What Are They Eating | Dear Diary

What Are They Eating

Time to have a look at what they eat in Dear Diary. I do this with every story I write, have a look at what they’re eating, that is.

Way back when, I took a course in children and young adult literature. It was after I’d gotten my teacher’s degree, but I kept studying for fun (thank heaven for living in a country where education is free). In one course, I wrote an essay on how food in a book showed the characters’ social status and wealth. It was really interesting to write (might not have been as interesting to read LOL) so that’s what I do here. Not to analyse their social status, but food plays an important role in books. It tells something about a character if they eat macaroni and cheese instead of roast beef or if they drink water instead of a glass of expensive wine.

It’s tricky with Dear Diary. It’s written in diary form so the main character summarises his day. Some days he doesn’t write much at all, and most often he’s not very focused on food.

There are a few mentions though, so let’s have a look!

First off, there is mentioning of coffee almost every day. His therapist has told him to list three positive things every day, and at the beginning of the story, those three most often are:

1. My breakfast coffee was okay.
2. My lunch coffee was okay.
3. My walking-home-from-work Caramel Latte was okay.

Later on, when he feels a little better and he’s seeing Lars, there is some mention of food.

So, dinner with Lars didn’t mean going out to a restaurant. He cooks! Or we had some chicken thing with potato wedges and a salad. Gordon Ramsay might not have been impressed, but I was.

Then he continues to be impressed when Lars talks him into working out in the morning before work and promises to get him breakfast.

Then when I was sure I’d puke all over the torture device, the thirty minutes were up, and Lars told me I’d done a good job. It shouldn’t matter, but damn, I wanted to do a good job. For him. See the pathetic swooning? There I was panting and red-faced with sweat trickling down my temples, and he was as gorgeous as ever, hardly out of breath. The universe is against me; I swear.
He told me to shower, and I asked if he wanted to join me. See. Pathetic. He grinned and said he had a class in an hour, so showering would be a waste of water.
Once I’d berated myself in the shower for a good ten minutes, I went out to meet him in the cafeteria and realized once again Lars is too good for me.
He’d made us sandwiches, and not some disgusting peanut butter and jelly thing. No, they were made of sourdough bread with cheese and ham and lots of lettuce. I have no idea what Gordon Ramsay would have to say about them, but I was impressed.

Then when everything has gone to shit, he realises he’s made a mistake. Pushing Lars away was a stupid thing to do, and he wants to explain himself. But after you’ve hurt someone, do you bring something when you go there?

He responded: It’s okay.

It’s not okay. I can almost hear the fake tone through the text. I asked him if he was at home. If he is, I might go there. Or maybe I shouldn’t. Damn, I’m gonna throw up. What do I do? I should bring something, right? But then it feels as if I’m bribing him to see me.

He says he’s home. I asked if I could come by to talk.

If he says yes, do I bring something? Wine? No, not wine. I could stop and buy something… Hot cocoa. Mom always gave me hot cocoa when I was sad about something. I’ll bring a blanket and we can sit outside and have hot cocoa.

He hasn’t responded.

It’s been six minutes. He doesn’t want me to come. Fuck. If he’d wanted to talk to me, he’d texted me back at once.

Shit, the phone buzzed, but now I don’t dare to look. It’s been thirteen minutes. Nothing good comes after thirteen minutes.

It’s taunting me. I keep staring at the phone. Okay, deep breaths, I’m reading it.

He wrote: Okay.

I don’t think it is. It took him thirteen minutes to write one word. And four minutes for me to read it. Sigh.

I’m going. Hot cocoa, a blanket, and enough anxiety to set off a nuclear bomb. If I have a panic attack, I’m blaming Erin. I could’ve escaped this. I could’ve saved both Lars and me the trouble if she hadn’t told me I was an idiot.

I don’t want to be an idiot.

Dear Diary

dear diary

Dear Diary,

My therapist wants me to write a diary to help me manage my depression. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with her.

All I want is for life to go back to the way it was before I walked in on Christopher and Jason. Or maybe not because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Christopher for cheating on me in our bed, but I want to function as I did before that moment. Before I lost everything.

Do you remember Lars Olsen from school? I do my best to stay away, but it’s like he’s magnetic and pulls me in every time I see him. I shouldn’t be dating. I don’t want to force my crazy on anyone, but he’s asked me to dinner. He deserves a sane partner, so it would be unfair to go, wouldn’t it?

Buy links:

Contemporary Gay Romance:  9,219 words

JMS Book :: Amazon :: books2read.com/DearDiaryDay

What Are They Eating | The Book Dragon’s Lair

The Book dragon's lair

What do dragons eat?? Every month, I do a What Are They Eating post – I think it’s fun. I never really think about food when I write. Or I think about food, a lot can be said with food or lack thereof, but I never think about writing this post when I write. So every time it comes up on my to-do, I’m like ‘oh shit, did they even eat anything?’ 😆

Most often the characters eat something.

