Thursday, June 17, 2010

What writers put in their mouths
(please share!)

I’ve always been teased about eating like a bird. It’s basically true if you figure birds eat constantly and consume half their body weight in a day.

I never eat much in one sitting, which is probably where the teasing comes from. But I’m incapable of sitting down to write without stuffing my face while I type.

Here are my favorite staples:

Ice water, tea, and wine. I drink water all day long, probably gallons of it. In the morning, I also sip hot tea. By evening, it’s a glass of whichever wine accompanied dinner. With that much liquid intake, I'm slowly wearing a trail between my office and the bathroom.

Sen Sens.
For those who don’t know what these are, here’s a link. They are an acquired taste, and tough to find – I order big boxes of them online. Friends who don’t share my fondness say they taste like a mix of black licorice and soap. I adore them. My consumption escalates under stress, so Pythagoras knows to steer clear if he comes home to find me with a black tongue.

Fruit and veggies. I know the chocoholics among you (hi, Patty!) will gasp in horror, but given the choice between a chocolate bar and a couple carrot sticks, I’d take the carrots any day. It’s not a health-nut thing, that’s just what I prefer. Dried fruit like mangoes and bananas are tasty without being messy, and a little pile of frozen peas makes for great for nibbling when I’m editing.

Nuts & popcorn: I love raw, unsalted almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds, but my true passion is air-popped popcorn. A friend gave me my air popper as a gift 10 years ago, and it is my second favorite appliance in the house. I make a big bowl of popcorn almost every afternoon around 3:00 and devour it with just a little spritz of butter.

So how about you? How do you fuel your mind and body when you’re writing? Please share in the comments, I’m always looking for new snacks!

Oh, and just a heads-up that tomorrow we’ll be playing another round of What the @#$% is that? Want an early start? The first person to correctly identify the book referenced in my T-shirt below will get two extra entries in tomorrow’s game. If you aren't the first commenter, you can still earn one entry by telling me YOUR favorite book from childhood.

Bon appetit!

40 comments :

Mandy and Suzy said...

Well.. I just ate a pat of butter. Yeah.

Suzy

Morgan Ives said...

I love "Where the Wild Things Are." One of my favorite picture books ever :)

And I admit it...*hangs head*...I'm a sugar-holic. It's bad for my figure, I know. I love to munch dried fruit (especially dates) and little candies while I write.

Sharon Axline said...

Chips and thousand island dressing
diet coke (always)
trail mix (if I feel healthy)
wine ALWAYS
Sometimes nachos but have to watch those on the keyboard
Did I mention wine?
Oh and if it's a really bad time Cointreau Noir

Yup that's about it. Coffee sometimes in the morning.

There that's it

Did I mention wine?

Elizabeth Ryann said...

It's "Where the Wild Things Are"! Yay! My favorite childhood book was Eloise. I loved that girl.

I don't really snack when I'm writing. But when I'm done I'll happily load up on mashed potatoes and then take a nap.

Linda G. said...

I snack on healthy things, like cherries and olives. And of course I make sure they are well-preserved. (What? Alcohol is a preservative.) ;)

Andre Zollars said...

"Fitzgo, Wild Dog of Central Park" - still remember it to this day.

Danica Avet said...

I drink water constantly. Once in a while I'll grab a diet coke in the afternoons, or a cup of coffe in the morning, but water the rest of the time. As for eating while writing...I don't. I just never got in the habit of munching while I write. While I read is something else completely. Snacking for me is chips and salsa, or ice cream (World Class Chocolate anyone?), but I'm a fan of mixed nuts, Pocky (when I can get it), and Zapps potato chips (Cajun Crawtator or Hotter 'n Hot Jalepeno flavors need only apply).

Now I'm hungry. Thanks a lot. *sniff*

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

I generally don't eat when I'm writing, b/c the only time I have to write is @ night. And after having lost all the baby weight + an additional 20 pounds, I don't need to get into bad habits like late night snacking. ;) I do tend to drink a beer or glass of wine, however. Helps me unwind.

Jason said...

Coffee - preferably Stumptown's Hair Bender or a good pure Kona. And lots of water - lots of it. Surprisingly I don't generally snack much while typing - probably because I'm a slob and half of it ends up on the keyboard. Not sure when this started, I used to be able to manage it. Maybe when I turned 30 - must be an age thing. Or I'm just a slob, either one.

Robin said...

