Thursday, May 2, 2013

What is this sh!t?

I've been an organic gardener longer than I've recognized that I'm a writer. I've gardened in front yards, side yards, backyards. In my hubris I've grown sunflowers on a balcony in Switzerland overlooking an enormous field of sunflowers. I've even guerrilla gardened, which, for the uninitiated, is not growing guerrillas but rather gardening in random public areas that need a bit of pretty.

I've smiled, laughed, cried, gone numb, shouted in complete frustration, and fallen in love in my garden.  When the garden's in full bloom, I pass the time weeding and watering, rapt with attention to every leaf and bloom, fruit, veg, herb, insect, and bird, and I often think about my latest WIP and feel my way through how the next scene wants to play out.

Now, early May, my garden is not in full bloom. It's lying there sleeping under a very thick layer of composted cow manure reminding me of the story I'm working on. That story, like my garden, is lean and mean and right now buried under a thick layer of bullsh!t author insecurity because I've changed my writing method from channeled download to structure structure structure and, true to her personality, my main character stubbornly veers off course between my fingerfalls on the keyboard.

Back to my garden. I thought I was doing my garden a favor. Years ago, in another garden, I did this very thing, adding composted manure to my garden, or so I thought. Now my memory comes back that years ago that composted manure was mixed with topsoil before I laid it on my garden beds.  This recent delivery of cow manure is simply composted cow manure from organically fed cows. There's minimal smell and it is indeed composted, but it's also thick and solid and mixed with hay or straw or some other unwieldy long grass that winds around the tiller blades and grinds them to a halt.  Plus, there's such a thick layer of cow manure that I cannot reach the soil underneath.  That sh!t is so thick I can't even hack my way through it.

If it were a writing/editing exercise, I'd offload it onto a separate document or maybe just delete the whole sh!tload of it and start again. It's not a writing exercise though. It's my garden space. Maybe there's a lesson in here. Maybe in my writing I'm expecting too much perfection from a first draft.

Or maybe, next time, I'll get my compost from a modern unicorn and my stories will write themselves.

For more information on organic gardening, go here:
For more information on guerrilla gardening, go here:
For more information on a 1936 modern unicorn, go here: