I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Schrodinger's Egg

Sculpted by M. Pena and sold by
 Windstone Galleries
Like most authors I know, I like to surround myself with odds and ends that inspire me when I write. And as I sat down to write this morning, I accidentally locked eyes with one of my favorite little pieces of inspiration. I purchased this ever-hatching egg from a vendor at the Alabama Phoenix Fest last year and it instantly earned a prized placement among the items already on my desk, ranging from dragonflies and signed Neil Gaiman novels to pirate ships and krakens.

When I found him, this little fella sat on a display shelf surrounded by gorgeous sculptures of dragons, cats, unicorns, and other mystical animals that were totally life-like. M. Pena, the artist, is a master of sculpture. But this simple egg, its inhabitant peeking out at me perpetually, called me more than any of the others.

Sure, the others were astounding gallery pieces and I probably could have written an entire book about one of those characters cast forever in stone. But this little guy.... he could be absolutely anything at anytime. He's the veritable Schrodinger's egg; until he hatches, he is a gargoyle, he is a dragon, he is a world-turtle, he is anything I can imagine him to be forever. Until he hatches, the possibilities are endless.

And that, my friends, is exactly what I love so much about sitting down to write the stories as they begin hatching in my mind. I always sit down with a clear picture of what I intend to transpire in this scene or that scene, yet it never fails that as my mind dictates one thing, my fingers begin typing another entirely. Some writers I know are Master and Commander of their stories; they can plot their course from beginning to end and seldom waver from the outline. I've never been one of those, even in writing short stories. I start with an idea, a mysterious egg, and begin writing just to see what hatches. It's the excitement in the discovery of what happens in the end that drags me back to my laptop whenever I can.

Though it seems that lately I haven't been back in this seat for that purpose often enough at all. This morning as I met his judgy orange eyes on beginning my day of writing, I'm pretty sure he said: "It's about time."

My pet egg, according to the website, is a gargoyle. But I won't believe it until he hatches. In the meantime, I think I'll call him Erwin.


  1. Thank you for putting that out there. It's serendipitous that I should read this now, because I always get myself all stressed out waiting for the perfect idea, while of course as you say, the hatching is where the fun is, and it invariably leads to other things. Also the egg is adorable :)

    1. Oh, I still fret over it when I feel like I should have the ideas in my hand before I sit down to start typing. I'll end up blocking myself sitting there waiting for it, even though I know I think best with my fingers. It's a hard habit to break!
      Good luck with your hatching ideas, Trillie! :-)

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