Author Ann Duncan
During a recent attempt to get organized–I have a boxy little six-by-six office that contains all my writing and crafting paraphernalia–I found a long-lost bundle of bright green tulle. You know, the “fabric” that looks and feels like plastic netting. And now it’s sitting in a cabinet in my tiny office, waiting for this year’s cutting of Queen Anne’s Lace. (It’s a great way to dry them. You simply hang the tulle--spread out like a tent top–then poke the stems thru the holes so they can dangle in mid air while the umbel (flower head) rests comfortably flat. If the holes are too small, tear them wider with your finger or the pointed end of a pair of scissors. After a few weeks, voila! Dried lacy flowers that will look great amongst your holiday decorations or tucked into a colorful bouquet. I know, you might be thinking, Why focus on that at this time of year. Spring is here but it still feels like winter. I guess I’m in one of those moods to plan ahead. (Let’s hope I stay organized and can find it when the time comes. Ha).
Queen Anne’s Lace. How can you look at the perfection of it and not feel the fullness of faith? The unwavering existence of our Creator? How can you not want to follow Him? His ways? After all, it’s the path that our founding fathers followed . . . and look where it brought them: To the creation of the greatest nation on earth! When I see a field of Queen Anne’s Lace, I can envision George Washington on his knees, praying for guidance, surrounded by the genteel grace of a patch of these flowing flowers. Ever stop to observe them? Once you’ve clipped and dried some, it’ll become an annual event. And you’ll realize, it’s almost Biblical. As if each perfect petal is valiantly awaiting its fate–to be snipped and clipped, to slowly and quietly dry and stiffen . . . at first snow-white, then turning a muted ecru. Originally adding grace and beauty to a northeastern hillside, they’ll continue this legacy in the “afterlife”.
You’ll never convince me that Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), or any other flower for that matter, is just an “accident” of nature.
So, here I am. Clean office. Downright organized office! Even my file folders are within easy reach in a rolling cart. And I’m writing about Queen Anne’s Lace in March? Could be writers’ block, you say, or procrastination. After all, you write historical adventures for kids.
“But,” I respond with glee, “this has spurred a new story! My character (who goes back thru time) is going to meet founding father John Jay in his next adventure. And, he will be traveling along the hills and valleys in the state of New York, in the 1700's, where he’ll come upon this great founding father’s estate. And? He’ll be traveling right thru a field of Queen Anne’s Lace. At least I think he will. Sudden thought, were they actually here then?
Well, I’ll just pull out my research folder (from that nicely organized rolling file cart) and scribble in a new entry: Research the history of Queen Anne’s Lace.
Ta Daa! Serendipity at its best.
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Ann Rich Duncan is the author of The SEED, a novel of suspense that placed as a top-ten choice with New Century Writer Awards. She is also the creator and author of the (YA) Johnny Vic historical adventure series that has been endorsed by educators in Vermont and New York. A former radio talk show host, public relations specialist, and weekly newspaper publisher, she currently fills her days working to fulfill the requests of her new literary agent. To see her books or to reach her blog, go to her website.
Treasure Hunter John Victor comes to the chilling conclusion that the essential right to sustain life could be taken away forever if he doesn't stop Alexander Graham Rossweild's people from using The Terminator. It's a formula that could devastate America's farmlands! Poor John, all he wanted to do was unearth a chest of gold that was hidden by Civil War soldiers.
Read an excerpt.