I loved Ramona The Pest. I also really liked The Little Prince, but I didn't really "get it" until I was older.

Kathryn said...

I love dried plums. My husband makes fun of me, but I just love them. I could eat a whole bag. Also love to have a glass of wine as well when I'm writing. Otherwise, coffee, definitely.

ella144 said...

Ah, it's Where the Wild Things Are, but I see someone else already guessed. My favorite children's book was Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women. I'm sure I read simpler books, but I don't remember them.

Also, you have the cleanest writer's desk EVER. I'm impressed.

I don't snack while writing because it makes my keyboard keys sticky and because I tend to spill things. Also, the snacks become a distraction point for me: "I'd better eat all this popcorn first so I don't get butter on the keyboard." or "Oh, I have an odd number of chocolate squares left. I can't have that." nom nom nommmm

As for drinks, I tend to knock them over and then spend thirty minutes cleaning up the new carpet and my laptop/desk.

Ang said...

I don't tend to snack, but I do love a Diet Pepsi or Coke Zero with crushed ice that I can chomp ... and in the evenings, a splash of rum to go with it.

My favorite book growing up was probably Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

eeeschen said...

I snacked more when I worked in an office, but I still munch occasionally now that I work from home.
I am a self-professed "Coke addict" - I drink 2-3 cans of Coca Cola a day. I can't handle Diet, it tastes too sweet.
I also munch on dried mango slices or dried cranberries when I'm at my desk. Tasty. :)

Delia said...

Sugar, sugar, sugar, interspersed with a little salt, and washed down with non-fat mocha lattes. Yes, my diet sucks. I wish I had your tastes. My daughter does, and I am forever grateful for it. Though, I have to say, even she'd squick on the frozen peas.

Karla Nellenbach said...

I got nothing on the book your tee is referencing...I want to say WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE but I'm pretty sure thats wrong. and my fave book of all time is PRIDE & PREJUDICE...an oldie but a goodie :)

as for food while writing...eh, not so much. Give me a nice tall glass of ice water and I'm golden...besides if I starve myself, it gives me a reason to get work done..."Oh, you're hungry? Well, finish this chapter, and then you can eat." tough love works!

Cynthia Reese said...

I've known you for how many years? And I have NO clue about the tee-shirt, except I don't look that good in a tee-shirt.

My fav book from childhood? Don't know if they're my all-time favorite, but HENRY HUGGINS, WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS & THE CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE got me reading independently.

There is no way I would show a pix of my writing habitat. For one thing, despite computers and digital storage, I have an ASTONISHING amount of paper.

But you won't find crumbs. I have a rule that I don't eat in any room of the house that is not the kitchen or the dining room, I don't eat WHILE I'm writing.

My go-to-snack for breaks during writing: cheese and bread (whole wheat slice of bread wrapped around a slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese) and iced tea. Unless The Husband brings home a can of Pringles. Or unless I have a supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Or Almond Joys. Or ...

Gee. Hungry now. Off to eat another peanut butter cup.

Jen J. Danna said...

I try to keep my hands off the munchies when I'm writing, but I always have a Diet Coke with Lime, or an iced tea or a coffee sitting beside me. The Sen Sens sound like a bit of an acquired taste, but it's nice of you to have a visible barometer for Pythagorus, so that he can tell at a glance how your day went.

As far as a favourite childhood book goes, I'm going to have to go with the whole Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I couldn't pick a single book out of that series as a favourite because they were all so loved.

DL Hammons said...

*Clearing throat* You do realize that in order to figure out the clue on your t-shirt I was forced to enlarge the photo significantly to get a better view of the imprint...and thus your chest.

*cough*

I feel as if I already won the contest!! :)

Tawna Fenske said...

Suzy, I don't know why, but that pat of butter sounds ridiculously delicious. I'm jealous.

Morgan, WIN! Yup, the shirt features a scene from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, when Max is wearing his wolf suit and making mischief. I actually have TWO shirts that feature scenes from that book, though I've always wanted one that includes my favorite line, "let the wild rumpus start!" Congrats, you get two extra entries in tomorrow's contest!

Sharon, but what about wine? You forgot that.

Elizabeth, mashed potatoes and a nap sound like the perfect end to a day of writing!

Linda G, cherries and olives sound like the perfect way to ensure you're getting your fruits & veggies!

Andre, I've never heard of "Fitzgo, Wild Dog of Central Park," but I'm going to go look it up now!

