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An open planner with two pens, a toy iguana, a toy otter, a timer and a replica of Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver

In week 11 of the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Julia talks about building an Artist’s Altar, as a “reminder and an acknowlegement that the creator unfolds our creativity.” She then writes, “Remember, the artist child speaks the language of the soul: music, dance, scent, shells…your artist’s altar should be fun to look at, even silly. Remember how much little kids like gaudy stuff. Your artist is a little kid, so…”

Fun. Check. Silly? You betcha. Not quite gaudy, but working on it. And the funny thing is, most creative people I know have a similar collection. We are little magpies, lining our nests with shiny things that make us happy. (or Nifflers, for you in the Harry Potter generation.)

The word iguana is a holdover from the early 2000’s when I started doing National Novel Writing Month. He would come to write in’s and when someone was stuck, they would grab the word iguana and after a few minutes of him sitting next to the keyboard, words would magically flow. A good thing to have around.

The otter reminds me of Schlitterbahn, a water park in Texas that is my favorite place to hang out.

And the sonic screw driver is out as I am writing a time travel trilogy, so it is handy to have for inspiration and opening locked brains.

The timer is a gift from my son. It flips around and can set for 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes. Which is great for time blocking.

Honestly, these things do not sit on my planner every day, but live on the window sill above my desk. I can’t look out the window without seeing these reminders: did you write (work), did you play, did you use your time well today?

How about it?