WFMAD Day 19 – planting and harvesting

It is finally cooling off here a bit.

In fact, we have the first sign of winter!

That, in this morning’s early light, is the first load of our firewood. It came from land we own in the foothills of the Adirondacks. You might say that we grow our own heat. Once all the wood has been delivered, we’ll rent a splitter and spend a couple days splitting and stacking. This year we have two fireplaces to feed; the monster that heats our house, and the soapstone wood stove that will heat the cottage.

Before we split and stack, I need to finish canning peaches and take care of a LOT of garden chores. The goal today is to write for 10 hours and garden for 2.

Gardens are fascinating places.


Today’s advice: "Substitute "damn" every time you’re inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be." Mark Twain


Today’s prompt: Your character finds strange-looking seeds in an unusual place. (Your job, if you choose to accept it, begins with a riveting description of both the seeds and their location.)

Have her plant the seeds. Focus on the action of planting – make it hard, and a vivid description of the setting. Your choice if you want her to be alone of with another person. As soon as the job is complete and she is picking up her tools, the plant explodes from the ground and reaches full-size in seconds. What does it look like? What has she grown?

What happens next?

Extra bonus points: Do not use adverbs. Any of them. If you find yourself reaching for an adverb, pick a stronger verb instead.


6 Replies to “WFMAD Day 19 – planting and harvesting”

  1. Is that frost? Can you send that cool air this way? We are melting in the 90 degree heat here in Boston.

    Canning is awesome, we started making jam this year, but to can fruit that may need to be next on the list.

  2. Adverbs?

    Why does everyone hate adverbs? I like adverbs, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s something horribly wrong with them. I write a sentence like, “She smiled encouragingly at her brother” and those how-to-write voices always go, ADVERBS ARE WEAK!

    What’s so bad about the word “encouragingly?” How else could you phrase that without adverbs?

  3. Adverbs, cont.

    Sorry, but this adverb thing is driving me crazy. To the point where it’s making it hard to write.

    I had him watched very carefully.

    …smiling apologetically.

    How do I get around these things?

  4. That’s a very damn big pile of wood, he said humorously joked.

    Also, to anonymous, often you’ll find the situation will spell out how it should be taken. For instance, if her brother is about to go on stage, instead of “She smiled encouragingly at her brother,” you could simply say, “She smiled at her brother,” and we’d know how it was given. Or you could write, “She smiled at her brother, hoping he’d do okay,” or “She smiled at her brother as he went onstage. God, I hope he does okay.”

    “I had him watched very carefully” might be just how you’d want to put it, but “smiling apologetically” could be “She smiled, hoping she was forgiven.”

    So it’s not that they’re outlawed, and you can use as many as you’d like. The point is to weed out as many as you can by either using stronger verbs or showing it another way. I hope that helps (he said encouragingly).

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