I thought I’d continue with the magical number 10.
I recently visited the Vancouver Art Gallery with my parents and although I’m not a fan of gift shops, I usually give them a chance before writing them off. Thank goodness I did because in the Art Gallery gift shop I discovered a wonderful book.
712 More Things To Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
If you haven’t deduced already, it’s a book with 712 writing prompts or ideas. The book has a simple layout, each prompt is short and is followed by space of different sizes for you to spill your ideas onto.
I’ve been working on one prompt a day, but I thought today’s idea deserves its own blog post.
“Write a list of your 10 favourite doors. Where do they lead?”
Doesn’t it sound so fun? The promise of an imagination run wild.
- Infinite Library. Dark wine-red oak double door. Heavy and vintage. This is not just a space that extends to infinity and beyond with all the books in the world and their many editions. It would be continuously updated with newly published goods. There are also exquisite arm chairs and couches so soft one can sink into it. It would be littered with nooks and crannies, lit up by fire places and quirky lamps. One spoken command would have the books whiz around from being organized by genre, to being organized by author, by title, by colour, by mood, by seasons, by location and by whatever else one’s mind can come up with. Make sure you have all the time in the world before entering, because time will be left behind at the door. You will no ticking of the internal mechanism of clocks. Your life will not be reduced to counting minutes and hours because it will be too busy living the many, many lives between those covers.
- Best of Autumn. Amber gold door. Light and airy with a large oval window. The door would open up to a narrow forest road, flanked on each side and all around by the most vibrant and varied colours of the Autumn season. The light, cool breeze of fall would run its fingers through the rustling leaves, pulling many from its branches and into a pile so irresistibly crunchy and soft, you are beckoned to dive into it. The murmurs of animals gathering supplies for their oncoming winter hibernation would lull you to sleep as you sit beneath a giant oak, filling your lungs with the fresh, crisp chill, a book lying forgotten at your side. Remember to wrap yourself in your favourite sweater and scarf before coming here. Perhaps bring a cup of tea with you if you so desire.
- Canine Wonderland. Sweet honey door with a large pet door at the foot of it. Turn the handle, and the sound of joyful barking and of paws on wood would greet you and overwhelm you. This is before you are tackled to the floor by creatures of unbearably furry bodies and wet, cold noses. There are dogs of almost every shape, size and breed here. You will notice that many of them bore physical scars of the torture that is so undeserving of them. A three-legged doberman pinscher, a marred-faced Boston Terrier, a golden retrieve with patches of furless-ness, a beagle with wheels, they are all here. The ones that are abandoned and unloved. The ones that have been through horrors and yet retain the remarkable ability to trust again completely. This is the room to come to when you feel jaded and unappreciated. This is the room to come to when you are drowning in pain and loneliness. This is the room to come to when you have so much love in your heart it is spilling over the rims. This is the room to come to when your inner child needs to be released. Just make sure you don’t have an allergy and have a roller ready when you exit.
- Cloudy with a chance of Rain. Sky blue door with nearly translucent white curtains on the other side. Think of Berndnaut Smilde’s cloud room when you try to imagine what this looks like. The floor is covered in clouds, so is the impossibly high ceiling. You are drifting between layers of clouds, and not the kind that has no shape and basically blankets the sky. No, I am talking about the cumulus ones, with domes of various heights and bulginess. On most days, you walk in and they are white and fluffy. But sometimes, they turn a harmless shade of grey and produce drizzle. These occasion for red rain boots, yellow rain coat, and a lovely dance under the droplets. On rare occasions, there would be a rainstorm in one part of the room, and you can drag in a chair, sit and watch the show. Just make sure you are closer to the door than the angry clouds are, in case they float over with their shower.
- Room of Requirements. Heavy harvest oak with intricate vines of black iron over it. Anyone who has read Harry Potter knows exactly why this room is so enchanting. Every time you open that door, it presents something different, something to your needs. My conscience tells me this is a bit of a cheat, so if I had to pick, it would definitely be the Room of Hidden Objects, pre-fire.
- Chocolate Factory. The candy land that of Charlie. Who wouldn’t want access to all the sweets in the world or rather a world that’s completely edible? There’s a chocolate lake for crying out loud. Of course, it’d be rather dangerous for my health and weight if this portal existed. But we are in the space of imaginations where anything can happen, including gorging on desserts day in and day out without it adding up on the scale.
- Parallel Universe. A mirror that ripples like water when you step in. Stepping through you arrive in a room exactly like your own. Except all the colours are reversed and the sky is red instead of blue. The West is the East and South is North. The ocean is land and land the ocean. We live underwater instead of on land. Children run the world, and adults are potty-trained. Men advocate for maleism while females cat-call and whistle at them in the streets. Teachers are celebrities and Hollywood is their heaven. US is an autocracy while China fights for democracy. Our troubles would be all solved, while our peace and happiness becomes troubled. What a world this would be. You should tread with extreme caution and alertness.
- Fairy Land. Double mahogany closet-like doors with wisps of fairy dust leaking through the corners. Unicorns, phoenixes, two-headed dragons, mermaids, hippogriffs, giants, pocka-dotted pink giraffes, the Chesire Cat and Mad Hatter, all the magical creatures of the human imagination, lives here, harmoniously in a vast and wondrous land. Wander and lose yourself like Alice through the looking glass. It is a zoo up in here! There’s lots to do and great many creatures to see.
- Under the Sea. Glass door, with the depth of the ocean peering through. Remember those underwater tunnels at every aquarium. Like that, but with the actual ocean at your viewing disposal. Like a titanium-strong bubble that can keep out the killer pressure and supply O2, it floats through the seven seas so every time you step inside, you are in a different part of the world’s watery depth. They say we know more about the surface of the moon than the depths of our oceans. Well, now you’ve got your very own transparent blob to explore and sing “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” while you’re at it.
- Love. Long strips of chest oak with an upside down Chinese “Fu” (Bliss/Happiness) taped to the upper centre. This space contains all the people whom I cannot live without. Foremost, my mother and father. Then my grandparents, my closest friends, my future children and family, and all the people whose paths I have yet to cross and walk along side on. Even after some of them have long gone, I can open this door and see them again, hold their hands, converse with them, sit with them, live out all the regretful times that I didn’t spend with them in real life.
I am sure there will be many, many posts to come out of this amazing book, which is why I’ve started a new series on this blog. I haven’t figured out a name for it but I’m certain it’ll come to me in some odd moment between being awaken and falling asleep. So for now, it’ll be under the “712 Folio” category.
It feels so good to exercise the imagination on a daily basis like this.
Give it a shot!