Sunday, June 15, 2014

Digging for Stories - The Garden Way

My garden finally looks like Eden. The lilies are just about to pop open in various shades of color, everything from orange to black. Wildflowers I allowed to grow in the crevices of my rocky path grew tall and sparkling white. Those weeds sneaking up through the gravel I poured, get a chance to bloom. There’s a time limit. If they don’t dazzle me I’m going to yank them up by the roots, spray them with Roundup then toss them in a trash bag. The vegetables look respectable, orderly and hold the promise of bountiful meals of my favorite summer delights. When I post pictures my friends just marvel at the beauty, the entangled colors not normally paired. Somehow it just works. They think it is so easy.

I write like I garden. I enlist colorful characters that in real life might not be a good match for each other. Sometimes they’re like weeds that need to be yanked out of my story and destroyed. You do what you can to spread a little fertilizer on them to make them grow, be something other than a seed of an idea. If you wait, keep writing, hope that nature will take its course, sometimes an amazing thing happens. You create a story, a novel or manuscript of incredible beauty and self-satisfaction. Characters become so delicious in your imagination that a sequel demands to be written. This happens to me all the time.

With every season the garden changes, giving me an opportunity to envision another scenario, Spring – young love,  Summer – spring into action  Autumn – A conclusion to what you’ve grown over thousands of words  Winter – The End. It’s time to drag out the seed catalogs and search for that next story. 

When all else fails me at my desk, I have but to stroll through the garden and rest my eyes. The peace sways me into emptying my cluttered thoughts so that I can keep writing.


  1. That's gorgeous! I envy your garden.

  2. Waiting on my magnolia to bloom and I missed it this year....sad. Did you find a new story...hiding in the blooms perhaps?

  3. Beautiful! Wish I had such luck with growing flowers. Barb Bettis

  4. Thanks for the comments. When you have to get the line trimmer out and get all sweaty and dirty it is the only thing that looks good. Me? Not so much.