My Writing Roosters critique group had our zoom meeting last night to discuss my work-in-progress. As mentioned here and here and here, I was paralyzed with indecision for several weeks because I’d become convinced my story was an irredeemable hot mess. Guess what? It’s not! As one member said on our call, “I think maybe you were getting inside your own head.”
Me? Inside my own head? How could that possibly be?! 🤣 🤣 🤣
I’ve got some plotting issues to sort out, but the two main characters got a thumbs-up from the group. Whew. Color me noodly with relief.
Poppy blooming in front garden. May 16, 2020.
I chose the poppy image for this post because (1) it’s a very cheery and vibrant color and (2) last night one of my critique partners caught a reference to a previous manuscript about a girl named Poppy Valentine.
May 16, 2020
Color from the past
warm refuge on this gray day
one poppy two bees
I had poppy-envy yesterday as I walked the neighborhood. One yard was filled with happy orange poppies, bouncing in the breeze. Why hadn’t mine bloomed yet?
This morning, I looked out the window and saw two bursts of orange! And when I got closer with my camera, I saw the bees were also celebrating those cheery blooms.
Front yard. May 16, 2020.
Such a nice way to begin my weekend. Wishing everyone a blooming-good day!
Many people welcome and celebrate autumn’s arrival, and I agree there’s much to be said for cooler temperatures. However, I’m not a fan of stuff dying off. I get that it has to happen, but what makes my heart soar is the new growth and bright colors after long, dark winters.
So today I take another look back at the poppies from my front yard. Look at all that glorious color and all that potential for many more blooms!
On this final day of September, I celebrate the exuberant poppy.
Neither snow nor rain nor nasty blowing winds can keep a good poppy down.
Battered, but still standing proud.
I love me a fierce Poppy.
The February sunshine steeps your boughs
and tints the buds
and swells the leaves within.
~ William Cullen Bryant
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
~ Joseph Campbell
Because every step in the process is its own milestone.
Here’s to completed manuscripts!
I’ve spent the last couple hours working on my revisions that are moving along, but are also causing me a bit of angst as I struggle to achieve the vision I have for this middle-grade project. I just decided to take a break to put up a blog post and went to my photo files for an image. I chose a picture from a couple days ago of a poppy in bloom along with a lovely not-yet-bloomed bud. As I cropped the image, I considered blog post titles and immediately landed on Poppy and Potential Poppy. I’m embarrassed to confess that it took a few moments for this extremely relevant factoid to hit me:
The protagonist in the manuscript I’m revising is named Poppy.
Oy. Here’s hoping we both achieve our potential today.
Poppy downed by May hailstorm before it had a chance to bloom.
If we were to lose the ability to be emotional,
if we were to lose the ability to be angry,
to be outraged,
we would be robots.
And I refuse that.
~ Arundhati Roy
A garden is to be a world unto itself,
it had better make room
for the darker shades of feeling as well as the sunny ones.
~ William Kent
I worked in my garden today and experienced conflicting feelings. Why was I born into this life and society while others were born into regions of the world that are under constant assault? I’m no more exceptional than any of those people facing horrific circumstances. Why is that I can quietly work in my garden while others know only mayhem and violence?
At times, I felt guilty for my easy day outside under the blue sky.
However, I also felt satisfaction knowing my work would help living things thrive and that my efforts were keeping materials from the landfill. I reminded myself that I was creating beauty in the world and that beauty is a legitimate pursuit.
Last spring’s poppy blooms reminding me of the beauty yet to come.
Today, my garden made room for all the feelings.
Good thing I’m not planning on getting sent to prison
because if it’s true that Orange Is the New Black,
I’m in serious fashion trouble;
I look great in black and pretty close to dead in orange.
(I appear equally deadish in tan/beige which is what the inmates on the
show wear after they’ve been fully processsed into the system.)
I’m several episodes into Season 4 and am enjoying it more than
Season 3 which I thought was awful in a lot of ways.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Piper is best as a seasoning,
rather than an entree.
Most every other character is more compelling.
In fact, I can’t think of one who isn’t.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s the point.
Either way, I’m going to watch the rest of the season
and be grateful I can choose what I wear each day.
Because not all of us wear our orange as well as these poppies.
Happy poppies one day in May.