No, sadly, I did not come up with a way to erase the caloric consumption of the quesadilla I just had at our new Moe’s (where apparently they ordered their entire staff from Central Casting, requesting surly, non-verbal adolescents). What I’m talking about is eating in books.
In The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde--and if you haven’t read him yet, lucky you, you get to enjoy it for the first time, though there is an appalling lack of slash--the bookjumping heroine Thursday Next is spending a year in the Well, hiding out in an unpublished mystery novel. What troubles Thursday in the first chapter are the many strange absences in the fictional world, particularly the absence of breakfast. She comes to the conclusion that the lack is due to the fact that dinners, lunches, and afternoon teas spend more time advancing the plot.
As a non-fictional character, I find skipping breakfast far more unendurable than skipping any of the other more plot-filled meals. Some of my love for breakfast must have spilled over into my fictional world because in Joey and Aaron’s book (and there will be a title soon, I promise) there were a lot of breakfasts. They advanced the plot, whether it was by Joey seducing Aaron with syrup, Aaron using up the rest of Joey’s cereal milk for his coffee or one of the many other conflicts that sprang up over a breakfast plate.
Come to think of it, in my August 12 release Regularly Scheduled Life, there are a few plot-advancing breakfasts to be found. There's even a brunch, or as one of the characters calls it: “Gay Church.” I guess there’s quite a bit of my breakfast-loving soul bleeding into my fiction—-though none of my characters share my passion for Lucky Charms and Twinings Irish Breakfast tea.
Since one of my favorite aspects of reading and writing is the chance at a vicarious thrill (and not always the obvious one), I’m going to pay better attention and enjoy the calorie-free dining in the books I read. Even as a life-long vegetarian I can appreciate when characters chow down on a meat-laden sub or crisp plate of bacon. Details, especially sensory images, draw me into the story. I love a story when the characters appreciate the sensual pleasures of food without me having to actually cook it and then work it off at the gym.
For some people and characters making food is a way of saying “I love you.” Eating is something that everyone does, has to do in order to live, but when you share it, with a lover or a character, it definitely becomes something more.
Mary, the character Thursday is replacing in the unpublished mystery novel is astounded to learn that “Outlanders” actually have to eat to stay alive, and not just when the story calls for it. Thursday tells her “It’s one of the great pleasures in life.” I’d probably rank it behind reading m/m romance, but I have to agree.
For a peek at Sean and Kyle having some issues over breakfast, check out this Regularly Scheduled Life excerpt.
For the next prequel to Regularly Scheduled Life, follow this link.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of Kyle and Sean's romance in Regularly Scheduled Life. They made me cry, the bastards.