The proof is in the colander.
While I spent ten days on Little Lagoon not gardening, my pocket vegetable garden in the foothills produced a dozen banana peppers, one bell pepper, two pecked-out tomatoes and another with a giant green worm hole.
My husband expressed exactly what I was thinking. “That’s it. I’ve had it with tomatoes. Next year, we’re just going to grow peppers. ”
Our frustration stems from high expectations. Genetically, we are both prime tomato-growing specimens. My husband had an uncle who was a commercial tomato grower. And back in the 70s, the government paid my grandfather to stop growing tomatoes through one of those farm price support programs. With all that tomato juice in our bloodlines, we should be naturals when it comes to tomato cultivation.
You see, of course, where this kind of thinking leads.
Straight to places you’ve already been. Safe. Familiar. Dull.
And nowhere near the competitive world of publishing.
If I were to approach writing with the same attitude as tomato growing, I’d begin by saying that I’m a Southerner. Everyone knows Southerners are born storytellers. Getting my tales published should be as easy for me as a cliché.
And yet my name has not yet appeared on the spine of a book. I’ve come across all kinds of bad birds and worms in my quest for publication.
I should swear off fiction and go back to churning out news releases and brochures and key talking points.
But there’s an allure to striving for a long-held dream. I’ll know I’ll keep attempting to tell a marketable story.
We’ll probably plant tomatoes next year, too.