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July 08, 2009



"I'm not quite sure how the chipmunks fit into this metaphor."

If you ever figure this out, we will rule the world. :-)

Fun post!

cathy Light

This was great to read, and I will forward a link to it to my boyfriend and a gardening client - both of whom grew their won seedlings this year. Very nice reflections, and appreciated!- Cathy Light (Schenectady)

Donna Andrews

Miriam, when you talk about ruling the world...do you mean the writers or the chipmunks?

And thanks, Cathy. Just as long as my experience doesn't discourage anyone from trying the seed experience. Even with all those unsprouted seeds--must be the age of the seeds, not my skills, right?--I'm going to try this again next year.

N. J. Lindquist

Enjoyed reading this very much! I'm one of those writers with all kinds of seeds in storage. There is hope! :)

Donna Andrews

There is indeed hope! Take the seeds for We'll Always Have Parrots, for example--the book came out in January 2004, and I was already marinating it in 1997 when I submitted Murder with Peacocks to the St. Martins contest.


I have just read an extract from an interview with the singer/writer/poet Leonard Cohen where he too talks about writing and gardens.

I thought you might be interested by how he sees it.

"People talk about the fact that you've written songs that you've almost grown into as you get older. How did starting a career in your 30s inform what you were writing?

LC: I always had a notion that I had a tiny garden to cultivate. I never thought I was really one of the big guys. And so the work that was in front of me was just to cultivate this tiny corner of the field that I thought I knew something about, which was something to do with self-investigation without self-indulgence. Just pure confession I never felt was really interesting. But confession filtered through a tradition of skill and hard work is interesting to me. So that was my tiny corner, and I just started writing about the things that I thought I knew about or wanted to find out about. That was how it began. I wanted the songs to sound like everybody else's songs."

Kristina L.

Sounds like you don't have an indoor cat. I have 2 kitties who would have happily wreaked havoc on any plants I left out on the table. I once brought some roses in from the yard, and my kitty Rachael decided to nibble on the leaves.

I like the thought of ideas germinating. I keep a file of story ideas. Some make little sense, some would be hard to deal with, but I figure that I'll start with the ones that seem to be clamoring for my attention, and maybe some of the others will work out later. I've written 3 unpublished children's books.

PK the Bookeemonster

This is actually rather inspirational from two points: gardening and writing. I've never been a growing person (black thumb, no really). But sometimes you just get that urge but don't know how to take that first step. Having a "seed experiment" sounds so stress-free and if it doesn't work out, no harm no foul. Same with writing, if one were disposed in that direction. It doesn't have to be a published novel, just a "word experiment." :) Chipmunks = anything that kills that creative urge whether inside yourself or out. They may be cute and furry but still destroy.


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