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started: February 14, 2000
final revision: sometime in May 2001
This story started as an assignment in English class. We were supposed to write a fantasy short story. The teacher gave us a list of possible topics, and one of them was a conversation with a tree before it is cut down. That's the topic I decided to branch off on.
At first, the story was only five pages long (final revision was nine pages). A bunch of dialogue was absent from the first version, as well as the whole part involving the man's wife. It was originally just a story about the man dealing with his father's death. It ran up to the part where the man comes to terms with his father's death and then it went to the ending.
I put the story away and worked on other stuff for a while. Some time later, I brought out the story and added a lot of dialogue. Then I put it away again.
After another expanse of time, I pulled out the story and read it (around spring 2001). The passage of time had given me greater writing skill, so I noticed a lot of errors and things to be improved. I changed some dialogue and added the confession by the man of all the ways his father had loved him.
After printing this out, I let it sit for a couple days. Then I read it through again. Up to this point, I had left the ending the way it had started out, but now I realized that the story was missing something. It went from the man remembering his father's death to him feeling relaxed and better, but it didn't explain why. So, it went back to the computer to add some more.
What came out was the section involving the wife and the man's real problem: not revealing himself to others. The section was very personal for me...but I'm not going to get into that. I also reworked the ending.
So, with my third and (hopefully) final revision, I was finally satisfied with my story. It was a long road, but I did it.
The words "arbosen" and "arborire" are based on Latin. "Arbor" meant tree. "-sen" had to do with sensing. "-rire" had to do with hate (or ire). Thus, we have "tree-sensor" and "tree-hater," though "arborire" has changed to simply mean an arbosen cut off from the life-flow of trees.
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The "arbosen" idea is mine and may not be used without my permission.