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Sources of Inspiration: Food

Such a turbulent, torrid passion I’ve had with food over the years. 

No, not always. Sometimes it’s been comforting. Sometimes it’s been all about comfort, distracting myself from fear or frustration. Those are the most dangerous moments when I eat, not really thinking about the food. I’m eating to avoid thinking about something else. 

I’m picky, too. There’s a lot of food I dislike while I overindulge in others. Cheese, chocolate, wine; many a time and often during 2020, I hid behind my favorite DVDs and BluRays with these. 

At other times, I forget to eat. When I’m so wrapped up in a writing project, I lose track of reality, I burn food. Or I find myself getting light-headed because I’ve lost of all sense of time, caught in my own prose. 

Writing about food can be hard since all tangled up in my thoughts and emotions with shame. Shame about being a glutton or shame about eating to avoid reality. At the same time I’ve posted a lot of pictures on my timeline about food. 

Food can be cheerful. Food can be very pleasant to look at. Food can bring people together. 

Food can be many things. 

This may be why it’s played such a weird part in my stories. In A Symposium in Space, I had food appearing on the plates on the guests, manifesting in the form of their own thoughts and feelings. I also had the host feasting almost like a vampire upon the words offered up. 

This continues in Tales of the Navel with Christopher, Leiwell, Danyel, and Tayel feasting upon thoughts and emotions as Agathea does words infused with all of these. Only this reflects their tenuous connection to reality. Eating is what real people do as is relieving yourself. The fact that they can’t do either reflects their tenuous connection to reality. The fact that Map, surrogate mother to many of these characters is always trying to get them to eat, adds a layer to a traditional parental concern. If her children don’t eat, they might drift away into dreams, no longer staying in the world she’s trying to provide for them. 

How strange that I’ve created characters that are so similar, yet very different than myself where food is concerned. 

How about you, dear reader? Does a love for food or a lack thereof inspire you to write in some way? Have you ever read something about eating (or not eating) which struck you as memorable? 


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