Apothecaries-Angie Dicken The Yellow Lantern Summer Blog Series
This month, we are focusing on Josie Clay’s passion for healing. In her day, apothecaries were the men (and women) whom villagers would seek out for salves, tinctures, and elixirs. While I could unload research items here—I thought I’d take a different route and share my personal connections with Josie’s passion.
There are a couple precursors for my apothecary inspiration. Besides the obvious connection to the evolving medical community of the time, my own background plays a part. It’s always fun to get to the root of something, isn’t it? (Pun fully intended).
One of the secondary characters in The Yellow Lantern is Daisy Young, the town of Gloughton’s apothecary and family friend to the hero. While Daisy’s character played out in my own imagination, she was first dreamed up as a tribute to a very real person in my life.
I think the first time I heard the word “apothecary” was when I played Juliet my senior year of high school. My best friend played the apothecary who gives the poison to Romeo. Fast forward two decades as I considered including an apothecary in The Yellow Lantern. The apothecary in Romeo and Juliet came to mind—not in the form of the shady giver of poison in a Shakespearean tragedy, but as my vibrant bestie going on 23 years of friendship. Her favorite flower is the Gerber Daisy, and her maiden name is Young. So, Josie Clay befriends this Daisy Young, with a back story that’s completely fictional, but whose existence stems from a very real “apothecary” friend of my own.
Besides my friendship, my college major was a surprising contributor to my passion for this thread in The Yellow Lantern. Some authors are insightful enough to major in English before diving into a writing career, but I was clueless that my journey would lead to writing. I ended up with a degree in Landscape Architecture. When I mention this to people, they often say, “Oh, you must have a beautiful yard,” and I immediately respond, “No!”(my love of design outweighs my very un-green thumb). But, looking back on those college years, I am still fond of the experience, and especially the material from my horticulture classes—learning about different plants and their properties. I am constantly amazed by God’s provision to us through the natural world.
So, weaving this next thread into my story stemmed from so much more than research, but the stepping stones I took on my way to this publication journey.
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