Danica, what is Pocky? I'm with you on the water thing. I can't stand to be without a glass of it if I'm sitting at a computer.

Elizabeth, I actually credit the snacking with allowing me to stay pretty slim. It's better for the metabolism to eat lots of small meals (or so says the geek with the Exercise Physiology degree who shares my bed).

Jason, about once a month, I have to attack my keyboard with canned air to get all the food particles out of it. You'd be amazed at how many Sen Sens end up in mine.

Robin, I was a big fan of the Ramona books, too!

Kathryn, dumb question, but are dried plums the same as prunes?

Ella144, don't worry, my desk isn't always this clean. I tidied it last week when I wanted to shoot those pics of me typing with my toes, and I've been trying to keep it clean since then. That won't last too long, I can assure you!

Ang, I looooved all the Judy Blume books myself. Have you read any of the ones she's written for adults? SUMMER SISTERS is one of my top 5 books I've ever read. Love it, love it, LOVE IT (and now I'm going to go read it again).

eeeschen, I see you share my fondness for dried fruit! I sometimes feel guilty not eating more FRESH fruit, but it's just so messy.

Delia, I credit my parents with giving me pretty healthy eating habits, but it's also partly that I'm a bit of a food snob. I love desserts, but only if they're sort of frou-frou like lavender creme brule or something unusual like that. Otherwise, I'm not generally too tempted by sugar.

Karla, I like your idea for using starvation as a motivator! Do you use other forms of torture, or is that sufficient?

Cynthia, shame, shame, SHAME! You don't recognize Max from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE? And you have a kid!

Jen, I devoured all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, too! Man, seeing all these great books is making me want to run to the library again!

DLHammons, LOL, I actually picked the least boob-focused pic from the bunch my husband snapped last night. Apparently to him, "I want a photo of the snacks on my desk with my T-shirt visible" means "zoom in as close as you can on my boobs and take enough pictures to fill up the entire camera card."

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Marybeth Poppins said...

Took me a minute to notice it was Where the Wild things are.

I'm often found with a glass of water, lemonade or wine as well as a big fat bowl of low carb ice cream or cheeze its.

I like food!

Lynda Elkin said...

Heh heh heh. What's your first favorite household appliance?

And yes, that's what I got out of that whole blog. :)

Currently munching on celery and peanut butter, and I loved A Wrinkle In Time.

Jeannie said...

My snack food is all about timing.

I love chocolate, but I don't consume it non stop. Especially now, I'm trying to lose a lot of weight so I've been making some small changes in my eating habits over the course of the past few months.

I like coffee. I have a Keurig brewer and my Gloria Jean's Swiss Chocolate Almond is my treat. I put lite Hershey's syrup in along with skim milk and I have an instant mocha latte.(My version anyway)I don't use additional sugar. I'm good for three cups a day. If it's after 6pm I drink decaf.

I will snack on popcorn, cheese and honey wheat pretzels.

Expat mum said...

I don't tend to snack when I'm writing (so why the hell don't I weigh 90 pounds) but being English, I drink gallons of tea till it's time for the Pinot Grigio. My dentist says it's staining my teeth but isn't that what he's there for? To clean them?

Terry Stonecrop said...

I don't eat much while I'm writing but I sip tea, coffee or lemon water. I sometimes crave nachos though or other crunchy things, like nuts.

At night it's wine. Do I see a pattern here with the vino and writers?

Sierra Godfrey said...

M&Ms cleverly disguised as trail mix by adding an almond.

Danica Avet said...

Pocky is a Japanese snack. It's almost like a pretzel (not salty) with flavored coating like chocolate or strawberry. I've read there are a large variety of flavors, but those are the only two I've ever had. They're also pretty low calorie.

Neurotic said...

Coca-Cola. Lots and lots of Coca-Cola (NOT Pepsi). I should try your method of eating fruits and veggies more often, but until chocolate-flavored carrot sticks taste good, I probably won't do it. Do chocolate-covered cherries count?

pseudosu said...

Mmmm... Frozen peas are yum!
Def diet coke (i know, my brain is rotting i'm sure), cherry peel-n-pull twizzlers, dry cheerios. Really I'm better off not having anything at hand besides a drink. Mindless munching = an automatic ass enlargement for me.

Dianne K. Salerni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dianne K. Salerni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dianne K. Salerni said...

Darn post duplicated itself, and when I tried to delete the extra, they both disappeared.

