I have a thing about rhubarb pie.
It’s deep-seeded, to be sure, since I haven’t had a bite of that particular pastry since I was a child. My paternal grandmother made them. She died when I was ten. 
So when the LitForum‘s Writer’s Exercise  for March was to “write a scene in which the emphasis is on the consumption of food. Make use of the senses of taste and smell. Complement those senses by also drawing on sight, feel and mood. The MC  in this scene has stopped whatever he/she has been doing before and is pausing for a moment,” I knew immediately mine would be about rhubarb pie.
One thing I’ve learned while writing is that I have a terrible visual imagination. I can describe how something feels. Or smells. And I’m pretty good with emotion. But ask me to describe how something looks and if it’s not right there in front of me, I go totally blank.
Maybe I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong? Without looking at it first?
Take my mythical town of Henderson…
I’ve never been a gardener. In fact, I usually tell folks that “I don’t kill plants; I just make ’em wish they were dead.”
So, it’s fitting that, as I plan what flowers I’ll be planting this spring, I’m thinking about Rose, who also wasn’t much of a gardener.
As a writer, one always questions if a character is being true to their own nature or whether the author is projecting his or her own moral belief system or code of action upon them.
To be clear, you don’t want the latter. That’s called Author Intrusion. 1
Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to keep the author’s world from encroaching on their writing. And when it happens to me, I try to mitigate its effects by relegating it to the world of research.
This week’s topic of research has been healthcare.2
Sometimes, when words are hard to find, my writing group plays a little game. We spin for prompts, which are just words or phrases that have been plucked from various sources and added to a numbered list, and then see what we can write that includes one or all of the prompts.
Occasionally, the resulting scene is actually relevant to the work-in-progress; other times it just serves to open the floodgates and remind you that you can still write.
Regardless of outcome, the games are always fun. And writing is supposed to be that, isn’t it!
I’ve been considering bank closings, and the panics that ensued,1 and how that would have manifested itself in the small town where Rose and Harold lived?
We’ve seen pictures of the mobs that rushed banks in New York after the big stock crash in ’29. But stories about smaller crowds, smaller towns, smaller banks, are harder to find.2
Some writers are blessed with the innate knowledge of where their story is going. Others just write and let the story take them where it will.
In the writing world, there are two main camps of fiction writers. Plotters and Pantsters1. The former has the story mainly plotted out, either on paper or some lucky few have all that incredible knowledge in their heads. Pantsters, however, don’t bow to the conventions of linear time. They just write whatever story bit is in their head at the moment and sometime later, by invoking some weird kind of magic, move the scenes around to create a story, i.e. they write “by the seat of their pants.”