Riese’s Team Pick:
Artist Wendy MacNaughton has a delightful cartoon situation illustrating what some of the world’s greatest writers liked to eat while they write. Lord Byron apparently drank vinegar (as an appetite suppressant) and Joyce Maynard should be my roommate because the lime popsicles are always my least favorite part of the Edy’s Fruit Bar Variety Packs and that’s what she eats when she writes.
What about food writers? Cook/writer Kathleen Finn says she snacks on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ak-Mak sesame whole wheat crackers, iced coffee with milk and Ramen in miso soup. At her blog, Finn asks her food-writer colleagues for details on what they eat while writing and the answers vary from cereal to bing cherries to bourbon. On a slightly related note, Cosmo Australia asked the question to Health Writers to find out what they actually eat when they’re not telling you what to eat.
It is a commonly accepted truth that writers are often really heavy drinkers, and in Hemingway & Bailey’s Bartending Guide for Great American Writers, author Mark Bailey and illustrator Edward Hemingway provide recipes, book passages, direct testimony from writers themselves and a bit of historical research to reveal the habits and proclivities of, as the title suggests, Great American Writers. NPR has a look at their favorite passages and recipes from the book, like William Faulkner‘s Mint Julep. Did you know that sexually-ambiguous Carson McCullers enjoyed drinking Long Island Iced Tea served hot mixed with sherry in a thermos. She called it “sonnie boy” and would drink it all day claiming it was just tea, not gallons of alcohol.
The book is actually pretty rad and would make a good gift for the writer/drinker on your Labor Day List.
For desert, here’s NPR giving Amy Sedaris a Literary Drinking Quiz:
“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”
If you’re a writer/artist/musician person, what do you eat/drink while writing?