It simply dropped its green leaves. Okay, perhaps that's to be expected from a tree that is young and still new at this.
I fed it and tucked it into a blanket of winter mulch. Year two came and went with no red, no orange, not even brown. Maybe it was still getting it's tree legs?
More food, more TLC, and even some base plantings to suggest to the tree what color looks like.
I was full of hope this third autumn. Perhaps the maple would be inspired by the mentor trees across the street--sweet gums in full riotous reds and oranges.
Check the photo. Half the leaves are already gone--green leaves on green grass. I think my maple is a dud. A failure. Spectacular is just not in its vocabulary.
Yesterday, winter winds revealed how wrong I was.
This maple revelation reminds me of my writing journey.
For years I tried to write fiction. One story was rejected 32 times before publication. The others continue to circle through publishers, rather like water down the drain.
I thought it was because I was new at this. So, I attended conferences, took online classes, and got my BIC.
Year two and three went by, and my fiction was still "green". Mentor texts and colleagues revealed their secrets, but my imagination refused to get vivid. My writing was a failure. My stories were duds.
Then, one summer, I tried my hand at nonfiction. Research became addictive, my subject became a family member, the writing was more effortless. Turns out, creating color from my imagination isn't my strength. But constructing a nest to support the life of another is.
I'm still not good at fiction. But my picture book biography of Captain Hanson Gregory, inventor of the doughnut, will debut May 3 from HMH. And I think it is pretty spectacular.
What about you? What have you discovered about yourself as a writer? Please share in the comments.
Ah, books. I never outgrew my love of children's books. My passion became a career--I was an elementary school librarian. And now I write books for kids!