I thought this would be a good time to sit down and discuss a very important topic to writers…and other types of “humans”: FOOD.
You spend hours a day hunched in front of the computer, spooling out dreamstuff to hopefully one day feed the hungry masses (let them eat cake!), worrying that you might be pouring your heart and soul into a Ground Zero incident of a massive outbreak of literary indigestion.
On top of that, you’re making life-and-death decisions for people who don’t exist in our physical plane. You’re inventing every single detail of their world. You’re responsible for making sense of their lives, giving meaning and shape to them, making sure that they’re formatted properly.
Being a god is tough work. You need energy to power your story machine. You need…sammiches.
I think the primary reason why I read Blondie after all these years is for the awesome sandwiches. (Funnily enough, I always get a craving for pizza when I read Archie Comics.) Obviously, I think sandwiches are the perfect writer food, and this is why:
1. Sandwiches are agenda-neutral. Whether you’re a committed carnivore, living gluten-free, a nothing-without-a-face vegan, there’s a sandwich out there for you. What this means is, sandwiches are for everybody.
2. Not only are they make-ahead compatible — saving you valuable time in the midst of a on-fire writing session — but they are robust when pre-made correctly, meaning you can make a truckload of them and they only get tastier as they await their destiny in the fridge.
3. They can be eaten with one hand (once again, if made correctly), leaving your other hand free to peck at the keyboard (to Tweet about how damn good your sandwich is).
4. You can have them hot or cold. Ooh.
5. Well, they taste good. I like them.
Anyway, for the sake of the public good, I thought I’d put together a little tutorial for the sandwich-uninitiated, as well as for the folks who may have grown distant from the humble sandwich, caught up in their Lean Cuisines and organic fruit in a pointless effort to “grow up.”
Right. So the first step in this time-saving, life-changing tutorial is to gather up all your ingredients, tools, and supplies. I encourage you to use the proper tools, such as a serrated bread knife for cutting the bread. If you try to half-ass it by using a butter knife, you’ll only tear the bread, frustrate yourself, and question whether or not you should have written your 300-page novel in first person instead of third.
Now what I have here is pretty basic. Deli meat (ham in this case), sliced cheese, whole grain Dijon mustard (nectar of the sandwich gods), Best Foods olive oil based mayo (because it’s delicious), dinner rolls (going for the more frequent, but smaller portions), a red onion (a must in my sandwich book — page 11), a serrated bread knife, a kitchen knife (for the onion), and a butter knife (somewhere).
Now the point in doing this in bulk is to save you time later on. It’s faster to make 12 sandwiches at the same time than 12 sandwiches each time you get hungry. And it makes eating one less thing to gum up your work momentum.
So, obviously, the first thing you gotta do is flay those rolls open like the villain flays open Security Guard #2 in Scene 34. Don’t be girlish. Their fate is sealed. You do them honor by cutting straight and true.
The philosophy behind my choice of spreads: mayo for proper grounding of contents and moisture content, whole grain Dijon for the tanginess of an ironic twist.
The next part is laying out the meat like sacrifices on an altar. You will receive these sacrifices in good favor (likely at 3:00 in the morning at your desk…the best time to receive sacrifices in good favor).
Also, you should be aware that this step often attracts elves. They are generally harmless, but have been known to cause chronic sleep deprivation if one gets in your bed.
The “laying of the meat” also often attracts wolves. Generally, a pointed finger and a firm “no,” will be enough protection, but this incantation will not protect your sandwich if you leave it unattended on the coffee table, say.
Next on deck is the cheese because…well, because it’s the law, that’s why. The onions are a more controversial ingredient. My husband is stationed out of state right now, so they are less of a controversy right now. So onions go on. I like red because they stay with you like a good plot twist (the same reason why they’re so controversial).
The writer’s six-pack. How’s that for inspiration? You can hold them in front of your sagging gut to hide it. That’s what I do. 😉
Oh, wait! How about the Pyramid of Power? Yeeaah, baby! Cater-wrap this stuff in plastic wrap and wear it on your head and you won’t be able to hear anything…which means the government won’t be able to hear your thoughts either. Practical tips right here. I’m always looking out for you guys.
The holding tank. This is what you want to see when you open up the fridge in the wee hours of the morning looking for a little nosh. This is when you know that everything in the world is right. This, my friends, is being at the top of your game.
You are now ready for battle.
Now, here’s the most important part of all of this. Once you’ve got your sandwiches lined up in the holding tank, properly wrapped and awaiting transport, you have to keep your movements smooth and swift. Sight the sandwich that you’re going to eat and snag it with one hand while you — and this is important! — close the door with your other.
You will unwrap the sandwich as you walk back to your desk. It is best to take a bite before or as you sit down and lay the sandwich to the side in its wrap as you orient yourself to your computer screen. WRITE THE NEXT SENTENCE BEFORE YOU TAKE ANOTHER BITE. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
And for Murphy’s sake, do not check your email, Twitter feed, or Facebook feed during the consumption of your sandwich (Ang). Your sandwich was made for the good of your art, and it can only fulfill its full potential if consumed during the creation of your art. Please do not sully it with viral videos of talking dogs or celebrity updates.
If you follow this sandwich method for your writing for even a few sessions in a row, you will soon discover that your prose while written during “sandwich time” is not only better than the stuff you churn out during, say, “churro time,” but more intelligent.
Anyhoo, that’s about all I’ve got to say about that. “Dispense wisdom” — check! I’m gonna go see what’s in the fridge. Happy writing, folks!