K is for Keepsake

By Lillian Csernica on April 12, 2013


My family teases me because they think I have too many keepsakes. I suppose I do. Beach glass and seashells and a beaded lizard keyring and a little bean bag dragon called a “shishimai.” I have a pot holder from Santa Fe given to me by my Japanese teacher and some odd little toys from a friend in Germany. I even have a jade Kwan Yin pendant from a friend in Hong Kong.

I am sentimental. I have been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things, but best of all I have met a lot of people. When I went to the 2007 World Science Fiction Convention held in Yokohama, Japan, I took a blank journal with me. I had people sign it, leaving their email addresses and greetings and little reminders of the moments we shared. It was the best way I could think of to capture more than just the faces of the people I met on the vacation of a lifetime.

While I treasure that book and the photo album that goes with it, I think the most precious of my keepsakes is a little inkwell made of blue glass in the shape of a one room schoolhouse. The chimney is where the quill dips into the ink. A nice man named John ran a comic book shop in Santa Cruz. He agreed to host my very first book signing when I was promoting The Year’s Best Horror XX. Friends and family and my husband’s co-workers came, along with UCSC students and curious locals. We had a great time. At the end of the evening, John presented me with the blue glass inkwell. I have never seen the like before or since. It remains a singular treasure.

Most writers don’t make a lot of money. Self-promotion is hard, tiring work. Every now and then somebody comes along who appreciates what you’re doing and how hard you’re trying. Sometimes that appreciation takes tangible form in what becomes a keepsake.

I want to hear from you folks. Do you have any keepsakes related to your writing? Any trinkets or treasures that inspire you?


Filed under Blog challenges, Family, Fiction, Humor, Writing

11 responses to “K is for Keepsake

  1. Your keepsakes sound lovely. I have only a few, and I can’t say that any of them are specifically related to writing. I have a ceramic platypus from Australia, and a copper sculpture of some wrens, also from Australia. Two of my favorite keepsakes are items I gave my mother — one is a blue bowl made by a northern California potter, and the other is a beautiful gum leaf letter opener, also from Aus. I think I’ve dropped enough hints to her that I would love to have them someday!




    • Clearly you have good taste in keepsakes! A friend of mine is married to a man from Oz. Last time they went there, my friend brought back a decorative boomerang with an Aboriginal painting of a kangaroo on it. Thanks for your comment!


  2. Wonderful post, Lillian. Keepsakes happen. lol. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself. 😉

    I have two things. One is a bracelet I found at a flea market. It was during a time I thought I might give up writing. I was kicking around the idea, and there it was, a piece of jewelry designed exactly like the main characters’ jewelry they wore, same blue stone, same figure 8 design around it. In the story, it has a religious context, but not the one I bought. And I have a pewter angel that hung in my mom’s dining room where we used to sit and talk about the book I’m working on. She loved the story–moms must be the best fans. My mom is gone now, so will never see the day my book is published, but I promised her in hospice on her deathbed that it would happen.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your lovely comment. 🙂


    • I’m so sorry to know your mother has passed. Moms are the best fans, you’re right. I dedicated my first novel to my mother, keeping the promise I’d made to her when I was 8 years old. Thank you for sharing your keepsakes.


  3. Not sure I have keepsakes related to my writing, but I still keep magnets and such from places we visited. Everything you mentioned sounds cool, like the journal from Japan.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes


    • Ah, magnets! Good choice. I have an old four drawer filing cabinet that is heavily adorned in all different kinds of magnets. Thanks to my mother, I have an entire section devoted to cat-themed magnets!


  4. Wonderful post. And I do also have so many keepsakes. They are actually my priceless treasures. 🙂

    – Fellow blogger from A to Z!


  5. I have been given a few blank journals from friends, some I haven’t used yet and others are full – I treasure them all – I used to live in a very small apartment so my friends were only allowed to gift me with their company or anything that didn’t take up space or need dusting…


  6. Keepsakes? Yes. Related to writing? Not so much. I have a little glass inkwell with a pewter lid, a gift from my wife. It’s about the size of a Horse Chestnut. I have some ink in it, and am getting some dipping pens to go with it.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting


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