Day 161 – 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – The Garden Does Not Lie

I have a couple of tomato plants that are yellowing, but they’re not yellowing in the normal way. I’m used to seeing yellow leaves at the base of the plant, not at the top.  I thought it might have been because the plants needed more fertilizer so I sprinkled some tomato fertilizer I had in storage and thought that would be enough.

It did not do the trick.

So, I sent a picture to my extension service. They told me that the plant wasn’t getting enough nutrients, but they couldn’t tell from a picture. I’d have to bring in a soil sample for it to be tested to make sure. Because of their hours, the closest I could drop off a sample would be next week. Meanwhile, my plant would be suffering.

I’m going to stop here now for a minute. Do you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t say there was something wrong with the plant. I didn’t complain that I did everything I could possibly do for the plant and for some unknown reasons it was not faring well. I knew that there was a solution to this problem because the problem had to be something that was discernable. The garden does not lie. If plants are not growing, there is a reason for that, the reason can be found and it’s possible that the problem can be corrected.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that sometimes a story isn’t selling because the story, for whatever reason, is not working. Yes, it could be possible that I don’t write the type of stories that market I’m submitting to typically accepts. Yes, it could be possible that the story I submit is exactly like a story that has been recently accepted. And sometimes the story just does not work.

No harm. No foul. But what can I learn from this? That’s what I’m looking at with this situation. What can I take from this so that next year if I see something similar like this happening, I’ll know what to try first.

The garden keeps me sane and keeps me from being delusional about my work. If I’ve submitted a short story to ten markets and there’s not a single personal rejection in the bunch? The beginning isn’t working. There may be other problems with the story, but I’ll start there because the first reader didn’t get far enough to read about any other problems.

The garden a quick feedback loop if I look at it everyday, which I do. The garden doesn’t lie. And neither does the reflection of reality.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

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About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
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