Lately, I've been expressing my inner scientist. I've been doing experiments!

While clearing out a storage area, I found one of those amaryllis bulbs you sprout indoors. I remembered vaguely buying it as a gift and losing track of it in the "clean up for Christmas" rush. What I couldn't remember was how many Christmases ago that had been. So rather than throw it out, I stuck the bulb in the dirt, put it in the sun, watered it, and waited.

This morning, I poured the remains of "maple" "syrup" into a red plastic dish and set it out on the snowbank near the bush (or rather, where bush will grow in a couple of months). We've seen bunny and squirrel tracks there and fox tracks elsewhere recently. We don't like the syrup, and rather than throw it out, I thought I'd see if anyone else likes it.

For the first months of 2014, I've been hunkered down working on long-term projects. As April came around, I felt restless--many other ideas were pushing at me. And because they were so respectful in requesting my attention, I listened. I've carved out a little time here and there to piddle with those ideas. And the rest of the time, I'm hunkered down with those other projects, still.

So sure, the bulb was a non-starter. Not a huge surprise. We threw it out when we were cleaning up for company. And if it happens that nobody in the animal world enjoys this poor excuse for syrup, oh well. Might as well have a little fun before throwing stuff out. Plus, negative results are information--next time, I won't wait so long to plant the bulb; next time, I will examine the syrup in the checkout cart more carefully.

That's the attitude I'm trying to take to these smaller, sorta different writing projects. I'm not even sure what the equivalent of "negative results" would be--perhaps listening and experimenting in this way would no longer be fun. In any case, the point is to do the writing. Who knows what these pieces might grow into. Perhaps their only purpose is to be written, and if so, that's more than okay, too.

I don't know the outcome--I'm not supposed to know. That's why scientists call it an "experiment." And artists call it "creating" or even "playing." And both groups think it's "fun." As do I.