On the bathroom sink I have a small pink box with roses stamped into it. I think I got as part of some bath gift set one year for Christmas. I am not sure what its intended purpose was, but right now it holds odds and ends taken out of pockets, ponytail ties, and the occasional comb.
My cat, Panda, thinks it is a treasure box. She often hops up on the counter and rubs her face along its edge, marking the box as hers. She thinks I hide toys inside it for her to find. Often I will be home alone and hear the noise of someone rummaging around in the bathroom. When I check it out I find Panda posed in front of the mirror with her paw in the box, sorting through it looking for ‘toys’. She will pick out a ponytail tie, scoop it up with a paw, bring it to her mouth, then hop down with her chosen treasure. (Later I will find it lost or discarded in between the couch cushions, or under the clock.)
I think a lot of writers are like my cat, but instead of random objects in a pink box we have the entire world. A snippet of conversation exchanged by two strangers while we wait in line at the grocery store, the way someone walks through the mall, a spilled cup of coffee,or a fairy tale read to our kids at bed time…all of these things make their way into our own treasure boxes and remain there to be pulled out and played with.
To many people these are just common inconsequential things, like ponytail ties and loose change, but to a writer these things inspire ideas. Ideas build worlds. Our words share these worlds with others. And others often help provide the treasures that keep our boxes full.