Writers and Gardeners Use Everything
Sometimes a story doesn’t work no matter how hard we try to make it, but it doesn’t mean it’s useless. A certain scene or a character can be reused elsewhere. Like in gardening, you don’t throw out last years’ dead plants or the leaves blown in the corner of the yard, you compost them. Like our forefathers, hardcore gardeners use everything both organic and non-organic.
This spring I had to bite the bullet and redo the patio. After years of patching the cracks it was time to replace the concrete. Five quotes later and the cheapskate frugal homeowner that I am I decided to break up the old patio and reuse the concrete for more raised beds.
Using broken concrete, or urbanite as some call it, is nothing new and more folks are doing it. Just do a Google search of urbanite images and you’ll see what I mean. Well, after a jackhammer (never do that again) and a sledgehammer with a pry bar (highly recommended) I had my own urbanite.
After much backbreaking moving around this pile of blocks became…
A little backfill with tiny concrete at the bottom, a lot of compost from last year and a layer of peat moss and topsoil and it became…
My pepper bed.
I could have paid the construction company to haul the concrete away, but I would have lost out on some good building material and later on bought something that would have done the same job.
In writing we can cast a story or book aside as unpublishable. That doesn’t mean it can’t be used elsewhere. Look to your old, rejected, trunked or abandoned works and see what stands out. It might be very valuable.