I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Tale of the Mystery Seed

After last February's My Book Therapy's Deep Thinkers Retreat, I found something on the ground in a Florida park. Hard, dark brown, shaped like an avocado seed--but much larger and slightly pitted. I plopped it in my suitcase and brought it home as another treasure for my grandchildren.

We couldn't identify what it was online. When it suddenly sprouted, I placed it in water. On May 7th, the sprout topped 5 inches. A month later, my mystery seed had produced an almost 3 foot long reddish-green curving vine with alternating tiny leaves.

This life form completes one clockwise rotation every 24 hours. I've warned friends that if I sit nearby at my computer too long, the mystery vine may entwine me. If I don't answer family phone calls, they are to climb my deck, peer through the patio glass, and if necessary, rescue me. Initially I was joking--but the vine keeps advancing.

I finally phoned a Florida horticultural expert. He suggested I photograph the seed/vine to send photographic evidence. And research on noxious name online that I must be sure I was not harboring. Horrors! The nasty, invasive Air Potato Vine, imported from Africa in 1905 for its pretty leaves, lives in my home.However, it flourishes wildly, overpowering everything else, and has poisonous fruit. I now have a birthday gift for my toxicologist son to display or destroy.

How does this tale relate to writing? We find original ideas anywhere, and they may be keepers--or not. We're not sure if they'll germinate, let alone what life form they'll bear. We admire, water, and perhaps call on our "plant experts," Susie or Rachel, to learn what to expect and how to safeguard our project. Do we plant, prune, train to a lattice--or handle gingerly and call the Poison Center?

When gardening years ago, I learned that though weeds may be pretty, they take up valuable space where food can grow. That's what we wish our writing to be: well cultivated, living forms providing healthy, nourishing food to help our readers grow.

Delores Topliff


  1. Here's what I've learned from our friendship, Dee:
    1. Life is an adventure for you--and everyone is invited along!
    2. Everything, and I do mean everything, has a potential lesson in it -- including a poisonous and freaky looking seed.

  2. Dee, I so agree with Beth. And I'm glad you take me along on your adventures through your writing!

    Love the analogy of growing things to writing. Now I have to go and weed my garden...er, writing.

  3. Awesome post Dee. I am concerned though that you've moved from hearing voices in your head to them completely entwining you and holding you hostage. Sounds like the only cure for that is to write a New York Times best seller. (wink)

  4. I love the conclusions you gals draw, and I'm totally willing to cooperate w/ Reba's suggested cure. Bring it on--more adventures, more lessons. Thanks, Delores

  5. Love it Dee!
    You inspire me to really enjoy life. Great analogy too!
    Alena T.

  6. Wonderful post, Dee, and a great analogy that not everything interesting produces fruit.