It was a dark and stormy night, which was about normal in these parts, when suddenly all hell broke loose! At least, part of hell broke loose, cheering and running. Gwaarg, the dog-headed demon in charge of the western perimiter hell-fence maintenance growled "F'kit!" furiously, as he saw the damned souls streaming out of the nether regions toward Taki O'Loughlin's Irish Bar and Grill, Belly-Dancing Tuesday. He groaned as he set out after them. This would be another all-nighter. The only way of separating them from the rest of the patrons would be to listen to the accents, because merely looking for half-naked flayed-alive souls with white-hot scorpions clinging to their genitals was hopeless in that crowd once the Irish-Greek dancing started. Worse, he could hear the escapees practicing. "Begorrah!", "Nancy-Wuskey!", "Banshee!" Whuskey yee'r th'divil!" they bellowed eagerly in chorus, except for the one who was yelling "Mazeltov!" You always got one. No, that wasn't true. There'd be at least three in the pub, and while it might seem perfectly justified, he'd get yowls of outrage from human resources and a ream of paperwork if he took anyone too soon, or, as unlikely as it might seem, someone who wasn't heading for hell at all, but was just delivering pizza. And in a pub with shamrock-covered plastic tablecloths, delivering in pizza (even with anchovies)was considered a penance, as Gwaarg had found out last time.
Heh. Ok so I was taking a few moments to write a prologue to poke fun at Elmore Leonard's 'rules'- except for being Margret Atwood, which, as I am perfectly happy to write science fiction (with or without conversational cosmic calamari) I cannot imitate. They're actually not bad guidelines, just not 'rules'. Before I was so distracted the thing I was going to write about was food. Now, as we sort-of-I-hope proved up there, one man's terrible and boring and another's entertainment vary. One of my own pet entertainments is putting food into my books. It's such fun prising the pages apart later, trying to work out the squished splotches might once have been. It's also a good way of getting roaches to edit out paragraphs that you wish you'd never written or even read.
Actually, on that charming, appetising note... what I meant writing was about food. Now, as the sort of person who reads recipe books for light entertainment, I will admit to being a little biased here. The landscapes of my worlds are colored by food (and occassionally drink. I have come across red wine that permanently stained concrete, let alone the worlds of my imagination). They're a window to fill in on some of that descriptive guff I am (thank you Mr Leonard) generally quite sparse on. I have this odd idea that they appeal to different set of senses than ones involved in looking at scenery - But I could be wrong. What is your take, folks? Do you like food in books to be described, and had you noticed that I do so? (So does Sarah, for what it is worth).