Seed to blossom

The other day, a friend of mine posted a picture of her rhododendron bush in full bloom and said, “I swear they burst into bloom overnight!”

Sometimes it’s the same with story seeds.

When I was at Malice Domestic a couple weeks ago, they put out the call for next year’s anthology, Mystery Most Geographical. The idea being that geography is an important part of the story. I was talking to my roommate about it and mentioned I’d worked in Puerto Rico and St. Croix for six months after I graduated from college. She said, “Oh, I bet there’s a story in that!”

A seed.

I continued to bat it around a bit. I did a little research. The island of Puerto Rico. A rainforest, an observation tower, two accidental deaths, superstitions, and the Puerto Rican independence movement (now mostly dead, but that’s another story).

A stalk of green pushes through the dirt.

After a little more thinking, I had a story. A plot. Even the opening paragraph.

A bloom.

And so it goes. I still have to write the rest of the story. But at least it’s underway. And it all started with a single, tiny seed.


Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She's worked for almost twenty years in the corporate world, but finds creating fiction is far more satisfying than writing software manuals. A lifelong mystery fan, she is the author of The Laurel Highlands Mysteries series. The first book, Root of All Evil, will be released by Level Best Books in August 2018. Her short fiction has been published in several anthologies, including the Anthony-award-winning Blood on the Bayou, Mystery Most Historical and The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos. Visit her at, find her on Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter (@LizMilliron).

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