Bloom is the story of a confident, clunky fairy who just happens to be covered in dirt and has a tendency to break things. To add insult to injury, she also leaves a trail of mud and footprints behind her. She happily shares her magic in the kingdom she calls home, but like so many things we find magical at first, the shine wears off and we grow pessimistic or bored or determined to see only the negative. The kingdom grows tired of the mud and the glass shards and Bloom, to her credit, grows very tired of listening to their complaints. Off she goes to find a place where her magic – and not her mess – is the story.
I have two young daughters and the idea for an unintentionally destructive, yet happily dirty fairy, grew out of my own growing dislike (okay, rage) at all the tiny, shiny, pretty, sparkly female characters I was reading about with them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being tiny, shiny, pretty and sparkly – if that’s who you are – but it is NOT A REQUIREMENT. I wish I could say writing Bloom was all about showing my daughters there are different ways to be – but some part of it was likely written for myself. Not all magic is neat and shiny. Some of it is loud, dirty, awkward, and dare I say, hard work. Sometimes, the magic you are counting on doesn’t happen and sometimes the magic is just a spark that requires a tremendous amount of hard work and occasional profanity to dig it out.
Lastly, Bloom leaves a trail, and you should, too. Your mess lets us know you were here. Let children remind us that they are here – with their voices, their dirty hands, their broken lamps, their songs, and their messes. It’s part of their magic.
So bring a hammer, a shovel, your pen, a bucket, your clunkiest shoes and your dirtiest hair and break something. Make a mess. Leave a trail. It will make it so much easier to find you. Then, if you are extraordinarily lucky, someone will pour their own magic into the mix. A huge thank you to David Small, for his beautiful, muddy and magical illustrations. Thank you!