A seed to a bloom

This morning (Wednesday, actually) a friend of mine posted a picture of her rhododendron in full bloom and said, “I swear they burst into bloom overnight!” I have rhodies – I understand.

But it’s the same with story ideas.

I was at Malice Domestic at the end of April when they put out their call for their next anthology, Mystery Most Geographical. The premise, if I remember the wording correctly, is that geography must play into the story. Okay, interesting idea. That night, I was talking to my roommate about it and I mentioned that I lived in Puerto Rico and St. Croix briefly after college, working for the government. “Oh, I bet there’s a story in that,” she said.

The seed was planted.

I’ve continued to water that seed in the weeks since. What on earth could I write about? What kind of issues and plots would need that particular geography?

I had some time this morning. Puerto Rico has some drop-dead (pardon the pun) locations for murder. Beaches, mountains, even a rain forest. Hmm. It’s a very traditional society, one rooted in their cultural traditions while trying to be part of the 21st century. Hmm. It was twenty-odd years ago, but I remember debate over whether Puerto Rico should push for U.S. statehood, stay a commonwealth, or push for independence. Was that still the case? Hmm.

The shoot of the seed pushes through the dirt.

I dug up information on locations, superstition, customs, and the independence debate (which has kinda died, actually, with only 5.5% voting for independence in the last referendum, but I digress). I looked at pictures – and I’ll have to get my hubby to dig out my photo albums tonight. Lush forests. An observation tower. A Nuyorican (that’s someone from New York City with Puerto Rican heritage – sidenote, did you know there are more Puerto Ricans in NYC than in San Juan? True story – or at least it used to be and I see no reason why it should be different now) homicide detective who is back on the island for a little R&R unravels the connection between some apparently random deaths.

A blossom.

I’ll continue to care for my seed, because of course the blossom isn’t the end. It’s still unfurling and it may turn out to be pretty ugly – or it may die.

But the seed has definitely bloomed. Overnight. Just like my rhododendrons.

2 thoughts on “A seed to a bloom”

    1. Sorry I didn’t see your comment until now, Donna. I was at a conference all weekend. But this post was supposed to go to Mysteristas! I thought WordPress ate it – no, I just posted it to the wrong blog.

      But I’m glad you liked it. LOL

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