The image of yesterday’s Green Onion may have left a strong sense of smell and 50 shades of green. Chopping potent words during edits can leave your eyes filled with tears. Images that create instant reactions from our senses are easy to type but what about subtle moments? How are you going to have lips meet but barely touch or brushes of the cheek that aren’t cliche?
I’m calling today Tofu Tuesday because this protein is often a side dish instead of the main meat, and no one really knows that it takes like. If you ask several people to describe the flavor of tofu, you may get several answers or the most common – that it doesn’t taste like anything else at all. Bland flavor equals bland writing. Writing should be simple, clear, and never filled with too many adjectives or adverbs. We don’t need to cover up the meat of our words with a million flavors.
We should be able to add a few seasonings to our words, enough for the audience to taste and get a flavor. Create a memory for them. One main dish even if it’s the last thing we have left in the refrigerator. The audience doesn’t need to know. All they should know is that you took the time to drain off the water and lightly pat the square block with paper towel on a clean bamboo board. They should hear the sizzle of the pan over the gas stove before you gently drop in the cubes of tofu. A few drizzles of thick, brown sesame oil pop and start to fill the air with a smoky sweet scent. Black sea salt and a few grinds of peppercorns get tossed as you flip the cubes in the air. One square breaks free and ends up going missing because of guilt. You can’t serve that one of your partner. Top with a few more drizzles because you’re feeling crazy tonight in the kitchen. Color. Every meal needs cover so you let the finely chopped spring onions rain down on top of your main dish. Your eyes close as before you take the first bite and you feel your partner’s eyes on you. They open and you see them staring at your mouth.
Your writing prompt today is to finish writing the paragraph above or re-write what you read. Get your creative juices flowing. Stretch your imagination. Take a bland sentence from your own sludge pile and turn it into a main dish.
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