In The Book Dragon’s Lair, Ryu has never been to the human realm before so he doesn’t know much about human food other than what he’d heard.

They needed to talk, but Egil had no idea how to broach the subject. He had so many questions, but he feared the answers.

Draken took another swallow of the coffee and grimaced.

“You love coffee.” The old Draken did. He always drank his coffee as black as his soul.

“Coffee.” Ryu looked down into the cup as if he was seeing it for the first time. “It’s always described as a magical drink, but I don’t see the appeal”

“Who are you?” He didn’t even pretend to be Draken anymore.

They eat toast. When Ryu first arrives and still pretends to be Draken, that’s all Egil have in the house.

When the clock finally showed six o’clock in the evening, Egil turned the sign hanging on the door and locked it.

“All done?” Ryu was starving, but he didn’t know what to eat here. He’d only had the coffee, and it had put him off human food a bit.

“Yes, I only need to close out the cash register.”

Ryu had no idea what it meant. “And then we eat?”

“Ah… yeah… we don’t have any food other than toast. I need to shop and we’ll need a new phone since you… erm… broke the old one.”

Nodding, Ryu watched him press some buttons, only to have the machine print another paper note. There were so many notes on this side of the veil.

“I can hunt for something we can eat.” His mouth watered as he imagined meat roasting over an open fire.

Egil stared at him. “What?”

“Hunt. Don’t you hunt?”

Shaking his head, Egil emptied the machine on paper notes and held them out to Ryu.

Then there are some… shall we say cultural differences concerning eggs.

Crap. Ryu was a bad mate. He’d eaten several times during the day. The fuzzy orange globes were delicious, and he’d had four. There were miniature eggs in the basket, and Ryu wondered if Egil planned on having a hatchling. What mother traded her eggs? And how would they care for a young?

He studied Egil. Normally, a mated couple was together for a long time before the female laid an egg, and he’d never looked forward to having a hatchling—not because he didn’t like young, but to have a hatchling, he needed to have a female mate. Had he known there were those who traded their eggs on this side of the veil, he might have played with the idea more.

“I was gonna make us omelet for lunch, but there was no time. Want some now?”

Egil needed to rest. He looked exhausted, and he’d been awake in the middle of the night. Had Ryu been able to hunt, he’d have fixed food. “What is omelet?”

“Eggs you fry with some mushrooms and such.”

Ryu gasped. “You can’t eat eggs!”

Egil stilled and stared at him. “Eh… why?”

“You eat your hatchlings?” For a second, he wondered if his stomach was about to turn inside out. No one had ever told him humans were so barbaric.

Frowning, Egil rubbed his chest. “It’s chicken eggs. Humans don’t lay eggs; you know that, right?”

Ryu didn’t move. Humans didn’t lay eggs, he knew, of course, he knew, but when he’d seen the tiny eggs… “I know.” He nodded to emphasize.

“We’re mammals.”

“I know.” He did. What had he been thinking?

“Eggs are a common food item here. Chicken eggs… and sometimes duck, not any other kind.” Egil bit his lip. Ryu stared. The way the teeth dented the soft flesh had him swallowing a groan. He wanted to bite Egil’s lip—softly, of course. He had to be careful not to hurt him. Humans were fragile.

“Sometimes people eat fish eggs too. I don’t like it, but some people do.”

Ryu nodded. “I don’t want to eat eggs.”

And the fuzzy balls… 😆

“Are you sure?” Egil watched him with narrowed eyes.

“Of course. Can we get more fuzzy balls?”

There was a twitch at the corner of Egil’s mouth. “Erm…” Then he burst out laughing. “Sorry, sorry, I’m tired and my brain… I take it you mean peaches, not… eh… other balls?”

Ryu stared. Egil was lovely when he laughed. “Show me the market, and I’ll get them. Is it a dragon who trades them?”

Egil shook his head, still chuckling. “No, there are no dragons at the market.” 

There is more food in this story, but it’s simple food. Egil doesn’t have much money and Ryu doesn’t know anything about human food, but I think I’ll leave you with this for now.

The Book Dragon’s Lair

The Book Dragon's Lair

Time and time again, Ryu the Ravenous has petitioned to be allowed to move to the human realm, but every application has been denied. As a black dragon of near royal blood with plenty of gemstones in his treasure cave, many females want him for a mate. Ryu doesn’t want a female mate, though, and when he’s badly burned in a conflict between tribes, he sees his chance to escape.

Egil Olsen is running The Book Dragon’s Lair, a bookstore on Dragon Row, while Draken the Dreadful, his mate, is away fighting a war on the other side of the veil. The relief of not having Draken around is great. For the first time in years, Egil doesn’t have to watch every move he makes. When word reaches him that Draken is on his way home after having been injured, he considers running away.

