Food, glorious food

In looking over my Confabulator entries from the past few weeks, I realize that food and cooking are controlling metaphors for how I write and think about writing. Food is, naturally, delicious, and preparing delectable food is a natural metaphor for all types of production,including literary.  I find food to be at the center of human existence, and if there is anything more inspirational than good  coffee, with cheesecake, I have no idea what it might be!

But this week we are focusing more on how other media influences our writing.  You know, I love movies, and we watch the Simpsons on an infinite loop in our house, but I don’t feel like moving pictures have a major effect on my writing.  The two genres that do influence me are advice columns and liturgy.

A proliferation of advice columns (many published weekly, with years of archives available for mid-week fixes) is one of the many blessings of the Internet age. I do love the folks that people trust to make narrowly useful ethical decisions for them! Dan Savage and Dear Prudie are my favorites, to be sure, but many lesser luminaries light the way as well.  Once, I thought about writing a NaNo novel from the POV of an advice columnist, but thought better of it when trying to plot character development entirely through one-off letters. But often, I use the format to shape my stories.  Now, what would Prudie say about this situation? How about Dan? How about an advice columnist working in this particular culture…

I am also influenced by the liturgical settings of my religious tradition.  Long have I planned to write a novel whose structure is based off a church service (start with a greeting, confession, etc, and have hymns sprinkled throughout). Although I have not done this directly yet, I do come up with something else to work on every time I start contemplating it. I like to invent liturgies for the various new religions in my stories, and someday my service-inspired novel will emerge full formed from the oven and be amazing.

Geez.  Another food metaphor spiced it up this time.  At least I am consistent!


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