We invited author Patsy Collins to share with us. She also brought along a gift! Over to Patsy now...
My dad is a farmer, my grandparents were all very keen gardeners, my
Uncle regularly wins prizes for the vegetables and flowers he grows
and my brother is a landscape gardener and nurseryman. I was destined
to either hate all forms of plant in rebellion or become a keen
gardener myself. Clearly I'm not the rebellious type.
Gardening and writing seem entirely compatible interests. They're both
creative and require time and patience to get right. A handful of
seeds is similar to the initial idea for a story. Both need tending
carefully if they're to reach their potential. Editing and pruning
aren't so very different and getting a rejection slip is as bad as
discovering slugs have eaten all your marigolds!
I find working on my allotment often leads to me thinking up story
ideas (maybe it has something to do with there being nothing to write
them down on!). You could say I spend time plotting on my plot. That's
not the only benefit though as many of my stories are directly
influenced by plants and gardens. It's not something I did
intentionally at first but once I managed to sell a few with a garden
setting it seemed sensible to write more. A lot more. I'm delighted
that Alfie Dog Fiction have published a few (24) of them in a
collection. So delighted I felt the need to run round in circles and
tell everyone! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQO6loDMtS0
Up the Garden Path
Eleanor has a traditional garden her grandchildren will love; won't
they? Mrs Dalrymple's country home seems the perfect refuge for Daryl
and there's no reason Emma can't call the big house home, is there?
Homes and gardens aren't always peaceful havens though. Ted's
tranquility is under threat from a BBQ for teenage twins, Penny the
Jack Russell is called upon to protect her mistress from a terrifying
intruder, avoiding Frances's annoying neighbour was almost the death
of her and Rachel can't bring herself to step out the back door.
A walk in the countryside might be less traumatic, unless your beloved
tree has been damaged as badly as your heart or Mrs Bishop is lurking
to find fault with all you do. Even the simple act of arranging
flowers causes problems if your boss is as mean as Brenda's.
Valerie managed to dig herself out of depression on her allotment but
Sally was faced with the perils of half an hour in the potting shed
with the attractive yet infuriating Jim.
Gardens, plants and people all have their story. Let me lead you up
the garden path and tell you a few.