My Gremlins have been on me the past few years to plant a garden. As my husband will attest though, I have a brown thumb. Every living plant I’ve come in contact with has died a terrible death. I killed two ficus trees this past winter, destroyed a Christmas cactus and recently let two big beautiful boxwood in planters on my deck turn a golden shade of brown. The plants that hang on are doomed a terrible fate. They get watered when they limp over like decrepid old men. I can admit I hate to weed. Deadheading is a chore I abhore. And in the heat of summer, when the deck is baking, it’s way more appealing to stay in my cool house than remember to step outside with the hose and give my struggling plants a needed drink.
I’ve balked at the garden idea for a long time, partly because having grown up in the country, I remember the hours my mother spent tending to her garden. I don’t have the time or patience or even a smattering of desire to do the same. Part of me just doesn’t want the responsibility of killing more than my fair share of plants. So I’ve been more than thrilled with the reality that we haven’t had anywhere on our lot to put even a small garden for the kids.
Not so this year.
In February we had a series of wind storms and as a result lost a beloved 30′-wide Deodora cedar in the corner of our property. I loved that tree, cried when we had to have it taken down. What we were left with was a huge hole in our landscaping. DH has since replanted another, young (read: ity-bity) Deodora, and now (much to my chagrin) we have a big blank space, just perfect for – you guessed it – a garden.
So, today, DH and I were out there building a raised garden bed for the Gremlins. Hours in the sun, raking and digging and planting. I’m completely convinced we planted everything way too close together and within a matter of weeks (assuming I remember to water) we’re going to have a jungle of vegetables. The kids are thrilled. I’m looking at it thinking: this is the bane of my existence.
However, there is a small bit of irony at play here. As I was reading the directions on the seed packets, I noticed several said to thin the struggling plants once the shoots cut through the earth. Keep the strong ones, lose the weak ones. And I realized that’s what I’ve been doing the past few weeks. I haven’t been writing. I’ve been playing with storylines and plots in my mind, trying to see which one will be my next WIP. I’ve been busy – painting and redecorating our master bedroom (and now gardening) – but I’ve also been sowing my stories, trying to see which one will take the lead and shoot upward. I can’t say with 100% accuracy I know yet which direction I’m taking (I’m not done painting yet), but I can say I have a much stronger direction.
We’ll have to see what grows in my garden and my laptop in the weeks to come.
Now on to a few housekeeping things…
For those of you who don’t know, Mondays are my day to post over at Romance Worth Killing For. My post is already up (imagine, I’m early this week!). Also, we’re hosting a weekly contest over there and this week’s prize is a harcopy of Sandra Brown’s The Alibi. All you have to do is comment to any post during the week to be entered into the drawing, so head over!
Also, in case you missed it, Allison Brennan gave a great interview at Writer Unboxed this past week. It’s a three-part interview, worth skimming back through. I love Allison’s interviews because she’s always so forthecoming and honest with her answers. And she’s a wonderful inspiration for all of us still struggling toward that first sale.
And for those of you interested in contests, Karin Tabke had a few things to say about them last Friday at Murder She Writes. Worth looking at if you’re thinking about entering or are currently trying to interpret those elusive comments.