I didn’t see the wild pineapples

Pineapple on grass. Text: The effect of a single choice. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

BUT MY CHILDREN DID

And brought back photos. (Not this one.)

There is an oddness to the idea of pineapples in the wild that pleases me.

The modern pineapple is a huge, heavy fruit, supported by a strong stalk. Much like modern melons, watermelons, and papayas, it is hard to believe (okay, impossible) that they are the way we see in the supermarket solely due to evolution.

Evolution produces fruit which attracts animals that eat the fruit and scatter the plants’ seeds, with their poop (fertilizer) somewhat farther away than the plant can throw. In our case, the pineapple, continents away. Shop Rite has pineapples.

Why pineapples, and why now?

Because I have to get back to writing blog posts.

It has been a desert for a while, as all the chores crowded in to vacation and retirement community decision and coming back to a house where everything was in boxes (for the painters) and the staging ladies had transformed the now-sparse contents into a model home.

So many things that HAVE to be done crowded out the optional ones.

The lack of window shades on most windows makes it like living in a fish bowl, only fish are not required to clean their own bowl. It’s nice if they do (by eating the algae, etc.), but that’s asking for perfection. Husband has done marvels with something I didn’t even know existed: temporary paper shades from Amazon which get cut to the right width with scissors, and attached with temporary mounts.

Sleeping has been possible, at least in our bedroom.

Where did THIS pineapple come from?

Stencil – I was looking for an image to write some words on, and the pineapple grabbed me, since I know I saw a picture the kids took on a hike with a wild pineapple growing in a fields (might have been a former Dole plantation).

Today is the first day in a while that something major and required didn’t take over all the energy for the day, but I have gotten out of the habit of putting my thoughts into some kind of order, and I’ve been a total slug all day.

And now we come to the single part.

I check my emails several times a day. Just habit. And hoping there might be an interesting thing to read, or a tidbit of a conversation setting itself up. And one not purely utilitarian and needing an answer, like the email from the woman at the solar company who needs my monthly input to get me the solar energy credits (SRECS) from our installation.

With me ignoring my blogs, and all, I am reduced to input (you don’t get much if you’re not writing) from two people today who saved my brain from the mush: a patron on my Patreon who commented on the new scene available there (the finished scene from Book 2 that I’m serializing). A very favorite patron.

And one of a kind I hadn’t seen in a while: a reader on Wattpad who commented, and is reading the beginning of Pride’s Children which remains there as a sample, as allowed by Amazon’s KDP for books in KU.

With limited promotion for either of these sites, I don’t often get comments. But getting one – from someone discovering my writing for the first time – was a kick in the seat of the pants as to how much I need feedback.

Single project authors can get lost.

Forever.

Stories of authors saved by someone else: John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces, (whose mom insisted on getting his manuscript accepted for publication after he committed suicide in despair – and won the Pulitzer – posthumously). Austin Tappan Wright, Islandia (whose wife typed up his 2400 page manuscript after he died). Even Stephen King, whose wife rescued Carrie from the circular file.

How many more are there out there who spent years, decades on their creations (Tolkien) AND (the more important part) created something of great value?

Rescued by a single act of feedback from a reader?

Computers, word processing software, and the internet now make it possible for writers to create works which are massive and available to many – if the many only look.

As in everything, I fear the great majority of the epics are not great fiction (wouldn’t know, haven’t read them) simply because of Sturgeon’s Law: statistically, they can’t be. But those many projects include a few good ones for some reader somewhere.

Readers keep us writers working. It’s that simple.

Unless the writer has many other sources of support as a writer, the projects can seem hobbies, dilettantism, something to do that is not video games or watching TV.

I thank today’s two readers. It had gotten a bit parched. I’m still here. I love readers.

Must get moving both on writing – and promotion – to find more. I am not unhappy to admit I need them. Even if I claim to write for myself.

Do you ever feel invisible? What gets you out of that state?


