I know as “The Herby Lady” I’m supposed to be all about herbs but I’m having fun writing fiction. There’s nothing more satisfying than writing someone you know into a story…and if you don’t like them, writing them out of the story!
That said, I can’t seem to get away from herbs. To prove it, here’s an except from the upcoming Upheaval: Ogre’s Assistant #2:
After lunch, she took me into her greenhouse, both cats following. “I understand Gregory did a lot of energy work with you and what you did at the fight kinda shows that he did. So, I’m not going to focus on that with you right now. The greenhouse is a good place to get you used to plant energy. Let’s start with one of the friendliest I know, peppermint. Focus on the plant and tell me what feelings you get or what your gut tells you.”
I tried not to feel silly when I stared at the plant. But all of a sudden, I got the same feeling like you do when you open the refrigerator door on a hot day – a wash of cool air.
“It’s in the second book but I’ll tell you that means in healing it’ll bring down fevers. For spellwork, I use it if a situation needs “cooling off”. Naturally, it has other uses but generally speaking, the first impression you get is the one where it’ll work best for you.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
“For the most part, every plant has more than one medicinal or magical property. The overlap is mind-boggling. So if you need something for a specific situation and you don’t have it, there’s almost always a substitute. Because your energy goes into anything you do, the better your connection with the plant, the easier the work, whether you’re drinking tea for an illness or casting a spell for something.”
I shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t get sick so I had no idea about illness – unless you counted the occasional hangover. Ibuprofen and gallons of water healed me there.
Over the next couple of hours, she introduced me to about half the plants she had, some in flats ready to go into the ground when it got warm enough, some that were permanent residents in the greenhouse.
Peppermint wasn’t the only one I got something off of. Basil gave me an image of Martin – it must be good for money; off sage I got a hot, desert-dry wind – drying; mugwort made me giddy but I felt a cocoon surround me – you can get high off it but it’s good for protection; and so on. I wrote all my impressions in my notebook which, according to Cassandra, I’d be transferring to the second binder.
Then there were the plants where no matter how hard I focused, I got nothing. Feverfew? Lavender? One of her ferns? Zip. “Don’t worry about it,” she said. “Some are easier than others, and some you’ll never form a true connection with. Just make notes of what I tell you in case you need them for something.” I furiously scribbled.
All of a sudden, I heard Cassandra yell, “Hey!” I looked up from my writing to see her shooing both cats away from a plant in a deep pot. I could see the soil was disturbed and both of them had sheepish looks on their faces.
“You know better,” she chided Merlin. “I’m sorry, I could not help myself,” I heard from Fudge.
She sighed. “I should have known better. They were after the valerian root.”
“Valerian? Is that a form of catnip?” I asked, pen poised to write down her answer.
“No. Believe it or not, some cats don’t like catnip. However, some react to valerian or chamomile in the same way. I knew about Merlin’s affinity for valerian and it appears Fudge has the same love for the herb. Here. Smell this.” She held out a large amber jar with the lid off.
I took a whiff and almost choked. “Eeew. That smells like freshly-worn gym shoes.”
She laughed as she screwed the lid back on. “I know, right? But cats seem to like it. I’ll give you a little in a muslin bag for Fudge to play with once in awhile.”
See? I can do herbs & fiction together! Upheaval: Ogre’s Assistant #2 should be available soon. It’s all done but the cover. In the meantime, Stressed! Ogre’s Assistant #1 is available on virtually all e-book platforms.