Here’s the truth, and I rarely share it with anyone. I’m one of those people who gains weight if he looks in a bakery window. I’ve been known to stare longingly at a carrot cake or pecan pie, then go home and try on a new suit, only to discover that, amazingly, the pants are now too tight in the waist.
How does this happen? I don’t know, but it’s been going on since childhood, and the result is that I’m on an eternal diet.
Except when I write—
For some reason, writing about food doesn’t seem to add extra weight, and because part of my new novel, Wherever There Is Light, takes place in Paris right after World War II, I let my imagination run wild. Here are a few excerpts:
If, as les existentialists claimed, existence was meaningless, then it made sense to begin each day with dessert, a plan that Julian put into action by devouring a pain au chocolat at one of the busy cafés in the square outside the Sorbonne.
I especially enjoyed writing this sentence because my usual more fare is more like fruit and granola without sugar—or flavor, if you ask me. Ah, but one of those flaky, rich chocolate filled croissants...
Of course, after eating a breakfast more suitable for a parakeet, I’m a bit peckish by noon, so it’s downstairs I go for a—you guessed it—a banana.
Then I head up to my office and sit at the computer, where I indulge myself:
In the rainy light the houses below the top of Montmartre were gray and brown with orange chimney pots, and after Julian commented that it looked exactly like the print of the van Gogh painting that Kendall had hung in her Greenwich Village apartment, it began to rain harder, and they ducked into a café for coffee and macarons.
Are you hungry yet? I am, and so it is time for my main characters, Kendall and Julian, to eat dinner.
The dining area at Dans le Vent was redolent with cassoulet—a garlicky aroma rising from the bowls of sausage, confit of duck and pork shoulder, sweet onions, tomatoes, and plump tarbais beans that were slow-cooked under a crust of bread crumbs and tasted like the coziest starlit autumn night you could remember.
I enjoyed writing this passage. Not that I felt full, mind you, but I didn’t gain an ounce, and I’ve always loved to dream.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Peter!
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