Spring has Sprung and other Clichés on Revising

Yes, it’s that time of year when the temperature is getting warmer, the ground is opening up with colorful treasures to entice the birds and the bees, and the internet is full of posts about the springing of spring making it a metaphor for everything from child-rearing to motocross. Spring cleaning, spring love, spring forward, spring break: almost everything we associate with spring is positive and growing. Harriet Ann Jacobs but it beautifully when she said “The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. Many religions tie spiritual and natural growth together making spring the optimal time to create and begin new adventures.

Hence the onslaught of posts.

But there’s a reason it works. I fought and fought the urge to do this post, but the spring bug has won. And for once in my life it is because of the things growing out of the ground. I’ve never been a big plant person. If you wanted your plants to die, just bring them to me. My mother and sisters have been great at plants. Beautiful gardens hand done and planned by each of them. I had trouble with my cactus.

And then came moving to the semi-country and visiting the farms for produce and berries. I got excited learning how to use these new plants and creating jams from the fresh berries. Then last year we decided we could do some of that. Plants with a purpose I could get. So we composted and put in our bed with tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers, and I waited for them to die. But they didn’t. Working at them, they grew bigger than I imagined. We had enough that I could can for use during the winter. We decided to take out a bed, so we could plant fruit trees. I had never transplanted flowers before, but I tried. I put them in other beds hoping I wasn’t the gruesome executioner of the springtime beauty.

Jump to this spring, and after this winter decided to finally pull back its death grip on our area, the first of our garden poked out its head. And wouldn’t you know it, those transplanted flowers woke up and blossomed beautifully. So, now we are adding two new beds and three blueberry bushes and a pollinator garden. Even our apple trees already have blossoms. Who knew I could be a plant person?

It's alive! ALIVE!

It’s alive! ALIVE!

The whole spring metaphor thing seemed like less of a cliché and more of a truth. Okay, let’s be honest; it’s still a cliché, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

This spring timing worked in my favor. My editor, the wonderful and talented Vicki Leigh, sent back my manuscript for OF SCIONS AND MEN for my first round edits and revisions. I got to spend time taking this piece that I already had spent so much time on and make it stronger and better. It was exhilarating. Nurturing something into a beautiful success. I have to admit, I am one of those crazy people who loves revising.

A recent metaphor, non-spring related, I’ve heard recently for revising is that drafting is just putting sand in the book; revising is making the sandcastle. That’s true. Revising is where you take your original idea and shape it to be the true reflection of your soul. There are only so many story ideas in the world, but no matter how many people writes “boy-meets-girl” no one will ever write it just like you. Revising is where you make that piece of your soul shine. Just like building a sandcastle.

Just like you make small seeds become a delicious jam.

As the late and great Robin Williams said, “Spring is Nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party’.”


About Courtney Sloan

A New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor. She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade. View all posts by Courtney Sloan

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