The Author

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About the Author

Giving Thanks

Spells and Software

What's up with the Teapot?

The Nature of Inspiration

Degrees of Creativity

Contact John

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Talt Tales and Magical Misadventures

 

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What's Up with the Teapot?

When I was 16 years old, I wrote a fantasy novel in which one of the characters visited a “teapot town,” where all the buildings in the town were shaped like parts of a tea set. The name of the town was Ratrilpot, which was essentially a combination of the words rattle (as in something that rattled) and pot (as in teapot). I don’t remember why I added the extra “r” sound in between. (Most likely… it was because at the time I thought it sounded neater.)

The following is an excerpt from the original story, taken from an early draft of the first chapter. (Note that I haven’t changed any of the text, so if it sounds a bit awkward, keep in mind that I hadn’t been to college yet.)

… Even the shape of the town itself is strange. The houses, the buildings, the bushes, and even the yards looked like parts of a giant tea set. The town hall was a teapot with two towers on it, one begin the handle, the other being the spout. It was made of bluish-green marble with streaks of red randomly appearing in it. The church was a pink sugar bowl, and its steeple was the tongs used to pick the sugar cubes up with. Each stained glass window took on the form of a flower, and the colors were those of the rainbow. The library was a cream pourer and was built with a lavender shaded granite.

 

The houses were tea cups, the yards were saucers, and the bushes were spoons. Every house was made of a multitude of colors and all the houses also had chimneys which were the spoons sticking out from the tea. The windows were shaped like the floral designs of an expensive set of china, and the doors were just placed under the handle……

Although I eventually put the novel aside and worked on other things instead, I was never able to forget about the idea of my teapot town. It just kept simmering on the back burner of my mind, until I was ready to do something more with it.

During my twenties, when I started working on a new fantasy realm, I wanted to incorporate something from my old work. Once again the teapot town of Ratrilpot came to mind. But for some odd reason, I didn’t feel comfortable with just having a town shaped like a tea set. The word “Ratrilpot” stuck with me as a bigger name, something that could describe something as large as a kingdom. So, I began playing with different ideas as to how I could incorporate that word and its “teapot” origins into my new world.

One of my ideas was to create an island nation shaped like a teapot. A lake in the western part of the island would make the land surrounding it look like a handle. A river that stretched across the island would make the teapot cracked. And a series of small islands next to the mainland would appear to be steam puffing out from the peninsula that was the spout.

When I mocked up a design of the island as a concept for a logo, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to represent my new work: a brightly-colored landscape that paid homage to the inspirations of my youth, while still being unique and fun. It was also the perfect place for my self-centered and sadistic sovereign to rule, a land that seemed likely to boil over at any moment.

But that’s a topic for another time ;)

For now, I need to get back to work. Until next time, happy reading.