[Exciting Haiku Announcement! This week we will have our usual wordless Friday post, but we thought we’d make it even more fun by asking readers to contribute Haiku as captions for the photos! Just take a look at the photos on Friday and if one moves you to poetry, well, post a Haiku about it in comments. See Ria’s recent post of Haiku inspired by Vancouver for ideas. No previous Haiku experience necessary! More hints to come on Friday…stay tuned.]
It’s time. Finally it’s time to believe that spring is here to stay (she’s a fickle one around here), and plant things in the garden without fear of them being decimated by frost. Planting things always feels so hopeful. It’s that old partnership between me and the planet (with the planet doing most of the work). But putting seeds in the ground and waiting, being faithful (Isn’t it interesting how we never use that word in this context? Okay, not never–I just did.), checking and waiting and being rewarded with a tiny green sprout…it doesn’t get more basic and happiness-inducing.
This year we will be growing winter squash, peas, beans and zucchini, along with our perennial plethora of raspberries, rhubarb and herbs. Last year and the year before we tried all kinds of weird and wonderful plants, some of which made it onto this blog. But this year we are all business and efficiency. What will store well? What can we grow cheaper than we can buy at the store or market? What will be prolific and low-maintenance and not get killed by aphids? Grrr. I hate aphids with a passion. So we are simplifying and growing more of each plant. I’m already dreaming of the gorgeous, creamy butternut squashes peeking out from their shady hiding places.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that I’m mulling over a new writing project at the moment. Spring does that–invites all kinds of new things to sprout. Given the decided lack of free time in my life-with-toddler, I always try to think ahead so I don’t end up with nothing new to work on when I’m finished my current book. I also like taking a ‘break’ from the story that occupies my brain for months at a time to think about something different. It often helps both books in the end.
This time it’s a relationship story–the bond between two people that shifts and transforms over time and through crises. I want to explore how my two characters can come through the same traumatic experience from different sides, have two contrasting reactions to it, almost lose each other, but come out with a stronger relationship in the end. I’m not sure how it will all work out (that’s it–that’s my writer’s motto right there), but I’m fascinated by the journey the two characters will take, and me along with them. This is what gets me excited about writing stories (that and many other things…for another post).
I get to create a world that contains several, if not dozens, of realities. Each character has a different perspective and reaction to the world and that’s what’s so exciting about working through a complex problem they have to overcome. They act in ways that are natural for them–maybe not how I would act, but that’s not the point. Why would I write characters who are just like me? How boring! It’s also a lot harder to be inside someone’s mind who does things differently from you; they’re unpredictable and sometimes unfathomable. Just like real people. Which, again, is why this is so much fun. I get to not only eavesdrop on, but actually be inside a story where I can go through things I haven’t, and may never, experience. To me, that’s magic, time travel and ESP all in one package.
And isn’t that what makes stories and gardening such a leap of faith and so rewarding? Maybe not all the plants germinate, not all the plotlines work out, but in the end, we have a journey, a result, and our trust in the process is repaid with fruit (or vegetables)…