Moving on from the green…

My birthday is the end of April and is otherwise known as Beltane Eve. It’s a magical time and the world around me has always felt like it was joining in the celebration. Everything is now green, everywhere you look. My mind flips the switch so completely, I can’t even remember the brown world we just left. It’s like it never happened. Growing up in New Hampshire, I was on the opposite end of the Springtime magic that is now my life in North Carolina. My Northern birthday was first crocuses and sometimes peeking through a surprise snowfall.

In New Hampshire, the first robin was a safe conversation but down here I saw that happy couple a month ago. Down here, I am at the mercy of greedy, aggressive hummingbirds, many varieties of hungry birds, the goldfish are awake and the Peregrine falcon is rebuilding her nest by the pond.

Down here, my yellow tulips are almost over, the pink ones are peaking, the peonies have big round buds ready to burst open, the woods are full of an amazing assortment of odd little flowering plants that you need to kneel to see with a flower guide in one hand  and magnifying glass in the other. I must have forty varieties of azaleas on my property, planted by the previous owner in shades that are almost fluorescent to others that are soft and delicate.

Look how she leans away from her family,
when he shines that smile at her.
Fickle woman, eager to lose it all, for
a forbidden glance from a springtime lover.

The verse above comes from a poem I wrote about spring; it was part of a series of seasonal poems. It was inspired by a single azalea branch that grew a foot longer than any  on the shrub and at an odd angle to catch more of the sunlight. It was a risky move, to stick out her neck for a kiss from a fickle lover. She was in mortal danger of getting trimmed and so she lost her head for a forbidden love. I won a contest with that poem and everyone wanted to know, who I was seeing and wasn’t I afraid my husband would find out. A few who knew my husband told me I was a bitch to cheat on him, he was such a nice guy! Being the nearly-autistic and clueless person I am, I was confused. I showed my husband, who was not a poetry-reading kind of guy and he shrugged. He was a laconic kind of guy.

I showed the verse to my new husband and asked if he thought it hinted at infidelity. He is not so laconic. He told me that if he were to believe anything I wrote, he’d be more curious about where I hid the bodies. He’s my kind of guy! How do you deal with people’s odd reactions to something you wrote, and do you have a particularly odd one to share?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeniburns
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 08:33:25

    I haven’t had a lot of odd comments at this point except for the time a reader/friend read a first chapter of a WIP and her only comment back was “You made Ron gay!” And I was all “What??” That’s when she pointed out the a character I had written fit my handsome hubby’s description to a T and he was on a date with another guy. So, yeah… not what I intended to do, but I kept the character as is. Oh, and then there’s also the automatic assumption that I’m into BDSM when I tell people I write erotic shorts. So not the case, but I am a wiz with research… LOL!


  2. CristineGzr
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 08:38:51

    ROFL! Yeah, an elderly aunt asked to read one of my short stories, she liked my poems but her response to my fiction was: “I don’t know why you think your family was so evil!” I was stunned, it was a story about vampires and I am pretty sure…


  3. natalieratcliffe
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 23:17:00

    Hey Cris, I loved this one. I LOL’ed at the part of the “hiding the bodies.” I haven’t shared any of my work in such a long time, so remembering any comments has been hard. I think when we let people who know us read our work they put themselves in our personal shoes instead of our writer shoes and they think that what we write is what’s really going on in our lives. Sometimes it’s true, and other times it’s just a thrillingly wild imagination. Oh to be able to live in the worlds I create, even for a moment…

    P.S. Spring never seems to last down here and I love the blooms (not the pollen) so much even though they are fleeting.


  4. CristineGzr
    May 01, 2013 @ 06:29:49

    Thanks Natalie, both sides of my family keep grudges forever, for so long they’ve forgotten why they were mad in the first place! So, we of the newer generations try to avoid creating new land mines.

    I had a few very very good teachers when I was young. My writing teacher in art school, brought many of the cool New York School of Poetry writers down to give readings, like Michael Lally and Terrence Winch. They were young, handsome and very hot. He made poetry cool for me and readings were cool. I never considered writing and not sharing.

    A cool art school teacher at the Corcoran gave us a valuable tip:
    Assume the critic is 100% wrong and an idiot –who understands poetry like a deaf person and paintings like a blind person. Then drink and laugh at the loser. But on the next morning, look at your work and wonder if maybe there wasn’t a bit of truth in what they said. Just a bit, because any more would be giving them too much of your soul.

    That is an easy lesson to learn, maintaining the artists ego gets tougher and tougher but if you learn it when you are young, you are invincible and can show anyone anything!

    The couple who built my house in 1977 and lived in it until the passed on in 2007, were avid gardeners, I do not exaggerate when I say it starts with over 1000 daffodils! The first few years, I had to avoid weeding because everything turned into a flower! Most are native to the area, so they do very well! Even the lowly hostas -there must be a dozen different kinds.

    I wander around gobsmacked until the end of May when they turn against me. The flowers just go on and on, if I knew what I was doing it would look like an arboretum here rather than a horticultural collection of weeds!


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