After months of working on a project to revitalize my writing studio, I’m now posting some photos of the finished space. Because there’s a lot of little details, I decided to break the tour into parts . . . so here’s Part 2!
Kendra Kandlestar Display
One of three custom-made box shelves displays my Kendra Kandlestar books. This is the main thing that students see in the background when I do Skype visits. There is also a miniature peg figure; that’s not a character from Kendra Kandlestar. That’s a miniature version of me, which my wife made to help celebrate the “miniature worlds” writing camp I taught earlier this year. (I’m not sure why the miniature version of me looks so stunned.)
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This little figure sits on the top of my Kendra Kandlestar box shelf. It is a miniature version of a dol hareubang (“stone grandfather”), which I picked up during a stay on Jeju Island, Korea. You can see many large versions of these delightful figures on the island. They are meant to ward of malevolent spirits. The regular-sized ones come to about my chest; I would have loved to bring one of those home, but had to settle for this miniature version, which has been fashioned from the island’s abundance of lava rock.
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This is an old leather map case from World War II. I picked it up for just a few dollars in Budapest, Hungary, during a visit to the underground hospital museum there. The map case has many neat pouches and compartments and reminds me of something Indiana Jones might wear. It sits on the shelf next to my dol hareubang.
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This is a reproduction of a “green man” relief, which I bought on a visit to Yorkminster in England. The green man is a common symbol in Celtic mythology and can be found throughout Northern European architecture. I’ve always thought of the green man as a sort of gargoyle—but a friendly one.
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Dragon Door Knocker
I bought this dragon door knocker in Edinburgh, Scotland, then mounted it on a piece of wood. I’m obsessed with doors (and all the parts that go with them), and have a lot of them in my children’s books. I have a few keys decorating my studio and so really wanted at least one door knocker. I had trouble deciding how to display or mount it, and finally decided to place it on this panel.
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Shelf of Magical Items
I take a lot of these items to the creative writing workshops I teach at schools and conferences, and have always thought it was a shame that they spent most of their time in a box, waiting to be shown. Now, I can keep my favorite items on permanent display. These are the kinds of things you might find in the Wizard Griffinskitch’s library in my Kendra Kandlestar books. An added bonus is that the goblin eyes match the color of the background wall.
More to come in Part 3!