Use what you have in your garden

A recipe for writing?

I have two chive plants in my herb garden. I have a sage, oregano and thyme which all have returned this spring. And, for you climate changes doubters out there, my rosemary plant came back this spring. I have had a rosemary plant every summer for ten years and each winter it has died. This year, I checked it and saw new growth. It has survived the mild winter in the Midwest for the first time ever.



It has occurred to me that my advocacy of the use of “using your mind garden to produce your own unique story” may ultimately come down to money. What doesn’t? I find it works not to outsource your creativity, process, inspiration, validation in order to to write, in order to find your way as a writer. I primarily use my own mind, which is free and always open. It works for me. It may or may not work for you. Although, It may work for me because I have had not a choice but to make it work.

It is?

Over the course of my writing, starting just out of college in the mid 80’s until now, I have not been able to spend a ton on money on it. I could have, but my kids needed to eat. So, I think out of pure necessity I had to devise my own belief system, which aligned to life as a whole. I did not have the time or money to take seminars, workshops or fly overseas to retreats. I ain’t pissed. If fact, the years that I am referring to when I was raising a family produced a human being who has something worthwhile to share. I did occasionally get back to writing short stories and always kept a journal, but was nowhere close to being able to plan a couple hours a day “writing”.

The green stuff is always a part of it

How do my chives figure into all that? Well, they are green, like US dollars. The lack of which left me recently without the ability to hire an editor, which had temporarily halted my 5 novels in 5 years plan. A plan that I hope ultimately produces some more green stuff, and I don’t mean chives. For the first time since my wondering post college years, I had time to write. Unfortunately, I felt stuck due to lack of funds and direction. Then it occurred to me to practice what I preach. I had written a series of short stories called Altonstreet and Philpatrick. Like the herbs in my garden, I could use them for free. So I headed to my garden and got to work.



                                                                                                                                   Once used by Altonstreet

Here is where I brilliantly tie it all together.

I wanted to make pesto earlier this week, partly to feed 2 of those adult children I mentioned. I could not afford to pay to go to a weekend writing seminar i.e. buy pine nuts. To make matter worse, I had no way to get to Italy and be inspired at the grave of a dead Italian poet, i.e. my basil wasn’t ready. So, I found a recipe for pesto using chives and toasted walnuts i.e. I began a short story using my old characters, Altonstreet and Philpatrick. The chives were already in my garden and the walnuts were way, way cheaper than pine nuts. I used what was at hand, what my mind garden had ready and waiting.

The pesto with chives and walnuts was quite good. The short story is titled “Altonstreet & Philpatrick receive a letter” and made me laugh out loud a couple time, which is good because that was my intent with the story. So, I took my own advice, fed my mind, body and spirit on the cheap. And this years’ garden is just getting started!



That was brilliant, wasn’t it?


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