Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One hot topic

Nothing says summer like beach reads and grilling. 
In fact, nothing says summer like the grilling going on in beach reads. 

      My foodie friend Lee Hilton alludes to this in her fun Spoon & Ink blog "Summertime & the Grillin' is Easy". She was kind enough to highlight The Chick Palace in her essay which got me counting the times I've used a grill in a scene. Four. Each a pivotal moment for a member of my cast.
       Grilling is one of those quintessential ~~ OK, stereotypical ~~ activities that works well in fiction. 
         ☛ You imply a lot, suggest a lot, without describing a lot.
         ☛ Plunk in the noun & your reader conjures up the image.
   She/he visualizes the grill, maybe sees herself/himself in the scene. This puts your reader to work, engages her/him in your story, gets that reader second guessing. This keeps the pages turning. Win win. 
Here are 2 of my examples. 
I used the 1st as an element of mood/atmosphere. 
The second is a prop to let my characters appear ensconced in the mundane.  

    The Covington bungalow holds its own in the memory department: Brad and Gordon manning the grill; Lilly and me tossing salads, corralling sons down from the tree house and Meg up from the water; arguments that drifted to us over the shaggy privet. Dinner with Lilly in tears. 
✍   ✍   ✍

        Five minutes later our grill smoke followed me into our empty and silent kitchen. ... I stared at the...shelf of ancient seasonings, the tired cookbook repaired with electrical tape. ... I headed back outside. "Don't put my luggage in the car."
      Gordon turned the peppers. "There's not time before we eat, anyway."
      "I don't mean before we eat. I mean--"
      "You don't want to go back to Peddler's Ridge yet."
      "Well yes," I said. "That is, no. No, I don't." I looked into the soulful brown eyes of the man I'd gone gray with and considered this same wavelength we seemed to be on.
      The trouble with pivotal moments is that you don't recognize them until you're blown ninety degrees off course. ...

      The third example's for laughter & the fourth reverts to mood/atmosphere. You'll have to find those scenes on your own. 

      It's flattering to have Lee Hilton suggest you might enjoy The Chick Palace as she makes your mouth water with her marinade for pork tenderloin. The book & the recipe satisfy different appetites, of course. I hope you'll agree they're both delicious. 

The Chick Palace

A lakeside romp fueled by friendship, family, 
& one old flame not averse to once again testing the waters

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