Monday, August 15, 2011
Posted by Josin L. McQuein at 8:50 AM
This is my tree - the one in my backyard, specifically. (Please ignore my trashcan next to the pile of what would be a picnic table had the kit not been missing its braces.) When I first moved into my house a few years ago, this tree had issues. It had a weak limb, so I had to remove it to save the tree. The space left behind when that limb was excised created this image.
I'm not Catholic, none of my immediate family is Catholic, but everyone who sees my tree says the same thing, which is some variation of "That looks like Mary!" (or St. Mary or the Virgin Mary, or whatever the given viewer's qualifier is).
(ETA, one of them shaded in what they say they see to make it clearer, and to be honest, now it's all I can see when I look at my tree, too. Here's that version... yes, before anyone says anything THIS ONE IS PHOTOSHOPPED. Most people wouldn't question that, but there's always someone who thinks they're funny. )
So what does that have to do with writing or books or anything else? Not much, honestly, but I think it's unusual and interesting, and if I must tie this into something useful in the writing world, it's a metaphor. If I'd left the diseased limb on the tree, the tree would have still looked okay. It probably would have been strong enough to live for years, but by cutting off a seemingly good bit of the tree, something completely different became clear. Sure, it's just the way the wood snapped, but it's still nice to look at, and it gives my tree character it didn't have before -- editing books can be the same way.
Maybe what you've got works, but if you cut out the weakest portion, then you may find something completely unexpected that will take you places and directions you never imagined.