Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finding the Fertilizer

I enjoy writing and it is a great way for me to while away my retirement days.  But, for some reason, there are days when I just don't feel like writing. No, I can't call it writer's block because my mind is a veritable turbine of chaotic thoughts; if this story is causing problems, I can move on to another. No, this is something totally different.

It is just like in the garden.  I planted peas waaaay back in mid-April and figured they'd be up and going strong by the end of April.  They didn't break ground until last week -- for a hint of my disgust, look at today's date.  I had anticipated them starting to bloom by now, not just starting to creep out of the ground.  At the current pace, the summer's heat is going to cook them peas (if I get any) right on the vines.  In other words, I probably won't get many.

What happened? Simple. I didn't water them, waiting for Mother Nature to unleash her magical storms since the weatherman kept threatening with rain.  It did rain, to the west, to the north, to the east and to the west of me... but not in my backyard.  You think I'm kidding -- I'm not.  We have rough, heavy duty storms roll into the area and I get all excited about it ... only to watch it scurry north, south as they race from west to east or dissipate completely before getting here.  Last summer my son and I could feel the weather changing as we sat on the porch; the wind picked up, it darkened and we ambled out onto the road to see what was coming from the west.  It was pitch black and he figured his house (about 8 mi away in the general direction of the storm) was being pummeled. They (the weather service) were telling us to take shelter; the alarm went off which is a mere 1/2 mile away.

Then it was over.  Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. etc etc etc

The storm had eased around us, taking a northern route of only about 2 miles away.  My nephew's house had rain so torrential he thought the swimming pool was going to overfill.  Uh, we didn't even feel the moisture in the air ... but we could smell it.  Now, by my son's house, the community had approximately 24 trees brought down, part of a building collapsed and several electric lines were in dire need of repair.  He was without electricity for almost six hours.

Anyway, if I wait for Nature to do its thing, my plants die.  They struggle to find the fertilizer and the water they need to grow.

It is the same with my writing.  There are times I feel I am writing in a vacuum very similar to my house's locale.  The ideas, the thoughts, the sparks are all there, swirling around me but just outside my reach.  Yes, my writing is like that quaint little black-and-white farm house in the Wizard of Oz, but I just can't seem to grasp that fertilizer and really make it stand out.

I want that tornado to grab my story and twirl it around in the air and shake everything loose and when it is done, drop it right smack dab in the middle of a wonderful, colorful world where the heart leaps at the turn of every page.

People will tell you not to write a lot of fluff into your story, but you know what?  If you discover the fertilizer as you stretch your writing skills, fluff isn't what you'll get -- a wondrous story filled with amazing things for your reader will come into existence.

Now it is time for me to go weed the peas, water them again and then come back and weave some wondrous words into a glorious tale.

Until next I ramble...

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