It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Monday, August 17, 2015

Writing Exercise

Took a 90 minute workshop on food writing.

 The thing I learned is that, while I was trained to stop using adjectives in college, for a non-academic audience, adjectives are good. So this is my attempt to re-adjectivate my writing.

 The exercise was to write whatever you were inspired to write by a paper plate containing a fig and a walnut.

People liked mine. I cleaned it up a bit but not too much. Here the lovely, adjectival, effusive, evocative, sentimental and personal thing is in all its overweening glory.

 ===
WHAT IS NOT ON THE PLATE 
A walnut half and a fig. Our distant ancestors would have taken such delight.
It's an atavistic plate, an ancient masterpiece.
One can imagine such a delight in the dynasties of Egypt. 
But not for the pharaoh, no, the plate demands more. 
Some goat cheese, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a dab of honey.
Broil it for a few moments.
And surely a glass of red wine. 
The fruity, sticky grit of the fig
The wild sweetness of the honey
The intricate pungency of the aged vinegar
The earthy smoothness of the goat cheese
The toothy sweet crunch of the toasted walnut
And the slow savoring of the cool, glowing, bittersweet wine. 
Bring on the pipers, the drums, the dancers, the jugglers, the fool!
Nothing has changed. 
Cooking is an old old story, but it is made new on every telling.
===

 The crowd really thought I had nailed it.

But I had to stop myself from apologizing just the same. You know what another food analogy is? Schmalz.

7 comments:

Tom said...

It's good. When you write something good don't apologize for it.

Tom said...

But when you notice something good you wrote in the middle of a longer piece you can be sure that either you or an editor will end up removing it.

Michael Tobis said...

:-)

Susan Anderson said...

Very tasty.

As long as you avoid really truly excessive adverbs ;)

(no, I'm not improving on silence ...)

Mal Adapted said...

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a meal worth?

Mal Adapted said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom said...

Can't let it go even for a second, can you Mal? You're the poorer for it.