Monday, April 09, 2012
The peach trees in the orchard have bloomed. They are beautiful, but every time I think of peaches, I think of my mother-in-law bringing me a ton of ripe peaches and telling me to do something with them before they all rot.
It was ninety-nine degrees and we had no air-conditioning.
I made peach jam. My daughters and my mother-in-law helped. They peeled and cut up the peaches. I hovered over the boiling jam until I thought I was going to melt.
I canned the jam and it was the very best peach jam ever, but every time I think of peaches, I think of being forced to make peach jam on a brutally hot day.
I used a lot of my peach experience in The Company You Keep. For a writer, even a negative experience can be useful. That's one of the big perks of being a writer. All kinds of situations can be channeled into a story.
My family can recognize the truth in my fiction. None of the plots I've devised resemble reality. None of my books are anything but fiction. However, some of the details are taken from actual incidents--like the peach business.
I still eat peaches, I like the scent of peaches, and I buy peach jam, but I never made another batch of peach jam. If anyone handed me a ton of ripe peaches now I would eat a few and hand out the rest to anyone who would take them.
I would rather be writing than making peach jam.