Keys to inspiration

I love old stuff. You know, stuff made out of wood and metal. Stuff that feels real. Stuff that feels heavy with story.

That’s why I try to bring as much real stuff to my creative writing classes as possible. In this day of digital everything, I think these sorts of old relics have even more impact.

Below, are some photos of a recent class we delivered on creative writing. It was just an introductory “taster” so we decided to have each kid pull an ancient key from a bag and then imagine what it would open.

As always, the ideas were varied and wonderful. Some chose to open doors. Others chose containers, like magical boxes and treasure chests. And some chose robots or other mechanical creatures.






As an added bonus, we let them keep the key.


Of course, I have lots of keys in my own books. They just simply invite mystery, wonder, and adventure. The second book in my Kendra Kandlestar series, The Door to Unger, featured a strange character known as Crumpit the key master. Here’s my illustration of him:

He was a dwarf who knew the secret route to the underground kingdom of the dwarf and wore all the keys he needed to use to open all the doors along the way.







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