I save fortunes. I do. This is my ever-expanding, miniature pot of good, and sometimes curious, fortune. I’m not exactly sure why I can’t resist them, but I can’t. I’ll purge through the deepest corners of forgotten closets and toss things away but I will never, ever part with these tiny, uniform slips of paper.
There’s something wonderful about wading through a pile of words. Perhaps it’s the memory of a shared meal or the possibility of prophecy… or it could simply be the word fortune. I can’t explain it. I just know that when I am trying to work and things turn bleak and blah, I’ll dump my little kettle over and start sorting.
This frenzied activity mimics the feeling I get when an idea strikes. If I am on to something, my whole life steps aside until my entire workspace is decorated with the new idea. But as you know, it’s not like that all the time. There’s all that waiting, thinking and revising to be done—which can get stale. This little game of finding fortune is like muscle memory for the creative spaz. It shakes things lose and reminds the mind to be open to finding something really good.
About 200 fortune cookies ago, in a Chinese restaurant outside of Chicago, I struck gold. Not bad, right? That’s what I’d call a good fortune. But having a good fortune or having a good idea is not enough. Crack open a fortune cookie and you will actually find work inside. The same thing applies to our ideas.
Notice, my favorite fortune has the words “will become” tucked in the middle. Become is a verb. It isn’t magic…its work.
But it has to be fun— otherwise we’re spinning our wheels for the sake of spinning. So, in the spirit of fun, here’s a little prompt where you get to sort through words. (Your words!)
Prompt #5: Remembering Poem
- Write, don’t type, the words “I remember…” 10 times in list format on a sheet of paper. Think of a specific event from your childhood—the place, the people, the smells, the things that were strange—and write each recollection after the words I remember.
- Cut each I remember into individual slips so it looks like my crazy mess of fortunes. Sort, order and reorder your slips of paper to cultivate the most meaning.
- When you are happy… type and read aloud to your cat, dog or window.
Meg Fleming grew up in the Suburbs of Chicago. After earning her degree in Vocal Music from the University of Illinois, she taught middle school students to sing and clap with rhythmic accuracy. Once everyone was able to clap well enough, she moved on to raise her children and pursue a career in writing.
When Meg isn’t entertaining imaginary friends, she is likely laughing, reading or training for some odd race that she signed up for on a dare. Meg writes from her home outside of Chicago where she lives with her three kids, her one husband and a scratchy-sniffy dog. Her debut picture book, I [HEART] YOU– to be illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright– is forthcoming from Beach Lane Books in the Spring of 2016! Meg is represented by Emily van Beek of Folio Literary Management.
To learn more about Meg click here.by