I Speak for the Lilacs

Every May I display lilacs in my home, my favorite flower, my favorite smell.

Every year my mother tells me how my grandmother wouldn’t have lilacs in the house because she said they were bad luck.

I could be snarky and say that this explains a lot.

Lilacs in jug
Photo by Rayia Soderberg 

This bad rap lilacs have received is an Old English superstition, particular to the Norfolk area according to the internet (so we all know it’s true…). People once believed that the sweet smell of lilacs were a favorite of the faeries and if you dared to bring some inside, well, you just might end up with a faerie amongst them too. A faerie who isn’t too happy to be caught in a human home.

This faerie might let you off with only some troublesome pranks, no real harm done. Or it may be really pissed and steal one of your family members away into the night to Faerieland never to be seen again. Moody wee bugger.

Clearly that faerie has issues.

As a result of this potential for unexplained disappearing, lilacs came to be associated with death. Just like Faerieland, there’s no coming back from that. 

Only, there are tales of those who have returned — both from magical faerie kingdoms and from death. So…

Still, death?

Well, yeah — it doesn’t help that coffins were lined with lilacs to disguise unpleasant odors. To that I say, what did people use the other eleven months lilacs weren’t blooming? Why pick on lilacs alone?

There is even an argument that it is only white lilacs that are unlucky, not the lavender ones. Why you gotta be that way?

When I see lilacs beginning to bloom, I feel a sense of hope — winter is gone, spring has arrived! I breathe in the velvety scent and exhale stress and anxiety. Peace.

So, I will continue to cut and display lilacs, superstitions be damned.

lilac coffee
Photo by Brigitte Tohm

Of course, my household members may feel differently about my laissez faire springtime cuttings and their affects on possibly being kidnapped…but I make up for it with positive energy sage bouquets at Yule. It’s all good.

*Featured Photo by Bonnie Kittle

I hear March is break up season…

Book, we’ve got to talk.

You’ve gotten a little to big for your britches. This can only mean one thing.

A break up.

It’s not what you think — It’s not me, it’s you.

Okay, okay…A little dramatic I know, but that’s what I’ve done — I’ve broken my book into a series. This decision has several benefits for me:


The amount I’d written was getting overwhelming. Every time I added something new, I started to forget many of the details I’d written in other scenes months/years ago. And yes, I keep a comprehensive system of my stored research, character profiles, scene settings, you name it.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to recall minute details from 70,000 words ago.

Breaking my novel apart allows me to improve the timeline, gives me more space to create better suspension of disbelief, allows me to develop connecting threads that won’t have meaning until later books. It’s hard to do that in one extensive manuscript — I admire all who can! However, as a first time novelist, I know my limits.

Let’s talk publishing.

The original set up made me think of numbers all the time; Editing of superfluous details, words I was agonizing over and knew I’d have to later cut out in order for my novel to be publishable… A writer is always thinking of the next step: Editing.

Every writer needs to edit, edit, and edit again, my decision to create a series doesn’t change that—I’ve already edited out as much as I’ve written.

It changes the load.

Let’s face it, publishing houses rarely consider epic novels unless you’re already established. Going the indie route, more words mean more money out of your pocket to publish your novel yourself. I haven’t decided which path to take as of now, but the more I read about self-publishing, the more I’m considering it. Creative control, more connection with my readership, my publishing house won’t decide to stop production midway through my series.

This makes shorter novels a compelling argument.

Character development.

I have a weak spot for anything character driven— movies, books, my experience at the local boutique with the eccentric owner…If interesting characters are the force behind something, I’m a fan.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the best stand alone novels have stunning character development. What I mean is that I, the author, get added opportunities to weave twists and turns, bring forth tidbits that make personalities solidify and resonate, give the reader what they want…and sometimes don’t want.

That’s sweet honey to the creative mind.

How many novels? At least 4…probably more like six… I mean seven… Maybe eight? Series here we come!