I have to admit I don't have a very green thumb (hanging
head in shame). Oh, I can keep my indoor plants alive most of the time. But do
they thrive? Lately, not so much. While working on a new book, I've managed to kill
off all but one of my African violets. And she's not blooming.
On the other hand, outdoors Mother Nature is really
showing me up! The azaleas in front of my house have about finished for this
spring and ditto for the pretty white viburnum. But the rhododendrons are in
full bloom. The day lilies are growing like weeds. And the purple irises are
coming out now.
Hmm. Kind of like the characters in the book I'm
writing. Months ago I submitted a proposal but, as things always happen sooner or
later, my story people have since taken over. One day my hero suddenly came up
with an amazing line all by himself, which delighted me. With that he was alive,
off and running in a surprising direction.
As always, I'm tempted to meddle, but I know by now it's
better to sit back with the laptop—and let the story happen. A few days
ago I finished (or my “people” did) the first full draft of the
book. Weeping. That's a good sign too, right?
Still, like Mother Nature sprinkling new growth with a
gentle rain, that’s only a first step. Now that my characters have let me find
out who they really are, the fun has just begun. Next, I get to whack that
manuscript into perfect shape, using an imaginary hoe to clear out all the
weeds. What’s that, you say? Excuse me. My heroine, a professional
household organizer, is telling me there’s no such thing as perfection. A place for everything and everything in its
place was her motto—until she learned the hard way that we're all just human,
doing the best we can. She’s right. That, like my hero speaking
up for himself, can lead you to some pretty interesting places, actually.
Anyway, Mother Nature’s not perfect either. Last winter's
cold weather killed every bit of the lovely heather along the road by my mailbox.
Sad, but She did the best She could. Like me with my African violet?
I may not be a Plant Whisperer, but just as real
gardeners sow seeds and nurture what comes up until it blooms, in writing a new
book I'm a Word Whisperer!
Here's a peek at the cover of my July book.
I hope you'll like that story and the next one too.
Has a character surprised you lately as you write or read?
How does your garden grow this spring? Beautifully, I hope.