Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Carole Ann Moleti, with a most unusual garden view.
Normally, when I think of a garden, I think of our frog pond, flowers and vegetables. But For the last year and a half, I’ve become accustomed to the view from my second story bedroom window. It’s the only room large and private enough for me to take my Zoom Yoga and Ballet classes.
Whether it’s setting up a makeshift barre or spreading out my mat, the hour and fifteen minutes doing something physical, as well as seeing familiar faces, has been a comforting ritual. This was particularly important because as a nurse practitioner, my workdays have been long, unpredictable, stressful, and emotional for the last year and half.
My house is surrounded by very large oak and maple trees that are homes to many squirrels. This year, I discovered they had bored a nest hole in the trunk that had been hidden from view from below. I never realized how many birds sit on those branches, and wonder if the cardinals, robins, blue jays, and sparrows have been out in force because all of us were not, or if they have always been there and I never noticed.
My spot for balance or demi pointe poses have been the line of trees down the block. Last fall, they displayed a beautiful riot of colors much better appreciated from the second story than ground level. My favorites are the reds and oranges, and they were very vivid last year. In winter, the branches swayed in the winds threatened my “spot” as I struggled to stay upright. But they looked so beautiful covered in snow that I didn’t want to tear my gaze away. This spring the best “spot” was the flowering trees covered with white and pink blossoms that never failed to raise my spirits.
I noticed that leaf buds appear earlier that I’d thought: late March here in New York City. And that maples go through several different cycles with brown buds that give way to two stages of green ones. Pin oaks shed their leaves in spring before they bud out.
I must admit I like the convenience of not having to drive to Manhattan (and park) to attend ballet class. And nothing beats jumping out of bed and taking yoga in my pajamas. The small talk in our own bedrooms and living rooms created a sense of camaraderie between instructors and attendees alike, and were also a welcome opportunity for commiseration and encouragement.
Classes are now hybrid, but I’m sticking with online. This fall, I, like millions of other students, will go back to in person classes. I’ll get back into the raucous rhythm of New York City as the seasons change once again.
I’ve spent most of the last year editing and submitting manuscripts and have focused on writing short non fiction, to help release the tension and to try and make sense of pandemic chaos. But this summer I’m prepare to ease back into fiction, and you can be sure the pandemic experience will inform my work in progress: a contemporary Western Romance set in Northern California.
But as life normalizes, I don’t want to loose this newfound skill of slowing down to notice the details not normally at eye level, as well as to savor the things my busy eyes and mind never had no time to focus on. Like these bees who chose the Lace Cap Hydrangeas over the traditional ones for their appointed rounds.
Slowing down has helped me appreciate the small details that are essential for writers, and I hope this experience will enhance my ability to find pearls to enhance my prose as well.
What has the pandemic been like for you and your writing process? And how has your adjustment to ‘normalization’ been going?
About the Writer/Gardener:
Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse practitioner in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.
Carole’s Cape Cod paranormal Unfinished Business Series novels have been published by Soulmate. He short stories have been featured in several of the Ten Tales fantasy anthologies, and her darker fiction has appeared in the Hell’s Kitties, Hell’s Heart and Hell’s Mall anthologies.
She won the Oasis Journal 2009 Prize for best nonfiction, and two timely pieces of her memoir have been published in the acclaimed Shifts and Impact anthologies.
Unfinished Business Series
The Widow’s Walk (Book One of the Unfinished Business series)
By Carole Ann Moleti
Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted— by their own ghosts from past lives. The Barrett Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Liz and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were Mike and Liz doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?