Hi friends! Some of you are probably already traveling, or are already settled in wherever you are going, but at any rate: we’re staring right in the face of the holidays now. And I don’t know about you, but this is when it gets really hard for me to write—not just because of time, but because of topics. When I was growing up, in English class and Creative Writing class, my teachers would always give me these really corny topics that were holiday- or seasonally-related to write about, and I just didn’t like it. It didn’t feel authentic, and it gave me little room to go anywhere.

But just this once, I’m going to take a page from those teachers’ handbooks and give you a prompt that’s sort of seasonally-appropriate.

I read Aimee Bender’s The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake a few years ago, and it’s been following me around ever since, in the best way… I’ve thought about incorporating it in some way into my poems, using some piece of it as an epigraph, bringing it to the WRB Reads Book Club, something. But I think… this could be a really good writing prompt.

Basically, without giving too much away for those of you who haven’t read this yet, the main character (the daughter) realizes one day that, whenever she eats her mother’s lemon cake, she can taste her mother’s feelings… and I loved this idea, though I always asked this question, why only the lemon cake? So I started writing my own story where this person’s feelings could be tasted through everything they cooked, by every person who tasted it… but I’ve never shared it with anyone, because I feel like it was Aimee’s idea first. Maybe someday, after it’s been revised enough, and I’ve given proper credit to Aimee Bender, I feel right about sending it out for possible publication, but not yet.

At any rate, what I would like you to do for this prompt—I’m assuming everyone is sitting down for some kind of meal in the next few days. Maybe not for the traditional turkey et al., but something, and someone will be cooking that meal. What if you could suddenly taste what they feel, through what they cooked? What do you think you would taste? This could lead to a really detailed piece! Backstory for the cook, backstory for your main character, all of the dishes, how they taste, the emotions, how they make you feel, the surprise at what you’re tasting, etc., etc… I’ll leave you to it.

Happy holidays, all. I’m looking forward to reading what you write. I hope you’ll share.

Until Later, Best ~ from me


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