Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 10 December 2016

LOVELY GRUB .........................................by Linda Mitchelmore

Well, there's no avoiding it. Try as I might to pretend it isn't happening Christmas is nearly here; that time of excess in the culinary department ... and in the liquid refreshment department, too. All that said, I don't go mad with either. Honest.
But this blogpost has got me thinking and I've realised how often I set a short story around characters who are in a cafe or a restaurant - and once on a train in the dining car - remember those? Two friends who meet for coffee is my favourite 1000 word short story situation. One will have a problem which the other will help (often without knowing it) sort while they drink cappuccinos and nibble on pecan danish (anyone who regularly reads my short stories will probably realise I have an over-fondness for pecan danish!). Food always features in some form because it brings the senses together, in my view - the look of it, the smell of it, the taste of it, the feel of it, even the crunch of crumbs can be feature in there. I've just said it will be two friends who meet, but sometimes it is sisters, or a couple who are having a bit of time apart. I've even set a story around strangers who end up having to share a table.
One of my favourite stories to write had a deeper feel to it. Four friends hadn't met for a while - well, three of them had but the fourth had been avoiding the group because her son was in prison. But when she did eventually find the courage to see her friends for lunch (lots of lovely description in there about Italian food!) she found their love and friendship saw her through the darkest days. So, see, it's not just romance that floats my boat.
So, without further ado, while our minds are on lovely grub and Christmas and sharing with loved ones, here's a cocktail for you - cake batter martini - how can you not? HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

6 comments:

  1. I find cafe and restaurants are also great sources for research to improve character development. People react to conversations in different ways and you don't even have to hear what is said to recognise their interest or disinterest in the topic, such as excess fidgeting, toying with their cutlery, staring off into space, nodding in inappropriate places, taking an unusual interest in their split-ends while their friend shares her wows about her boring job. This is all great fodder to be stored away and used in your writing. I find "people watching" fascinating.

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  2. Oh yes, people watching - should be tax-deductable! Thanks for popping by to comment.

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  3. Cheers, Linda. That cake batter martini is going down a treat! Whilst the words 'pecan danish' had my mouth watering. I also enjoy reading pieces which involve cooking or eating, and all the scrummy delights on offer in a café of coffee shop make it particularly appealing. Also, huge congratulations on the publication of your latest short story in Woman's Weekly magazine. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Rae ..... I think people do relate well to food and drink in a story. The cake batter martini looks wonderful but probably tastes a bit yuk!

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  4. Food and drink is so integral to the way we socialise, so I completley agree it's very useful in writing. In fact you've given me a few ideas!

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    1. Ah, that's what blogposts are for ..... generating ideas in others. Go, Gill, go!

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