If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Organic Doesn’t Have To Mean Manure

Let what happens in your story emerge organically from the characters or the story itself. I’ve read that in books on writing and I’ve heard it in writing classes. Like Aphrodite rising from the sea, hands over strategic body parts, coasting to the shore on a half shell, that’s what the advice brings to my mind. As a nurse, I’ve learned much about organs, what’s organic and what’s chemical. None of that knowledge correlates with story parts. I can see a relationship between what’s humanly organic and organic food or gardening.

After my husband died, I moved into a condominium because I didn’t want the hassle of dealing with a house and garden as well as two teenagers and a job as a nurse manager on a neuroscience unit. I didn’t realize how much I missed a garden until my guests had to move aside houseplants so they could see each other or sit down.

Once my kids were independent, I moved into a new house with a naked garden. I had all the furniture I needed plus town water and sewage so I concentrated on the yard. I traveled from garden center to garden center checking out shrubs and trees. Once I had the bones of the garden in place, though still small, I focused on beauty, on filling space to please the eye and nose.

Everything tempted me. Forget a design in blue and white, or red and green, or even matching size and texture. I dug, planted, watered, and fertilized ending up with a mixture of New England wild flowers and an English cottage garden. This year, I’m branching out into fruit trees, brambles, and vegetables.

Until now, all the spade work, weeding, and maintenance were done by me. I know what the soil looks like two feet down, and where the sand and stone layers start. I can tell which plants will emerge from dormancy first, too fast often and be bitten by late frosts. I’ve seen where the sun shines ten hours a day during the summer. It took me six years of a hands-on approach to learn the nature of my yard. I’m sure I’ll still be surprised if I follow through and transplant evergreen shrubs planted in too stiff a row during my first autumn here.

I don’t use Scotts 4 step approach. My goal is not a weed free lawn. I like buttercups and clover. Grass is the mat that sets off the rest of my plants. I favor compost that comes from the Maine coast and a mulch of salt marsh hay smelling of the sea. Wind gusts felled local trees but the salt marsh hay remained in place over the strawberries and raspberries.

Could this learning that comes through the hands, from the senses, and from the touch of wind and sun on the skin be like the understanding I need to make plot points rise organically from within my story? It took me a long time to know how to work with the soil and climate I have. I think I’d be very lucky for everything in my story to work organically in the first draft. Incidentally, most nurses will say, there comes a time in their careers when they no longer need to rely on what they learned in school. Without having to think about it, they draw on years of experience to understand what a patient is trying to tell them. More experienced writers and editors know what I had to chew over and digest to grasp.


No comments: