Aug 30 2010

Unique Treasure

Melissa Crytzer Fry

It’s true. My love affair with the saguaro cactus continues (you’ll see I’ve talked about its flowers and fruit in previous posts. But I’ll hold off on future saguaro blogs … well, after this post, of course).

One of my favorite saguaro shots: a full moon still hanging out in the morning sky, framed by one of the beautiful saguaros in our backyard. Click to enlarge.

So … lucky me that there are more than 30 saguaros scattered among our property (that’s at least how many I could see in plain sight). They are majestic – rising from 15 to 50 feet in the air – and they’ve earned my respect for their resilience. It takes a year for a saguaro to grow an inch …  And some mature saguaros are thought to be at least 200 years old.

But probably the fact that has me most awestruck is that they are unique only to the Sonoran Desert … my home! How supremely cool is that? I have access to these wonderful plants that exist nowhere else in the world!

For Writers: Maybe that awe speaks to the author in me. I have a treasure in my yard that is unique only to “my” part of the world.

What’s the unique treasure in your novel – unique only to your story? I just read an excellent novel by Therese Walsh, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, and one of the unique treasures in her book – literally – is a keris purchased at an auction house (a Javanese dagger with believed suggestive powers). Walsh’s novel (contemporary women’s fiction) is supported by graceful prose, believable characters, tension, emotion and momentum, but the mystical aspect of the keris makes it truly unique.

What is your novel’s unique hook? An unforgettable story? A different perspective on an age-old theme? A new world? An extraordinary setting? A fresh voice? Depth of emotion? Artistic language? A mysterious object? What’s the unique treasure that will get your novel noticed by an agent, published and cherished by readers?

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