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Preparing to be Noticed

Preparing to be Noticed

I’m often inspired by getting my hands dirty. I’m not speaking figuratively here about discussing controversial topics, but literally worm dirt under the fingernails stuff. The task at hand today was cleaning up my irises in preparation for their short-lived exhibition next spring.

After enjoying a few glorious weeks in April/May for three or four years, it became apparent this year that changes must be made. Bloom production was down, and some of the varieties didn’t make an appearance at all. Lessons I’d learned from the Central Arkansas Iris Society told me it was time to dig them up and give them a fresh start.

So, you are asking, what does this have to do with writing? The obvious answer is that it involved a lot of editing. My goal was to remove superflous greenery, roots, and even some large “connective” stuff in order to get down to the most important little rhizomes that promise to produce beautiful blooms when the time is right. Editing is something all writers understand a little too well.

But, since my emphasis lately has been on getting my work seen by the right people in order to achieve my goal of publication in the Christian Fiction Market, I began to think about the ultimate goal, both for my irises, and for my writing.

I learned a lot from my contact with iris experts. They would have been appalled, I’m sure, by the way I went about things today. Their goals, however, are different than mine. They tend the iris bed at the State Capitol. There, identification and seperation of each specimen is very important. The resulting flora will be magnificent, with name tags proudly displayed on each plant. My little flower bed is purely for my own enjoyment, so I was unconcerned about identifying each different variety. My wheelbarrow was full of all of the plants, and when they are placed in the soil again, they will be mixed up and random. Certainly my flower bed will not be eligible for any championship contests, but there is an element of excitement and mystery as I anticipate what they will look like next April.

I’ve consulted many experts in my writing journey as well. My goals here are more and more focused, as I have identified my audience. I’m honing my craft and my market at the same time, trying to concentrate on what will attract readers to me and my stories. So will I make everyone happy? Of course not. I don’t intend to. My goal is to be myself, to tell my own tales, but in a way that will be appealing to those I’m striving to entertain. In this way, I’ll be using my talents to glorify God. If I don’t use the knowledge I’ve gained, my stories will remain unread. But, I’m learning which advice to use, which to cull, which to store for another time.

My garden, and my writing are reflections of who I am. My prayer is that they will be acceptable to God, and will bring a smile to someone else along the way.


  1. Avery Cove08-19-12

    Good analogy, Jenny:)
    And aren’t irises beautiful when they are well cared-for as our writing will be when edited with the finished product in mind.

  2. Jenny Carlise08-19-12

    Right, Avery! I’ve learned that just letting them go only works for awhile! Sooner or later, you’ve got to give them some attention.

  3. Toni Maturo08-20-12

    Wonderful! You’ve brought a smile, here!
    Looking forward to more of the same!

  4. Pamela Stephens09-01-12

    Great post Jenny! So true!

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