Plotting with Blue Lake Pole Beans

beansI bought six Blue Lake Pole Beans seedlings this spring, and their short lives have been fraught with drama and death.  The location near the fence seemed a poor location at first as I’d unknowingly planted four near the front door of a rabbit warren.  The other two were across the yard near a heater vent.  Last year, sweet peas did fine at that location, but the beans this year are not flourishing.

Near the fence, the bunny chewed three of the plants to nubs and the fourth to one fragile strand.  I wrote off beans this year and turned my attention to the cucumbers, tomatoes, French breakfast radishes, and herbs.  Who knew that the bunny was a better gardener than me?

As I finish the quartet of Abishag mystery novellas, I’ve been taking notes on a new mystery series of short stories.  Usually I ignore the detective’s motivation letting   personalities and skills, the story premise, and the case drive the plot.  On my walk today,  I thought again about motivation, one that would provide a thread through every story driving the detective to resolve each case before her in hopes of finding a lost memory.

When I planted the beans this year, I had visions of six hardy plants with vines winding around their cage, supplying all my bean needs for the season.  The gardener rabbit instead nurtured the cage of a single blue lake pole bean plant shown above, now 56 inches high, abundantly meeting my needs with extra for friends.

How the short stories will grow with similar pruning remains to be seen, but I’m looking forward to starting.  I’ve reserved a long weekend this month (28 June to 01 July) where I’ll take a break from the Abishags and write the first short story.  Till then I’ll enjoy harvests of a different kind.

plate of veggies

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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3 Responses to Plotting with Blue Lake Pole Beans

  1. Rebecca Lang says:

    I like how the bunny became the gardener. God provides in abundance. 🙂

  2. dayya says:

    Lovely post–amusing and meditative. “Gardener rabbit” :)).

  3. Kaye Klem says:

    Michelle–I have trouble with the rabbits, too. They’ve eaten a mini rose bush down to the thorny stem three times this year. I bought a “rabbit repellent” spray, but I think the sprinkler washes it off. And in the front yard, rabbits have literally grazed on my grass clear to the soil, and killed patches of it. Those bunnies are cute, but they are destructive.

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