Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Writer's Fairy Tale, Part One

Once upon a time there was a writer in love with her story garden. The seeds of different stories fell from the story trees like rain every time she visited Published Forest. She would carefully gather them and tuck them into her bag to bring back.

There was a fox who lived at the edge of the forest. This fox was considered wise by all the other creatures and visitors to the forest, and many went to visit him to learn from his wisdom and experience.

The writer loved to sit at the edge of the clearing in front of the fox's den, listening to other's questions and relating it to herself. "I am just like that writer" or "The fox knows so much. I should follow his counsel."

One of the things the fox said often was "The story seeds you gather from the forest are all you need to be published. These seeds will grow by itself into one of the cornerstone trees of the forest."

After these times visiting the fox, the writer would walk home, carrying her ideas, excited by the possibilities she held. "These are such amazing story seeds. I know I will add to Published Forest someday!" She would get home with the seeds, placing them carefully on the dirt that surrounded her house and wait for the seeds to sprout and grow.

There was a part of her walk home that scared the writer, however. As she traveled along the path, she had to pass the tiny farm of the crazy hermit. She didn't like the hermit, for he was old and wrinkly, and smelled of sour sweat. His garden was amazing, though, and and if he wasn't sitting outside, harassing the other travelers, she liked to pause and wonder at the amazing variety that grew there. He had few plants, but they always seemed to grow quickly and strong, and there were many of the more famous story trees that were his.

One day as she leaned against the low stone wall that surrounded the hermit's garden, she noticed something horrifying. One of his plants the same idea as one of the seeds she had put in her own garden. While the hermit's was already halfway grown with full lush leaves and a trunk that thickened by the minute hers was sickly and yellow, with a weak trunk and only a few leaves.

Despite her fear of the hermit, she climbed over the wall and approached the new tree. It was even more beautiful as she neared it, it's leaves deep emerald, the trunk sturdy and firm under her fingertips. As she looked closer, she saw tiny purple fruits beginning to grow. This tree was already bearing fruit!

Despair washed over her. How could she possibly compete for the precious space of Published Forest with the hermit, who's magic far surpassed her own?

"I was like you, once," came a voice behind her. She spun and saw the hermit standing close behind her. She stepped back, but ran into the tree and had to stop. The hermit did not come any closer, but continued talking. "I was once a path traveler like yourself. I would come and pluck story seeds from the ground almost every day. I would pause and listen to the fox spin his tales and go home and scatter my seeds by the handful into my garden."

At her look of surprise, he nodded. "Oh, yes, the fox is very old. He has been around longer than I, longer than anyone can remember. He tells a very pretty story, himself. One that is easily believed by the new and gullible."

The hermit stepped around her and placed a work-calloused hand on the trunk. The tree shuddered. And then before her very eyes it grew, the trunk thickening, sprouting new leaves, and the small fruit growing big and heavy, bowing the branches above her. The hermit's magic awed her, and she gazed in wonder at the miraculous tree.

"It is not magic, though it may seem so to you," said the hermit. "It is only that I have learned the true secret of the trees."

"Tell me, please, I beg of you. I want my story trees to be like yours," begged the writer. "What must I do to gain the secret?"

The hermit shook his head. "I do not know if you are ready. I know you have admired my garden, but..."

The writer fell to her knees. "Please. I am willing to do whatever it takes. I have scattered my story seeds, but nothing comes to fruition. I don't know what else to do."

The hermit sighed. "I hope you are ready, because even if you are not, the truth of the secret will haunt you, keeping you awake at night until you follow this new path."

"I am ready. I will do whatever necessary to follow this new way."
(Look for the conclusion next week!)


  1. Oh you wicked thing leaving us hanging like that. If the secret is having a great hook you've got that down.

  2. Megan.... leaving us on the hook. We need to know. What is the secret?

    I love it.

  3. This is great! I want to know more.

  4. i'm waiting...waiting. Very clever.

  5. I honestly wasn't trying to be was too long for one post! Lol. But I do have a weakness for hooks at the end of the chapter, that's for sure. ;-)

  6. I didn't mean clever in a bad way! I think the story is clever -probably not the best word - I like it - I was drawn in and there in the hermit's garden! Great job.



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