Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Eating My Way Around the World
It isn't enough to see a new place or meet new people. Half the fun is eating. At least for me. So, when I speak of the trips I've taken, I will also speak of the food, the drink, the atmosphere. I've already included recommendations on my website for restaurants I've enjoyed in different places. I'll be able to expound on those in my blog, which will alternate with my writing blog. After all, one has a lot to do with the other.
How, you say? Imagination. Curiosity. The two cornerstones of writing. Sensuality, which comes in handy for romance. But the sensuality I refer to is the love of the senses. Enjoying what you see, taste, hear, touch and smell. Also very handy for a writer. For if you can't put yourself in the scene through your senses, your reader can't possibly connect with what you're saying, or the story you tell.
So I can tell you that I went to a pub in Ireland (if you know me, you've probably heard that before.). But what if I say I fought a damp night wind to push open a battered old wooden door into a dark and smoky room, frothing with the sound of laughter and argument. The walls are gray stone and cold, the floor the same wood as the door, even more scuffed and dulled by generations of hard boots and whirling dance. The bar itself is a work of art, the centerpiece of the room, where light glitters off the mirror behind and gleams like spilled water over the carved wood, where bottles stand at attention like guardsmen waiting for the call. The wood stretches smooth and cool as silk beneath my hand. The air is redolent with the tang of hops and barley, the ancient earthy smoke of peat bogs and the shallots that season potato soup. And oh, what a potato soup, thick and creamy, with vegetables bobbing like icebergs and steam wrapping around your hand. It's the smell of life and warmth and comfort, the smell of Irish potato soup. It's...
I have to stop now. I'm making myself crazy.. But you see what I mean. It is these things I search for when I travel. And I haven't even mentioned the people I shared my meal with, or the questions asked and answered, the opinions offered(in Ireland, if you want to start a great argument, ask directions anywhere. It's like a national sport). Or, for me, even better yet, the music.
In another blog. In many. Whenever I travel, I think of the things that strike me, and I want to share them. So what the heck? I will. And I'll share how I came to build a writing career from the traveling I've done. And will do. In fact, I'm heading back to Ireland in the spring, Italy in September, and hopefully, Chile in between. Because there's so much to see and do and feel and taste. And it all ends up in my books. Somewhere.
Meanwhile, I'll continue eating my way around the world.