In Chasing Blue Dots, Jake Marshall has a pet described as a “wandering scavenger plant” that he keeps in a terrarium. “Sosie” can move up to 10 centimeters a day, enjoys sprays of brackish water mixed with hamburger grease, and is an emotional anchor for her owner. (Sosie is a “her” in Jake’s mind!)
The inspiration for Sosie comes from the “walking palm”:
This real palm tree grows in rainforests in Central and South America. Sosie is much smaller, at 40 centimeters tall instead of 15 to 25 meters tall, but I imagine her to have stilt roots and a genuine ability to roam. The “walking” nature of the walking palm and the true purpose of its stilt roots is debated, but Sosie likes to wander in search of the bits of food Jake lovingly scatters in her soil.
Where did the name “Sosie” come from? It’s short for Sosipatra, a real philosopher in the 4th century. The real Sosipatra was believed to be clairvoyant. The only reason “Sosie” is named after her is because I went searching for something that reminded me of the walking palm’s scientific name (Socratea exorrhiza) and I liked the name. It’s fantastical enough that Jake’s plant can roam, making her psychic as well would have been over the top!
Head over to the landing page for Chasing Blue Dots to find her and Jake’s story on your favorite ereader.