The dragon stepping over the threshold to The Book Dragon’s Lair isn’t Draken, though. He claims to be, but Egil knows his mate, and while all dragons are dangerous, the male standing before him is nowhere near as cruel as his mate. Ryu never wanted to be a book dragon. Books don’t sparkle, but if it’s the price he has to pay to be in the human realm, he will pay it. He’ll take over Draken the Dreadful’s treasure, and he hopes he can take over his mate, too. Egil doesn’t want to be mated to a dragon, but without a mate, he’d be homeless and without a job.

A few hours after having met Ryu, Egil thinks being mated to him might not be too bad, but how will they be able to fool the people around them into believing Ryu is Draken? And what will happen if the real Draken comes back?

Buy links:

Paranormal Gay Romance: 33,671 words

JMS Book :: Amazon :: books2read.com/TheBookDragonsLair

What Are They Eating | Love in an Elevator

What Are They Eating

At the time of writing this, I have three kinds of bread on the rise in the kitchen, so I figured it was fitting to talk about food in Love in an Elevator. It’s actually a lie, one of the three breads is a crispbread made of seeds and corn flour. It doesn’t need to rise since it doesn’t have any yeast in it, but I plan to put it into the oven last since it takes the longest, so it’ll just have to wait.

Anyway, we’re here to talk about Love in an Elevator, which is a contemporary summer story I wrote for National Talk in an Elevator Day. National Talk in an Elevator Day is celebrated annually on the last Friday of July and encourages people to talk in the elevator.

My guys talk, or at least Hayden does. Corey has given up on spoken language because of a severe stutter and is only signing these days.

But, what we’re looking at today is the food! Corey’s best friend, Brielle, works in a French restaurant, Madame Toussaint, which her family owns, and Corey goes there all the time.

Corey sat by one of the tables at Madame Toussaint, and the real Madame Toussaint, Josephine, Brielle’s mom, had served him a Croque Monsieur despite him not having ordered anything other than a cup of coffee. He wasn’t complaining. It was almost lunchtime and food was always nice. He ate, then opened his laptop to get some work done before the restaurant filled up.

Hayden also goes to eat at Madame Toussaint, though not as often as Corey.

Kevin was still laughing. Hayden wanted to leave, but a woman in her mid-fifties appeared by their table. “Can I take your orders, gentlemen?” She had a French accent which had Hayden study her more closely. She had to be Corey’s friend’s mother. They were almost duplicates of each other, only this woman was at least twenty years older. He smiled. She had to know sign language. “I’ll have the Chicken Basquaise and mineral water, please.”
“Mineral water?” Kevin huffed. “I’ll have a glass of wine and—” The thinning of the woman’s lips was instant. “—the Steak au poivre.” He butchered the words, Hayden hadn’t done any better, but for some reason, it embarrassed him. The woman nodded, and the rest followed with their orders.

There is, of course, coffee, several mentions of coffee…

To Hayden’s astonishment, Corey laughed. With sound. It made his heart beat fast and his hands itch to pull him down on his lap—he didn’t.
Corey made a sign as if he was pulling at an invisible string hanging from the ceiling.
“Lamp?”
Corey snorted a laugh and headed for the refrigerator and grabbed a carton of milk.
“Ah, milk. No, thank you. Black is fine.”
Corey nodded and went to grab the coffee pot. He poured it into the cups, put the pot back in the coffee maker, and added a dollop of milk to his cup. Before he sat, he placed a bowl with small chocolate balls on the table.
“You keep Maltesers in a bowl?”
Corey nodded.
“If I’d had this at home, I’d have eaten them all in one go.”
With a grin, Corey pushed the bowl toward him.
“Thanks.” He popped one into his mouth and sipped on the coffee. It was a bit too hot to drink. “So when are you coming on a date with me?”

Love in an Elevator

Love in an Elevator

Hayden Perry moved to Landown two and a half weeks ago. He was excited to get the event planning job he’d applied for, but apart from bumping into a cute guy in the elevator, things don’t pan out the way he’d hoped. His boss is an ass and his co-workers are idiots, but as much as he dislikes them, he can’t afford to quit until he has another job lined up.

Corey Hope’s school years sucked. With a crippling stutter, he was easy prey, and despite being grown up, his bullies still haunt his nightmares. After he left school, he gave up on trying to talk, and communicates solely through sign language and written text. It works great even though he wished he could say something when Hayden flirts with him in the elevator.

Hayden does his best to catch Corey in the elevator as often as he can, and he thinks they might have something, but it all comes crashing down when Corey sees him having lunch with his colleagues. Corey might be drawn to Hayden, but seeing him with his school bullies has old memories washing over him. He won’t let them hurt him ever again, and he’d rather forget about Hayden than risk Hayden hurting him.

How will Hayden convince Corey he’s nothing like his colleagues when Corey refuses to see him?

Buy links:

Contemporary Gay Romance: 17,560 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/LoveinanElevator