Today for Taste of Tuesday (a semi-regular meme here where I usually interview authors about the use of food in their novels) I thought I would instead talk about a few of my favourite books that feature food as a major theme. Today I'm sticking with some older books that have stayed with me over time.
One of my all time favourites has to be Like Water for Chocolate. Interestingly it is one of the best book to movie adaptations I've seen as well. This book is so beautifully written with so much passion and so vivid. The book was written by a first time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel.
Part of what appealed to me about the book apart from the language was the way things were described. I actually love reading books from Mexico and from South America because the turn of phrase is so different from the dry Australian way of describing things.
Here's an example:
“She felt so lost and lonely. One last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn't feel any worse than she did."
I also love the way the emotions are conveyed through cooking. It adds a whole different layer to the saying we use about the food in our house "you can taste the love."
Another classic book I love that has food themes is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. I know this one was also another excellent movie but you really should read the book. Fannie has a real gift of creating a small town and making it real, even though the characters seem to be so quirky as to be unreal they're very believable. I've read all her books including her most recent one just last week, and I love her writing.
I love lots of things about this book which is essentially a story about love and friendship with some mystery thrown in. Mostly I love the theme that you can choose your own family and create your own if the one you have is lacking.
Here is a recipe for fried green tomatoes should the urge hit you.
Have you got a favourite food themed book that you often think about time and again?
I'm having trouble getting my writing motivation back in this new year.
There are several reasons/excuses for this - it's summer holidays here so there's no routine, I had a big end of the year work-wise and I'm regrouping, I probably have too much time on my hands and I do better when I'm busy - among other things.
Still I need to get back on track so what are some good strategies for this?
I find reading to be motivating for me. It gets me thinking about my own characters and what they might do in a similar situation. If a book is well-written and engaging that inspires me to do better and if it's a bit lack-lustre (especially if it sells well) I think "surely if this book can find a market mine can too.
2. Connect with other writers
Right now most of my writing buddies are away at such exotic locations as India, Paris, Uluru and Byron Bay to name a few which is part of my writing problem I think (they keep me honest) but I belong to lots of online groups where I can go for advice and motivation.
3. Make a plan
Honestly, having a plan motivates me. I like to know I have deadlines to work towards. What's that saying "Fail to plan, plan to fail."
4. Focus on the marketing
Write some blog posts, line up some guest blogs, get my social media hat on and focus on that aspect of writing. It's most definitely not my favourite part but it's a necessary evil and you can at least get to the end of the day and say "Hey I did achieve something".
5. Just write
I know that seems kind of obvious but you just have to start sometimes. Start small - write a scene or a page even and you often find that you just keep going. Or set a word limit of just 500 words. That's nothing really.
In the end a combination of these things usually gets me moving again. Fingers crossed that happens today. Meanwhile I'm off to read.