Weekly Writing: Other people’s treasures

By Midge Raymond,

  Filed under: On Writing, Writing prompts

I recently went through a box of stuff that I’ve now moved (unopened) through three states and into three different homes. Finally, it occurred to me that I should open it up before another five years go by and I put it into another moving truck without even knowing what’s in there.

So I opened it, and I discovered that it’s not even my stuff.

The box was filled with old letters, magazines, and photos that I’d found while cleaning out the garage of my parents’ house — but it didn’t belong to them, either. All these things belonged, apparently, to someone who’d lived there years before: letters from Hollywood executives, a signed original photo of Jimmy Stewart, even a Social Security card. There’s something about these forgotten items that won’t let me throw them away, even though they have nothing to do with me. It intrigues me that there’s a whole history here on the floor of my office, an entire life, albeit in very small pieces. (And I have a feeling that the next time I move, it will all go with me yet again.)

So, with other people’s treasures in mind, here’s today’s writing prompt:

Write about something you found, using lots of details. Next, imagine its history: who owned it; why he/she left it behind or how it got lost; what you did with it or are planning to do with it; why you kept it, or why you didn’t.


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