Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden. (from the movie Being There)

I want to say something about writing practice and tending gardens and how like a garden our writing, our creativity must be tended, nourished, watered, in order for it to thrive….  but I’ve never been very good a metaphors. Or gardens. But I am good a finding pictures of hollyhocks to share with you, and I am good at creating space for your writing.  For tonight we’ll play with words, scribble sentences, ponder prose, and practice poetry. We’ll risk blooming our stories, our poetry, our rants and our raves, our manifestos.

A story is like the blossoming of a flower. Or an onion. layers unfurling, or revealing layer after layer.  See, I told you I’m not good a metaphors.  Just think about flowers in your writing, actual flowers.  In San Diego I think of the orange birds of paradise, bougainvillea, pink and white oleander, and the purple flowers of ice plant. Here in Albuquerque at this time of year, our landscape is dotted with hollyhocks and sunflowers.  Both seem to grow right out of the cracks in the sidewalk, or in the alleys.  Defiant.  Determined to not just survive in this high desert, but thrive, maybe even show off a bit.

Join me tonight, June 26 at 5:45 pm.  We’ll write for an hour. That may be an hour you would not have otherwise used for writing….   an hour to think about the landscapes in your stories and how that informs the tale, the characters, the feel of the place.

We’ll write about hollyhocks and community gardens, bosques and beaches, sand and gravel, and the scent of Spanish Broom.  How would you describe the backyards of your youth?  Were there thick green lawns and backyards edged by a woods? Or dusty dirt paths near the river?  Was there are pond or a lake nearby?  Did you mother tend a garden?  plant flowers in pots ? or right into the ground?   If you’re writing fiction, think about your characters’ gardens…  what do they tend? what are they hoping will bloom?