So many people have asked me, “How did you come up with this story?” or, “What inspired you to write this story?” The answer is best told in another story. I am a writer, after all.
I was visiting my brother’s family in Illinois and all three of my nieces were there along with my sister, mom and aunt. I had three finger puppets to give my nieces as gifts during our planned morning-out breakfast.
I woke up at 4 am that morning, and couldn’t fall back to sleep. So I did what anyone else would do, I sat there with the weary eyed dog wondering how I could make her bark so she would wake up someone. No, not really. I sat there wishing it was 7am as I knew that my brother would be up by then.
Bored to pieces, it then occurred to me that my nieces would probably love to hear a fun story about those little puppets so I began by naming them. I gave each finger puppet a super long elaborate name. Poochie Pat le D-O-Gee and Mystic Rosie Petal de la Fjord’s names are their original names. Ida Louise was originally named Princess Von Hoggenfroggen. You can understand why I changed her name to something easier.
At this point I’m wide awake and thinking about all kinds of story variations.
Once I had the names in place I needed a setting, so I chose Norway as my Husband and I had just returned from a cruise to the British Isles and Norway. My Grandpa, whom I adore and miss, was born in Norway, so he became an integral part of the story.
While visiting Bergen, I bought an expensive wool sweater, so I decided that Ida Louise also needed a special sweater. As for the flower, I imagined that she should have a mysterious beginning.
With my puppets in tow and my bullet pointed piece of scratch paper, I took my nieces to breakfast and when I finished giving each of them their puppet and telling the story, one niece asked, “Aunt Julie, is that a real story?”
“No,” I replied, “but it can be.” Now it is forever written, and it is a real story.