Harvest Time


Now that the garlic is harvested, I’m back in the garden picking string beans. Since my master gardener husband,Wayne ,does not use pesticides (“No Syn” -synthetics- he calls it) the weeds are bold and intrusive making the task of finding the beans even more challenging.

Naturally, as I was combing through the weeds to find the beans, I thought of how this all reminds me of my writing. Some beans are right there shouting to be picked; others are buried under layers as if protected by caring kin ; some are camouflaged by the green weeds; some are not quite ready; some are in bunches as if they are partying while others  are hanging by themselves. The ripe ones are all plump and green and ready to jump into the pan with the garlic.

I figure the beans are like the memories and scenes I am retrieving for my memoir. Some are popping up like kernals in a popcorn maker, while others require more combing and digging. Sometimes the ripest and best ones are deeply buried amidst the weeds and require more effort to retrieve. But they’re all ready to jump into my story . I am finding so many memories popping out during the Summer Workshop I am taking with Linda Joy Myers, more than I know what to do with, as we move along shaping our scenes into a story.

I figure the weeds are the things that get in my way..my inner critic, writer’s block, use of cliches, adjectivitis. I have to see them all for what they are and keep combing and digging past them until I find my treasure.

Literary Agent Nathan Bransford  has  a great link on his blog post this week from Author Janet Fitch -10 Writing Tips That Can Help Anyone which addresses the importance of ” writing the sentence, killing the cliche, writing in scenes”. It is an excellent summary.

In the words of Orison Swett Marden,” The more one sows, the greater the harvest”..

The harvest is bountiful this year- the beans are ripe and delicious. I’m hoping my scenes and memories can also yield a bountiful harvest. It seems they are ripening and ready for the picking.

How is your harvest going?


  1. says

    I just ordered a half-dozen copies of my manuscript to send to my first crop of beta readers, so I feel that I am in the harvesting stage at last! I love your gardening metaphors. Just beautifully written, Kath.

  2. says

    That is sooo exciting Lynne that you are in the harvesting stage..finally! If you need another crop” of beta readers, count me in. Thanks for your comments .. it gives me hope.

    • says

      Well,I nearly did,Arlene.We’ve had the hottest summer on record-ever according to Sam Champion on Good Morning America. Thanks for your comments!

  3. says

    What a delightful word picture you’ve used, Kathy! I suppose writing IS like gardening; some seasons, the beans (scenes) fairly pop, while other times, you feel you’re harvesting nothing but weeds. Thanks for the reminder to be patient and wait for that bountiful harvest!

    • says

      Yes,Deb, it seems like so many things in life do relate to writing,but I do find a particular connection with gardening and sweating it out in the fields to my writing life. Thanks for your comments.

  4. says

    This is such a great example of metaphor here, too Kathy. Thinking of how our writing is like a garden works in so many ways too–sometimes there are volonteer plants who show up without our knowledge–a free gift from the universe. That could be compared to some of the stories that end up branching off of something that we write, a story that has a life of its own and comes into being almost without our help. The creative process is wonderful, isn’t it? (But then there are the stories that need lots of work.) Yet, to create is such a blessing.

  5. Marjorie Webb says

    What a wonderful piece you have written, Kathy, using the beans in your garden as an example. I was so excited to find it in my Inbox this morning; I just had to share with you that when I first awoke early this morning there was a scene from my childhood coming forth begging to be written. Of course, I arose and got busy with the day putting that memory aside UNTIL I found your delightful post about your garden and the beans ready to jump in the pot with the garlic. Thank you for reminding me that I must write that scene before it slips quietly back into the weeds of my forgetfulness. I hope to be able to share it with you in our next class together ; )

    • says

      I am so happy to hear from you. Glad to hear the “beans” spurred you on in your story! I agree when the stories start begging to be told, we have to listen. I am looking forward to hearing more about it in September. Enjoy the rest of your summer and thanks for your comments. Kathy

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