Daily Archives: October 14, 2011

Flashback Friday: Paper Fortune Tellers

This morning I took a trip down memory lane and landed firmly in elementary school.  My boys asked me to “make one of those things you do this to” and mimed what looked like a nestful of baby birds opening their mouths to be fed.

Aaahhh yes, paper fortune tellers.

Pick a color.


Another one.

Well, you remember.  Right?  I mean, who didn’t use these to get a glimpse into their futures?  I once married Oliver, lived in a cardboard box and drove a unicycle.  I also had something like 14 kids.

Thank God those little buggers were wrong, because I”m quite sure we wouldn’t all fit on the unicycle.

Yet, they obviously had a profound impact on me.  My betrothal to Oliver came back full force as I diligently folded my square into ever smaller triangles.  Turns out making them is like riding a bike.  Once that first crease was made, my fingers flew across the page on their own volition.  And I haven’t made one in about–brace yourself–3o years.

But the feeling of giddiness was still there.  Once again, I stood on the playground in a gaggle of girls, furtively glancing toward the pack of boys circling like wolves.  Of course, that was half the delight.  Letting them hear our squeals and moans as our futures unfolded.  And later, opening a fortune-teller to discover that Daniel had scratched out everyone else’s name and scribbled his in all eight squares.  I guess polygamy was alive and well back then.

These memories–the ones that ring so true we can physically slip back into time–are what writers of juvenile lit need to pull from.  Only then can we deliver an honest novel with honest characters.

So what about you?  How did you and your friends tell the future?  Did any of your fortunes come true? 

Curious minds want to know!