Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Yesterday, with the delight of social media communication, I had a conversation with a wonderful childhood friend who now lives over 3,000 miles away.  Like so many of us, with the long awaited arrival of spring weather, she was thinking of gardening.  She was contemplating planting a “Butterfly Bush” near her house.  At first, she was excited about the idea of attracting colorful butterflies to her yard. But she changed her mind.
     “Of course, first you have to deal with all the caterpillars,” her mate had commented.
     “Ugh!” said my friend. “No way.  No caterpillars. No Butterfly Bush.”
And that was that.
This got me to thinking.  So many things in life that are enjoyable and rewarding begin with “caterpillars.”
In my writing, it’s MANY drafts of a story, creeping and crawling through the editing process.  This can be both difficult and sometimes disheartening.  But it’s a necessary part of the process, if the story is to “emerge” (hopefully) in its full glory when it’s done.
In my kitchen, sometimes it’s the messy clutter on the counter as the ingredients are tossed and measured and chopped and blended, hurricane style.  The final creation can be quite wonderful, but you could have a lot of doubt about that if you saw the kitchen in progress.
In my garden, it’s dealing with the mulching, the fertilizing, the planting, the weeding. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of dirt on the way to the blossoming of the flowers and ripening of the vegetables.
In the gym… well, I don’t really think I have to explain what the “caterpillars” are.  I am no athlete. I grunt and groan a lot. But I’m loving the effects and strengthening that develops from the efforts.
I think it’s easy in life to make decisions NOT to deal with the caterpillars.  But then we don’t have the butterflies.  I have to remember this when I plan my day.  It’s worth it.  And I’m still hoping my friend will plant her Butterfly Bush.
What are the “caterpillars” you have to deal with on the way to your “butterfly” goals? 

Christine Bush is the award winning author of many books and novellas of sweet romance and light mystery. She also writes Middle Grade Fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working with clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or teaching Psychology at a local college.  She lives with her family and two crazy cats in northeastern Pennsylvania, and loves to hear from readers and aspiring writers.






  1. I think book research can "creep up" on me. I have stacks of articles ripped from magazines and books on topics that I only reference a few times in a manuscript. Reading related works and research inspires me, but clutters my space.

  2. So true, Christine. So many things that are worth doing start off with hard work or an unpleasant stage that must be gone through. People who want everything easy must live boring lives.

  3. Just about anything creative starts out a mess, it seems. It makes us appreciate the results more, I think.

  4. I think the draft process is the caterpillar stage (what a neat analogy!) Its so rubbishy and awful and you rewrite and throw out scenes and you despair its even going to be any good, but you go on through and then at some point have a book ready to publish. Nice post, Christine.