W is for Watches

Welcome to a tour of my blogs written for the A-Z challenge.

Today is April 26th   and the Welcome   letter W


The challenge with writing the paranormal is in the creation of the world the characters inhabit.  How does the soul collector learn about his assignments, get to the job site and return home?

When I first started to write about Phoebe and Gideon his cell phone would whisk him to the job site with no warning. Thus, if they were, for example, in the middle of sex, and the phone pinged he had to jump up, get his pants on and hit the road. This situation became difficult to maintain as scenes would be broken up with no mechanism for cohesion. I imagined he might have to get home on his own. I discarded this scenario.

In the prequel Nineteen Hundred I introduced his watch.

For example:

Mr. Thomas nodded in agreement. Kathryn noticed his moustache rise a notch in response to the small smile that quickly passed over his face. She waited for him to say something but he remained silent.  On the ride back to the boarding house, Kathryn mumbled, “The rhythm of the carriage is making me sleepy.”   I’m not used to so much fresh air in a day. Mr. Thomas did not reply. He had slipped out his pocket watch out and intently studied its dial.


Observing that his presence embarrassed her, and not wishing to cause her further unease, he bid her   “Good Evening” and continued on his way downstairs, consulting his pocket watch as he went.


Though, his actions puzzled her.  With her chin cradled in the palm of her hand she pondered the reason he consulted his pocket watch so often and while he told everyone at the house that he worked in the import-export business, his hours seemed strange. She knew he occasionally left the house in the evening when she arrived home and one morning she had met him coming home as she left for school. It was very mysterious.

But I did not yet know its significance.

And at that time he was  brought to the workplace  through contact with a messenger imp.

When I started the Misfits now called The Soul Collector’s Second Chance I kept the watch and cell phone. The watch acting as a notification of an assignment while the phone would dispatch him to the job site but he had advanced warning when this would occur. Therefore he wouldn’t have to leave the scene mid sentence – both his and mine.

She thought he looked mighty fine in snug jeans and a red long sleeved sweater. The previous night he explained that the black suit she met him in was his work clothes since Mr. D. expected his agents to dress professionally.

“At times like this I appreciate the new technology. My watch tells me when I will be needed for the next job.” He started the car and pointed it in the direction of the large city park, the one that used to include a zoo but due to financial restraints, no longer existed

“What else does your watch tell you?”

“Not much but I am able to use it for opening up traffic or to get ahead in lines.”

Gideon and Victor both carry an old fashioned pocket watch. Myrth an amulet (see A is for Amulet). Beth however began work as a soul collector in the mid 20th century and uses a Buleva men’s wrist watch circa 1950s.

And the demon has the last word on the subject.

“Progress occurs in Mr. D’s domain as well as in your world. Around 1860 just as Gideon began his current profession, pocket watches were dispersed  to the agents as mandatory equipment. This tool allowed them to identify the time of their next task. It might be in minutes or hours, and at the beginning precise reliability was elusive. Hence, the timing disruptions in Nineteen Hundred. With the advance of telephones and particularly cell phones  the soul collectors are able to plan their life,” but mostly it allows the author to plot scenes.


What kind of objects do you show in your writing that are not what they seem? Or have significant meaning?

wandering through your wondrous writings

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12 Responses to W is for Watches

  1. That’s a great use for a pocket watch! I love how you worked that through with your writing.
    In my current writing, the sword that my main character carries is definitely significant.

  2. VR Barkowski says:

    Very clever use of a watch. A fun post, but a hard question. In my current WIP, the only thing I can think of is the ceremonial dagger. In Wicca it’s only used only for channeling energy—never to cut anything, but in my story the athamé is used as a weapon.

    VR Barkowski

  3. Liz says:

    Okay, now i want to read more…

    Things that aren’t as they seem? I don’t think I have any of those. Note to self: must get some of thsoe.

  4. Jenna Jaxon says:

    Great post. I love old pocket watches (my Dad used to carry one). And such a cool device! I don’t think I have anything that’s not what it seems, although the use of a sprig of lavender in Betrothal actually has a couple of meaning. But not as good as yours. 🙂

  5. This is a useful post to add to my bag. I have not yet used any purposefully used any objects, other than the occasional foreshadowing or as a symbol/metaphor.

  6. I really enjoyed this post! So far any object I use in my writing is pretty much what it seems, but with powers, as they say…so this has given me some new ideas.

    • Sue says:

      this new story of yours almost demands ordinary objects that aren’t what they seem. My current instructor strongly encourages such devices

  7. Love all the different objects! Very creative!

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