The feature where I talk about why I wrote the thing that I wrote — welcome to Magic Mirror! I pin all my Magic Mirror entries on Pinterest. Feel free to browse my collections. They are sorted by book title.
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Magic Mirror Presents: The Replenisher from The Unicorn Girl
When you have characters who embark on a quest, journey or just ridiculously long walk, you run into a few problems that must be addressed. One of the these pestering matters: food. Where the heck do they eat? What do they eat? How often do they eat? How do they carry their food? Do they find it, hunt it, steal it, buy it? Food is important. Without it, the characters will starve to death, or worse your reader may find their lack of need for sustenance unbelievable.
So when I first decided that I wanted Leah to go on a massively long walk through creepy, wintery forests, I knew right off that something had to be done about her food. She runs away in the dead of night, on horseback with very little premeditation. I could have had her ransack the kitchens, but the food would run out and I’d be back in my predicament of a slowly starving character. Not exactly what I wanted.
Enter the Replenisher.
Art by Mae Jones
The Replenisher was my quick fix and it fits shockingly well in the story. Leah’s godmother is a witch, and what would a witch, who wouldn’t want to be without a nice snack for very long, have for arduous trips? Why a nifty magical sack that is always empty until you open it. Once opened, copious amounts of food and drink are at your fingertips. So Leah takes the Replenisher with her and for a good portion of the book, neither her nor I had to worry about food. I stand firm in my belief that the Replenisher is my greatest burst of creativity yet and if anyone would like to invent one, I will be the first on the ordering list.
Art Credit: Squire Fox Photography
Excerpt from the book: Chapter 23 // Light in the Dark
Twenty minutes later we sat around a small fire and I pulled out the Replenisher. I had forgotten that Ian had never seen it before. When I had pulled out two flasks of wine, four nice-sized dinner rolls, a large hunk of blue cheese, a skillet, a piece of beef, two glasses, knives, forks, and two large bags of grain for the horses, I looked up and saw that his eyes were as large as saucers.
“H-how did you—” he whispered as he pointed a shaking finger at the Replenisher.
I unwrapped the beef, put it in the skillet, and set the skillet over the fire.
“Lavena let me borrow it,” I said, handing him a flask of wine. “It’s quite handy.”
Over dinner I explained the Replenisher to Ian, who couldn’t get enough of it.
“So whenever I open it, it’ll always have food in it?” he asked in awe. The Replenisher was in his lap and he was holding it like his new-born child. “Simply amazin’, and yet it’s as light as a feather.”
“The food only appears when you open it,” I said, hiding my smile behind my glass.
“And it’s somethin’ new each time?” he asked gleefully, opening and closing it over and over.
“Yes, but you can think of something in particular that you want and it’ll appear.”
He gazed down at the weather-worn sack like it was the most valuable treasure in the world.
“I’ve gotta tell mom about this,” he whispered.