One week ago Saturday, I stepped into a Story Garden. Immediately, like magic, roots grew down into the ground, connecting me to a rich substrata of writers, editors, agents, all with amazing stories to tell. As I wandered the Story Garden (known to some as the SCBWI Western Washington Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference) flowers of every sort shot up out of the ground at my very feet. I watched with amazement as one particularly bright colored blossom (Genus Lainius taylorus, fuschia petals, quite lovely) began to speak. Wondrous tales of a circus troupe within her very being, struggling to emerge, wove a spell around all of us in the Story Garden, prompting great excitement at the possibilities for each of us, ready to bring forth our own fruit.
As the day wore on, and we were watered, fertilized and shone upon by Master Gardeners Jay Asher, Peter Brown, Edward Necalsulmer IV, Jordan Brown, Lisa Graff, Paul Rodeen, Michael Bourret, Sara Crowe, and so many others–voila! We bore fruit. Many of us scurried to secret corners, to quickly capture those first buds of a new story, the tentative tendrils of a plot twist.
No garden is quite complete without a Garden Gnome, and by early afternoon, our very own gnome appeared (see above), cheering us on, giving bits of writing advice to each of us who captured him before he disappeared back into his own hidden garden, once again to write.
And now each of us have returned to our own secret gardens, treasuring all we brought back from that magical weekend, seeding our own stories to bloom in due time.
Watch our gardens grow!