Green Plums And Other Offerings

I’ve been working on three short stories.  One is complete or as complete as it will ever be.  The other two are in various stages of draft.  I am hoping to have one more done, signed and sealed by July 15. Maybe it’s a good thing I have no idea who I am sending these stories to?  

Maybe not.  Please let me have your thoughts on this?  Do you sit down to write with a particular contest or journal in mind or do you just write the story that Must Come Out?

I subscribe to a few literary journals but I am not sure I am ready to get rejected by The Paris Review if you know what I mean 🙂 

So as you know I haven’t been well.  Allergies.  Voice is still AWOL and yesterday I feared my mind may have gone the same way.  I can’t get to do the things I’m supposed to do for my ‘day job’ without The Voice so I’m home. Writing. Which is all fine and dandy except that I despise being cooped up inside like a battery chicken writer.

I need fresh air.  Green spaces. So yesterday I headed off in the direction of the forest near my home and really, it was glorious!  The weather has been wonderful and it was only right that I should be out with the bees and the butterflies and the humans walking their dogs…but it was not to be.  I got as far as the park’s tennis courts and had an ugly coughing fit.  One of those truly loud and disgusting I’m-A-Walking-Virus kind of fit that had the tennis players running for cover and the elderly lady on the park bench a good 30 metres away from me cover her nose and mouth with a tissue.  

Maybe, I thought afterwards, when my body stopped heaving and my eyes stopped watering and I staggered out of the Park, that not-so-nice lady should have offered me a tissue. 

So clearly I’m not allowed to venture outdoors.  Which is why I’ve been in my garden.  

You should know I wasted spent an hour yesterday on my deck chair trying to capture a visiting Rufus hummingbird with my iPhone.  An hour.  I think I heard him chuckle as he hovered helicopter-like over my head.  Really how hard is it to film a hummingbird?

Today has been more productive in more ways than one.  I made this discovery.

Green Plums


A plum tree.  It’s not actually our plum tree.  It’s the neighbour’s.  But it has reached it’s long arms across the wall (in neighbourly fashion) and very generously offered us fruit.  Yes.  I said shaking her green and lovely arms.  We accept but we will wait until they ripen.

Anyway – see, the mind is going.

Here are peas from our garden.  

peas in pod

So neatly and perfectly packed and zipped in.

And this is me working through the imagery on a new poem.  I don’t always have the time to map my thinking or draw but this particular poem needed the extra work as you will see from the seemingly disparate objects.  (One is an eel living in shallow water and the other is the Taj Mahal; a rather impressive mausoleum in India).

I hope to share this poem later with you this week. (I promise you it will, if nothing else, be interesting)

writing in book






13 thoughts on “Green Plums And Other Offerings

  1. Hi Yolanda, I’m sorry to hear you’re still suffering with allergy issues. I know how much you enjoy the outdoors, so I know it’s been difficult for you. I hope you’re feeling better soon!
    When it comes to submission, I always have a publication/publisher who I’m targeting. With that being said, although I might be gear my writing toward a particular publication, it’s really for me. I don’t stress too much about getting published, I just write for the joy of it.

    • Thanks Jill getting better slowly but surely 🙂 I think I’ll give that a try and write a story geared towards a certain publication. I might have better success 😀

  2. It’s awful to suffer from allergies – I really feel for you, Yolanda 😦

    As far as the writing goes. Check out any competitions that are going and write something for them. At the same time just write for yourself (what’s in your heart). Have a look at my page on my blog about writing short stories for competitions. I won’t put the link in here because it might end up in your spam folder. On the top of my page you’ll see ‘my stories’ and if you hover on that you’ll find ‘samples of award winning stories’. I’ve just got the first couple of paragraphs from each story. Hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration! Go with your heart and I’m sending you big hugs and loads of tissues! xxxxx

  3. 75% write what must be written, 25% not bothering with satire anymore. It’s the hardest sell there is in fiction. I love it, but it’s a waste of time unless a person writes for himself. Well, we’re all probably writing for ourselves, given the chances of landing something, but you know what I mean.

    • Writing for myself definitely (which may in some way be the problem) but the time has come to share and I think I’m just feeling intimidated by all the great stuff out there and of course, not sure where my stories would ‘fit in’. Thanks for the comment Eric 🙂

  4. Glad you’re feeling a little better Yolanda, hope you get to go hiking soon. I rarely write a story with an audience in mind – I’ve usually only done this if there was a theme to a competition, but most don’t have themes, so I just choose whichever story seems appropriate to submit. If I was always targeting my stories, I don’t think I’d enjoy writing them so much.

    • Thank you Andrea 🙂 The Voice is back so yes doing much better and looking forward to hitting the trails! I have yet to attempt a ‘theme’ story for a contest. Think I’ll look into that.

  5. Feel for you to be cooped up like a battery chicken/writer when the weather is nice. John Steinbeck said he always wrote with one person in mind – like the book was especially for that person’s eyes. I like the thought of that.

    • I have often wondered about that too 🙂 and I’m convinced all the changes we as consumers have made to our food and environment contribute to this increase in allergies. Lots of people have food allergies. I’m allergic to dust and ragweed (and sadly chamomile).

  6. I might be able to help you with the allergies Yolanda. My son suffered terribly from all kinds of allergies and I had them occasionally during summer as well (grass pollen) but since I got into essential oils they’re all very well manageable. All natural, no side effects. Drop me a line if this interests you.

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