Let Dining Authors Dine

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If sleeping is how you recharge when stationary then eating is how you get energy while on the move.  That may have made more sense in my head.  People have probably figured out that I do enjoy eating.  I talk about pizza a lot and use it as a reward for meeting milestones such as finishing or publishing a book.  I’m always up for a specialty slice as long as there aren’t veggies on it.  There are other foods on the menu, but I’m not going to start listing all of them . . . I have a post to get to.

Unlike sleeping, eating doesn’t take you away from writing.  We can have a drink or a meal while working on our book.  The only danger is spilling something on the notes or laptop, so we do have to be careful.  Soda is an infamous culprit of destruction.  Part of this is because we may write with one hand while blindly reaching over for a glass, taking a drink, and then putting it back.  All of this is done without looking and it can get even trickier if you use a coaster like me.  Nothing can bring out the swearing like putting a cup of seltzer halfway on a coaster and it tipping over as you let go.  You can try to grab it in a panic, but that just smacks the thing away and sends the drink everywhere.  The horror!

I wonder if I’m the only author who uses meals as finish lines for writing sections.  After breakfast, as long as it isn’t a work day, I dive into my WIP to write one chapter section by lunch.  I may have a drink and one snack, but that meal is my reward for focusing for a few hours.  Eating is a time to relax and prepare myself for the next section, which is supposed to take me close to dinner.  Not sure why this run is harder and I end up grabbing snacks or feeling lethargic.  Maybe it’s the food?  Still, I mark my first two sections of the day with meals and the last one with sleep.  This is probably why I pay so much attention to these two activities.

As I said before, you can also do other things while eating.  Nothing that active because you would look silly riding a stationary bike while trying to cut up a steak.  Just asking for trouble there.  Writing, outlining, editing, blogging, social media, tweeting, catching up on TV shows, and reading are a few things you can do while eating.  This means it doesn’t really get in the way and, at worst, slows you down.  Of course, you have to be careful due to the previously mentioned risks, but you can still do it.

Finally, I’ve noticed a strange thing with authors that many of us have signature foods/meals.  I talk about pizza.  Many talk about coffee.  Some bring up beer and others ice cream.  We always seem to gravitate towards a favorite meal that slips into our public identity.  There have also been times when I’ve seen an author post about getting a giftcard that allows them to enjoy their signature food.  This is usually Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks since coffee is the big one.  It’s kind of funny that this aspect of our lives comes out more often than anything else.  We hide our fears, doubts, family life, and names of loved ones, but we will scream our love of a food from the rooftops.  Guess there really isn’t any way to use that against us.  I hope.

So, what do other authors think about food and writing?  Do you talk about your favorite meal to the point where it’s part of your author persona?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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31 Responses to Let Dining Authors Dine

  1. Good food tastes good. 😀

    Having a certain food as a milestone is a perfectly fine idea and I’m sure it’s used for other situations, too. I don’t really play or watch sports; but I understand that wings, chips, the odd carrot, beer, popcorn, etc. are consumed while watching a match. Even people working toward an exercise goal reward themselves with a healthy shake.

    Now you’ve made me think I need a meal to associate with an “author persona.”

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  2. My solution to the drink spillage thing is travel mugs. Stops my cup of tea getting cold if I get really in to the zone too. 😉

    I often mention my love of tea (I hate coffee) and the fact I’m a vegetarian. Not sure if it’s enough that it’s part of my persona though. Don’t think so. Don’t mind either way.

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  3. Renee says:

    Oh, I absolutely love pizza, but NY pizza. Other pizza is good, but just not the same. And I love my bagels and coffee too. When I lived in NY, I used to love getting an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and mocha for breakfast.

    I’m not sure they’re part of my persona, though. I think the fact that I have so many dietary limits is more part of my persona than the actual food. Like I’ll never enjoy a really good NY pizza again, and not just because I’m living in Australia. I can’t have gluten…so the bagels are out the window too. Sure I can have the gluten-free versions, but they’re not the same either.

