I am ecstatic to kick off the new year with my short story “Flower, Daughter, Soil, Seed” published in Uncanny Magazine’s double-sized, milestone Issue #50!!! I mean do you see the ToC there? I still can’t believe this. And to top it all off there’s a mind-blowing cover by Galen Dara. The story I am sharing in this issue is one of my favorites I have written. It has a lot of things I love in stories and I wanted to achieve in one for quite some time.
It started as a vague image in my head of a woman sprouting flowers. For what reason? I didn’t know. Then came the Codex Weekend Warrior with a prompt that made me dig a little deeper. At first I thought I could wrap this up as a flash, but it soon became obvious that this story would expand much further in time and place that I originally intended so I let inspiration guide me and I travelled along with the story. I explain a bit more of that process and other details in this interview taken by the inimitable Caroline M. Yoachim.
This is a story about flowers and people. About flower people and about how people blossom like flowers when the times are right and how they might wither when the times are harsh, but still be able to fight, put up a resistance and, when everything is over and done, leave something behind them. A person or an idea. An intention perhaps.
Flowers don’t have memory. Not in the way humans do. They don’t know where they come from or why they are. They only care about flower-things. But they know when they love a place with their whole being. Because each forest has a different kind of smell, color, and feel to it, like a human body. And the soil is its skin.
It is also a story about family lines and family stories. How the life of our ancestors becomes something more than life, it becomes myth, a fairytale, or even history, and then it all trickles down to us. That’s what the life of all those flower women became at the end. A myth. A story to be told. But nobody can deny this family that their own family myth had been real.
This is also a story about travels and I hope you will travel with it like I did when I was writing it. Happy reading and safe travels. 🙂