Monday, April 12, 2010

An image to relish

Ta-Da! Here it is in my blog header, the namesake of my latest writing project: Pilot Mountain. It straddles the border between McDowell and Burke counties in western North Carolina, and though it might seem like a mere hump in the earth to you, standing there apart from the nearest chain, it gave the early settlers a point of reference, a landmark to guide them. The Pilot.

There's a story behind this photograph. Remember now, I'm the story collector and I find the story in everything if I look hard enough, so here it is.

I have critique partners that never hesitate to bite into the meat of my manuscripts, chew on them and spit them back at me smiling all the while. I love it and I love them. One of my critique buddies lives in the shadow of this mountain. Well, she doesn't exactly live in the shadow, but if this mountain were as tall as the Alps, she would. She does have some wonderful vantage points for photos from her neighborhood. Last week we went adventuring to capture the image that you see above. The first attempt was from a house directly across from the mountain.

But there was a forest fire in the distance, so I didn't want that to distract from the main idea. So we climbed higher on the porch of that home.

But that shows the gouge of red dirt from the motor cross bike path that cuts into the edge of the mountain and I didn't want that. No scars for my perfect picture. So we went to another home on a different ridge. We banged around enough to rouse the owners and invite ourselves onto their third floor deck that looks over the valley.
Getting more like I want, even with the shadow of a passing cloud to add character. But here I could see the bike path even more. Scars on my mountain!
On my drive home, I stopped several times on the side of the road and took more pictures.
  There it is, alone against the world. The Pilot. I like this picture because it shows why this mountain is distinctive, and why a school named for it would have this aura of apartness, steadiness and aged strength.
And that's when I came to the decision to use this rural portrait for my header. I want to show peace and steadfastness. I want to show one mountain worthy of a namesake. So here it is. Isn't it lovely?



  1. Beautiful photos! Great intro. to the whole story. I can't wait to purchase/read the finished copy, autographed of course.

  2. Hi Gretchen,

    It is lovely and so are you.

    Linda A.