Off the top of my head

Sorry to be late with this. I wrote it last night and was looking for a suitable picture to attach when I was sidetracked by a conversation on talley sticks, and taxation then and now. Yup, that really does happen ’round here sometimes. Much fun was had by all. 🙂

But I wrote, continuing in the spirit of whatever is on my mind, about gardening.

If weeding burned a lot of calories, I’d be sylph-like, especially as I actually like it, which is not true of most other forms of exercise. If sitting around reading and writing was healthy for the body, I coulda been an Olympic contender!

I’m not at all tidy by nature, but I enjoy being down on my kneely pad plucking weeds out from among the plants I want to keep. Some of the “weeds” are actually plants I do want to keep in other places, such as California poppies and foxgloves. Victoria does tend to lead to a bountiful garden.

This sort of peaceful activity — when the rugby players aren’t howling in the nearby park, or someone isn’t plying a leaf-blower — is a great time to let the creative mind drift around in the hope it’ll snag some useful flotsam. Except that’d mean I’d be looking for ideas other writers have tossed.

(From Wikipedia: Traditionally, Flotsam and jetsam are words that describe goods of potential value that have been thrown into the ocean. There is a technical difference between the two: jetsam has been voluntarily cast into the sea (jettisoned) by the crew of a ship, usually in order to lighten it in an emergency; while flotsam describes goods that are floating on the water without having been thrown in deliberately, often after a shipwreck.)

Hey, that’s the answer to the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” From other authors’ discards. I tossed one away the other day. If I could remember it I could wait to spot it in someone else’s book. 🙂

This is a splendid idea because there’s usually nothing wrong with the idea; it’s just not for me.

But I get good ideas, too. My one short SF story, The Fruit Picker came to me when I was picking raspberries. (I have raspberries coming into fruit in the garden here for the first time. I don’t know why I waited so long. I always grow raspberries.) But working down the row in the sun, picking the day’s crop, I came up with a world which had gone vegetarian, but then the plants objected to being eaten and used all kinds of tricks to avoid being harvested, so a fruit picker was actually a fruit hunter.

So I enjoy this time of year in the garden, but it’s rough on the hands even if I use gloves. And, of course, I always end up unconsciously abandoning them at some point. They say we authors should have nice-looking hands at signings because people look at them but when the literacy signing at the RWA conference rolls around in July, my hands are a hopeless cause.

I’ll post a picture later in the day.

To our friend, the plants!

Jo

I put this in the Jo Beverley category, so we’ll see how that works.

12 thoughts on “Off the top of my head”

  1. Jo, I realise you’re an entire continent away…
    But any time you feel like taking on some New England weeds, you’ll receive a warm welcome on this side of N. America!
    I’m not so keen on weeding, but I do agree that when the gloved hands are busy down in the dirt, the brain is clicking along, building stories and characters!

    Reply
  2. Jo, I realise you’re an entire continent away…
    But any time you feel like taking on some New England weeds, you’ll receive a warm welcome on this side of N. America!
    I’m not so keen on weeding, but I do agree that when the gloved hands are busy down in the dirt, the brain is clicking along, building stories and characters!

    Reply
  3. Jo, I realise you’re an entire continent away…
    But any time you feel like taking on some New England weeds, you’ll receive a warm welcome on this side of N. America!
    I’m not so keen on weeding, but I do agree that when the gloved hands are busy down in the dirt, the brain is clicking along, building stories and characters!

    Reply
  4. From Pat Rice:
    Even if gardening doesn’t generate elaborate ideas, I think it brings the unconscious mind into more focus than usual, allowing us to look beyond the limitations of a scene we’re writing, for example. I don’t know about you, but I can easily stress out over almost nothing. Sitting in the garden with the birds singing (and the !#$%& blowers blowing) and the breeze tickling the leaves and sun beating down simply dissolves stress.
    I envy your raspberries. We left behind peaches, strawberries, and blueberries when we moved. Since the deer and other critters have even eaten our tomato plants here, I don’t see much hope of planting them in our new place!

