Food for Thought

Walt Whitman often started his day of composing poems or essays with a breakfast of oysters and meat, while at Franz Kafka’s desk you might see a glass of milk. To keep his weight down Lord Byron sipped vinegar (how Romantic!). Cold toast and stale coffee for John Steinbeck, and home-baked bread for Emily Dickinson. F. Scott Fitzgerald liked his canned meat and apples. More modern writers like Michael Pollen prefer tea out of a glass and roasted almonds, while Truman Capote enjoys coffee at 11 a.m., mint tea at noon, sherry at 2 p.m. and a martini at four.

In Trout Kill Eddy eats very poorly. At one point he wolfs down a steak raw. He often goes without meals. He gorges on rhubarb pie, which he later throws up. He swills booze and beer and smokes marijuana.

I write in our basement next to a sliding patio door that opens to a small rock garden. When I write I always have at my side a cup of coffee or tea. Sometimes I’ll nibble on dried almonds or a cinnamon roll from Grand Central Bakery, a short walk from our home. Usually though, no food; for me it’s a distraction, and there are already plenty enough of those, what with the skittering leaves and cavorting squirrels.

Quote of the day:

The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation. Elias Canetti

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