Thursday, May 31

I'm a Gardener



Do you know what I discovered in the past week or so? My favorite part of gardening is planting seeds, watching them emerge, and waiting to see what I'm going to get.

I haven't planted seeds in a couple of years. Instead I've bought three-gallon plants at the local farmers market and transplanted them into my flower garden.But,this year I picked up a couple of flower packets and put the seeds in the dirt. I have sweet peas, Icelandic poppies, and wildflowers in a patio upright flower box. I planted chamomile in a Terra-cotta planter and sunflowers along my fence line.

Every day I rush out to see how much they've grown. I'm much more excited about this year's garden than I have been for the past couple of years.

Then this week, I read a Rolling Stone interview with George R.R. Martin in which he was asked about plotting or pantsing (how many times have we asked or been asked that) and here was his most wonderful reply:

I have names for those types of writers: I call them architects and gardeners. The architect, before he drives a nail into the plank, has all the blueprints and knows what the house is going to be like and where the pipes are going to run.

Then there are the gardeners, who dig a hole in the ground and plant a seed and water it--with their blood sometimes--and something comes up. They know what they planted but there are still lots of surprises.

How great is that analogy?? He goes on more so if you can get a hold of last week's Rolling Stone, totally worth it. 

And for the record, I am a gardener. When I started Bix, all I knew was that he was an only child of a single mother and they were moving to a small town. And that he was short. That's it. Oh, and that he liked to blog. I was four or five chapters into the original version before I realized they were in witness protection and Darby became a lesbian because I didn't want the first person Bix connected with to be "the" girl--that'd be too easy. And the rest just evolved as I wrote it. 

Give me a seed and I'll grow you a book.  


 

13 comments:

  1. What a cool analogy. I'm a gardener, too, dirty hands and all, but I know sometimes I wouldn't mind if an architect came in and told me what in the hell to write! :-) Great post, Margie.

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    1. I always think the architects miss out on the fun. I have a friend who plots out in depth what each chapter will bring. Heck, if I did that, I'd consider it done because all the mystery would be gone.

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  2. What a wonderful post! Loved this. I am so a gardener (always have been) and can fully relate to both Mr. Martin's analogy and yours. Love your closing line. It's always been my way of writing. I admire the architects out there for their precision but don't think I can ever become one. Too use to careening out of control and seeing where I end up, LOL!

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    1. Thanks for coming by Mae. I love the careening out of control myself, especially when your fingers can't keep up with what's happening in your head.

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  3. I'm a gardener...but with a plan. Does that make me a landscaper? Because I know what I think will happen, but the books still surprise me - and take unknown turns as I write.

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    1. Aha, a landscaper--that's what I want to be when I grow up!

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    2. I like the landscaper idea. The best of both worlds. I landscape for about four-five chapters at a time and then reevaluate

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  4. Great post!
    I am a gardner, both in writing and also in the land outside. Plotting ruins all the fun for me.

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    1. That's pretty much how I feel about it, too, D.

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  5. Nice post Margie! Avid gardener here. I tried being an architect once and it was a waste of time. Book came out totaly different. And I'm in love with the last line of your post.

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    1. Thanks Shawn. I kind of like that last line myself. It would make a good coffee mug of t-shirt ;)

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  6. Super post, Margie. I really enjoyed the analogy. As for which name I claim??? Maybe that's my problem--I'm a little of both. Thanks.

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    1. Mr. Martin also said he was a little of both, more gardener than architect however. I kind of like what Kristi said above, that she's a landscaper because she does both :)

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