One of my favorite jobs was my five year stint with the Disney Store in Amarillo, Texas. I hired on as one of the original cast members in 1995. Disney training and environment is top notch. Cast members are given every tool to provide the guests with the ultimate shopping experience. Rewards and recognition is a staple. I own a number of awards and prizes for guest service and sales.
With all the training efforts, I was surprised when a guest asked if we carried Figment. She saw them when she visited EPCOT Center, but ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to go back and buy one. I hated telling her we did not carry EPCOT characters. I did give her the website and phone number so she could order Figment. As she prepared to leave, I asked, “Who or what is Figment?” She smiled, “Haven’t you ever heard of a Figment of your imagination?”
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines Figment as something made, fabricated or contrived. With all due respect to Mr. Webster, I prefer to think of a Figment as something that sparks the imagination. What does Figment look like? Is it cloth, stone, or metal? Short or tall? Does Figment have eyes, ears, a nose, and a mouth? The truth is Figments come in all shapes and sizes. It’s the drop of dew on a rose petal. Or snow blanketing the trees and the lawn. Or it’s a baby’s smile when he hears mama’s voice.
Look around your home or office and you will be surprised at all the Figments living there. For me, it my Charlie Brown doll, my Captain Hook watch autographed by the character’s animators. What about my pewter frog wearing a prince’s crown that reminds me you sometimes have to kiss a few frogs before finding the prince. My jewelry box is full of Figments from the jewelry I inherited from my mother, gifts from friends and family to my Celtic cross made from silver recovered from the Atocha. Even my stuffed Puff the Magic Dragon evokes thoughts of being the eternal child.
As you find Figments, consider how they will work into your writing. Puff could be the guy that refuses to grow up. Instead he forever plays childish games. The silver rattle given to your baby could be the identifying factor for a character in a mystery novel. My white, dew-kissed rose is a gift from a groom to his bride symbolizing true love. And it works all because they are Figments of our imaginations.