thorns

My latest book comes out tomorrow. I navigate for awhile in another part of a writer’s life: the public part, being reviewed, discussed, doing a few book signings. I’m out here in the New Mexico high desert on a retreat and different cacti are blooming at the ranch where we’re located. (It was created by one of the creators of Biosphere 2.) Anyway, one of the cacti, the cholla, can’t help but catch your eyes.  It stays a neutral gray green  and spiny all year, but right now there are these amazing rose-like flowers opening all up and down its arms. I’m like that cactus, I’ve decided…..staying internal and blending in with the landscape around me as I work to craft a story. And I keep my psyche and creativity surrounded by thorns so no one gets too close and hurts me because if I get hurt enough, I can’t create. The thorns are also out so I can keep distance around the thing I’m creating, so it doesn’t wither from the wrong kind of attention. But now I’m in flower and whether I want it or not. What I’ve created is out there for show. I feel awkward and gawkily on display. I don’t know how to take compliments or criticism. I don’t know how to be in flower. Only my thorns seem familiar.

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10 responses to “thorns

  1. Well, if the first 3 novels are any indication, you needn’t feel awkward. Pure perfection. Rivoting. Delightful. Elegence.
    You are a novelist extraordinaire.
    The world is blessed to have you.
    J

  2. So very beautiful…

  3. I have ordered mine from the bottom corner of the world, and I can’t wait. I love your blogs, they are food for the soul. Lots of love, Michele.

  4. The thorny patch is a welcome sanctuary. But I love your vibrant blooming; thanking you for sharing.

  5. Luckily the thorns don’t ever fall off, even when the cactus is in flower… stop critters from nibbling and people from grabbing… the gazing that brings heart’s ease and the pollinating that keeps the world alive happens with protection… Thank you for this beautiful metaphor to play with today. It is also a favorite of mine. I’m constantly cultivating my thorns… Feeling comfortable with them sounds divine. Hurray for your flowering!

  6. marlene mesilla (brandt)

    you are the best writer of historical fiction alive–your first book saved my life sorry im too far away for the book signing but im there in spirit

  7. Pingback: In Praise of Thorns (Day 5 of a week on Roses) | Kate Temple-West

  8. I read Jack Kennedy was a master at redirecting a conversation back on the interviewer. He had a knack for sounding out the person behind the questions and barely touched on issues close to his heart before asking, “what do you think about the matter?”

    He quickly created a level of intimacy, a safe place where strangers could express themselves.

    One on one, he turned his complete attention to the questioner. “It’s like you’re the only person in the world,” a writer said about talking with Kennedy. Many writers say they revealed more about themselves than they’d been able to drag out of Kennedy.

    I’m not saying you should emulate JFK. But you might find something worthwhile in his approach.

  9. Pingback: In Praise of Thorns: Day 5 of a week about Roses | Kate Temple-West

  10. Pingback: buzz | Karleen Koen — writing life

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