A Quality of Light by Janine M. Donoho

Warbling VireoDo color and texture equate with sound for you? Consider the warbling vireo

Panting whippetIf we allow ourselves to do so, we humans revel in sensory input. Then there’re those extreme moments when our survival depends upon paying attention to our environment. As writer and fledgling artist, I try to capture sensory qualities. This presents an ongoing challenge.

For whatever reason, today’s hike focused on visuals accompanied by sound. Have you allowed yourself to become Sunlight through leavesfully engaged within properties of illumination? At different times sunlight through leaves captivate as a zephyr Black-chinned Hummingbird, adult malerustles an aspen branch. Or the sheen off my whippet’s brindle spots and my greyhound’s tortoiseshell coloration enchant me even as their panting ripples light along their coats. Then there’s the bending of light that gives feathers their iridescence as a black-chinned hummingbird shrilly claims his territory. Texture combines with color and sound to draw me. When that happens, my breath catches and the pace falters.

During my final edit of CHOSEN BY MIST, book 3 of the MISTBORN CHRONICLES, I attempt to infuse detail into story without losing pace or scene focus. Sometimes it works. How do you incorporate sensory detail into your writing and visual art?Mariposa lily with lupine

Feeding Hope by Janine M. Donoho

Planting the moundsEach spring I plant my annual fruit and vegetable gardens. While winter offers the joy of seed catalogs and visions of succulent melons, eggplant and tomatoes dance through my mind’s eye, the real application starts once frost’s threat ends. During the planning stage, I dream big–think Mediterranean shoreline big.

Then I get a grip and narrow my choices to the reality of intense gardening-by-the-square-foot. At this stage companion plants come into play. That denotes matching cucumber with pole beans and radishes, which belly up to peas and carrots before leading into tomatoes, basil and…

Poster for Companion PltgWell, you get the idea. Separate mounds hold my hopes for watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, and brassicas. Since I love kale, beets and mescuns, you’ll find those, too. I mix basils, nasturtiums, and marigolds among plantings that benefit from their association. You’ll find spinach amid my strawberries, too.

So what do I relearn each growing season? Why how much groundwork, planting and harvesting a garden has in common with writing. It becomes a litany:

Plan

Amend

Plant

Revise

Harvest.

Yes, a garden benefits from editing much as stories do. In the final stages I force myself to be ruthless in both while taking the useful and transplanting it elsewhere for superior impact. It’s how I approach my current edit of MISTBORN CHRONICLES, book 3.

As often happens my process makes me curious about yours. How do your life practices move your writing from here to there? Is your life shaped more by how you approach writing? Or does writing mold your life choices?

IG in the greens

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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