 

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12 thoughts on “I didn’t see the wild pineapples

  1. Silvia Writes

    During my last book promotion, I went all crazy with local radio interviews, podcasts, writing blogs, signings at bookstore. I overdid it. Took away from the creative process, all that promo. My publisher is a small house, so it was all on me (largely). Maybe the same with big houses, too, I don’t know. Now, finishing the current WIP is taking longer than I had imagined — still a little hangover from the blitz. Have to recommit a hundred percent to critiquing, writing. Easier said than done.
    I love Pineapple. Nice, freshly cut slices of Pinneapple — oh, so good.
    Sounds like you settling in. Sleep is the big motivator. Hope you get some rest.

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Can’t. House is going on the market – needs to have all this stuff processed.

          We need a TB test (!?!) before the doctors can fill out our health certificate – which is required to move in.

          The place in California needs a deposit – just wasted 1.5 hours while Chase Bank screwed up the paperwork – and then said they couldn’t do it for the fakest reason I ever heard.

          My pain specialist’s office won’t renew my ONLY prescription (Celebrex, not opioids or anything relaly powerful) – so I have to go in tomorrow to ‘talk’ to a doctor I’ve never seen, and who probaby knows nothing about ME/CFS, and get a new prescription – or I could run out in the middle of moving and finding new doctors in Ca.

          The handyman comes tomorrow to get our list (not quite finished) of what still needs to be done. The painter left some bombs (what do you mean you didn’t do it – it has WHITE PAINT on it) that must be fixed, and the staging ladies moved furniture and left deep gashes on some doors – and no one will accept responsibility and FIX the things they damaged.

          Do I sound a little crazy? It’s because I am.

          And I’m not letting the husband who just had cataract surgery today drive himself to the eye doctor tomorrow.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          Overwhelmed is it. With CFS, I try to do as little as possible, but I can’t right now.

          I am beyond exhausted, and trying hard to keep things going. Had TWO doctor appointments today because I could sneak the TB test in and dropping off the paperwork to be filled out for the CCRC; but it was an extra half-hour drive. Then I had to get a NEW doctor to understand my pain med needs and give me a prescription for them. Accomplished with an extra Diet Coke – which I don’t like to do because I may not sleep tonight – but the tasks are done.

          Need a nap, but had to finish the home repairs spread sheet for the handyman – who is here now.

          Then can sleep.

          The list is endless at these times – and I never do anything – so extra overwhelming.

          Thanks for caring.

          Like

  2. joey

    I like feeling invisible. I do not like to feel mute. Big deal to me.
    I wonder about that, unfinished projects. Yes, I think one could be lost forever in a piece. Did you read or see Wonder Boys? That’s what it made me think of.
    Yay for paper shades. I couldn’t live exposed. I have open windows a lot, but they all have coverings.

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Didn’t see Wonder Boys. I’m getting really tired of the male-centric movies where old geezers feel entitled – because of their ‘something’ – to paw young women who are always scripted to look up to them because they are misunderstood geniuses. Is WB one of those? Michael Douglas seems to be in a lot of those. I can name a whole bunch of other actors (male) that do the same. Must be something in their contracts, or they sell – but let a woman do the same and she gets called nasty names, and usually killed in the end (Fatal Attraction).

      I hear you about being taken into account. For me, the quality of the piece is what counts. Someone can spend 50 years writing a piece of boring crap – while someone like Tolkien produces a literate masterpiece. And quality IS subjective, but also real.

      You got me at my opinionated best today – I think I’m just really, really tired, and still having to hold the fort for a long time. While husband is going around putting new wall plates over outlets and switches instead of looking for the one paper I need to continue to process paperwork. And I keep my mouth shut. Why he couldn’t do it in MY preferred order, I’ll never know. Instead, I’m on standby when I could be working. Sorry. Whiny. Tired.

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  3. marianallen

    I love it when people enjoy something I wrote, but I always did write primarily for myself — couldn’t imagine NOT spinning yarns. Mom used to put me in Time Out and come back to find me telling myself stories. Out loud. They just accumulate in my head and have to be pushed out. Kinda like snot, I guess. I’m glad your readers watered your parchiness. You’re one of the excellent authors who make wading through the lesser stuff worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      And you’re an amazing patron – I want more just like you. It’s funny – I did not make up stories (but I did make up worlds and movies in them in my head). The stories were the ones in the books.

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      1. marianallen

        “The stories were the ones in the books.” YES! That’s why it blew me away when my mother told me people were still making up stories and new books were printed all the time. It turned my passtime into an ambition.

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