Being Influenced

Silly hydrangeas! When I bought and planted these two bushes ten years ago, they both bloomed a lovely soft shade of pink. Granted, our property is surrounded by towering evergreens and the soil is decidedly acidic. To keep hydrangeas pink requires more alkaline soil.  Where there are lower pH levels (4.2-5.5), hydrangeas take up aluminum from the soil with ease, encouraging their blueness.

If I wanted mine to remain pink I’m told I should have added dolomitic lime to the soil several times a year and used a fertilizer with high levels of phosphorus. Since I’ve never added anything to the soil, I suppose I should be thankful the shrubs are blooming at all.

Who knew they were so temperamental about which colour to display… or so easily influenced by their location?

Then again, if people are influenced by the company they keep, why do I expect anything different from my shrubs? I remember telling my children that everyone needs friends, so I wouldn’t interfere in the friendships they made. But if they became associated with people whose judgment wasn’t very good, they’d better beware of following them down undesirable paths.

There‘s another application for all this… from the opposite side. I absorb a lot from the knowledge, experience, and good advice of cyber writing friends whose tweets, posts and comments reflect their faith, wisdom and success. I love attending conferences where I can interact with them and immerse myself in an environment of valuable writing information from which I hope to benefit via the magic of osmosis.

I hope the exposure to such good influences will keep my writing career “in the pink” and chase away any discouraging “blues” as my ability improves and I get closer to seeing my publishing goals blossom.

And now I should probably stop stretching this analogy before it gets thin enough to snap. 😉

Excluding hydrangea bushes, what have been the greatest influences on your writing? What brought you to your current genre?



8 thoughts on “Being Influenced

  1. Pink is fine, but blue is … mine? It must be Monday, I can’t think of a word to rhyme with “fine”. How about “Pink is fine, but blue is define” ?

    Okay, enough with the poeticlessness (new word). I think your flowers are beautiful even if they aren’t pink. In fact, they’re my favourite colour!

    Now to your question: I think my imagination has been the greatest influence on my writing. I’ve been a daydreaming since I was little. A storyteller, I’ve been entertaining the family since I was 2, apparently. My mother told me this. She said I entertained them with wonderful stories as soon as I could talk. And the woman was a God-fearing woman who seldom lied. Only when she feared she’d hurt someone with the truth.

    So, the question is: can one’s imagination inspired them?

  2. mE says:

    Well, my inspirations (is that the same as influence?) was a dog named Spot; Missouri red dirt and lots of family; the Puget Sound and beach living; Good teachers; History, westerns, horses and boys; Marriage and children; Traveling; more Dogs; and then, my friend, then came YOU!!!

  3. Oh, I love the blue hydrangea, Carol! I think it’s much prettier than pink. But you are a gentle, delicate person and i’m kinda bold and in your face, so this makes sense.

    I began my writing career with a wee article in a La Leche League newsletter, then some poems in their calendars, but a neighbor who had published many articles is the one who really encouraged me to submit to more markets–even taught me how to format my submissions! I’m so grateful to the Lord for her influence.

  4. Taking a few from my blog vacation to visit and glad I did, Carol. I think nature has more sense than the humans who inhabit her. The color adapts in wonderful ways, from the pinks to the purples and all shades between. This city girl grew up with a country-lady and a sea-faring man. It never appears to anyone that anything but that one darn tree Grows in Brooklyn, but an ancient forest, a wild life habitat and the thousands of small clusters of front and backyard gardens that dot the landscape of our residential areas. My greatest influence is first music and second the wide screen. The places of my youth were I escaped to another world. From this and the people I met and observed I create the stories that harken back to that little girl and her solitary moments of escape and joy. Thanks, the pics are the best 🙂

  5. Jenn Hubbard says:

    You make a good point about choosing the influences with which we surround ourselves. I find I am much more positive and energetic when I keep up with the blogs of writers who are positive in their approach (Lisa Schroeder, for example; Nathan Bransford, Jon Gibbs, you, to name just a few). Gloom-and-doom, apocalyptic, or frantic hard-sell approaches to writing and publishing don’t work well for me; they tend to paralyze my writing with useless worry.

    So, here’s to encouragement and positivity!

  6. I love reading what has inspired all of you. Thanks for sharing your stories.

    I might have to adopt Joylene’s new word (poeticlessness) for those times when I write a dreadful conglomerate of words in my journal. LOL!

    Earlene, I keep waiting to see a historical fiction emerge from all those wonderful influences.

    And Jeanette, I’m looking over my shoulder to see who you think is gentle and delicate, because it sure isn’t me!

    Florence, I think many of our writings are coloured by situations and places in our youth, even when we don’t remember everything in detail.

    And I agree, Jenn… encouragement and positivity are much better to live with than the opposite. 🙂

  7. Katt says:

    I am in awe of your pictures! I love hydrangeas. I had one, one time, and someone told me if I dumped coffee grounds around the soil, it would change the color! And it did!
    I’m not sure what inspires me—-probably life itself—
    I’m so glad you’re back—I’ve missed you. Sometimes you inspire me!

  8. catwoods says:

    Great Post!

    My journey has been influenced by my cyber friends. AgentQuery Connect and NaNoWriMo buddies have given me the confidence in myself and my writing to push forward when I otherwise would have stayed in the closet.

    They are great influences!

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