by Julie, enjoying the waning (sob) days of summer in Somerville
When I decided to write a Thanksgiving book for my gardening series, I had a “problem”. How do I incorporate gardening in late fall? Well, after some thought I realized there are a few ways to do it–fall plantings, using the greenhouse, fertilizing rituals. But I also used the opportunity to allow seeds of ideas grow untamed in my imagination.
See what I did there? Seeds, gardening? Prepare yourselves, dear readers. I have a book coming out at the end of the month. The puns will continue.
Anyway, here are the two ideas that took root. 😉
The first is that there is a wreath making contest held by the library. While technically not gardening, organic materials are used. The wreaths are all inspired by books. Now, I don’t know where that idea came from, but I love it as a library fundraiser. For all I know it was a library fundraiser I read about. But how cool would that be? A wreath inspired by Jane Eyre, or Pride and Prejudice, or Hound of the Baskerville? Or Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown? Or a book by the one of the Wickeds?
The second idea that bloomed was a garden sculpture contest. Did anyone else watch The Big Flower Fight on Netflix? It was a game show competition like the Great British Bake-Off, except with florists and gardeners. I did, and wondered how the Garden Squad would fare on the show. I decided that Roddy and Ernie would be a great team. Lilly would be good for ideas, but terrible for execution. Big floral displays are not how she rolls. But what if the entire Garden Squad entered the competition? That became a subplot of the book.
My fertile imagination, already strong, is helped by local events. I live in a city that celebrates the invention of Fluff, yes that Fluff, with a weekend long festival. What the Fluff? is a great time with food, crafts, music, family fun. Covid has changed it, but it will happen this year. If Somerville can celebrate Fluff, Goosebush can hold a garden sculpture contest.
Goosebush isn’t constrained by reality. One of my favorite things about writing the Garden Squad series is that it is over the top fun for my muse. The ideas that take root can grow in a dozen different ways. There’s really no reason for me to limit them. So garden sculpture contests and book wreaths can fit into a couple of mysteries and planting garlic and putting seaweed on the garden beds. It all works.
Speaking of which–Wreathing Havoc releases on September 28! There’s still time to pre-order–the book will be released in paperback and audiobook. On the day of, I’ll be celebrating the book birthday via Zoom (here’s the link) or on the JHAuthors Facebook page. Here’s the Facebook event if you want to RSVP to get a reminder. The party will run from 7:30pm EDT to 8:30pm EDT, and it will include these fabulous authors:
Readers, do you have a local event that tickles your imagination?