To briefly summarize what I wrote, duplicated, and deleted: I like that dried fruit idea, Tawna. I can't be productive without stuffing something in my mouth, but maybe I can switch to something less fattening than cheese and crackers!

SM Schmidt said...

15lbs later I've banned myself from eating/drinking while I write. I could easily snarf down a bag of Godvia gems & three cans of soda when the writing was going well, more when the writing was going not so well.

My favorite book growing up changed a good deal, any book read at bedtime was the current favorite. I must say Lord of the Rings wins though, it saw me through pneumonia with my dad reading it aloud on bad days.

Claire Dawn said...

Granola and fruit for me. In the summer I drink an insane amount of tea (because it's free and in the staff room). In the winter I hardly consume any liquid at all.

Tawna Fenske said...

Marybeth, mmm...cheezits! I'm not a huge junk food junkie, but if I had those in the house, I would be forced to eat them.

Lynda, I'm kinda surprised you were the only one to make that comment! You can use your imagination about my first favorite appliance!

Jeannie, I don't know why, but I've never liked coffee. I enjoy the smell of it (though I hate coffee breath with a blinding passion). I just don't care for coffee. Pythagoras doesn't either, though we have a coffee maker for when people come to visit. Neither of us has any idea how to use it.

Expat Mom, no joke on the teeth staining! Between the tea, the red wine, and the Sen Sens, I make my dentist earn his money!

Terry, I think you're onto something with the connection between writers and wine. Hmmm...should we do a study?!

Sierra, I'm sure that solitary almond serves you well!

Danica, you know, I think I've seen Pocky at some of our more exotic food-marts. I'll have to check it out next time I grocery shop!

Neurotic, my husband is equally picky about his cola, though he's the opposite of you -- it MUST be Pepsi!

Pseudosu, it's funny, I really don't like COOKED peas that much, but nibbling the frozen ones when they're still frozen is great! And my #1 favorite food of all is fresh peas right from the pod.

Dianne, do you have a Trader Joes near you? They have a great selection of dried fruit. I actually have a food dehydrator and have tried drying my own fruit, but it's awfully messy and time-consuming.

SM Schmidt, I have so many friends who are Lord of the Rings fans, I can't believe I've never read it.

Claire Dawn, are you a green tea or a black tea fan? I like both, but any tea must have milk in it!

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

Patty Blount said...

*shakes head sadly * Where did I go wrong?

Carrot sticks? Peas? Rally????????? Sen Sens WTF is a Sen Sens?

My family often teases me that I'd never be able to hack Survivor unless they marooned us where cocoa beans grow in the wild.

Now, the nuts and popcorn - OK, I can accept this. I have been known to eat nuts that don't belong to my husband.

OK, being serious for a moment - despite my chocolate indulgence over the weekend, I limit myself to only 4 or 5 kisses from my coworker's basket a day.

The rest of the day, I'm good because I'm dieting. Oatmeal, or egg whites in the morning, lots of water, salad for lunch. Dinner is a bit tougher as I never know what to make because I don't know who's home.

I love writing after work because it keeps me from raiding the fridge.

Since I'm coming to the Where the Wild Things are Party a day late, don't worry about the extra points.

Guinevere said...

I wish my snacking urges were limited to carrot sticks, almonds and frozen peas! That's awesome. My snacking revolves around Oreos, M&Ms, and fruit with peanut butter or yogurt. Not quite as low-cal and healthy!

My fave childhood book was Astrid Lindgren's "Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas" - when she's finally reunited with her father. Still heart that book.

Janet Reid said...

Gosh it was nice being friends with you but I"m afraid you're now firmly lodged on the Fecal Roster. Carrot sticks over chocolate? No coffee?

The only good thing I can even think of saying is you didn't eat the dead bug.

(But chocolate covered insects ARE yummy, just fyi)

Your former friend,
Janet Reid

Julie Weathers said...

Snacks and drinks.

I usually have cookies in some form of making, baking or shipping, but I don't eat then unless I'm testing a new recipe.

I like apple slices, especially if I have caramel dip. Matchstick carrots. Celery sticks with cream cheese. Lemon drops. That's my one candy weakness unless I cave and buy licorice, which I will eat until I get sick.

Drinks, coffee, sweet tea, water, Shiner Bock beer.

Sarah G said...

I sometimes drink hot tea (with sugar, natch) while writing to convince myself that I'm cultural.

I also try self-bribing by either eating ice cream before I write, or after I finish writing.