Pondathon II: Quarter 1 Round 1 Summary

One quick disclaimer: all of the amazing graphics were created by CW of The Quiet Pond and belong to her

In case you didn’t see my intro post, Pondathon is a year-long readathon themed around gardening and helping forest creatures. Well, the first round of Pondathon is complete and my little character has been very busy gardening. I think I did quite well this round, reading ten books, six of which also counted for the side quest, and completing the companion quest. I’m having ever so much fun with this. For the most part, I’m reading everything I normally would (hi, ARCs) but getting cute plants for it!

This first round went from January 10 to January 29.

Round 1 Quests

Pondathon Q1R1 rewards Wow, nothing like starting out with a bang with some absolutely gorgeous rewards! I think my personal favorite was the lavender, possibly because it’s one of the few plants that I’ve managed to grow in real life. I also really liked the hedges and someone on the Discord group even mentioned making a hedge maze for the character! How awesome would that be?

Quest 1

The side quest this round was encouraging Xiaolong’s flowers to grow by reading to them, which, hi, so adorable. What it meant for us was reading diverse books with each book read earning either a planter box or garden bed as a reward. I mostly opted for the planter beds – I’m a fan of raised gardening in real life – but I opted for a few garden beds as well. Also, reading three and five diverse books would earn special rewards, including a badge for our character cards and some pretty cool stickers. For the purpose of this quest, diverse books are those by an author with a marginalized identity (or identities) about characters with a marginalized identity (or identities).

Companion Quest Racquel Marie

The last quest was a companion quest, courtesy of Racquel Marie, the author of Ophelia After All. It ran from January 17-January 29. To complete that quest, we had to design a rose based on our favorite book, and then for an extra prize, post about the new book on social media. The prizes were a pride rose tree (OMG) plus a prom accessory set.

What I Read

Here’s the books I read for the main quest and the prizes I received.

Q1R1 books

  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves – Meg Long (1/10) – purple aster
  • Something So Sweet – Joy Avery (1/12) – pink lavender
  • Love & Other Disasters – Anita Kelly (1/14) – purple lavender
  • How to Love Your Neighbor – Sophie Sullivan (1/19) – white aster
  • An Operative’s Last Stand – Juno Rushdan (1/20) – blue bluebell
  • Knot My Type – Evie Mitchell (1/21) – yellow bluebell
  • The Red Palace – June Hur (1/23) – teal hedge
  • D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding – Chencia C. Higgins (1/24) – pink lavender
  • The Map to You – Rachel Stockbridge (1/26) – blue aster
  • Match with a Demon – Chace Verity (1/27) – orange bluebell

Several of the books met the side quest, meaning I got double the rewards for reading them! They were:

  • Something So Sweet – Joy Avery (1/12) – light brown square planter
  • Love & Other Disasters – Anita Kelly (1/14) – white square planter
  • Knot My Type – Evie Mitchel (1/21) – yellow wide planter
  • The Red Palace – June Hur (1/23) – rectangle garden bed
  • D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding (1/24) – round garden bed
  • The Map to You – Rachel Stockbridge (1/26) – dark brown long planter

Companion Quest

Book flowerPicking a favorite book is nearly impossible for me (favorite romance? favorite SF? favorite fake dating? favorite childhood book?), so I went with a five-star book I read recently, Anita Kelly’s Love & Other Disasters. I’m entering a custom book page flower bouquet as an auction item for Romancing the Vote, but I didn’t have any recent flowers I’d made. So since I had to make an example bouquet anyway, I tried dying some flowers to match the red of the cover. Not quite as dark, but it still looks pretty awesome in person. This was pretty much a perfectly timed quest for me!


My Character Card and Garden

And here’s my character card and garden after Round 1! I updated my character card, adding in the completed side quest as well as adding two of the corsages to my flower basket and updating my apron art. My little character is looking so cute!

Q1R1 Card

And here’s my garden! I had so much fun doing this, adding in flowers and planters bit by bit as I earned them! I loved adding the stickers to the sides of the terrarium and the one planter. I’m not sure if I’m going to do a new garden for every round, but I think I might have to – look how full it is already! I have even more planter boxes that I couldn’t fit in there!

Q1R1 Garden

And that is my round 1! Is anyone else participating? How does your garden grow? (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

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