    At least, I still have my coffee! (until my body decides to hate that too) 😀 <— And I'm sure I'll find a replacement that just won't be the same…

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    • Everything bagels are the best. I’ve tried some NY style pizza in Florida, but it doesn’t compare. Glad I moved back since it’s my biggest vice.

      Coffee counts. Lots of authors go for that. Stuff makes me drowsy, so I can’t indulge.

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      • Renee says:

        I’m determined to learn to make an authentic tasting gluten-free everything bagel. Might take me years, but I’ll do it. 😀

        Sucks you can’t have coffee. I don’t drink it to keep me awake like others do. Caffeine doesn’t have that effect on me. It helps keep my anxiety levels down though. It relaxes me, so sometimes I’ll even drink it before bed to help me sleep. Kinda weird…

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      • Good luck with your quest. I don’t really mind missing out on coffee. Plenty of other drinks to choose from. It is interesting that coffee relaxes you. Could it be the warmth? I think that’s what knocks me out with it.

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      • Renee says:

        Believe it or not, it’s the caffeine. For some reason, it has the opposite effect on me that it does on others. Seems to have the same effect on my daughter as well (not that she has much caffeine, except in hot chocolates).

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    • V.M.Sang says:

      Nothing is the same as the ‘proper’ thing. Spread instead of butter. Quorn instead of meat. These new ‘nut milks’ aren’t the same as real milk, and skimmed and semi-skimmed milk just isn’t the same as the whole stuff with all the fat. Artificial cream? Yuk!
      Why do ‘they’ keep on telling us they’re better for us? Anyway, next week they’ll be the next superfood, I expect. ‘They’ have changed their mind about butter recently, I read. It’s now better for you than the substitutes.

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      • Renee says:

        I have to admit that I do like Almond Milk in some things, like baking with it. It adds such a nice flavor to cakes and stuff. And pancakes…OMG. So yum. But just to drink? Not so much… Oh, it’s good in oatmeal too. 🙂

        And yeah, it’s funny that they’ll come out with all this stuff that is supposedly bad for you: red meat, eggs, dairy in general, and butter. I’ve always been the one saying all the other stuff was crap, so I’ll take the real thing thanks. And it always comes back to “oh, I guess it’s healthier for you after all”.

        I think when it comes down to stuff like that, it’s all about balance. Too much of anything is bad for you. When I was a pre-schooler, I got sick from eating too many carrots. So yeah…

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  4. Your comment about not using food against an author who freely mentions a preference brought up a scenario in my head. Here goes. You pick up the phone and are greeted by a person who is using an electronic voice disguise. They tell you to listen carefully and not go to the police. “We have your pizza and if you do everything we say, you will see it again safe and sound. We are warning you again not to go to the police or you will have written a death warrant for the pie.” Their demands are sinister. End your next story with an Alice in Wonderland type tea party. The choice is yours. Give in and never see your pie again or acquiesce and be the laughing stock of the fantasy world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Never gave it much thought, but I’m pretty sure I’m the beer guy you mentioned. Protecting our loved ones is higher on the list than whether someone knows about our love for stouts and porters. Blogging is all about relating, and we can do that without names or pictures of our loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. L. Marie says:

    The dog with the pizza is one of my favorite memes. I’ve had it on my phone for years!
    Great post!
    I once spilled a diet Coke into my computer keyboard at work. My coworkers talked about that for months!
    Cake and coffee are my signature foods. I might not mention them on blog posts, but I certainly mention them in my daily life.

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  7. Staci Troilo says:

    A pox upon WordPress! I just typed a huge comment, and it’s gone. Sigh.

    I’m going with the abridged version now: I talk about food a lot, too. Pretty sure I’m associated with chocolate covered coffee beans. I don’t use food as a reward, but I do mark the day by what I’m eating or drinking. And I always strive to be done with work by dinner.

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  8. I like to write right after lunch, so I’m relaxed and full of energy. Plus usually I have soda or coffee with lunch.

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