Pumpkin’s Progress

Hello, Scribe fans.  Susannah here.  I’m sorry to tell you that I am still not posting about commas.  But please don’t be disappointed.  The comma lessons will most likely commence in the fall.

Speaking of the fall, let me tell you an interesting factoid about my family.  We grow giant pumpkins.  Actually, it’s my husband and son who grow the giant pumpkins.  My participation is pretty much limited to not complaining because 50% of my back yard is covered in pumpkin vines (we live in the burbs — not on a farm!).  Last year they grew a 450 pounder, which took first place at our local fair.  It crushed all the competition in the “King of the Pumpkin Patch” competition, easily dwarfing the other pathetic gourds (sorry, 4H kids!) and garnering the top prize of fifty bucks. 

"Captain America," giant pumpkin in progress

Now, it’s not easy to grow a pumpkin of that size (even though 450 pounds is just a baby in the “real” world of giant pumpkinism.  I think the record is 1800 pounds or so).  It takes a lot of TLC, secret organic fertilizers, mystic plant-sex fertilization rituals, ruthless cutting of inferior pumpkins to allow the ones with the greatest size potential to grow, and a special tent during the day so the skin does not sunburn, followed by the application of a blanket on cool nights so the behemoth stays snuggly and the skin doesn’t split due to temperature differentials.  Normally, we have several pretty big pumpkins going, just in case we lose one.

This year, though, mostly due to weather factors, we had only two large pumpkins set.  And we just lost one (The Hulk) to a disgusting mold (white, not green).  But Captain America, our great hope for the fair, is doing well.  He has only been growing for a month, and probably weighs about 200 pounds or so right now.  Please, if everyone could just send out some positive energy to Captain America, who needs to continue growing until mid-September, I’d appreciate it. 

It’s kind of a scary feeling to have all your hopes riding on one thing —  all your eggs in one basket or all your seeds in one pumpkin, as it were,  What if something goes wrong?  What if my first novel, the one I tended so lovingly, not only doesn’t become an instant, Twilightlike best seller, but doesn’t sell at all?  What if it turns out I don’t have a talent for writing romance,  but my writer’s voice is better suited to mystery or steampunk? Will I throw in the towel because my first plan, the one I thought was going to work perfectly, didn’t succeed the way I wanted it to?   

Nope.  I’ve got other ideas, other plans.  I’m not giving up, and I hope you won’t either.  One of the great things about being a writer is that there’s always a do-over.  There’s always next year’s fair.

Tell us — have you had to start over or reinvent yourself or your work?


14 thoughts on “Pumpkin’s Progress”

  1. Go Captain America…or I should say GROW!

    I don’t know how I would feel about changing what I write. Or if it’s even possible. But definitely something to consider. I guess that’s where I grow as a writer, right?

    1. I think what you’re doing is working for you! Do you have any ideas of trying a different genre sometime, just to stretch your wings?

    1. It’s all good. And one of the beauties of indie-publishing is that if you want to, you could publish all of them and let each find its own readership.

  2. Good Luck and happy growing, Cap!

    My first serious attempt at a novel lingers, 5 chapters written, in a binder on my desk. Jared and Chandler’s time-travel romance never made past the meet-cute. Now I’ve got more projects on my platter than I can reasonably handle, but someday, I may revisit them and rekindle their love. Until then, I’ll hold onto the binder since the technology I wrote it with back in 1996 is long gone.

    1. If it was true to begin with, Jared and Chandler’s love will survive the ravages of the binder, your desk, and your children!

      1. OK, so you may know that I have a giant dumpster (30 feet) on my front lawn. I’m doing some major purging this week and just this moment I came across 15 handwritten pages covering the entire plot outline for Jared & Chandler’s story! More than 16 chapters worth of notes! And to tell you the truth, I haven’t seen their binder in quite some time. I know it’s here…what does it mean that I found those notes today, after mentioning them here earlier today? Is this a sign? Should they become the 14th story on my to do list? I think so…

      2. You know exactly what this means, J. Jared and Chandler’s love will not be denied. Respect that and put ’em in your queue!

  3. At 65 I think I’m still reinventing myself. On some days I look into a mirror and wonder who’s that looking back at me…Marie or Collette. Today Collette will be promoting her hot stuff on the loops. Tomorrow Marie will affix her butt to this chair and work on her less sexier projects. Then again I’m not only a Gemini with a dual personality but also a twin who shares a Peekapoo with her twin. Then again my Peekapoo dog has a dual personality…sedate when no one’s around, and a ball of fur and energy when someone walks in the door.

    1. Hmm, a Gemini with an actual twin? I don’t know what that means cosmically but it’s gotta be special!

    1. I hope you don’t totally give up on your fiction, Jennifer, even though you’ve got a non-fiction career escalating right now. I’ve heard the premise of your story and I think it sounds great!

  4. Go Super Pumpkin!!

    It’s funny, I have a story in a binder that I started in 1996 too. Recently, I dusted off the concept, re-worked it and now it’s in the hopper for future projects. I hope to get to it in 2011, if not, 2012 for sure. Write what you enjoy and worry about what to do with it after!

  5. I have reinvented myself. For me it’s easy to write dark, dramatic, gut wrenching things but lately I’ve been trying to lighten up and not take everything so seriously. I’m not sure if romantic comedy is where my voice is but the great thing about writing is that there is always the ability to change.

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