Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

When in doubt, add an arch

And even if you don’t doubt, add an arch, just in case.

No, I’m not crazy (well, maybe am but that’s another story). In my mind, castles have lots of archways, some useful, some out of the prettiness of them. Why? Because they were cool to build. Let me explain. Better yet, let me show you:

exin castillos

I build that not half an hour ago. I have been summer-cleaning my closet/wardrobe and throwing out a bunch of stuff that was old and had lost its emotional value. I made a big sack of old toys to find a charity to donate it and have been to the local library to ask if they would like some teenage books. However there are a few things I plain can’t get rid of, among them my Saint Seiya action figure collection and my Exín Castillos (Exín Castles).

Exín Castillos is a construction toy. The blocks are of a peg-and-socket design similar to Lego, though with larger pegs. The blocks are usually a mottled light tan colour, intended to resemble stone, although a few sets were produced using pale blue blocks instead, for a “fantasy” theme (that one was for ‘girls’. Let me say here and now that I never had it XD). Alongside the standard 2×1 pegs, the sets include arched top pieces for windows and doors, smooth caps to create battlements, single-piece tower tops and turret roofs to attach to those, wall-mounted torches and braziers and lots of cool stuff (shamelessly ripped off from Wikipedia [link].

There was a relaunch of the classical set a few years back, and my parents got it for me (yeah, on my twenties. Live with it XD). I dug up the old set and put them together, that meant more arches! Back on track: I have spent quite a few hours working on a few castles, towers and designs, and I’ve realised that some physics knowledge helps building them a lot – balance tricks: the epic. When you’re under 10 you learn pretty easily that if you leave the joints for different pegs lined up, you’re risking destruction. Twenty years later you find yourself building inner buttress or two and you prove your long-gone young self that you managed. I really loved the game when I was a kid, and I still do. It sparks my creativity like no tomorrow – let me be honest here, it comes with blueprints to build supercool castles, which I never followed. Why constrict yourself to rules when you can do anything? I think that is a tell-tale sign of my personality, I’m very bad at following arbitrary rules. Some I can understand, many I can respect since they are necessary for society to work, but when it comes to creation, I like being free. When it comes to make castles, as much as when I write, I like being free. That’s the fun part, isn’t it?

Another way this toy has influenced me is… arches. Whenever I write fantasy – and lately I’ve dabbed into that again, I imagine castles with… lots of archways. Maybe I should sometime write about a medieval castle constructor with a love for arches and using the sentence XD

Oh, in case you’re wondering… I never had a LEGO game, never stepped on it, but I am pretty sure I stepped on an Exin a time or twenty. I know myself, I’m clumsy, I know it and at the moment I lack a chunk of thumb prove it.


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