Thursday, June 13, 2019

Beauty and the Birdseed By Patti Jo Moore

Our Georgia spring seasons are lovely, and this spring has been no exception. The azaleas in various colors, the lavender Redbud trees, and our Bradford Pear trees are only a few of the beautiful sights to enjoy in the springtime. Even from inside my home, I have a nice view of the nearby blooms, thanks to lots of windows.

My cats also enjoy the windows, but not for the same reason I do. They are entertained by watching the numerous birds and squirrels that visit my deck for their daily feast of sunflower seed. I toss generous amounts of the seed onto the wooden rail on one side of the deck, and my cats sit by the windows to enjoy the view, with twitching tails and the occasional meow. I’m likely in the minority on this, but I love squirrels. Their antics delight not only my cats, but they make me laugh, too.

However, squirrels are messy eaters. A couple of months ago, I glanced out a window and noticed large amounts of chewed sunflower seed the squirrels had knocked off the rail and onto a patch of ground below. It was not a pretty sight. Ugh—I’d probably need to go out and scoop up the remnants before my husband cut the grass again. But since it didn’t seem urgent, I didn’t do it then. In fact, I forgot about it. 😉

In mid-May, I glanced out a window with a view of the ground below my deck, and couldn’t believe it. Two beautiful sunflowers had grown in the middle of the messy area. As I stood looking out at the sunflowers (which happens to be a favorite of mine!), I was struck with the thought of how a few weeks earlier, that patch of ground had been an eyesore, but now was a spot of beauty.

As I continued gazing at the sunflowers, I couldn’t help comparing this to writing. Sometimes we might begin writing a story, but we reach a certain point and stop. We feel our words have reached a dead-end, or what we’d thought was a great story idea just isn’t getting off the ground. We feel that what we’ve written is a mess, and we delete it, or just tuck it away, assuming it will never see the light of day again.

But if we’ll take a break and return to that project later, we’re able to see it with fresh eyes. We might be able to veer in a different direction with the plot, or maybe the main characters need some changes. The setting could even need to be moved, and that could get our ideas flowing. Sometimes, what we’d considered a hopeless mess can end up being a beautiful story. After all, looking out my window at the unsightly mounds of chewed-up seeds, I wouldn’t have thought it possible that beautiful sunflowers would actually grow in that spot. So take heart if you’ve got a story tucked away that you’ve given up on, because you might be able to re-work it and produce a story that you—and your readers—will love. 😊

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Meg Mills is thankful she relocated to Coastal Breeze after becoming widowed two years earlier. As she makes plans to achieve her dream of owning a small bookstore, she begins doubting herself after being harassed by her late husband’s stepmother. She’s also confused at her strong attraction to the shy, lanky piano tuner who arrives for an appointment one day. Todd Davis is grateful for his aunt’s encouragement to move to Coastal Breeze after a painful divorce, and is soon captivated by an outgoing piano tuning client. But he’s an introvert, and feels certain the pretty widow wouldn’t be interested in him. When Todd is hired as the local church’s choir director, he hopes this will help him get to know the attractive widow better—if he can come out of his shell. When the cousin who bullied Todd as a youth unexpectedly arrives in Coastal Breeze, Todd must confront his greatest fear, while getting past the pain of his memories. Meg worries that her exuberant personality has driven Todd away—until she learns the truth about his past. Can two people who are polar opposites help each other and find romance in the process?

Patti Jo Moore writes “Sweet, Southern Stories” and has lived in Georgia all her life. Her very first series, Emerald Coast Romances, is published by Forget-Me-Not Romances and is set on the Florida panhandle. Each book is a stand-alone, and Patti Jo hopes her readers enjoy “visiting” her fictional town of Coastal Breeze. The third book is In Tune With Romance and features Meg, an outgoing widow who wants to start her own business, and Todd, an introverted piano-tuner who must confront his greatest fear. Can two people who are polar opposites help each other and find romance in the process?

Patti Jo loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee. She loves connecting with other readers and authors. You can visit her on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore, or her personal blog at


  1. Hi Patti Jo. Great analogy. My husband feeds squirrels so we have a lot of them hanging around. They are fun to watch. We can hear them scampering around on our porch roof. Those little guys make it sound like thunder!
    God makes beauty out of things we would never expect to see beauty in. We've had the same thing happen with corn - a beautiful stalk of corn that grew right outside the kitchen window.

    1. Hi Cindy! Yes, those squirrels can be very entertaining, and you're right about how noisy they can be running around. Who would think that such a small animal could produce such noise with those little paws, LOL.

      That is so neat that you've had corn to grow outside your kitchen window---Wow! I didn't think about vegetables doing the same as flowers. God is amazing!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, sweet friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

  2. Patti Jo, this post is a beautiful reminder! I had a messy snippet of a story I'd tucked away. A couple of years later, I saw it again with fresh eyes. After MANY modifications, it became a complete manuscript. And I love it now!

    Thanks for your encouraging thoughts. I have many more unsightly writing bits which need attention so they will blossom into beautiful books. ;) I'll picture your sunflower! Blessings to you, my friend!

    1. Oh, Sherida - - you always make me smile. :)
      I'm so glad you were able to modify your story and became happy with it. I'm sure it's wonderful!

      Sunflowers are very special to me. There's something about their bright blooms that never fail to give me a lift. Especially when they bloom in unexpected places!

      Thank you for stopping by, my dear friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

  3. Enjoyed this post, Patti Jo! I'm actually reworking a story that I wrote 6 years ago. I'd pitched it at conferences, and although well received, it didn't go anywhere. So, I tucked it aside until now. It's been fun to go back to this story and realize that after self-publishing my historical series, it's the right time to publish this contemporary. I plan to have it out before the end of the year.

  4. Thanks, Patti Jo! You've inspired me to take another look at stories I once had lots of enthusiasm for but have left languishing in the "someday I'll get back to it" file.

    Congratulations on your latest release!

  5. Patti Jo, I just love your posts! I'm so thankful you are a regular contributor on Seriously Write.

    Isn't it amazing how God can make something beautiful out of the mess a squirrel leaves behind? Just as he can make order out of the chaos of my writing.

    Thanks for sharing! Oh, Crosby wanted me to tell you a squirrel almost attacked him today while he was taking a walkie!


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