Monday, September 22, 2008
Me and the GIANT SWEET POTATO
At heart, I'm sure I'm a fiction writer. All of my life, I've spun yarns for myself and anyone else who'd listen.
Yet working for the local newspaper, even though it started as a way to offset promo expenses for our books, gives me a unique satisfation. I get to tell other people's stories. Some people are so excited to have someone listen to what they have to say. Some people cry because the things they have to say are so important to them and they never thought they could say those things outloud, much less to a newspaper reporter.
The experience has given me a vantage point I never had before and of course, acres of fodder for future fiction. But it has crept into my heart right there alongside my fiction imaginings and I hate to think of my life NOT being a reporter anymore. Of course with the cost of everything higher than I ever recall, that won't happen anytime soon but sometimes I think about it. Having two careers that I'm passionate about can be REALLY demanding.
Which brings me to the GIANT SWEET POTATO.
A farmer (picture above) was telling me last week about how he'd grown this ginormous sweet potato (one of many). It was over 12 pounds and fed him and his wife for three days. I asked him his secret and he said, "grass clippings, my wife, a good tiller, and we planted the garden three times before anything took."
I thought about the perseverance it took to replant that garden THREE times. How many people would've given up after the first time? They would never have seen those HUGE yams.
I know; it's a sappy way of saying writers should be as persistent, willing to do what it takes to get to the place where they see themselves as authors.
But in telling the farmer's story I realized that we are all after the BIG yam. We don't always want to do what it takes to get it, but it could be out there for us if we rip everything up and try once more.