Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Everything in its season

I bought this orchid at a post-Easter sale last year. Never having had much luck with potted plants, I thought we would enjoy the blooms, it eventually would die, and I would throw it away -- repeating a pattern that has held true most of my life.

But here it is! Blooming for a second Easter. My African violet is also continuing to produce pretty purple flowers after refusing to bud for over five years.

Can it be I have suddenly developed a green thumb?

It is a little like my writing life. For years I've had stories tossing around in my brain, but never put them down on paper.  Then one day, I decided it was time. Who knows why? The suns and stars were in alignment, the season was right.

The analogy stops here. Plants are predictable. A tulip bulb does not arbitrarily send up a daffodil. But a writer can bloom in any color or design she wants. She can place her story in the past or the future. She can plant it in reality or draw from her imagination and build a whole new world.

My first book (alas, unpublished) was historical fiction. Then I wrote two contemporaries that sold, and self-published a third. But the first book, like a plant struggling to reach the sun, continued to call to me. I took another look and decided its flaw was that it was two stories in one. As carefully as a team of surgeons separating conjoined twins, I divided the book in half. The result is Riverbend. (The other twin is resting comfortably, thank you, and will get my full attention later on.)

I asked for help in naming my male character. Thanks for all the suggestions. I wavered between Julian and Simon, but finally decided Simon was the better fit. A keystroke replaced the temporary name I was using and Simon appeared as if he had always been there.

I have a  name for my female protagonist: Damaris. It's the name of a childhood friend, and when I started writing, it popped into my head and stayed there. Maybe I'll bring her around next week and let you meet her. She's shy, but very sweet. It's such a shame she is married to someone one else--Simon would be perfect for her.

Maybe I can do something about that.




  1. Hi Sandy,

    Interesting post. I truly hope, in my case, there's no correlation. I tend to kill plants...but wait, I write mysteries...lol.

  2. Excellent analogy! And how very true. Can't wait for Riverbend!!!

  3. We change throughout the years. What we were poor at in the past can become a passion in the present. What we excelled at can turn on its head...

    I was never good at keeping my plants alive, but I've improved my writing, or so I hope. ;-)