Gardening and Writing…
Can they possibly have anything in common?
The warm days this week enabled us to take a stroll through the
yard, another put-our-butts-in-the-writing chair avoidance tactic. We found a
slew of winter weeds scattered throughout the landscape. Some tiny-leafed,
prostrate thing has taken over a portion of the easement making it the greenest
it has been in years. Buckhorn plantain spills out between the path stepping
stones. Flat rosettes of chickweed carpet the stone gully in the backyard, and
henbit, with its scalloped leaves and purple stems, juts out of the grass—or at
least what passes for grass in the lawn.
We’re letting the unidentified weed taking over the easement and
the lawn. It’s green, low growing, and doesn’t look like it would need much mowing.
But after an afternoon of surfing weed identification web sites (another
avoidance tactic), we’ve come to the conclusion that we might have to dig out
this patch of weeds and eradicate it every other spot we find. You see, if
we’ve identified it correctly, we’re harboring shot weed, also known as hairy
bittercress. Oh, it looks innocent enough, but when it sets seeds the slightest
touch will send hundreds of seeds shooting out in a three-foot radius across
the lawn into flowerbeds and pathways looking spots to hide and root.
Fighting weeds in the garden is a full-time task. It starts in
early spring with digging out winter weeds like plantain, chickweed, and henbit
from the paths and flower beds. By the time we get those eradicated the
dandelions rear their yellow heads. After that it’s pigweed and purslane and
nutsedge and Canadian thistles and Jimson weed and ground ivy and goose grass.
Spring and summer progress marked by an army of weeds marching through the
garden. We hoe and pull and mulch and spray, and they just keep coming. The
only thing that keeps them under control is persistent daily effort—and maybe a
hard, hard freeze.
Like the cycle of weeds in the garden, writers face different
challenges along every stage of our careers. As soon as we think we have a
handle on our craft and profession something new springs up and surprises us.
The beginning writer’s weeds might be learning the basics of the craft or
finding that story idea or dealing with writer’s block. For some it’s getting
to the end of the book, or figuring out what to do with the sagging middle. For
the more skilled, unpublished writers the weeds that need pulling could be
social networking, getting an agent, or getting published. Whatever the weeds
in your writer yard there’s one universal truth—they will always be there. Our
job is to figure the best way to control them.
We’re not beginning writers. We know how to write. That has been
reinforced with a number of contest placements. We have a good grasp of the
skills and have been published. We know our stories and the characters. We even
have books waiting in the wings to be written. But we still have writing weeds
to pull—BIG ones.
We haven’t finished our series—yet.
We want to write in several genres, which presents branding problem and
sometimes an identity crisis.
While we have some social networking and internet connections there isn’t a
large following wanting our books—one of the biggest weeds for a lot of
Currently, we spend more time blogging than writing the books.
Gertrude Jekyll, one of the most important
British landscape designers and writers, once said, “There is no spot
of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state
as may give an impression of beauty and delight. It cannot always be done
easily; many things worth doing are not done easily; but there is no place
under natural conditions that cannot be graced with an adornment of suitable
Gertrude’s advice applies not only to the garden, and all those
weedy patches, but to writing as well. The road to success isn’t easy, but we
can accomplish it. We can transform those bare, ugly pages into something
overflowing with suitable vegetation (the best words and story we can make).
When we finally reach that goal it’s worth the work. So, pull those weeds out
of your writing garden and create something beautiful!
We’re going to try this year to get rid of our biggest weed and
finish our next book.
What are the writing weeds that are stopping you from creating
your masterpiece? Do you have a plan to pull them out?
While you figure out what weeds to attack here’s an excerpt from
the first book in our series.
In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon
for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society
mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her
shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most
important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.
Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and
would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of
her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming.
He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a
relationship—professional or personal.
Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has
planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the
secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the
power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.
The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her
mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”
With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to
death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered
contents of her purse, and started to leave.
“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves
deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.
Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest
increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.
He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the
dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft,
rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thick thighs. Muscled
male thighs. Spiked heels hung at an odd angle, toes jutting through the shoe straps.
The same shoes she’d been wearing.
The alley tipped. Shaw leaned against the dumpster to steady
himself. He shook his head to clear the vision, then slowly moved his gaze over
A pair of steel-blue eyes stared out of a chiseled face edged with
a trim salt-and-pepper beard. Shaw whirled around scanning the alley.
Where was the woman? And who the hell was this guy?
Terrified, Shaw fled.
The dying man called out, “You’re cursed. Forever.”
C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.
They have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors.
They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.