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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Got Writer's Block? Go Dish!

Ever gone shopping while hungry? You go to the grocery store for a couple of things and end up with a shopping cart filled with chocolate desserts, salty snacks, and a hefty receipt to match. I hate to admit it, but I fall into this trap all the time. But what about when your writing is as empty as your stomach? You stare at the blank page and blinking cursor, and know that you need to fill it with delicious prose; yet, your words fail you. Why not try adding some culinary creativity to your story?

Here’s an excerpt from The Writer’s Block that may just get your fingers tapping:

We pause to eat at least three times a day—and yet so many writers neglect the powerful sense of taste. One of the most memorable chapters in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is simply called “Chowder,” in which Ishmael enjoys a steaming bowl of stew: “It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

More recently, Laura Esquivel had an international bestseller with Like Water for Chocolate, a novel that includes recipes for Quail in Rose Petal Sauce, Northern-style Chorizo, and Cream Fritters. Each chapter begins with a list of ingredients and notes on preparation, which Esquivel weaves seamlessly into the narrative.

And Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is practically a primer in country cooking; his characters slaughter hogs, churn apple butter, and cook savory chicken stew.

Prompt: Write a story or scene that centers around an extraordinary meal. The food itself can be quite simple—even as simple as a TV dinner—but the meal should have an important and lasting significance to the characters.

Food is a universal language—so, go dish!

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Blogger Sue said...

Angela, I love this idea! I've been having the hardest time lately capturing the right words for my writing. Somehow, they've become elusive to me. But I think I jinxed myself...long ago, I think I wrote a post here about being so lucky...yada, yada, and I had never had writer's block. LOL!

Thanks for the idea. ;)

7:10 AM  

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