I’ve had a lot of irons in the fire lately, which is just Fancy Blacksmith Talk for: whoa, nelly. Soon I’ll be able to talk to you about the irons. But for now, I’ll talk about Freckle Face.
This is Freckle Face:
Little Miss R chose this plant to replace a daisy plant that dried up and died this summer. Supposedly, daisies love sun. Plant them in full sun, and they’ll be happy. The one problem? If they have to live through the hottest July ever. Plants after plant dried up and had to be replaced. Our poor daisies were practically Mogwai, shrinking away from the bright light. (Just to be safe, we never watered them after midnight.)
In a bold move that reveals how little suited I am to gardening, I recently decided to replant our dead daisies again. Little Miss R came with me to the plant nursery, and when we found the daisy pots she made the following excellent points:
*we haven’t been able to get daisies to grow, so
*let’s plant something different.
“Ok,” I said. “Here’s another daisy-looking-thing. It’s red, though. Red is different.”
“No,” she said. “Something REALLY different.”
For a moment I thought she was going to seize upon a chunk of decorative rock (which, hey, at least we wouldn’t be able to kill). But then she found the lilies instead. This particular lily was her favorite; “Freckle Face” really is the strain’s nickname, according to the tag stuffed into the flowerpot.
Usually the toddler doesn’t make the household decisions. But in this case—why not? She was right that daisies hadn’t done well. And this kind of lily is supposed to be tolerant of sun and drought. So Freckle Face came home with us, and so far it’s aliiiiive.
Will Freckle Face grow any better than the daisies? I have no idea. But for now, it’s doing well in the space we’ve given it to grow. Every morning when the sun hits those little spotted blooms, they open right up.
Fun though it is to discuss my ignorance of flowers, I’m going somewhere with this. (You knew that.) In this case, we’d been trying and trying to get the same type of plant to grow in the same place. When it didn’t work, we replanted, because it was supposed to work, dang it! Maybe we needed to water them more often! Or cover them during the hottest hours! Or something! It took a bored toddler to remind me: it’s ok to try something new.
So. I’m also trying something new with the book I’m working on now. My usual method is to draft straight through from beginning to end, but this time I kept getting ideas for scenes and bits of dialogue that could work in later parts of the book. Instead of filing those away for later, I’ve started allowing myself to hop to different parts of the story.
By writing whatever’s giving me the freshest ideas, I’m able to write more quickly and it seems more fun. Ok, yes, the work in progress is a patchwork of random scenes with missing pieces. But when it’s time to stitch that patchwork together, I’ll have a finished book in sight. So I think it’ll work. I hope so, anyway. For now, it fits into the space I’ve given it to grow.
Have you tried something new lately—or approached a project in a new way? Or, most mysterious of all, have you gotten daisies to survive this summer? Either way, please do tell.