what was in one of the drawers.
You can sit and imagine all this but to go out and find one is a good Artist Date. If you don’t care for this idea go for a walk in a downtown area. Chino, Claremont, Upland, LaVerne, San Dimas or Pomona. You will find some interesting things to write about in the old stores there.
For the definition of Artist Date look up Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This book is good for ALL artists that want to do something to get inspired.
Have a great weekend. Enter our contest! Write every day.
p.s. I found and old wedding ring in the desk my grandfather gave me. It was very worn and whatever had been inlaid in part of the ring was gone. No diamonds just a peachy, gold and brass color with little flowers around the band.