So, I started reporting, or, rather, researching serialization and I learned it worked for Dickens, worked for Thackeray, worked for many 19th Century writers, and then read many articles, and learned it allows the story to build an audience over time and in the case of fiction, or nonfiction, to succeed it demands, needs (and yet also creates) tension and a kind of momentum, which keep readers reading and wanting more. And then I got an email from a place in Brooklyn that makes artisanal chocolate and was about to delete it but then I saw they had a cider and chocolate tasting event to toast Cider Week and being the curious imbiber that I am and newly initiated into the world of fermented apples – I started drinking cider recently because it’s fall, apple season, and New York is the country’s second-largest apple-growing region – I went to the cider company’s Internet page and started reading about the different ciders they make and I also started thinking about apples, by way, if indirectly, of avocados, and also of the earth, the soil, trees from which apples fall or are picked and the idea that this drink, cider, that nourishes people, gives them strength, as it has for centuries, now, we drink it still, and it comes from a fruit, and as avocados gave me sustenance and pulled me through a very dark decade, what if I could now make a drink from a different fruit that other people could imbibe and get sustenance from? It seems beautiful, and important work.
And I think about making cider to better understand apples, to better understand the cider economy, the fruit, harvest, the process, the art and science of it, and also because it’s a way to give a service, something important and nourishing – and delicious and refreshing – to people who work hard, here, and want something to quench their thirst at the end of a long day, and something that comes from this state, this earth they stand on.
Trollope criticized authors who began serializing their novels before they knew the ending. But isn’t this a different version of what I’ve been doing all along on this platform – revealing the writing journey to anyone who cares to witness – letting it unfold in this digital space?