Thursday, May 17, 2012


Last year we planted some Brussels sprouts in the garden. They grew slowly, and by the end of the season they still had not yielded anything usable (they came close, though). So, we pretty much wrote off growing them ever again.

This spring, however, there came a surprise. After filling the garden with composted leaves in the fall, we swept away the debris to find two of the plants had survived the snow and cold. Strangely enough, the new shoots were growing out of the old, withered plants and have a great head start on the growing season.

I did some research and found that sprouts are one of the few vegetables that can survive a winter season, along with broccoli and kale. Although I'm not a fan of either of those vegetables it would be interesting to see them staying green in the midst of a blizzard.

Like the vegetable plants that survived the winter, writing can sometimes bring its own type of surprises. For example, a while back I talked about writing a bunch of stories and then letting them rest. I'm using this process again with another group of short stories (most of which will probably end up in my upcoming collection, Corridors).

Here's the surprise: some of this last group of short stories are now growing into novels. This is not something that was planned, but instead came out the organic nature of the writing stories for the fun of it. Who knows if there will be time to turn some of these into proper full-length books, but at least it is interesting to witness.

This is a process anyone can try that is involved in the creative arts. Although it may not work for everyone, it can lead to some interesting developments later on. For instance, musicians often have "jam sessions" and I've heard of several instances where full songs came out of such sessions.

Have you ever painted, drawn, played music, or written something for the fun of it and had an entire project develop out of it?

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