It almost became a joke; when will the package show up in Canada? Canada Post, I’ve found, is notoriously slow. I diligently checked the post office every couple days (because they don’t deliver to the house). Christmas came and went and finally, on the last day of the year, a package from California arrived.
My good friend Christie sent packages to a group of us; we met online and a tight bond formed by a love of words and writing and genre developed, and it’s only grown since. What I found inside, wrapped in a lovely white wine-stained cloth, was a Poppet.
I’d heard of Poppets before but I’d never seen one. I was fascinated by the little figurine. Something about it is both creepy and intriguing. As I read the letter about what this Poppet meant to Christie and why it was now finding its way to me (and yes, there were tears) I knew that the Poppet had found me for a reason.
The pointed-hat, white-faced creature that evolved into the Little Red Poppet might have begun with fever dreams during a particularly bad bout with pneumonia when I was six. There is convincing evidence that this is true. There is a possibility it came from elsewhere, but the evidence is less convincing and the elsewhere much scarier.The two-inch Poppet sculpture was originally to be the pawn in a toy-themed chess set. Not far into this project I decided it was the wrong time to make a chess set, possibly the wrong universe and that there were too many chess sets already.
I began by trying to understand them.
I started to incorporate them into larger works. Lots of them.
They began to grow into a sort of language, I could string them together like some strange alphabet.
Christie gathered an army of Poppets, one for each story she finished and submitted. They motivated her and when she no longer needed them, she passed them on to us. As someone with twenty odd drafted but not finished stories, that means something to me. This is a year of finishing and submitting things for me. Some writers will their way through it. Others use various tricks as motivation and I’m cool with that. I’ve always been a collector of things of this ilk. I suspect this Poppet won’t be an Army of One for long.