- 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