Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Novel Ingredients

The Southern Indiana Writers Group and I were on Authors' Row at a Chautauqua this weekend. Saturday was sunny but just enough overcast to keep it comfortable. We sold books hand over fist. Sunday was drizzly, with showers and storms predicted all day.

We had a waterproof canopy, so we went anyway. Sure enough, it was drizzly--sometimes just plain rainy--but not windy or stormy. Most authors didn't even show up. We made the canopy into a tent by lashing plastic tarps to three sides and set out our books.

Two authors without canopies--Sheri Wright and Hope McKim--showed up in the hope that the wet would pass, but it didn't. We invited them to share our tent. There were four of the SIW, so now we had six writers, about 25 book titles, a cooler, a hamper and six chairs, all crammed into a 10 x 10 improvised tent.

The day flew by. We shared food, made jokes and talked about writing, editing and various forms of publishing. People showed up for the day, even in the rain, and all the exhibitors who showed up wandered around visiting with each other. We all actually sold a few books, too!

One of the books the SIW took--and sold--was NOVEL INGREDIENTS. The stories and poems in it are about food, and every story has a recipe with it. We published it spiral-bound, so it can be used as a cookbook as well as a story book. It's been so popular, we may do another one.

Here's one of my poems from the book:

Peach
by
Marian Allen


Choose one from the basket
(They aren't all alike).
It's been poisoned to keep it safe--
Death guarding Life from Life

Run water over it
strip its defenses
with gentle hands.

Take. Eat.

So much rich ripeness
the lips can't contain it
it yields mouthfuls of savor
in flesh, in fountains.

Delectation

Bitter at the start
where the tongue
meets the skin
Bitter at the heart

but sweet
so sweet
while it lasts.

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