These are hellebores, from my garden. Lovely aren't they? That astonishing velvety almost-black one in the middle is helleborus niger. Now, to see the hellebores in their natural state, on the plant, you'd have to stretch out on your back under the shrubbery, which is not fun in March, with slugs and damp and inquisitive dogs and cats trampling you - so I pick the downward drooping flowers and float them in water so all their delicate complexity is exposed.
Do you feel a metaphor coming on?
Good. Some stories are like hellebores. You have to really play with perspective to make them work. As an editor, most of the stories I see are like mid-range snapshots - reasonable clarity in the foreground and background and a good idea who the focus of the picture is. But that gets boring. Sometimes we want close-ups of an old woman's face or panoramas of life in the subway or fish-eye images of the skyline of New York. If you tend to always take the mid-range approach, look at the hellebores and try to bring one of your stories out from under the shrubbery.