Monday, April 8, 2013

African Violets and Writers

African violets weave in and out of my childhood memories. My mother is a huge fan and always had at least a couple of them in the house. Her enthusiasm has rubbed off on me. Someone gave me a beautiful specimen that is perched on a shelf above my desk at work.

I've learned a thing or two about these sometimes finicky plants:

1.  They must be watered from the bottom. Get moisture on their leaves, and you might as well   throw them on the compost heap.

2.  My African Violet sits under a fluorescent light and shows its happiness by abundant flowering.

3.  The plants also favor an eastern exposure. If they're in a spot that's too sunny, the leaves will burn.

For those of you who love a writer, we need a few things to keep us happy and productive:

1.  Encouraging words feed our creativity. Please be kind when critiquing or we'll shrivel up like a wet African Violet leaf. Oh, and a little chocolate wouldn't hurt either!

2.  Coax us out of our writing cave once in awhile to bask in the great outdoors. Our words will flourish and spill out onto the page.

3.  Too much play and not enough seat-in-chair time will have the opposite effect. We'll be tempted to leave the computer dark and gathering dust.

The key to both a healthy African Violet plant and a healthy writer revolves around a single word: balance.

Writers: How do you keep a balance between family and writing?

Readers: How do you juggle the many demands of your life?

Photo Credit:   Susan J. Reinhardt

The Blog Tour Stops Here:    Loree Huebner
                                               Paula Davis


Karen Lange said...

I love this comparison! It's so true. :) I also love violets, and my mom was a fan as well!


Jessica Nelson said...

What a lovely analogy! I didn't know that about violets.
I think my balance between family and writing is going well. But put in cleaning and I'm all out of whack. LOL

Loree Huebner said...

I love African Violets. My Nana could grow them like crazy. I've tried a few times without success.

I love how you compare the care of the violets to our writing - especially the balance.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen - I love African violets. Thanks to my mother, I've had some success with them. Keeping a balance with writing is a bit harder.

Hi Jess - Oh, I know what you mean. Getting everything done is a challenge.

Hi Loree - Yes, it often feels like a high-wire circus act. Oops, guess I'm mixing my metaphors there.

Susan :)

Nancy said...

My grandmother had a whole window of violets. She gave cuttings to my mom who made babies. I had one that lived for awhile, but mostly they are too delicate for me. I love their colors however.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. I love African violets - but never have seemed to do too well with them .. I'll give them another go sometime.

Love the photo - reminds me of my mother who had them around all the time ..

Cheers Hilary

quietspirit said...

I had an African Violet when I was in college. My mother gave it to me. It was in a pretty cup with a saucer under it. I almost dropped it one day. The friend I was talking to caught before it hit the floor. After that, it bloomed more profusely. I haven't had much success with plants since. Our house is too dark.

I like your comparison to writers.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy - It seems our grandmothers and mothers had quite a bit of success with African Violets. My plant has an interesting story, but that's for another day.

Hi Hilary - African Violets will always be associated with my Mom. She has quite a knack with them.

Hi Quiet Spirit - My house isn't suitable for African Violets, but my office is perfect. The plant sits directly under a fluorescent light and loves it!

Susan :)

JD said...

Balance is so important. It keeps everything running smoothly from our relationships to our health.

I've been learning quite a bit about gardening on your site lately. With the weather (finally) warming up, I can use the pointers!

Blessings to you and yours...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janette -

With spring weather, I'm thinking more and more about gardening. Pinterest has some great tips. You might want to check it out.

Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, what a great comparison.

How I keep balance in every area is to pray and seek the Lord, then obey. If I fail to do either, I wither.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Yes, that's the best way to maintain balance - prayer and obedience.

Susan :)

Dorothy said...

I love the encouragement to add chocolate! So wise, and something every writer needs to get through the week. Great comparisons. xx

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dotti -

Writers seem to have a special affinity for chocolate. :)