Tubers

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A weekly blog hop
where writers come together
to talk about whatever inspires them.

So many things have inspired my writing this week it’s been a hard road to pick which one should carry the flag into the Thursday’s Children fray.

There was reaching a goal – finishing chapter edits of the first third of the book and being pleasantly surprised at the result. Receiving some hard and encouraging critiques which have spurred me to keep plugging away at the craft (in a hoorah I’m getting somewhere kind of way). I was also inspired by nature and considered the merits of the seasons, in particularly the burnt end of summer.

tree
It may not look burnt, but there was a reason I was keeping my gaze upward…

And I was all set to write a very metaphorical post about a writer’s tools after downloading the Scrivner trial this week.

I even took this photo after a stint in the garden today…

photo
It’s all about the right tools… or is it?

And I realised although all those things were inspiring I had been captivated by something much more surprising… the lowly tuber. (They even managed to sneak their way into the photo en mass.)

It’s true I did get a lot of sun today, but if it has been a moment of madness, at least it is of the useful kind.

You see last year I received a few free bags of dahlia tubers, and I got a bit crazed planting them all over the place. In particular, I’d just fixed a big raised garden bed under our dining room window and it was tantalising empty. So with great gusto, and proof that I will never win any landscaping awards, I crammed that box full of as many tubers as I thought it could handle and sat back waiting to see what kind of dahlias would come up.

And come up they did; almost all a reddish purple colour with a few pom pom yellow ones. The flowers were beautiful, but the garden looked like a team of basketball players holed up in a Wendy house (and very scruffy basketball players at that when they’d finished flowering).

In the past I’ve always left my dahlia tubers in the ground, but this garden had been a dismal failure so I dug them all up (they can winter in the shed until I find a better home for them). But the amazing thing about these tubers, (and I suspect why I got so many free of the same colour) is how much they multiply. For each tiny weeny little tuber I’d planted last year – I got at least ten really big ones.

By now you’re checking to see if this is really a writing blog… (*scrolls to the top… and scratches head*)

But here’s the thing:

  • These things are seriously easy to grow;
  • They are really easy to pull up; and
  • They multiply quickly.

And what if…

  • They grew everywhere? Wild, on the side of the road (like dandelions…).
  • And they were edible?

Forget lembas, I don’t know the magical elvish receipe, but this could be the traveller’s friend. So none of my characters would ever need to starve on the road – and in fact you need never see anyone starving because this plentiful little tuber could be found everywhere…

The sun was pretty hot, but as I pushed that wheelbarrow up and down the bank at the back of our section, the ideas kept multiplying (sort of like the tubers). What if someone tried to limit the availability of these plants? Perhaps pulled them all up and burnt them for the very worst motives; spite, power, hatred, profit?

I’m not sure the tuber wars are really where my WIP is headed, but if nothing else it served to illustrate that the strangest things can catch your fancy (especially if you’re a writer).

Actually I feel quite sorry for my characters – they’re the ones that will be eating my fictional tubers. And just between you and me, I don’t think they taste good.

If you want to join in on the Thursday’s Children fun, just blog about what inspires you to write and add your link to this linky – or to check out the other inspiring posts. Thanks so much to Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez for hosting!

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36 thoughts on “Tubers

  1. Dahlias are such a beautiful flower, my grandmother’s favorite actually. (I’m a big fan of the dandelion) Where I am they have to be dug up to survive the winter.

    I’ve never thought of them as character food though :0)

    1. LOL – I was going to just sprinkle them throughout my fantasy WIP. But you know what they say about an idea needing only the tiniest bit of fertiliser… I could call it The War of the Tubers… It sounds so earthy.

  2. This process does sound familiar. 🙂 And the tuber not tasting good would be an excellent explanation for why it doesn’t get eaten into oblivion.

  3. It might amuse you to know that the tenacity and hidden toughness of daffodils inspired me into having it be the heraldic symbol of one of my most powerful (politically, at least,) characters.
    Gardening can be good for the imagination!

  4. Who knew the lowly tuber could inspire so many questions? LOL.

    The tuber itself seems to have some interesting qualities: resilience, ambition, patience… something we can all learn. The tuber as a plot device? Hehe. The one resource everyone needs to survive a post-apocalyptic world? Maybe!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I like dahlias too – lots of “show” for comparatively little effort, which is my kind of gardening! One of the things I love about writing is just how very random inspiration can be – you’ve captured that feeling perfectly!

    1. Thanks Rhiann – I’m all for minimum effort in the garden, but ours is so big it’s been suffering from writer’s neglect. But I figure if I do a big push now, I can write guilt free over winter!

  6. Now, that was… interesting. I wonder if you know the premise of my Secret WIP is that all the flowers die on the same day in Victorian London. So your idea of having someone destroying plants and vegetables and fruits for the very worst motives? That’s my WIP right there 🙂 Great mind think alike, I’d say… 😉

  7. Isn’t it strange how our minds work and can come up with all these inspired ideas from the most mundane and unusual of things. Love it! (Also love the way you’ve confused Alana even more by living in the future and it being summer!) 🙂

    1. The poor garden needs some TLC so here’s hoping the inspiration fairy visits often. – Alana I think Kate’s time travelling will be much more exciting… It’s weird to think of you guys in winter during the best summer I can remember. It’s so easy to keep in touch online, it’s mindboggling to think we’re a world away…

      1. Oh you are so lucky. We’ve had a long cold winter here in the UK and last summer was very very wet, so I feel like I haven’t had a summer for two years! You don’t know you’re born! I must say though, talking of tubers, that there are lovely green shoots coming up in our back garden, so spring is almost here. 🙂 And yes it is strange to be in such immediate contact although we’re the other side of the world from each other.

  8. This post right here is why I love writers’ brains! Everything is material – and not just any material – great material! 😀 Brilliant idea for working tubers into your WIP! 😀

    1. This Thursday’s Children blog hop has made me realise how truly random my inspiration is. Turns out I cameoed on another blog today as the tuber lady… I hope the fame doesn’t go to my head.

      Thanks for stopping by Michaele!

  9. “The flowers were beautiful, but the garden looked like a team of basketball players holed up in a Wendy house”

    I actually did LOL!

    Did you ever read The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas? Me neither. I do have a recording of a World War II-era radio adaptation of it, though. Your tuber war idea has a similar flavor to it. You could probably write a whole book on just that. 🙂

    1. I knew someone would get it!

      I haven’t read the Black Tulip – but I think I have heard of it – the flower trade was huge in Europe for a while wasn’t it? This is the problem with ideas though – they multiply like rabbits. For now I think these tubers will have to take a minor role. Although I can see some potential for a subplot in book 2!

      1. The Danish(?) Tulip Bubble of some-time-ago is, thus far, probably the most notorious financial bubble.

        I think the sub-plot idea is great! I think the tuber wars could be fascinating.

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