The second day of spring and the snow has struck in West Yorkshire once again. A year ago the temperature was 21 degrees celsius! But there was some good news amongst the chaos.
My Friday routine includes an early visit to the supermarket and on my list was porridge. When I was working full time I was always in a rush and the above brand of porridge saved me time and provided a healthy and warming start to the day. Now I feature the above because of one ingredient! It's described as a 'new' flavour of porridge and its not honey!
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), simply translates as little pod. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs, and Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.
All I can say is a great big thank you to Hernan Cortes. I love vanilla and a big thank you to Quaker also.
'A book is a friend that does what no friend can do - stay quiet when you want to think!'
What has this to do with writing? Well everything and nothing! It is referencing research, the influence of small details on how a story unfolds and the need for lighter moments in the most dour of tales. Take for example Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. This is a seriously dark story which could have been made into a dark film musical but Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil introduced lighter moments using the Innkeeper and his wife characters (Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter in the film). In my humble opinion the live on stage version of the story showcased their roles better than in the film.
In the Steele novels the lighter moments tend to come from Takuo Sumisu, the mentor to Steele and Naomi Kobayashi. Maintaining the veracity of the characters is important if you want them to have a long term role. Accuracy and correctness are necessary to maintain the truth. So if you are writing take care of the little characters and your superstars will dazzle!!!!
Back to vanilla
Pods from an orchid
Warm glow of summer sweetness
©David L Atkinson March 2013
Just a few related products!