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Friday, September 28, 2012

I Defer to Food


I woke up Thursday at a loss.  Honeydew Ever After is in another resting stage, waiting to be emailed to one of my readers when she’s ready.  The twenty pages I’ve written on my next tome haven’t grabbed me yet. I wanted to write but I needed a topic. 

I pondered, and realized it had been a long time since I submitted a blog post to South Shore Living Magazine, so I decided to write about a restaurant/pub that opened a year ago in our town.  When visitors arrived last fall, it was brand new and we checked it out together.  Since then, we’ve ignored our constricted cash flow and eaten there two more times, first for our daughter’s birthday and then for our anniversary.  Each delicious meal left us craving another visit.  All I had to do was describe the food and decor to come up with a post. Done and done.

My point?  When you get stuck, write about something you like.  Yesterday, I chose to write about a restaurant we’d enjoyed.  Had I not though, I could have written about the calendar page beside me, open to a photo of four bottles, filled with flavored vinegars—colorful glass containers glimmering orange, purple, yellow and red on a rustic wooden table, amidst rose petals and sprigs of lavender.
  
If I’d been stuck later in the day, I could have written about the tart smell of the farmer’s market McIntosh apples I bought earlier, because our window of opportunity for apple picking seems to be closing and I didn’t want to miss out.  I could have described the meatballs in red sauce—gravy if you prefer, bubbling away on the stove, the aroma of  fennel, garlic and basil, conjuring up a long simmering, early autumn Sunday, reappearing as leftovers on a weekday afternoon.   

I could have told you about my memory of the cinnamon and butter scent that wafted through the house when I made a newly discovered recipe for apple shortbread bars for the senior breakfast this past Monday—or my last green tomato hanging on the vine, blushing with orange tints as it struggles to ripen before the first frost. . . as they say, the list goes on and on.  

This exercise taught me two lessons.  There is always a topic out there, and, “Write what you know,” works well, but “Write what you love,” tastes, I mean, works better.

What do you write about when you get stuck?

Happy weekend all!

14 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

I'm on my way out to the garden to rescue the last tomatoes hanging on the vine, blushing with the effort to rippen before the first hard freeze. I, too, will always defer to food! I love your descriptions.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I'm on my way out to the garden to rescue the last tomatoes hanging on the vine, blushing with the effort to rippen before the first hard freeze. I, too, will always defer to food! I love your descriptions.

Bish Denham said...

I could so smell the aromas, taste the flavors. Yum!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

when I get stuck, I usually go running or mow the grass. I sometimes write blog posts and schedule them ahead of time.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

You've made me want to cook up something with all the fresh herbs I just got from my neighbor. :)
I get a lot of inspiration from reading other peoples stuff- to write about and to make me want to pursue other fun things.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Great post. Inspirational, too. Matter of fact, you've inspired me to pick some herbs from the garden, and start simmering a pot of pasta sauce.

Robin said...

I just ate lunch, but you kinda made me hungry all over again.

Good advice. Write what you know.

Old Kitty said...

Great idea!! I guess when I'm stuck I don't write - I do other things that do not involve writing! Take care
x

mshatch said...

books are often my fallback position. I can always write about a book I loved.

sue said...

I try to remember these lessons, yet sometimes they're firmly hidden and I stare at the screen and become grumpy and irritable with myself and anyone around. I think what you're remind us is to allow ourselves to 'be' in the present. Sue

Wine and Words said...

Good point. Stuck seems to happen when I REACH. When life reaches for me...then the words flow to embrace it.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

"Write what you love!" Smart lady you are. It is the passion that makes writing and then reading memorable. You are quite the master of using the senses in description. Lovely post.

J. B. Chicoine said...

Good advice, Liza. And focus is so important--this is a great reminder to look for all the sensory treasures surrounding us, and not the mundane (though that could easily be written about also, but sometimes a little depressing).

Carol Kilgore said...

Great tip! Thank you. When I get stuck I usually write a blog post. While I was on break, I discovered that writing as my character in an email works wonders. I don't know how long this will continue to work, but I'm grabbing it while it does. I think it tricks my mind into thinking it's not really working on the manuscript. I'm keeping your tip in reserve :)