Friday, April 29, 2011

Food, glorious FOOD!

I was about to start writing this blog post Thursday evening when it occurred to me I really wanted Thai food for dinner. Coincidentally, so did TG, DD, and Son.

Okay, not so coincidentally. We all love Thai food.

Then I got to thinking about food, which can be fun. Even though I don't like cooking it, I do like eating it. And writing about it. In fact, I have to watch myself to make sure I don't have my MC eating something every other scene.

"Self," I say, "Ciel can not eat all the time. Sometimes she has to drink adult beverages. Or kiss hot guys. Or get kidnapped by Vikings." 

And then I think, bring on the pastry!

Okay, yeah. It's a struggle.

To the writers among you, how much does food figure in what you write? Not at all? Peripherally? Or do you describe it in loving detail?

To the non-writers, do you enjoy fiction with food-related scenes? 

On a sidenote (since I'm nosy), do you snack while you read? What's your favorite reading snack?

And since I'm rambling here, back to the writers -- do you snack while you write? What's your favorite writing snack?

When I read, I love a good piece of chocolate. And then something salty, like popcorn or chips, to balance out the sweetness. Oh, and then I feel guilty about the junk and nibble on baby carrots or crispy sugar snap peas. After which I feel virtuous enough to go back to the chocolate...

Yeah, it's kind of a vicious cycle. 

When I write, I usually just sip on hot, strong tea between brilliant flashes of genius. (Ha! You buyin' this? Sometimes I crack myself up.)

If I'm revising, I might toss in my favorite "Revision Skittles" (Skittles Crazy Cores), an idea I got from Tiffany Schmidt (one of my fabulous crit partners). Tiffany has had her life overrun by been a tad busy with her twin baby boys these days, and yet she still manages to find time to write. I am in awe of her mad concentration skillz. If she swears by Revision Skittles, who am I to argue?

Oh, man. Now I'm hungry...


Adriana said...

I love drool-worthy food descriptions in books! I do I do!

I also love eating while reading. I don't have reading-specific snacks though -- pretty much anything I can get my hands on :)

And eating while writing -- I don't do much of that. It distracts me. I have to take a break from writing if I need to eat. I do drink while writing though :)

Sage Ravenwood said...

Every once in a while, I'll come across something food related in a book described so well I want to try it.

As for my books, in my latest I have a rail thin, tiny woman who eats like no one's business. The reason, I can't say. She's not pregnant, but we all know that's not the only thing that takes over a persons body. In any case she has to eat a lot to make up for the energy she burns.

Maybe it's just me letting my character eat all the stuff I can't without gaining a ton of weight. (Hugs)Indigo

Tiffany Schmidt said...

The Revision Skittle rule is: One Skittle for every page revised.

I break it sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

Also, St.Matt has to hide the leftovers when I'm not revising.

Is it any wonder revision is my favorite part of the process?

xo! T

Summer Frey said...

I absolutely love cozy mysteries centering around food. Won't lie. Especially if there are recipes included. :)

I just read Jennifer Crusie's book Bet Me and it had me wanting to make chicken marsala.

Food isn't described in my book, but there is a loving description of a made-up cocktail. Does that count?

I don't usually eat while I read, unless I'm reading during a meal, which happens.

When I write, I usually go for something easy and clean. I finished the latest WIP on a bag of Starburst. But, like you, I'm usually pounding it out with tea or coffee.

abby mumford said...

i can't think of any books in particular that center around food, but i do love to snack while reading. preferably something i can eat with one hand so i can hold the book with the other. my go to snack in high school was one can of coke + one bag of microwave popcorn. when both were gone, i had to go start my homework.....

i don't eat while writing partially because it's distracting, partially because it's messy and partially because going to get a snack is a good excuse to take a break.

Unknown said...

i don't normally snack/eat while i read or write. for me, these are endeavors that require my undivided attention.

food in my writing: eh, not really...although, i did go through this torrid love affair with those iced animal crackers (you know, the ones with the pink glazing...not to be confused with the frosted ones that have the sprinkles. yuk!) and it seems like those little bastards kept popping up in my writing. *shrugs* go figure :)

Unknown said...

oh, and ABBY: have you not read the Stephanie Plum books?!!? those books seem to be ALL about food, where Steph is eating tasty cakes, having dinner with the fam, or Lula's carrying a pound of bacon in her purse :)

Unknown said...

When I write, I love to nibble on chocolate. Actually, I like plain old Nestle chocolate chips. I pour myself a little cup of them and let two or three morsels at a time melt on my tongue. Mmmm....I wonder if there are any in the pantry right now?

Tiffany Schmidt said...

I should perhaps also have mentioned that you're super-sweet and I am in awe of YOU -- but I got distracted by thinking about WHERE the Revision Skittles could be hidden... so much for my concentration skillz :)

Trisha Leigh said...

I love food descriptions and knowing characters likes and dislikes. I drink coffee (of course) and show Hershey's Kisses of the traditional variety. I do not recommend this, as they contain 25 calories each.

Happy Friday!

Susan Adrian said...

I love food so much.

HOWEVER, I don't really write about food that much, and I don't really like to read about food scenes. *shrug* Get to the action, baby!

And I have that same cycle while reading!! healthy a sweet...

Now I want Thai food. Your fault, as I can't get that here.

Diane Henders said...

Food! Yes! There's lovingly-described food in everything I write. And there's passionately-described beer. And wine, occasionally.

The only time I snack is when I'm standing in the kitchen waiting for something to cook while my brain really wants to be writing instead.

When I'm actually writing, I can't snack. Half the time, I can't even remember to finish my tea before it gets cold.

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I kind of like to nosh on apples, whether I am reading or writing. I think it all goes back to my adoration of Jo March from Little Women...didn't she like to hide in the attic and eat apples and read?
Okay, there might be some M&M's in there, too, because I'm pretty sure that if they had been invented, Jo would have been eating them, too.

Kasie West said...

I need to get better about letting my characters eat. They rarely do. People are going to think they don't need food like the rest of us. Maybe if I ate more while I wrote I would think to include it. :)

Steph Schmidt said...

I love when writer's feature food in their books but only so long as there is variety. If the character is constantly making pots of coffee and toast I get bored.

That said I can't eat while I write, I get sucked in and the food goes cold or is forgotten. Outlining though totally different story. Each manuscript so far has had a signature thing I've eaten just before working on it.

Sadly there is no consistency with what I'm eating from project to project. I jumped from trail mix to chocolate and now sorbet. Not exactly the healthiest of moves but luckily the gym is a good place for ideas.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Oooh, three cheers for Thai food, especially basil chicken. (hmmm, it's not too late to change my mind about what I'm fixing for dinner ...) Yes, I like some scenes about food in the books I read ... like the ways Evanovich and Faye Kellerman handle it. And food plays a certain role in my book, too.

As for snacking when I'm reading or writing, yes. Uh-huh. Way too much. Right now, I'm chomping on some sugar-free gum in the hopes that I won't think about that box of chocolates my husband gave me for Easter. Ooops. Too late. Gotta go ...

Michele Shaw said...

My characters don't spend a lot of time eating, and when they do, it's background only. Now that I think about it, that's weird, because I don't know many people more food obsessed than moi. I like to snack when reading, writing...breathing. My faves are garden salsa Sun Chips and pretzel M&M's. (that whole sweet/salty thing wrapped in a tidy little package. Genius!)

Al said...

I have to say food barely features in my first book. Although one scene begins at the end of a nice picnic.
Thoughts of food have a place in my WIP.

I have managed to cut down on my snacking during writing (most of the time) But boy was it a hard battle.