Cultivating Tales or Gifts from the Garden

It’s October, one of my favorite months in my Southern Garden.  One of my favorite plants is my Confederate Rose.  It is not a plant you can go in any garden center and purchase. There may be a few professional sources I am unaware of, but to my knowledge this is a plant shared from gardener to gardener, a true gift of a heritage plant, something to be treasured.  I was blessed to receive cuttings from a neighbor and friend.  The provenance of this plant deepens my connection to it.  If I could walk you around my yard, the plants I treasure the most all have a similar provenance, seedlings or cuttings from a friend, or a carefully selected specimen given as a gift.  I realized recently that the same is true in my writing.  When I examine my work, I have to recognize that what I identify as my voice telling my tales has actually been cultivated much like my garden.  I have been a reader and lover of books for more years than I have been able to stand or walk on my own two feet.  The tales and voices of these countless books and authors undoubtedly shaped me as a writer.  The good and the bad experiences that come from living have given me seeds to cultivate into scenes and whole stories.  The people I encounter help to shape characters, I often graft traits from different folks into one character in a similar manner a gardener might graft a plant to give it strength or create a hybrid.  I recently read a blog that challenged writers to ask the question is your writing original and then gave some possible ways to interpret what original might mean.  When I thought about that I came to the conclusion that my tales are like many, good triumphs over evil, the main character grows and transforms into someone better, characters are flawed but have redeeming qualities, they are human just like us the readers.  So from that perspective I would say not original but cultivated. Just like that grafted plant that grows stronger and may even create a stunning hybrid bloom, I like to think so does my writing,

This buds white, turns pink and deepens red as the boom fades.

This buds white, turns pink and deepens red as the boom fades.

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