Murphy Ink

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 Daruma doll (達磨 ): also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism.  It is  a symbol of perseverance and good luck, and is given as a gift of encouragement. My Daruma doll was the gift of a dear friend in Japan. The right eye is filled with a wish to be an author. The left eye was filled during the book release party of my first novel, The Turkish Mirror. 


Bone cricket cage: Cricket Culture in China encompasses a 2000 year history of both singing insects and fighting crickets.  This cage was made by the cricket master who saves Tatyana's life in The Turkish Mirror. It is made for the cricket who welcomes Tatyana to Incir , the cricket that  later becomes the hero of the Little Cricket stories of Jiè's childhood.


The 20-sided dice: these are the very 20-sided dice that inspired Justin's obsession with fate in The Wyrmstone: the ones he rolled to escape doing the dishes, the ones he rolled to fight dragons. (There may be blood on them.)


The telescope: a hint of tales to come, when Wendel (from the upcoming 19th century historical novel Fortitude & Daring) is given a telescope from China that he refuses to share with his sister Ellen. This telescope inspires Ellen to abandon her aunt's parlor for bolder pursuits, and leads Wendel into the hazards of a pirate's life.