JohnEZ wrote:It's about Shasta.... "Clouds, the color of fire, and the scent of an orange peel..."
Is there any particular meaning or symbolism attached to these three things? Or is it something totally obvious that I'm missing?
No, nothing obvious, and no special symbolism. (A quick Google search says that oranges can be symbols of wealth and good fortune, as well as innocence and fertility, so a case could be made...)
Sometimes I just want to have specific details in a story, to anchor it somehow. Carrie's been sustaining herself mostly on coffee, Snickers bars and oranges on this trip, so styrofoam and wrappers and peels litter the floor of her car. The day before she drove through an obscured sunset, the last light of day filtered through a layer of cumulus. I could have picked any number of other thoughts she might have had—a gas station attendant's smudged hands, maybe, or the weather-beaten door of the last motel—but "orange peel" rhymed with what I wanted for the last line of the verse.