Saturday, July 9, 2011


Yesterday I visited an apple orchard for the first time in fifteen years because my publishing house hired a company to make a book video for The Orchard. On the way there, I thought I was going to black out, and every time I imagined getting that first glimpse of the orchard, my heart slammed in my chest. I had to stop at a café for a drink. Not a booze drink, although that might have been better, but just a glass of green tea so I could collect and fortify myself.

But once I got to the orchard, I was okay. Partially because it was very small and the trees were scattered, not in rows, not symmetrical. Not the kind of orchard I was used to seeing, if not for real anymore, at least in my mind. But it was still odd, because it felt like I was pretending to be someone I haven’t been in years. The girl in book, the girl in The Orchard. I’m not that person anymore. I haven’t been that person for a long time. The person I am now hadn’t stepped foot in an orchard for fifteen years until yesterday. And the person I am now started eating apples again not long ago. Until recently, I couldn’t even look at an apple, and don’t get me started about cider. The word alone gives me a little hitch in my throat not unlike a gag. So yesterday was very odd and surreal. Most of The Orchard (the book, not the place) is about my twenty-something self, and I think the idea was to capture the mood and setting of the book, except that now I’m a curmudgeon who recoils and lifts my black cape to the sun.

I wonder if readers will expect me to be that person in the book, or will they understand that she's gone?


  1. I understand she's gone, and can't even imagine you as her. But understanding that she was you, makes me understand who you are now.

  2. I'm not sure what readers will expect from you or that their expectations in that regard even matter. I'd imagine awareness of your current curmudgeony self would put readers at ease, a kind of assurance to them that you survived the story you shared.


  3. That's such an interesting thought about memoirs in general. Certainly by the time most are published the writer has changed in some way. I always think of memoirs as a snapshot into a person's life at a particular time.

  4. Thanks, gals. The whole nonfiction thing is such a different world for me. I'm trying to take everything as it comes, but sometimes I stop and have to admit that some things are freaking me out a bit. I'm guessing that's pretty normal.