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Thanks for the Heartnuts

By On Aug 29 2012, 12:03 pm

This post could have easily been titled "Where do Ideas Come From?" It's the most common question I'm asked as a writer. The problem for me has never been getting the ideas. It's been finding the time to write them down, edit and finesse them into publishable format. But never finding them. Sometimes they find me. Let me explain

Writing is a solitary act. You could be sitting in a café surrounded by people sipping a latte and you’re still alone on the page. Just your imaginary friends to keep you company. This isolation builds up, at least for me. I try to meet up with like-minded individuals every so often, connect with the tribe if you will. So, this past Saturday I went to a Writers Workshop atPrescott House here in Nova Scotia. Romancing the writer was put on by three of my fellow RWAC members, Jennie, Michelle and Samhain’s own Donna Alward. I really enjoyed the workshop. We were outside under the trees next to a house that had been built in 1812. There were beautiful gardens to look at and we were on the Bay of Fundy. It should have been a carefree day, except for the fact I was attacked by a tree. Not a direct assault, mind you. No, this was a ninja-stealth-modus-operandi kind of attack.

Jennie’s presentation was on historical research. In the middle of examining a few of her photos on the Halifax explosion, BAM! A nut hit the table I was sitting at. It was the size of a walnut, green and very fresh.  All of us smiled and laughed a bit, and Jennie was her lovely self, continuing her part of the presentation without a hitch. Pretty soon Michelle got up to do her part. On the way to the front of the group BAM BAM! A nut bounced off the edge of the table and hit my arm. People tittered, and everyone glanced up. The tree was full of nuts. It’s late August. It’s not unusual for them to litter the ground by now. It is unusual for them to focus their falling in one general area. Me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a few people pull their seats away from mine. Michelle gave us permission to wander away for a couple of exercises. When I came back to my seat, I casually knocked a nut off the cushion, hoping no one had noticed.

By the time Donna’s presentation rolled around, I was getting nervous. I had my notebook ready to deflect the projectiles coming my way and most of the ladies sitting around me had moved.

“What type of tree is this, anyway?” I asked in frustration and yet another nut fell.

“Japanese Heartnut tree” one of the other workshop attendants supplied.

“What do you suppose God’s trying to tell me?” I joked. A nut hit me on the head.

“How do you know it’s God?” Another RWAC member, Kelly joked. But my mind started turning. What if this tree had a spirit? What if that spirit was a he and what if he was cursed? And the woman who could break that curse sat under his tree without paying him any attention? What could he do? I flipped to a blank page in my notebook and started to write out the bones of this love story. Because of course it would be love that broke this curse. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks to the heartnuts. Now to get time to write the damn thing is another trick to master. But that is another post.


You can visit taryn at her blog or on her twitter and see the progress of the Heartnut story!


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