I’ve been at the Good Food Show today. (In fact, just to carry on with the eating and drinking, I am sipping a very sparkly and cold G&T while I write this, having just convinced my better half that it’s too dark and cold to go out to the gym! Hmm, I do feel slightly guilty. Will try to remember to do a couple of press-ups before I hit the sack).
Anyway, back to the GFS: we saw James Martin in the ‘Supertheatre’ and he was really good! (Yes, that’s me and him, looking all sultry!*) I wasn’t expecting to be entertained and to actually laugh, as he rustled up lobster soup, roast pork, apple sauce, creamy mash AND chocolate fondant puddings with a tangerine sauce – all in half an hour! It was truly impressive.
So, what’s all this got to do with writing, I hear you say? Er… well, not a lot actually BUT in order to render this posting helpful in some small way, I do have some ‘food-related’ writing news to attach:
Firstly, if you are a ‘young writer’ (and this means anyone under 30!) and you live in (or are ‘connected with’) Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol or Bath, then you may be interested in the Carol Trewin Young Food Writers Award 2012. You need to write 500 words on why food and drink in the West Country is important or important to you – by March 1st, 2012 – and you could win a day on a Food Writing Workshop.
But do not despair if, like me, you are not ‘young’ or a West Country resident: you’ve got until 31st January 2012 to get your entry in to the Choc Lit Short Story Competition and yes, you’ve guessed it, your story’s central theme must be CHOCOLATE! ‘Eating it, drinking it, cooking with it or anything else’. This is definitely a great excuse to eat lots of the brown stuff, in order to be totally inspired. More details can be found on Sue Moorcroft’s blog here.
And finally, if those comps don’t tickle your tastebuds, how about this little ‘food and drink’ writing exercise, to help you learn more about a character you’ve invented or are thinking about?
Have you ever stood behind someone at the supermarket checkout, watched what they loaded onto the conveyor belt and made assumptions about their life? (I stood behind someone once who had nothing but a mug, a pint of milk and a jar of coffee in his basket. Moving house, perhaps? Newly divorced? It certainly got me wondering).
So, for this exercise, ‘take’ your character to the supermarket. What food, drink or other items would he put in his trolley? A little old lady might have tins of cat food, UHT milk and a sliced loaf – but then again, that’s a bit cliched. Why not give her a copy of ‘Nuts’ magazine, a bottle of vodka and a litre of purple bubble bath? Now it’s getting interesting!
It’s quite a fun thing to do – and you might just get some ideas for plot or character development. Cheers!
* PS: OK, I admit it – that picture was taken last year, outside the James Martin restaurant on a cruise ship and it wasn’t really him, just a larger-than-life photo! But a girl can dream…!