Odd Miniature Landscapes


When I was a kid, doll houses were elaborate things that wealthy kids had. It sounded pretty cool to have a small mansion all set up with tiny rugs, beds, little tables with dainty little china table settings, small furniture of every sort and dinky little landscaping details. Yeah, one of those would have been nice, but with five kids in the house having to share two bedrooms, it wouldn’t have lasted long. My parents, weighed down by the financial burden of so many children, made it clear to us all that money didn’t grow on trees. I knew better than to ask for one.

Ah, but we had a nice fenced yard and plenty of vacant lots, so we took our toys outside and made our own dollhouses in the great outdoors. I have fond memories of many hours of creative play, building little dwellings of mud and sticks for my little troll dolls, tiny tree houses amid the bushes, little roads for the toy cars filched from my brothers, and ice cream stick rafts to float across the fish pond in our back yard. My family nickname was Bee, and on any given day, little Bee could be found outside, playing in the dirt.

Well, I grew up. I went to college, worked an assortment of jobs over the years, (some of them even normal ones) and learned to make a pretty decent impression of an adult. I even raised a few kids, which can seriously tax one’s acting ability. Until a few years ago, I suspect I actually had them fooled.

I even started growing tomatoes. That’s grown up behavior, you know. Lots of retired people do it.

Then I began seeing pictures of fairy gardens on facebook. Little Bee started jumping up and down and there was nothing to be done except to indulge her. I began collecting little figurines and once more making my yard into a doll house.

That was about three years ago. The designated area in the back yard, a once barren and weed infested flowerbed, has become a verdant study-in-progress of miniature landscaping. There is a small hill covered in creeping flowers, a crescent moon topiary, a little creek, a castle on a cliff, a tiny birdbath and picnic bench nestled in the shade of a tree-like flowering bush. I’ve recently acquired more miniatures as well as new gardening tools and have plans to continue with my miniature landscaping, particularly in November during NaNoWriMo.

The promise of time spent in the garden serves me well as reward and motivation for writing. The garden is also a good place to find inspiration. As I dig and weed, I imagine pioneers clearing the wilderness and making homes for themselves. As I plant and arrange tiny landscapes, my mind wanders and possible story settings come to mind. I envision characters living in the tiny communities I am building, and tell myself little stories about them. My imagination, so often tied up in the straitjacket of discipline necessary to keep it on track while I’m editing and re-writing a novel, is free to wander and indulge in the kind of serious play kids do, something too many adults think they are no longer allowed to pursue.

Hogwash. What’s the fun in being an adult if you can’t play once in awhile? There are so many ways to do it. Some people play video games, some indulge in sports. I play in the dirt.

ROW#80 Update

  1. Get Hunt Club set up. I’m saddened to report that this is STILL not ready to go into print yet. I’m getting seriously frustrated. Editing seems to take forever. I have the cover done, the text re-sized, and am painstakingly correcting spacing errors and backward quotation marks and other troublesome cleanup issues. My husband refers to this as the “rat killing phase.” It’s stupid and tedious and necessary. I just wish it didn’t take so long. I want this book in print by the first of October, but it needs to look professional.
  2. Average ½ hour a day working on new novel. Not so much this week. I’m giving it a break until goal one is achieved.
  3. Average ½ hour a day on promotion and blogs. I skipped Wednesdays check in again because I’m such a perfectionist it was taking too long to write. I’m putting a time limit on my blogs in an effort to learn some brevity.
  4. Finish reading a book and write a review. Nope.

Due to the need to hurry and finish the first item, I’m going to hold off adding any new goals for a bit.  One thing I am rather proud of though is that I seem to have completed the “fact check” for my biography. Now I can move on to other blogging topics. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Odd Miniature Landscapes

  1. I absolutely love the idea of what you’re doing. I collect fairy figurines myself. It started because I started writing about fairies, but now…they feel almost magical to me.

    Love the pictures. And yes, adults can play too!

    Keep up the good work — you’ll get there. 🙂

  2. A not-so hidden aspect of an unschooling life? We’re SUPPOSED to play. It’s our job, as a family and as individuals. Not a bad way to live, honestly.

    My you find much writing inspiration and fairy garden magic!

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