The Orchard, My Roman Legion?

Winter apple orchard
Image by Preconscious Eye via Flickr

Standing on a wind blasted hill, I drink in swooping lines that make up a phalanx of apple trees that Alexander the Great would marvel at. Quilted amongst the contour, one after another, battalions stand ready to face the wind on this cold winter morning. The trees seem to be closing ranks, protecting the tribe for another day, a day surely born of sweet victory in the form of a promise of juicy, fleshy fruit.

There is a certain structure to an orchard. Trees are planted in organized lines, hugging a hillside in order for the farmer to get his/her equipment between rows to cultivate the soil, spread fertilizer, and gather fruit. Much of the beauty of an orchard is in that structure.

My writing is an orchard, like the one I walk through with my dogs. There are rules I must follow, standards to bear. My sentences are rows, the paragraphs, groves. The hiker/reader needs to navigate and make sense of the space. The trail I choose is the plotline, and grammar, the map (and the bane of my existence) I must adhere to, at least until I am as famous at Cormac McCarthy.

Will my January tactics be worthy of bearing fruit? My strategy, while not overpowering, is at least military-like in staying the course. Following the plan allows me hegemony over my characters as well as the plot line in this literary theater of sorts.

Happy trails in 2011


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4 Responses to The Orchard, My Roman Legion?

  1. Steve Lee says:

    Indeed there is order a certain structure in the orchard until the moose goes running by and the dogs noses catch the scent and then all chaos breaks loose.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Steve Lee says:

    I need an editor!!

  3. Annette Zamarchi says:

    Chaos? I think the dogs have it all planned.

  4. Stacey Lee says:

    I love the analogy of the orchard! Keep writing your style…Mr. McCarthy is a little hard to follow sometimes… 🙂

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