Saturday, May 15, 2010


Out with the old, In with the new.

Did I mention a few weeks ago that we'd had a couple of trees removed in our backyard a few weeks ago? They were large trees: a 70 foot maple and a volunteer cherry that had to be nearly 50 feet. The maple had root problems (rot of some kind) and we decided to take it out before it took out our house or our neighbor's house. Preventive medicine and all that. The cherry was just a messy nuisance, though a decent shade provider. Not to worry, though, we still have the giant fir tree and a second (now trimmed) volunteer cherry.

Removing those trees opened up the backyard and allowed the morning sun in. We still have plenty of shade, especially in the afternoon, but that little bit of sun has made all the difference to the other plants in the yard. The rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas are thriving as never before and the lawn actually has a chance to grow grass instead of moss.

But the best part is that now we have the opportunity to put our mark on the yard. My husband has always wanted a japanese maple, so off to the nursery we went! No one will ever accuse us of thinking small--we ended up ordering seven trees. They were delivered on Thursday. I should mention that only two of them will be planted in the ground; the rest are destined for containers. The two we plan to plant in the ground are a beautiful Bloodgood and a Sango Kaku (Coral Bark). The others are a Autumn Moon (which may end up in the ground), a Golden Full Moon, a Katsura, an Orange Dream, and a Shaina (which came already planted in a wooden box). Even though planting is a bit of work, I love the smell of the rich loamy earth.

So far I've planted the Katsura:

and the Golden Full Moon:

What does this have to do with writing? Well, spring always makes me think of new beginnings. Of possibilities. Of change.


I know I'm generalizing and over-simplifying, but isn't change at the heart of most compelling stories? Finding the right change--or the right reason for change--for our characters is one of the things that makes story telling fun. And while I'm still getting used to thinking of myself as a writer, I have no problem at all calling myself a storyteller; human beings have been telling each other stories since the dawn of history.

This week I did a lot of thinking, mixed in with the planting (I planted other things, too, during the week). Not a lot of writing (again), but the characters are taking shape in my mind.

How did you do this week? Boast about your accomplishments, or let us commiserate with you on your setbacks. But either way, enjoy the lovely spring day!


Genene Valleau said...

LOL, Debbie!

My plan for check-in this week was to start with the statement, "My yard is looking pretty good." Because that's where my focus was this week also. When my son and I did major remodeling to the house this past year, one side of the yard got trashed. Now that we're having some nice weather, the yard is getting a remodel too.

I made some forward progress on my novella--a bit of editing and more research, since I realized what was slowing me down was needing to know how an inventor thinks and what his workshop looks like in detail. It's a journey into a new world!

The yard is going to have to take a back seat to writing this week. It's the middle of May and I have much to write!

Paty Jager said...

Beautiful trees, Debbie! I'll take a couple over here. All I have are juniper, one small ornamental plum which is surrounded by deer netting and two apricot trees my dad started and gave me but are only about five feet tall and have yet to bear any blossoms.

Planting is like sowing writerly seeds in your stories. Anything you do is inspiration when you are actively thinking about a story or characters.

I worked a lot last week on promotion stuff, but I"m up to about 18,000 words on the WIP and each day I work on it the characters and plot get cleared in my head. I was telling my friend about it this week when we went out to lunch and she said, "I haven't seen you this excited about a book in a long time." I'm hoping that's a good omen.

Katie said...

Ooh, gorgeous trees! I love yard work. I only got to pull weeds yesterday, but it's kind of fun still. ^_^ Your yard sounds very lovely.

I've had a gallon of papers to write in school, so I haven't been able to get back to my story this week. :( Sad face. But I've still been writing! I wrote a poem (also part of a school assignment, but waaay more fun), so at least my creative writing got a little bit of exercise among the boring expository stuff. Ugh.

23 days until I graduate! I just have to remember that and keep hanging on!!

I am happy for everyone's progress and excitement over their books. XD What's the point of writing if we're not excited about our story? ;) Good luck this week, ladies!

Anonymous said...

I wrote nothing. I didn't really even think about it. I've got other "stuff" on the brain this last few months. But, I did work in the yard and ended up with a NASTY sunburn. *smacking myself in the head* To me, May doesn't equal sunburn weather. What an idiot. :)

Yay on everyone's progress. Yay for Paty's excitement for her new WIP. ;)

And I'm so excited for Katie to graduate so she can have a new kind of freedom. She's going to a poetry slam this Saturday where she has to read her poem, "dramatically" in front of a bunch of freaks, I mean, people, at the library. This is for part of her grade, so GO KATIE!!

Okay, shutting up now. :)