Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shiny Objects

I used to have chubby fingers.  Compared to my mom, I still have chubby fingers.  I think she wears a size four on her ring finger.  I don't even think a size four would fit on my pinky.  My parents used to tell me not to crack my knuckles because it would give me fat fingers, but I didn't listen.  I wanted big fingers (for whatever reason--I was a strange kid).  Well, recently I've lost a lot of weight, and as a result, the vast majority of my rings don't fit anymore.  I'm too lazy/broke to go get them resized, and that's okay, because I really don't wear rings that often anyway.  Of the three women from my family of origin, I'm the least sparkly one.  I always wear a thin rose gold band ring on my left middle finger as a reminder that my life doesn't belong to me (it belongs to God), but other than that the only ring I wear often is my mood ring.

I'm 31 years old.  Even if I don't look my age (someone told me the other day that they thought I was about 23...nice!  I'll take it!), I've made a few age appropriate fashion sacrifices.  I've given up my graphic tees and generic Converses.  But I refuse to give up the mood ring because I like it.  And recently, I've been wearing the mood ring every time I remember to put it on (which is about 4 days out of the week--I'm forgetful).  The reason for this (besides the obvious awesomeness of wearing a mood ring) is because a mood ring plays a small role in the book I'm currently trying to write, and I want the mood ring with me for inspiration and such.

I am sad to say that the mood ring I wear is not the one that originally inspired my story.  I have misplaced/lost that particular mood ring.  It makes me sad because this mood ring had a really cool wide band that had swirlies of color that reminded me of the Elvin language on the One Ring from LOTR.  I liked to put this ring over the air vent in my car to make it change all sorts of different colors.  One day, as I was doing this, I came up with a concept for a story.

This is not the first time I've come up with a story idea from a piece of jewelry, and I'm fairly sure it won't be the last. 

In fact, my first book would have never existed if I didn't have chubby fingers. 

One Christmas, my dad gave me this gaudy fake men's ring that came as "surprise" in one of those "cheap crap catalogue" orders.  He said he was giving it to me because it was too small for him, but too big for anyone else in the family.  And sure enough, the ring fit me perfectly.  And I liked it.  I liked it a lot.

Now, this ring was originally goldtone.  In a few weeks, the goldtone faded to silvertone.  A few weeks later, the silvertone began chipping off and my finger started turning green.  The stones in it were obviously glass, but that didn't matter.  Even though the stones were glass, they were arranged in a way that intrigued me.  There was one large round clear stone in the center, surrounded by a diamond shape of fake rubies.  You know what?  I'll just post a photo because that's easier:

I think was 12 when my dad gave me that ring (I remember wearing it in my sixth grade class, but my memory could be faulty).  As much as the finish chipped and as much as it turned my finger green, I continued to wear it occasionally even into high school and college.  When I eventually dropped out of college (the first time around--I transferred to another school later and graduated), I still wore the ring a lot.  The design of the fake stones still intrigued me.

And one day when I was wearing the ring, I had a mental image of a goblin jumping out of a tree in a forest and stealing this ring from a girl.  That was the first scene I ever envisioned from what would become my first book.  I started writing it in those 2 years between colleges.  Over the years, A LOT of details changed--the stones in the design changed from "rubies" to "sapphires" and the ring itself was changed to a dagger, but I can honestly say that a piece of awful fake jewelry inspired my wonderful first book--and the sequels that I hope will follow it.

Even though I'm probably going to have horrible arthritis one day when I really do grow up, I don't think I'll regret popping my knuckles...

Has jewelry ever inspired you?

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