Our Hail Bombarded Yard

This past weekend, we had hail on both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday’s hail pummeled our garden.  Sunday…  Well, the pictures are from Sunday.  We’re still waiting to find out whether certain plants made it.  It might take at least a week to be sure.

We were lucky this happened early enough in the season that most of the plants are on the small side.  The ones that were hit hardest were eight pepper plants, and as these came from a greenhouse, they may also be the most difficult to replace.

The second hardest hit were some alyssum I’d put in along one side of our patio.  However, I have extra of those, so if we lose them, I can replace.  I hope.  If temperatures spike, that adds in a whole new factor.

This is yet another way that gardening and writing are similar.  The writerly version of hail takes many forms: from illness, to family crisis, to catastrophic events that get between the writer and the ability to write.

Whether writerly hail crushes the writer (or the work in process) has absolutely nothing to do with how good the writer is, or how committed, or anything else.  As with what we’re going to be doing with our bruised and battered yard, the only thing a writer can do is look at the damage, decide what can be saved, what needs replanting, and what needs to be abandoned in favor a new approach or a new work entirely.

Probably my worst writerly “hail storm,” occurred after the death of Roger Zelazny, with whom I was living at the time, and who I loved very much.  I was only 32 and the idea that this would be the end of our story hadn’t really been on my mind.  I’d been too busy dealing with the day to day.  And that included writing a book that was then called Raven/Changer.

Roger’s death irrevocably battered that book out of the form it was then in.  However, after the passage of some time, and writing some other work (including the computer game Chronomaster and related works, as well as completing one of Roger’s works, Donnerjack, and doing a fair amount of short work), I went back to Raven/Changer.

Two hundred pages were discarded in favor of a fresh start entirely.  It became what is now out in the world as Changer.  I’m happy to say, it was very well-received and, to this day, remains for many people their favorite of my works. 

But the destruction was real.  So was being crushed.  But my choice to abandon my former work in favor of a new approach is not one I have ever regretted.

Next week, I’ll let you know how the peppers did, whether we got more hail, or wind or extreme heat, and how the writing (currently working on finishing off my parts of SK5) is going!

Windowboxes With Snapdragons and Hail


4 Responses to “Crushed!”

  1. Tori Luksha Says:

    Thank you Jane, trying to recover from my own ‘hail storm’ and just getting to the point of re-evaluation. Your words really hit the spot. ❤️

    • janelindskold Says:

      I didn’t want to go look up dates, but my own re-evaluation took well over a year, maybe more. Sometimes there is no rushing these things. I wish you a good journey.

  2. Jerry R. House Says:

    Hail is dynamic and unpredictable in whatever form. Sometimes you have to run for shelter, other times you just have to tie a pot to your head and defy the ravages of the storm.

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