Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some of My Best Friends Are Plants: A Short Memoir

My memoir: Now available on Amazon

I have finally done it. I have published my memoir. Or sort of, anyway. This isn't the kind of epic tome that waxes poetic about a sullen childhood or life of crime or six marriages, three of which were to political figures who left me in puddles of tears. Although that would certainly make for interesting reading, it is not my story. My story is about plants.

As the title denotes, it is a short memoir, about the equivalent of 40 paperback pages. So as you can well imagine, it is not my entire life's story. (I am not so young as to fill only 40 pages with life.) Instead, think of it as a slice of pie, a little wedge of who I am and why I am such a bad gardener.

Come to think of it, the memoir does not answer the bad gardener question. That's because I have no idea why I am a bad gardener. But there it is in print -- or in e-ink -- admitting to the world my shortcomings and heartless (albeit unintentional) slaughter of many, many innocent plants.

Mostly, however, it's a story of how plants have been a part of my life from the beginning, and how my relationship with them went from one of perhaps confusion to one of tight friendship. Yes, I talk to my plants. There. I've said it. You can take that as a sign of lunacy, or you can accept it for what it is: a sign of lunacy.

Bottom line, plants don't talk back. They are very good listeners. And they never once criticized my out-loud readings to them. In fact, I do believe they rather enjoyed hearing my memoir recitations. I'm pretty sure I even saw my ficus smile, and that is no easy task. (He has cabin fever and is impatiently awaiting warmer weather so he can hang out on the back deck once again.)

So there you have it. The memoir is complete and is available on Amazon for the mere pittance of 99 cents. Why 99 cents, you ask? Haven't the Indie writers gotten over that whole 99 cent business? Yes, for the most part we have, but I felt like reminiscing. Besides, it's new and I'm excited about it and the ficus says that it's worth about 99 cents.

Here's where you find my new and profound work: Some of My Best Friends Are Plants.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Writing: The Surest Way to a Clean House

It is good to start writing early in the day.
If one is going to write anything creative, there are a few important steps one must follow. As an example, I will give my own account from just this morning. This should give any young and aspiring writer a good feel for how a professional writer starts her day.

Upon awakening, I think that I should indeed spend a good portion of the day writing. I have the first draft of a short memoir I am working on, and since we're not homeschooling this week in honor of spring (thanks to the snow, we're enjoying nature's little April Fool's joke right now), I figure I can really clean up that text and perhaps finish up on some essays. With all the good intent of the true professional, I first decide I must empty the dishwasher. Then I will be able to write with a clean conscience. Alas, a clean kitchen will be an even better motivator, surely. So I wash the last of the good dishes left from Easter's repast. Done.

Lo and behold, crumbs appear from nowhere beneath the dining room table. Certainly no good writing can get done with crumbs beneath a table. I sweep them up. Hmm.... what are those spots on the kitchen floor? Pomegranate juice? I must clean the floor now. Which leads me to dreaming about pomegranate juice and smoothies. It has been at least two hours since I enjoyed a smoothie. I must feed my brain if I am to be creative. So I prepare a delicious and healthful smoothie, drinking it all as I work through what must be written as soon as I.... totally scrub out the Vitamix container. And the drips on the counter. Oh, look. The sink is kind of icky from yesterday's cooking frenzy, and I can't forget to polish the sink's hardware. That would be neglectful. 

I now pass the laptop and make sure there are no new emails. I check my book sales. I browse Facebook to see if there are any new comments. Twitter? I must attend to any tweets sent my way -- it would be neglectful of me to not answer back. This is when I remember that my "Favorites" folder of website links that I kept on my old computer should be switched over to this one. After all, I've had this computer for about six months already. I must do this. Now. 

Good. Now my slate is clean. And it will be even cleaner if I throw in a load of laundry. 

It is now time for me to choose the location in which I will write. This varies greatly, depending on mood and weather and planet alignment. I have settled on the couch. No, I have not physically settled on it -- but I am standing before it, noticing that the cushion on which I most enjoy sitting is looking worn. It is a leather couch, and my husband is always begging me to vary my location so as to wear out the leather more evenly. So I decide to swap the cushions around, because I am a good wife that way.

You won't believe this, but there is a lot of change under there. And there are crumbs, some bird feathers which is odd because we don't let the parrots sit on the couch, and some construction paper. Oooh, look! A silver dollar. Vacuuming is necessary. With the cushions finally arranged the way I want them to be, I am ready to write. I fight the urge to clean and moisturize the leather at this time, because I am a responsible writer and I know the "butt in chair" philosophy. I have heard it many times. So I pick up my laptop and sit on the less comfortable but less worn cushion.

That, my friends, is when it is time for me to work on my book. And I will. As soon as I finish blogging.