Failed garden

Owning my own home, I decided a garden was the best avenue to fresh, top quality, inexpensive food.

My one tomato looked like this! ©iStock/photo/kevinruss

My one tomato looked like this! ©iStock/photo/kevinruss

I created a garden with 5′ wood dividers. I filled it with good soil, then made smaller divisions with string. I planted seeds to grow things like eggplant, green beans, and tomatoes. I fed and watered and weeded and watered. My mouth, too, watered thinking of the meals composed of home-grown veggies. A first-time gardener, I didn’t count on clandestine foragers. Critters took bites out of almost everything. One tomato remained pristine. Delicious, it was undoubtedly the most expensive tomato I’ve ever eaten.

What conference is the best creative opportunity for a writer?

As a writer there are so many great “creativity” opportunities coming across my path via email and social media. Upcoming events include the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, the National Storytelling Conference, the Round Robin Week at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival,  and the Blogher Conference, not to mention comedy offerings galore in LA. It reminds me of that rickety, old candy store across from Oaklawn Elementary School run by two elegantly aging sisters. I would go in with my nickels and debate over the many colorful choices before leaving with Pixie Stix, bubble gum, or occasionally, a Sifers Valomilk.

Yes, email and social media make me feel like a kid again. The creative ops all look as fine to me as those choices in that candy store. Each appeals in different ways: education, networking, a sampling of different locals. Each tugs at my heart, some – like those in LA, the big town I’ve come to love – stronger than others.

But I’m not a kid. No, I am a mature adult. After tons of classes, a masters program in media psychology, and more books than you can imagine, I think that at this point staying home with my laptop might be more beneficial and, dare I admit it, more fun than anything. This year I think I’ll save my nickels and stay home with Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook.

The light bulb

Lightbulbs. © iStockphoto/Orla

Lightbulbs. © iStockphoto/Orla

No one I know invests effort noticing, admiring, or listing the attributes of the light bulb. So why should I?

I am willing to risk being thought of as being a few watts short of a glow not to point out the fact that light welcomes me when I open my refrigerator door to grab ice for a drink or lights the road at night as I travel to new experiences or lights my home where I record these experiences. I am taking that risk to showcase one of the most creative, productive inventors of the twentieth century, Thomas Edison.

Reported, it took Edison many failed attempts before he found lightbulb success. Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

According to, Edison’s most famous inventions included, along with the light bulb, the phonograph, the Kinetoscope, the Electrographic Vote Recorder, and an iron ore separator. Next time you turn on a light bulb let it remind you to press on toward success!