My Thing Flowered

Trying to be a writer has a lot in common with trying to be a gardener. You put a lot of work in, then wait weeks or months to see if something grows fruit and flowers, or gets accepted by a magazine or anthology. (Or withers and dies right in front of you. RIP 2018’s attempt at growing a passionfruit up the three storeys of my house).

I pondered on this metaphor late last year, when the lilies on the balcony produced four beautiful flowers despite little attention over spring. I wondered if this was perhaps a sign that I would sell four stories in the following year. (I sold two in 2017, so four felt like a realistic expectation for improvement.)

I never told anyone about this thought, but wouldn't you know it? I have sold four stories this year! (So far, I'm happy to exceed flowery predictions…) Only one has actually made it to print so far, but I remain optimistic...

When November rolled around, I checked on the lily pots to see their progress and I saw that my thing plant had a flower.

image 1813 from bradism.com

I like this thing. I don't know what it is, but it's been on our balcony for at least a few years after it was given to us by our friend Elliott. It's still in the original pot, and only gets occasional love from the watering can, but it always plugs away growing new fronds to replace old ones, never dying. I didn't even know it could flower!

image 1814 from bradism.com

So the question is, what prophetic sign is this? If a lily is a short story sold, is a thing-flower an agent? A manuscript request? A book deal? My first subscriber to the bradism.com mailing list?

Only 2019 will tell.

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