Cultivate Your Imagination Like You Cultivate Your Garden

I’m a voracious reader and prolific writer, but I’m also the most optimistic gardener you’ll ever find. When my husband and I married 15 years ago, we soon found out that we needed to find other things in common than just … well … bedroom compatibility (although that still holds its own appeal).

He’s an engineer, I’m a writer. Weekday life pulled us in different directions, so we put our heads together to figure out a couple of good matches that would get us off the couch, working together, and would produce something to show for it. We’re both terrific chefs now, can ride our bikes with our son for endless miles, and our garden is the toast of the town.

Really, had I figured out at 20 that I could remember the Latin name for every plant I’ve ever touched, the proper way to balance the pH in our southern red clay soil so that I could tinker with the chromophores in hydrangea to make the blooms either pink or blue, the correct time of year to prune my myrtles or camellias or lorapetulum, or the benefits of composting kitchen waste to produce the most excellent humus in the south … my life would be distinctly different.

But as much as I love to cultivate our garden, I love to cultivate my mind and my imagination more. I’m always saddened by people who’ll tell you, “I’m a banker,” or “I’m a computer programmer.” Because my computer programmer husband is that, plus an enviable chef, master gardener, playful father, active outdoorsman, and generous lover. To name a few.

Personally, I love art, so I enrolled in the competitive docent program at the North Carolina Museum of Art and was accepted. I did that for five years, and learned so much about the history of art … but I also learned how civilization influenced and was influenced by different art forms and topics. Art is the litmus and the record of our current times. Who knew art history would help put into perspective politics and law, and make it easier to help my son with social studies.

The Right Words, by Becky MooreWhen I wanted to learn more about why our town seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds (and seemingly without direction), I contacted the mayor and he appointed me to the Town’s Appearance Commission. It was interesting to see how many requests came and went, and to participate with the town council as the decisions were made. And when our nation was faced with escalating gas prices in the fall of 2007, my family challenged itself to park our cars on the weekend and travel throughout town by bicycle. Not only did we get in great shape, but we saved tons of money on gasoline, reduced our carbon footprint, found a great activity that let us focus on fun conversations, and allowed us to … well … stop and smell the roses.

It’s easy to cultivate your garden. You can learn that from books and from your local garden center or through a class at your local university. Fertilize. Water. Prune. Mulch. Cultivating your imagination takes a little more effort, a willingness to try new things, a fondness for the unexpected, and a great sense of humor. It’s something you carry with you forever, too.

As a writer, cultivating my imagination has given me endless possibilities for stories, with characters possessing endless opportunities and possibilities to mine. So the next time somebody asks you what you do or what you are, blow their minds. Tell them … everything. You may surprise yourself—because there’s more to you than meets the eye.  

  • What interesting things have you done to learn more about the world around you?
  • Got any fun and spicy tips to cultivate your marriage? Your partnership? Yourself?

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You can read more about Becky Moore online at www.beckymoore.net.
Join her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
The Right Words is available through the XOXO Publishing Online Shop.

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14 Responses to Cultivate Your Imagination Like You Cultivate Your Garden

  1. Rita

    I have been following your new book announcement on XOXO Publishing and look forward to reading “The Right Words”. I have been a romance reader all my life and I’m glad to finally feel justified in the genre becoming so main stream today. My daughter used to encourage me to read a “real” book or something to expand my mind. As I’ve always said, I read for pure pleasure and enjoyment. It’s not necessary to think about the serious side of life to learn something. Happily ever after works for me. Good luck with your writing. Your family sounds wonderful and I can just imagine where you get your ideas for the books you write.

  2. Apex J

    Becky,
    Enjoyed the blog. It sounds like you have a real zest for life which you bring to your writing. I had to laugh when read your tip: “…blow their minds. Tell them …everything.” Yeah, I can still picture the tilted head expressions 😉
    I’m really looking forward to reading the Right Words.

  3. AEPender

    What a lovely post! It reminds me that many things define who I am, not just my job or my marital status. it’s nice to read about someone who actively participates in their life.

    If her book is as thoughtful and satisfying as her post, it should be great. I can’t wait to read it!

  4. Little Magnolia

    Becky,
    I really have enjoyed reading how much you love life. Can’t wait to read your books. You’re energy really amazes me. You’re knowledge of gardening also amazes me. When do you find time to blog too… Keep those books coming, your fans are waiting.

  5. Iris

    Hey Becky. Looking forward to your new book. Just reading “Cultivate Your Imagination…..” makes me smile. How true that we are all more than our name, marital status, etc. I’m sure when we fill out our resumes we could list engineer, psychiatrist, sex therapist, child advocate, nurse, chef, consumer specialist, environmentalist, teacher, mother, daugher, sister. wife…all the things we are and accomplish everyday. If your books deliver like your Romance Junkies blog….can’t wait to read them.

  6. Becky

    I have enjoyed reading the comments as much as thinking about the blogpost content. Thanks so much for the support and interest! I guess I don’t ever think in terms of how much I “love life,” but reading this feedback makes me realize that I am always so thankful to find something interesting to do and learn everyday. Have a great day, ya’ll!

  7. Beautiful Inside

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and anxious for your book to come out. This really made me look at myself and want to do more outdoor things with my son. We’re going to start a garden ourselves this spring. Thanks for your beautiful outlook on life.

  8. Iris

    Just how does a writer go about choosing a name to write under? Have you chosen to use your own name or some variation? I think I can see advantages to both. How long have you been writing and how long did it take you to be published? I know I had an earlier comment but some background information about the process would be interesting to me also.

  9. Becky

    Beautiful Inside … what a terrific screen name, and thanks so much for the kudos on my outlook. I was raised to have a positive view, so my mother’s to thank for that, really.

    And Iris, thanks for giving the blogpost (and me) more thought. In the outside world, I’ve been a published freelance journalist in magazines, newspapers, multimedia news, commercials; and as a corporate PR and marketing whiz I’ve written white papers and marketing propaganda for a dozen years. … which is why I chose to write romance novels (my very most #1 dream since I was a teenager) under a pseudonym. Becky is short for Rebecca, my middle name–my grandparents and teachers called me that when I was a kid, much to my mother’s chagrin–and Moore is my mother’s maiden name. I felt like she was such a strong influence in my life and really encouraged (and still encourages) me to read … and ultimately pursue my dream of writing novels. Plus, the pseudonym is nice to enable a little anonymity in my regular life. You know, for when I’m uberfamous and can’t stir people with a stick when they crowd around. Wishful thinking, huh?

    It’s always interesting to me, too, to get the background info on my favorite writers.

  10. Navarre

    Babe–you have to stop sharing our intimate details with the world–but I promise to keep your secret about Orchidaceae.

    Getting the Prosecco chilled and the crystal goblets ready; as I am and always will be your biggest fan.

    831

  11. Becky

    Grrrrrowl … Prosecco … here I come!

  12. kalai

    Gardening helps to kindle your creativity. Just looking at the swaying tendrils in the air, my creativity juice flows and it helps me to write something beautiful.

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