Plant a seed, plant a story

ImageI don’t remember how old I was when I realized flowers made you happy. But, I know who helped me understand that the magic of growing flowers was right up there with cookies and milk. My grandma. A vivid memory of pulling up her driveway has stuck with me throughout the years. Her long walkway to the house was covered in thrift. Beautiful, lavender thrift. Of course, each year it multiplied and each year the thrift became more glorious than the last.

When my own grandchildren came along, I shared my love of planting a tiny seed and watching it blossom into a thing of beauty. Their awe and pleasure was more than worth digging in the dirt.

When I think of planting a flower seed, it reminds me of writing. Find the proper spot, cultivate the soil, plant the seed deep enough, cover it with the right amount of soil, water it in, keep it weeded, fertilized and pull the plants that strangle the strongest plant. One strong plant will mature, whereas several in the same area will slow its progress. Once the plant blooms, sometimes we need to cut the first bloom in order for the plant to produce stronger flowers.

Writing is similar to whittling a piece of wood down to a flawless work of art. I used to watch my grandfather whittle and wondered how in the world he had the patience to keep at it for hours at time. He had a plan and worked that plan until the wood became his vision. I certainly shave away at my manuscript more than I’d like, but shavings can be swept up and used elsewhere, if I want.

So here’s to my grandma, for her loving arms and precise teachings in the method of planting, whether it’s seeds or a story.

I’m slicing and dicing “Not My Own” and hope it’s whittled down to a better piece of art than when I first began to write.

Carol’s books are available at all major ebook sellers.

16 thoughts on “Plant a seed, plant a story

  1. Oh Carol, what a lovely comparison. I don’t like planting but I can see the similarity between creating a beautiful flower or a delicious fruit, and producing a good book. Especially the part about fertilizing the plant, and then cuttting the first bloom in order for the plant to produce stronger flowers.


  2. Hi, Mona! Thanks so much for the kind words. Not everyone likes dealing with plants, but it’s obvious you definitely love and tend your books! You’re a planter after all. πŸ™‚


  3. Where I grew up in the South, the botanical philosophy was that the back yard was your gift to yourself, and your front yard was your gift to the world. I’ve always gardened with that thought in mind.
    The whittling analogy brought back memories. My grandfather whittled. He’d sit outside with a stick and his razor-sharp pocket knife and skin the stick, wood curl by wood curl, until he reached the smooth, satiny heartwood within. Just like writing!


  4. Lol I’ll bet we both had sweet old grandfathers! Like peeling back an onion. πŸ™‚ I do have some wonderful plants that didn’t make it into the front yard. I love them. Not so sure the rest of the world would. Good reminder. Thanks for visiting, Joan.


  5. Thanks, Jill. I try! Forgiveness seems to be the theme I’ve used most. That’s okay. We all need forgiveness at some point. πŸ™‚ In my next book, forgiveness seems unlikely. We’ll see.


  6. I’m with Monarisk – gardening was never my favorite chore, but when my kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, I had a huge garden and while the planting and weeding was a chore, the harvesting was pure joy. Writing is so much like that, a lot of hard work, but the harvest makes it all worth it in the end. Of course, with writing, I actually enjoy the hard work part! And it is a great analogy.


    • Skyewriter, I’m with you on weeding. It’s so boring! Has to be done though. Such a thrill to take a basket to the garden, especially with the kids.I absolutely love the scent of fresh tomatoes. When I was younger, my brother and I used to take a salt shaker to the garden and eat tomatoes while we sat on the ground. πŸ™‚ Yes, edits are fun since we’re throwing out the bad seed. Thanks tons for visiting, I hope you’ll join us again.


  7. The first story I can recall writing was about the life-cycle of a pumpkin seed from inside a rotten Hallowe’en pumpkin to next year’s gloriously scary face. Thanks for the memory!


    • Joan, I imagine you had quite a story there! My son’s first story for school, was based on King Tut! He did an amazing job with it. Memories are hot and heavy today! πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting. Please join us again.


  8. I love to garden. Getting your hands in the dirt is very therapeutic, however, it’s also hard to do when every spare moment is spent with your fingers on the keyboard. Gotta make choices. Plant lots, Carol and grow some more wonderful novels along the way.


    • Well, hello my friend! I know you and “hands in the dirt” thing. Neither of us had much time for gardening this year, but I can’t get through the season without watching my plants take root. I’m loving the way “Not My Own” is drinking up the fertilizer. Thanks for visiting. Please join us again. πŸ™‚


  9. My mom is a serious gardener with an amazing green thumb. She can make anything look amazing. I am not sure I have the patience for it….except for my tiny herb garden!


  10. The back yard as a gift for the self. How lovely. My May-Pole is in my back yard, as is my natural, flamboyant garden. My front yard is full of life (as is it’s flip side) . Gardens represent people. Mine is alive with promise and flowers and health and a bit of nightshade.


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