Roma's Treasure Box

I've taken almost a week off from writing, and there I was stopped less than seven hundred words shy of 25,000. I guess I'm not very goal driven. Anyway, I'm back to work on it. I was just enjoying a leisurely vacation time with Nico and some time at my sis's parents' house where I got to take advantage of a really radsauce vegetable garden at dinner time.  We made a salad with apples and veg and a dressing of lemon, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper, and chopped garlic.

Admittedly, I had garden envy. I work my ass off on my garden at home but I've never quite gotten the knack for gardening. I do all the reading and follow all the basic rules but I've always tried to do it cheaply. My seedlings are fragile and my berries get stolen by birds before they ripen, and it's happened too many times. After looking at the nice garden set up at Sis's parents' house, I can see I just need to invest a little more. Trellises and netting where appropriate and definitely take advantage of some containers.

Unfortunately, now that I'm all impassioned to go full out with my garden, I get the news that we may be moving away from Hawaii in four months and I'm now hesitant to invest a lot of time or money in something I'd have to tear down before it bears many rewards. Oh well. Maybe some color planters and a local vegetable delivery service will tide me over.

Roma's Treasure Box

About a year ago, I picked up a set of small books by Punch Studio that I wanted to write a story in for Flora. They have a bee, dragonfly, and crown on them so I figured the story should fit along those lines. Something like an adventure series, maybe. So little by little I've been collecting bits to make a cool project.

So tada! Here it is! My rough draft collection::

The set includes three mini books::

A magnifying glass, broken necklace, acrylic crystals, and a wand::

The box was made by my dad's grandfather, so it's authentically old (and authentically broken and needing some wood glue) and the wand is actually from the Harry Potter opening and sized for an adult, so I'll need to make a smaller one. I'd also like to get some coins and some other treasures like a map and a compass or maybe a little tool kit.

I've decided the story will be about a young girl (working name Roma, for ease of pronunciation for a little kid.) who lives in the City of Honey. The city values hard work and family and takes pride in themselves as a fruitful nation, but has fallen under rule of the Wasp Lord, who has overthrown the elected Queen and keeps her rulings silent and her ushered away. Under the Wasp Lord, Roma and her family have lost their freedoms, friends of the Wasp Lord get richer and meaner, and everyone else suffers, while only a few prosper. Roma decides that this is wrong and, with the help of her community, the legend of the Jade Grasshopper is found, which promises to allow a person to create any change they want.

Roma then travels on a mission to find the Jade Grasshopper, but must face a series of challenges where she can either choose to let everyone solve her problems, or learn the solutions and craft the tools she needs herself. Despite being challenged and discouraged at every step, by researching and practicing to perfect the three keys needed to enter the treasure tomb said to hold the relic, Roma finally succeeds. When she arrives, she realizes the Jade Grasshopper, as an object, holds no value and no magic, but learning that the desire for change and willingness to try hard and be dedicated to achieving it will allow one to create any change they want. Roma leaves the treasure tomb, leaving the Jade Grasshopper to inspire another a later day.

Now grown, Roma returns to the City of Honey, a well studied, dedicated young woman who rallies her community together and they work to gather the support of all of the people who then demand that Roma replaces the Wasp Lord. Roma, however, declines and requests the rightful Queen. The Wasp Lord agrees that they may have their queen if even one can solve the puzzle tomb the queen was entrapped in by the Wasp Lord, who arrogantly thought no one could navigate without a map. When Roma does free the queen, the Wasp Lord is stripped of his power and the queen's crown, which the queen offers to Roma in thanks. Roma sees the power of the crown would be used better serving the people than in being a bauble and separates the stones, giving them to people and communities she visited who were in need. With the magic jewels, they make curing potions for their plagues, power inventions to harvest crops, and fund an opening of a large school in Roma's name. Roma melts the metal of the crown and casts a message within it declaring the City of Honey a place of equality that will value not only hard work and family, but learning and challenging wrongs and displays it over the city gates.

Roma accepts the title of elected princess and promises to continue to study and learn from the queen so that when she's ready, she can be as good a successor as the queen before her.

I'm thinking they're called Roma and the City of Red Honey, Roma and the Jade Grasshopper, and Roma and the Raiment of the Wasp Lord. OOOOBviously they have political, anti-consumerist, feminist, egalitarian undertones and push for responsibility, motivation, and dedication over the typical princess and gems fare, but I think kids are capable of understanding and enjoying more complexity than we give them credit for. Some of my favorite childhood stories were about young people making choices to be responsible and outsmarting foes who tried to trick and take advantage of other people.

I did some basic maths and I figure the three books together have room for just a little over 10,000 words, so I'll have enough space to develop the characters a bit, so long as I keep the pace up, but I don't think that'll be hard for a juvenile fiction. As I would imagine, they probably don't dwell on tons of subtle action and description.

It's not a priority to write right now, but I'll be trying to fix up the box and make a new wand to fit in it soon.