Lumi and the Daffodils | a micro audio drama

I have had a few tidbits of story and character ideas in my notes for quite some time. As I began to brainstorm about a story that I could write for an audio production challenge, I started ruminating on some of those tidbits, a few of which have been sitting there for three or four years, and things started to come together. (Side note for the writers: always save those story fragments because you never know when they may come in handy for a future project.) As a long-time fan of fantasy stories, and always looking to try something new, I decided to try my hand at writing a story in that genre, and "Lumi and the Daffodils" was the result.

Salus, The Wondersmith arrives in the mountain hamlet of Felgren on an autumn day when he was not expected. Why did he not wait until the springtime to come?


"Lumi and the Daffodils" was written, directed, and produced by J.D. Sutter.

The cast was:
Mercer - Craig Hart
Salus - J.D. Sutter

"Village Stroll" by ELVGames & PEGGU-SENSEI, courtesy Fanatical
"Strings of Resonance" by ELVGames & PEGGU-SENSEI, courtesy Fanatical
"Fantasy Cinematic Music Two" by guitarman213, courtesy Freesound
"Reunited" by Russell Thornton, courtesy SoundQ Music

Special shoutout to journalist, broadcaster, and logophile Rob Watts for coining the word, “wondersmith”. Find out more about him at his website or check out his podcast.

Behind the Writing of "Lumi"

Since the story prompt for the audio challenge was "spring", I decided to use spring flowers as a key piece of incorporating that theme into the story. I won't say exactly how the titular daffodils are used, (because spoilers! šŸ˜„) but I did end up researching several flower types that bloom in the spring before settling on the daffodil. In part because of the vibrant yellow color, which I felt was a good representation of the normally sunny personality of one of our main characters, Lumi.

Speaking of the characters, all of the names are derived from Latin. Some are taken directly, while others are more "inspired by" and I've taken some liberties with the Latin roots. For example, Lumi comes from two words, "lumen", a noun meaning "bright, shine, or light" and "lucidus", an adjective meaning "bright or clear", which again, I thought was representative of the character. One that is a little further from the root is the name I gave to the wife of the baker. I thought about a bakery in a medieval-type setting and in addition to bread, they might make pastries or sweet rolls for special occasions. As well as making literal sweet things to eat, I thought she would be a sweet lady who works diligently with her husband every day to provide the little hamlet with food so I came across the Latin word "dulcis" which means "sweet, charming, or agreeable" and from there I ended up at Tulsi. I went through this process for each character name in the story. I have no particular reason for going with Latin other than I thought Latin seemed appropriate for people in a fantasy story for some reason.

I also went through a similar process for the place names in this story world. But this time, as a nod to my family heritage, I chose to derive these names from Norwegian. The tiny village in which our story takes place is a very small community in a mountainous region of the land. I called it Felgren, which comes from "fjell" and "grend", the Norwegian words for "mountain" and "hamlet", respectively.

The mysterious character of Salus is one of those aforementioned story tidbits that has been sitting in my notes for a very long time. I had the idea for a tinker-like figure who would travel around and tell stories while repairing things for people. Originally, I had called him The Mender, and he was an enigmatic, yet beloved fellow, something of a christ-figure perhaps. When I decided upon a fantasy genre piece, it felt natural to incorporate him into it. He retained much of the original attributes I'd had in mind, though I ended up opting to not use the word "tinker" to refer to him. I also changed from calling him The Mender to The Wondersmith. This was due to some work by British journalist, Rob Watts, who had recently shared his thoughts on reviving an Old English word, "wundorsmiĆ¾" in an updated form of "wondersmith". The moment I heard the word and its meaning, I knew I'd found the perfect moniker for Salus.

A final note about this piece pertains to something you may have noticed on the artwork. In addition to the episode title, there is also a prominent mention of Salus, The Wondersmith. That is because I think there is a lot of potential for more stories with this character. I don't think we've heard the last of him. This micro piece felt like a great place to debut him and his world, but I was very intentional about setting up this story world and there is more backstory to this place than what made its way into this short production. So all that to say, you never know when Salus might turn up again! 

Bonus Content

If you'd like to see the script for this audio drama, you can download it by clicking the image below. You can see a few changes from the script to the final production.
Lumi Script Link

Here is a fun outtake reel collected from the talented actors I was thrilled to collaborate with on this project. There are spoilers here so don't listen to this until you have heard the audio drama, but in this reel, you will hear some of my direction of actress Christiana Thomas, some unused lines, bloopers, and ad-libs that didn't make the cut. A fun look inside the vocal booth! :) 

This piece of music is an AI-generated instrumental created with the Udio engine based on a prompt related to the little hamlet of Felgren from "Lumi and the Daffodils". This piece of music is an aural picture of this mountain hamlet in the autumntime as the villagers are working to finish the harvest before the snow comes.

This beautiful shot of some daffodils was taken by Christiana Thomas, the actress who played Lumi. Unbeknownst to me when I cast her in the role, daffodils are her favorite flower and she took this photo during the making of this show.

Random Stats

Story outline and script written over 3 days
1 real-time, remote-directed recording session
53 minutes of raw audio from 5 actors
Approximately 18 hours of post-production time (includes voice track editing, sound design, and scoring)
Full production, from conception to final mix, in 21 days (the audio challenge it was submitted for requires the submissions to be produced in a month)

Fun Fact: The audio production challenge for which this project was originally intended has a duration limit of 5 minutes, so I had to completely cut Scene 1 from that version to meet that requirement.

I hope you enjoyed this audio drama. I certainly don't fancy myself the next Tolkien or Lewis, but I really enjoyed working on this piece and trying something different. I would love to hear your thoughts on it or the inspiration for the story in the comments below. And if you'd like to support my efforts to make more audio content, click the button below. Thanks!


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