Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: May 26, 2002
This is a rerun of an exercise that we did
about a year ago. This
let's concentrate on taste. We'd like you to describe a special meal.
can be a meal you've eaten in a restaurant, in a friend's home, or one
you've prepared yourself. Or it can be a meal one of your characters
eat. What sensations go with that meal, and what emotions might be
Remember, though, that a great many things
enter into our enjoyment
All the senses come into play. So don't just shove a fork full of the
down our throats. Let us experience it thoroughly, through all five of
senses. As an example, what if you were describing a traditional
Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's home. You walk in the door, and,
after your host takes your coat (or even before) what greets you? The
aromas! Roasting turkey, onions, sage. Perhaps the spicy scent of
You hear the laughter of children, voices
raised in greeting, the
silverware and crystal as the table is set. Perhaps soft music plays on
stereo. Take a look in the dining room at a table set with the best
and sparkling glasses. Perhaps a centerpiece of fall flowers, pine
autumn leaves. A crisp white tablecloth almost buried beneath the
After you're seated, your host opens a
bottle of wine. You hear the
then the sounds of the wine being poured into a glass. Bubbles sparkle
the golden liquid. You take a sip, it feels cold on your tongue.
passes you a dish filled with corn on the cob. You take one ear of
it's hot, almost burning your fingers.
And finally, after all the other senses,
there's taste. The tang of
and sage, corn on the cob, dripping with butter, sweet and salty,
squash, smooth mashed potatoes and brown gravy tingling your mouth with
peppery herbs. A side dish of celery attracts your attention. Listen to
crisp crunch as you bite into it. As a final touch - hot pumpkin pie
garnished with a scoop of cold ice cream. Taste it. Feel it on your
I've only skimmed the surface of this
meal, just to give you an
what we'd like you to write about.
Now think of other situations - what would
the last meal of a man
be executed taste like, however delicious the food might be? How about
first meal in days of someone hungry, however poor the fare?
So here's the exercise. In 300 words or
less, describe a special
Through it, without any other indications, give us a clue of the
character(s)'s emotions at the time.
When critiquing a submission, pay
attention to the sensory detail,
us what impression you got of what was happening to the characters.
Florence Cardinal's wrap-up
Posted on: June 1, 2002
The response to this exercise has been,
once again, terrific. So
many subs, so many tastes - from roast turkey to salmon to salad, and
some that were, to say the least, surprising, like chocolate and
Scotch, and a very unexpected variety of meat.
Some of you remembered a taste because of
the memories and emotions
that accompanied it. My only complaint was that some of the tastes
appeared only in the last couple of paragraphs after a lengthy build
up. True, taste comprises more than just -- well, taste, and some of
the background was interesting and needed. But it would have been
better if hints of the tastes to savor had been sprinkled among the
other sensations and experiences.
But, all in all, a very satisfactory week.
Time to move on to the
next exercise which Rheal will be posting soon.
Web site created by
Rhéal Nadeau and
the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.