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BIBLIOGRIND

Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

We’re Still Eating! … the Pope Francis garlic toast

Homemade nan bread, oven tandoori chicken, and curried lentels

Homemade nan bread, oven tandoori chicken, and curried lentels

Yeah, as winter stumbles along, we at the Chodska Palace flat are up to our eyes in good food … but still maintaining weight and proper nutritional intake.

Homemade fries w/teriaky burger ... Mmmmmm

Homemade fries w/teriaky burger … Mmmmmm

Yesterday we happened to be around for the Vatican’s declaration of the new pope, for which all good Catholics (don’t look my way) have had their eyes peeled. When Cardinal Bergoglio came onto the balcony, I did a quick Wiki-bio check. Looks like an alright guy, very down to earth, complete with the state-of-the-times gestures that should appeal to the pious young as well as the conservative-and-pious old  (just as long as he’s not from the Ratz category of shuffling American-priest pedophiles around Central and South America).

So in the Catholic Holy See’s honor, I made Pope Francis Garlic Toast. It’s a pretty simple recipe: your favorite garlic bread with a crucifix fashioned from your favorite vegetable. Green olives worked nicely this evening. Notice the bite taken out of the corner … in homage to the pope’s missing lung.

Make your own Pope Francis Garlic Bread!

Make your own Pope Francis Garlic Bread!

Bonus photo: Asia with her new journal!

Asia shows me her new journal, in which thoughts and aspirations appear almost daily.

Asia shows me her new journal, in which thoughts and aspirations appear almost daily.

Vegetable Stir Fry w/dill-flavored rice

“Can you read my palm?”
“No.”
“Can you read tea leaves.”
“No.”
“Do you look into a crystal ball.”
“No.”
“Well then, what do you do for this $5 reading?”
“Order off the menu. When the food comes here, I’ll find your fortune in the eyes, the faces, the animals, the bodies that I see in the food.”
“Wouldn’t that be reading the fortune of the chef who prepared the dish?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“You ordered the food. It’s how you came to that order, in your mind, that settles matters. There is no other.”

Short-answer, short-comment, dialogue is effective to communicate a single idea through the personalities of your characters. Allow your story to tell itself. Don’t allow “line-length” to dictate how your scene plays itself out.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Foamy Coffee w/chocolate & cinnamon dust

“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“Cup’a jo?”
“Joe? What’s that?”
“Coffee. Haven’t you ever seen a war movie.”
“Yeah … ‘The Hurt Locker’ is my favorite.”
“Not THAT war, dummie! World War Two.”
“Oh. That’s like really old, innit?”
“Your grandfather’s war. Maybe. Nineteen thirty-nine to ‘forty-five.”
“No, I mean the movie … it’s in black and white, right?”
“Of course its–”
“No-no, I can’t watch black and white films. It hurts my eyes.”
“So you’ve only read books about that war?”
“What’s a book?”

When you listen for the unintended response, your characters define themselves. Make your characters “try out” for their parts by letting them be what you half-imagine/half-invent. When you hear your main character’s voice, that’s when you begin to understand what he/she is about, and therefore what the story can become.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Hot Thai Soup w/Beef, and a Beer

“Do you want to be alone?”
“Sure, today. Tomorrow is another day.”
“That’s being fickle.”
“What the fuck is ‘fickle’? Are you calling me gay?”
“Does fickle sound gay to you?”
“Yeah, it does.”
“Take me through that process … you’re brain, as it comes to the conclusion that fickle means something gay — whateverthefuck ‘gay’ means to you, anyway. We’ll put aside for the moment that we’ve been talking about getting you off your girlfriend to fuck another women, then sneak back into her heart — or at least bed — the next day. Okay?”
“Hey, man, I was just asking.”
“The wrong guy. That’s who you were asking.”
“Okay okay … hey, you gonna eat that? It looks good.”
“No, you can’t have it. This is ‘gay’ soup. It’s not for the fickle-brained.”
“Well is there anything on the menu I can eat?”

Writing dialogue takes more than listening to a character — although that is a lot — but you have to have a thread of story that connects (always connects) with the overall theme of the story.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Thai Curry, in the pot

“What’s for dinner?”
“This.”
He set the plate between the spoon and knife and fork.
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. It was my pleasure.”

Intimacy comes in many forms. We touch, we speak, we send looks to the one we love. We do things for that person. Food can be an extreme intimacy, particularly when its done alone, for someone, with love.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Two, duo, double and twain: Fried Eggs w/sides

“In twos, you say?”
“Yeah. Two of this. Duets of that. Double up hey wont’cha? Twice me the order. I’ll have seconds. Bi-friendly women. Bump-me-duos. Tandem ta-tas. Mark twain. It’s all the same.”
“It’s all the same.”
“Not the same. Dyadic. Get it?”

Word play lets your characters wander through a forest of possibility, not the least of which for the reactive characters. Allow your readers to play along.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Hennessy Cognac w/Dark Chocolate

“The ‘active lifestyle’ tours are filled with middle-aged couples complaining after their horrible children, failed stock options, property taxes, and getting old.”
“You’ve come on the better tour then.”
“Yeah, we know. You retirees known how to live it up. Nothing to lose.”
“Nothing to lose? Say, join me in a cognac. Do you like cognac?”
“Never tried it.”
“Too expensive. See, that’s the thing–”
“Hold that thought. Waiter! Three snifters of Hennessy, please. Okay, you were saying?”
“I’s just saying a bit of grateful jabber. You old-timers know what life is like cuz you’d lived it.”
“Still living it, I’d say. Maybe enjoying it more, is what you mean.”
“Umm … okay. That is….”
“Let me give you a tip. Can you take some advice?”
“Sure thing.”
“Get a good paying job that doesn’t drive you nuts. Make some fucking money — excuse my French — and get yourselves in position to enjoy life, if you can’t do that now.”
“How do we do that?”
“Do what?”
“Get good jobs.”
“Hmm. Okay. You get things done by doing them. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Writers, be ready for the surprise characters who ask questions that open a vein for philosophical possibility, while at the same time defines characters and moves the story along.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Meatball Sandwich … to share

Jack came through the door in a hurry, whipped around and slammed it closed.
“Wine.”
“The red, or the white?”
Jill looked at the pots on the stove. Silver pots. Boiling water. Simmering sauce.
“The red. No, wait … bring ’em both.”
“Where’s the screw?”
“Check the drawer.”
“Not here. Where did we leave it last?”
“Anywhere. The food’s done. What’ll we do?”

Writing for context gives you a lot of wiggle room when using dialogue. The characters shall give away their presence of mind with just the right words, and delivered the pace with established context. Let your audience figure some things out to share their presence with the story. Give them a place, and that one extra image to establish connection.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Steamed Corncob and Tomato-Curried Cauliflower

“Don’t pick your teeth.”
“I used the last of my floss yesterday. Do you have some.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then can I borrow some?”
“Borrow? I don’t want it back once you’ve used it!”
“Lend, then. Will you lend me some floss? Please!”
“Here.”
“What’s this?”
“What do you mean?”
“This isn’t enough to strangle a flea with.”
“Well what do you want? You’re not hanging laundry, are you?”

Characters “speak” in all manner and fashion. Words convey emotions. Phrases highlight the idiomatic nature character differences. Likewise, the idiosyncrasies of your characters present a wonderful opportunity for play — between each other, but also with the audience.

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

Tandoori Chicken, herbed rice, pickles

“To choke down another cheeseburger made by his lazy wife gave him angina. At Mariana’s then, he counted on her food before relenting to her sexual games in her husband’s bed.”

 

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What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.