While I wrote the first draft in the fall, I had a symbolism dictionary from the library that I renewed over and over, until the system told me I had to return it. Which I did, then came back a few days later when it had been reshelved, and checked it back out.
When the draft got the OK from my agent and officially became the next book project, I figured I should probably pony up for a copy of my own. Which I did, getting a used-as-new copy from the Amazon marketplace for 80 cents.
There’s apparently not much demand for an out of print symbolism dictionary, though, because 80 cents was not the cheapest option (I could have saved upwards of 67 cents), but it was the option from a bookstore in Washington state, where the book is set.
So that’s the one I chose, because it’s a symbolism dictionary, and the book is about someone looking for these kinds of connections and sometimes you write the book and sometimes the book writes you.
Which is why there’s this tiny, natural ruby that hasn’t left my neck in a while, because I was thumbing through the dictionary and read its entry (love, vitality, courage; fortune and happiness) and then I was thumbing through the internet and found this necklace. And then I named a character Ruby.
I’m still collecting reference images over here.