Sunday, May 24, 2009

"I try to leave out the parts people skip"

~ Elmore Leonard

I went this afternoon to Taste of Cincinnati downtown. While Taste is an annual tradition here in Cincy, today was my first time going. Forty or so restaurants set up booths up and down fifth street and sell small portions of their menu at a cheap price. This way, theoretically, I can sample all of what Cincinnati restaurants have to offer. 

I had a pulled-pork sandwich from Montgomery Inn as well as a couple of small samples from Graeter's Ice Cream (they're letting taste testers help decide whether or not to remove the green food coloring from their mint chocolate chip!) I wish I had a bigger stomach, because there were many more things that looked appetizing, from chicken curry dishes to shish kebabs.

There were three separate stages with music, but it seemed like whenever we went near one, the musicians were still in the tune-up stage. Before we left - sitting, baking in the sun - we hung around Fountain Square by the middle stage. A quite skilled cover band was playing songs from the 80s and 90s (and maybe a couple more recent ones). 

One of the most important things the fiction writer has to do is "get them out the door": move characters from point A to point B. The writer might have great descriptions and a great way with language, but if he or she can't get them out the door, then it's probably for naught. Anyway, that's where I might be failing: I'm hanging out in the living room and the hallway - I haven't even gone near the door. I don't know if it's locked, and I don't know what's on the other side. 

Anyway, I'm home now from Taste of Cincinnati, slightly burnt but content. Anxious about all the work and grading I have to do tomorrow. 

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