Grandma’s Been Cooking

Imagine a scene in which company arrives for a family meal. Grandma insisted that she’d fix all the food, thank you very much. The problem is that she’s a notoriously horrible cook. She’s mastered an edible apple pie, a tolerable beef stroganoff, and a passable version of green bean casserole.

Perhaps Grandma’s a sous chef at a three-star restaurant. Her entrees are amazing, but are made from ingredients so obscure that the grandkids won’t touch therm. Because everything requires meticulous planning, she spends days preparing. Meanwhile she neglects cleaning the house, showering, setting the table. There are no drinks for kids or adults, but plenty of escargot.

What type of cook is your character’s grandmother? What does through his mind whenever Grandma invites him for dinner? Does he bring funeral potatoes over her protests? Does he pick up a lemon meringue pie from the bakery on his way even though Grandma’s feelings will be hurt?

Your task is to write the story. Begin with the invitation. Does it arrive by snail mail, email or phone? What emotions pass through your character’s mind when he responds? What does he do to prepare? Draw out the scene from beginning to end, showing us the party, the dialogue, the emotions of all invited.

This could be a humorous story or a heartbreaking one depending upon how you set the stage.

Have fun with this one.

Eating Out

There’s something magical about eating in a restaurant. Choosing exactly what you want from a menu is thrilling when normally you have to eat what’s served to the whole family. Every single person is the group can have a different entrée! Amazing.

Where you eat depends upon many factors. If you are traveling you might opt for fast food so that you can get back on the road as quickly as possible. If you are meeting friends, then you select someplace that gives you time to chat and simply be together.

If you are celebrating a special event, you might go for a high-end restaurant with tablecloths and linen napkins. If it’s with children it might be a pizza joint with games for entertainment.

Your characters most likely eat out sometimes, for all the reasons that we do.

Your task is to create a list that corresponds with your character’s preferences, depending upon the circumstances. Think across the spectrum. You can use names of real places or create new ones.

Write a scene that involves eating out. You might begin with the discussion of where to go, or bring in the reader at the restaurant while eating is taking place. Look for the scene with the most drama, the most interest.

Remember that tension is important, so perhaps there’s an argument between at least two of the participants.

Have fun with this one.