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 fifteen years in the corporate world, but finds making things up is far more satisfying than writing software manuals. A lifelong mystery fan, her short fiction has been published in online magazines Uppagus and Mysterical-e. She has also had stories included in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales, Blood on the Bayou (the 2016 Bouchercon anthology), Fish Out of Water, and Mystery Most Historical. She is a past president of the Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime. Visit her online at, find her on Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter (@LizMilliron).

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