I have all kinds of things in my office that serve as creative nudges. Trouble is, when you have an office full of stuff that sticks around day after day, it blends into the background. So, every so often, I dig around in my accumulation of writerly objects and reacquaint myself with their vibes.

It works. And I’ll share.

1. Things hidden in boxes

I don’t have a lot of boxes around here – just a few for back-up photo cds and back issues of magazines I’ve yet to part with. But here is one little box that has been on my shelf for several years and I don’t look inside it very often. Today, I took a peek and rediscovered my “angel cards”. These are fantastic writing prompts and my discovery gave me the idea of pulling a card from the box each morning for the next few weeks, then using whatever is on that card as a prompt for my daily writing.

The bird box
The bird box the sits on my bookshelf


The "angel cards" inside the box
The “angel cards” inside the box


2. Stuff my mom used

On one of my bookshelves, I have my mom’s old face powder container. No, there’s no powder in it anymore; it’s glass with a metal top and it’s been thoroughly cleaned. It’s just an odd little piece that I kept after she died because I remember always seeing it on her dresser when I was a little kid. After she used up the powder that came with it, she kept it to hold assorted tiny things that might come in handy (bobby pins, safety pins, spare earring backs, etc.). I don’t keep anything inside it but memories.

My mom's empty face powder container
My mom’s empty face powder container


3. A Goofy Pez dispenser

When my son was in high school, he worked for a brief time at a place in the nearby shopping mall that sold all kinds of candy. Once, he came home with the mother lode of Pez dispensers and I couldn’t resist this one. Goofy suits me. Goofy is a good stress-buster.



4. Squishy skull

My buddy Andrew bestowed this skull upon me one Halloween a couple of years ago. Squishing it till its eyes pop is the best thing ever. Well, at least until something else comes along to distract me.

Unsquished skull
Unsquished skull


Squished skull
Squished skull


5. Light my fire

Need a spark? Here you go. This dragon came from one of the many art fairs held in the summer in the Twin Cities. He’s just waiting for someone to strike that match.

Dragon awaiting spark
Dragon awaiting spark


What kind of creative nudges are patiently waiting for you to see them as they linger in your everyday space?

Go have a look. Happy Friday.





  1. Your mom’s face powder container reminds me of the treasure I recently acquired. I have my mom’s office nameplate from more than 60 years ago perched on my desk. It’s a reminder that Mom once was a young single working woman, before she met and married my father and birthed six children. I can’t believe none of my siblings snapped up this treasure. I love it and her stash of diaries spanning more than 60 years. I asked her for those and I treasure them beyond anything else that belonged to her.


  2. I have a very long ink pen,the kind you have to dip in an ink well. It was given to me because my mentor and employer (now deceased) many years ago gave it to me because he said I was a good writer. I cherish it.


  3. This may be a duplicate comment.
    WordPress is yanking my chain this morning.
    Essentially – thank you.
    This post is a reminder that I need to look at and appreciate the eclectic mixture of things which clutter/adorn our home.
    They are there for a reason. Often a sentimental reason. Which I should respect and honour.


  4. My house is decorated in early Rubbermaid tubs. No telling what I could come across should I start opening them. I used to own a comic book store. Lots of stuff still floating around from that. 🙂


Comments are closed.