Flower Child paints a beautiful picture of little souls growing in a flower garden until they are ripe and ready to live. But what if no one comes to claim a soul? What happens to the unborn child that never was?
Megan is a mother whose first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, so she was never able to claim the soul of her daughter, but she dreams about her. She even names her — Angela. And even though Megan gets pregnant again, and has a son, she continues to see Angela in her dreams, growing up in the garden she never left.
This story has a surreal, dreamlike quality to it, with first person point of view switching between Megan and Angela.
I know those of us who have miscarried a child often dream and wonder. My own musings haven’t taken me down a path like the one in this story, but it was fun to imagine, for a while.
I recommend this story to anyone who has miscarried a child, or who likes to imagine the infinite possibilities of life and death.
I recently had the chance to talk to Sheila about her latest story, Flower Child:
What inspired you to write Flower Child?
Flower Child started with a prompt at our local writers’ group to base a story on a song. The song I chose was John Denver’s Rhyme and Reason and the line “the children and the flowers” fed into a memory where, as a small child, I imagined babies grew from seeds in heavenly flower-fields. Megan’s character took over once I’d written the first paragraph—I think she came from memories of losing my first pregnancy to miscarriage. Then Angela appeared, building on questions I’d asked about my unborn child, and so the story grew.
Who do you see as your target audience? What do you hope they’ll get from this story?
I suspect mothers must be part of my target audience given the subject, but also anyone who knows mothers too—don’t we all? And anyone who wonders what happens to all those unborn children… Anyone who grieves… People who’ve been hurt by other people claiming to have all the answers. I hope readers might be pleased by the mystery in the tale, maybe intrigued. I know I like not knowing all the answers—it leaves so many possibilities—so maybe that’s part of what I want to convey.
I’ve now read two of your stories, each pretty different from the other. Do you feel you have any common elements from story to story?
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. The search for identity is a common element perhaps—the idea that we’re more than just the things we do and the things done to us. And love too—love’s an important part of each of my stories.
What are you working on now?
Currently I’m editing my novel, Divide by Zero, that’s due to come out with Stonegarden next summer. I’m also writing a dystopian tale about a baker and a hungry boy… and a series of YA novels (two and two halves written to date)… and I’m trying to finish a Bible study series (plus related children’s stories).
If you were stuck on a desert island with no hope for rescue, but you had food, shelter, and plenty of writing implements, what would you write, knowing no one would ever read it?
I’d finish those Bible tales as soon as a Bible washed up on the shore.
Thank you! It’s been great talking to you.
Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. She moved to the States with her husband and three sons in 1996 and now lives near Portland, Oregon, where she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green, and running a local writers’ group.
Sheila’s first two novellas have been published by Gypsy Shadow and are available from http://gypsyshadow.com/SheilaDeeth.html . Her Bible stories, gift books and picture-books can be found at http://www.lulu.com/sdeeth . Sheila writes book reviews for NightsandWeekends.com, Poetic Monthly magazine and Summit Book Reviews, as well as regularly posting reviews to Amazon, Barnes and noble, Goodreads, Gather, Lunch and Shelfari. Find her on one of her blogs or websites via http://www.sheiladeeth.blogspot.com.