Warm Fuzzies   3 comments

Do any of your characters have a favorite toy from their childhood? Do you?

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My Characters

Wow, I really had to dig deep on this one.

Do any of my characters have a favorite childhood toy? I’m a big fan of childhood toys. My daughter has a very beloved stuffed rabbit who still lives in her room here and our son has a gorilla that is about the size and shape of a softball. He made us promise that it would be safe in his room when he moved out of state last summer. I don’t have many toys left from my own childhood because there was a huge flood in Fairbanks when I was about six and most of our belongings were lost. I have a handmade craft mouse my brother’s mother-in-law made for me when I was 10 and it still sits on a shelf in my bedroom. He’s blue, with bright red spots for cheeks, red-white-and-blue on the inside of his ears and across his chest, and he’s eating a piece of fabric cheese. He’s my “favorite” mainly because he’s the one I still have.

Which might explain why my characters don’t have a lot of favorite childhood toys. It’s not part of my experience and writers’ characters represent parts of our psyches.

Then I came up with a couple of examples of favorite items that I didn’t really think of as toys until this topic came up. In Transformation Project series, Shane has a classic Cessna model hanging from his bedroom ceiling. I mentioned it briefly in Life As We Knew It and never gave it much thought about its origins. He and his Grandpa Jacob put it together when he was 9. He enjoys looking at it when he’s laying in bed because it reminds him of Jacob. Maybe I need to explain it in one of the books.

For his brother Cai, that favorite childhood “toy” is his mitt and baseball. Again, it was briefly mentioned in an earlier book but never explained. It was just room decoration.

In What If Wasn’t series, the book I’m currently writing features a scene where Peter’s grandmother Lucy and stepmother Tilly pack up his sister Alyse’s room and they find her first pair of ballet slippers from her baby class when she was four. They also find Alyse’s braid — she cut her hair during Dumpster Fire and kept the braid as a memento. At the end of Dumpster Fire, Peter’s drunken actions resulted in Alyse’s death. In Pocketful of Rocks, he’s devastated and facing consequences. They don’t know if Peter will ever be able to mourn his sister without risking his mental health, ao they choose to put both items in a carved wooden box Alyse gave Peter and to put it in among his things so that if he’s ever ready, he’ll have these two items to remember his sister by. That will be in a future book.

Although they haven’t made an appearance in any of the books, Rob Delaney has a set of wooden toys from his childhood that will come out of storage now that he’s about to be a grandfather. They were made by his mother’s father, Joseph “GPa” Greyeyes. It’s interesting the things you find kicking around in your head that you SHOULD write about, but haven’t until a prompt causes you to think of it.

3 responses to “Warm Fuzzies

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  1. Sorry to hear about the Fairbanks flood. There are a few toys I remember as a child such as building blocks, but nothing from my childhood remains. I don’t know what became of those childhood treasures.

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  2. What a great picture- the idea of someone having a model he made with his grandfather hanging from the ceiling.

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  3. How sad that most of your childhood toys were lost. I think mine were handed down to younger cousins, as nothing remains except Dad’s Chess set.

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