Unpacking – Insert Coin

I first began In The Land of the Penny Gnomes a few years ago. It’s been wonderful going back and exploring this older material. Yesterday marked the first section of the actual novel, as the story of the Penny Gnomes itself is really meant as a prelude. Let’s unpack.

The Waking

I’ve written two novels 1 and both begin with someone being waken from slumber. I wonder is this should just be my “thing?”

Bug, of course, isn’t nearly as soft-hearted as Walter. I enjoy writing Bug, he’s a fun character.

Gnome Sighting

Bug is a bit different from most Penny Gnomes, as we’ll see, but despite his differences he is remains one of his people. If you’re wondering what Penny Gnomes look like, think of the Travelocity Travel Gnome, only most have black beards and wear yellows and purples instead of red. Bug also refuses to wear a pointy hat. Again, for reasons we will discover.

Bug isn’t one for small talk. In this passage he has a refrain, “Get up, get dressed, and let’s get going.” He has a bit of a problem with his interpersonal skills. Bug figures since he knows why he’s doing something, that ought to be good enough for everyone else. In his mind people can get up to speed as they do what he tells them to do. As I wrote above, he is the type of character with whom an author can have a great deal of fun!

Bug’s Name

There is actually a point behind bug’s name. “Bug,” of course, is a colloquialism for a “bother.” Moume is a linguistically terrible transliteration of Koiné Greek which translates “not me.” Put together, his name means, “Don’t bother me,” which pretty much sums up how his fellow Penny Gnomes feel about him.

Grandpa’s Stories

Bug doesn’t show it, but he’s really shocked Jeremy’s even heard of the idea of a Penny Gnome. There aren’t supposed to be any stories of them at all. The same thing is true for the Sock Elves, but we’ll meet them later.

How Wonderful Pennies Are….

Given how worthless pennies are in our culture, it’s fun creating an entire culture based on them. The pennies which the Penny Gnomes mine are a source not only of wealth, but also of energy. Through the use of pennies, these gnomes manage to travel between worlds.

And we want to get rid of them. How dumb are we?

The Transport

The description of Will’s travel between worlds is my homage to Douglas Adams. If you’ve never read Douglas Adams, stop reading my stuff and do so immediately. I’m serious, go away.

The Realm

The Realm of what, exactly? Keep reading to find out!


  1. Well, one and part of another one. 
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