    Reply
  5. From Pat Rice:
    Even if gardening doesn’t generate elaborate ideas, I think it brings the unconscious mind into more focus than usual, allowing us to look beyond the limitations of a scene we’re writing, for example. I don’t know about you, but I can easily stress out over almost nothing. Sitting in the garden with the birds singing (and the !#$%& blowers blowing) and the breeze tickling the leaves and sun beating down simply dissolves stress.
    I envy your raspberries. We left behind peaches, strawberries, and blueberries when we moved. Since the deer and other critters have even eaten our tomato plants here, I don’t see much hope of planting them in our new place!

    Reply
  6. From Pat Rice:
    Even if gardening doesn’t generate elaborate ideas, I think it brings the unconscious mind into more focus than usual, allowing us to look beyond the limitations of a scene we’re writing, for example. I don’t know about you, but I can easily stress out over almost nothing. Sitting in the garden with the birds singing (and the !#$%& blowers blowing) and the breeze tickling the leaves and sun beating down simply dissolves stress.
    I envy your raspberries. We left behind peaches, strawberries, and blueberries when we moved. Since the deer and other critters have even eaten our tomato plants here, I don’t see much hope of planting them in our new place!

    Reply
  7. From Sherrie:
    Jo, loved your analogy about ideas wafting off into the miasma, just waiting for some writer to pluck them from the air!
    Gardening is a wonderful rejuvenator, and to be able to eat the results of your labor is divine. But plants objecting to being eaten? And fruit hunters??? ROFLOL! I have several tomato plants I planted in whiskey tubs. I can just see them grasping the sides of their tubs and running away when I approach with my harvest basket! (snort)
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  8. From Sherrie:
    Jo, loved your analogy about ideas wafting off into the miasma, just waiting for some writer to pluck them from the air!
    Gardening is a wonderful rejuvenator, and to be able to eat the results of your labor is divine. But plants objecting to being eaten? And fruit hunters??? ROFLOL! I have several tomato plants I planted in whiskey tubs. I can just see them grasping the sides of their tubs and running away when I approach with my harvest basket! (snort)
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  9. From Sherrie:
    Jo, loved your analogy about ideas wafting off into the miasma, just waiting for some writer to pluck them from the air!
    Gardening is a wonderful rejuvenator, and to be able to eat the results of your labor is divine. But plants objecting to being eaten? And fruit hunters??? ROFLOL! I have several tomato plants I planted in whiskey tubs. I can just see them grasping the sides of their tubs and running away when I approach with my harvest basket! (snort)
    Sherrie Holmes
    http://www.holmesedit.com

    Reply
  10. I am not a gardener. What is the diametric opposite of a green thumb? Whatever–I have two of those thumbs and eight of those fingers. But my 78-year-old aunt, whose energy puts me to shame, swears that her gardening keeps her young. She keeps us supplied all summer with tomatoes, bean, melons, etc. Even she is not gardening today; it’s 99 here with a Heat Index of 104. Just breathing away from air-conditioned space is enervating

    Reply
  11. I am not a gardener. What is the diametric opposite of a green thumb? Whatever–I have two of those thumbs and eight of those fingers. But my 78-year-old aunt, whose energy puts me to shame, swears that her gardening keeps her young. She keeps us supplied all summer with tomatoes, bean, melons, etc. Even she is not gardening today; it’s 99 here with a Heat Index of 104. Just breathing away from air-conditioned space is enervating

    Reply
  12. I am not a gardener. What is the diametric opposite of a green thumb? Whatever–I have two of those thumbs and eight of those fingers. But my 78-year-old aunt, whose energy puts me to shame, swears that her gardening keeps her young. She keeps us supplied all summer with tomatoes, bean, melons, etc. Even she is not gardening today; it’s 99 here with a Heat Index of 104. Just breathing away from air-conditioned space is enervating

    Reply

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