Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writers read: single serve of food or words

What an excellent book for people who live and eat alone.

Penny Oliver, a seasoned food writer, has rustled up an inspiring cookbook featuring meals for one.

Many people feel dispirited when they eat alone. At least half the fun of good food is sharing with friends or family or ... anyone.

That's not me. I cook twice a day for myself, three times if you count porridge. And usually I say 'Yum that's good!' at least once per meal.

All the more reason to relish these healthy, hearty, colourful little meals-on-a-page. I envy Penny's lovely casserole dishes for one person, too.

This book sends a strong message: you may be alone, but you are worth cooking for.

That's a good message for a writer, too — to think of your reader as a real person, someone to respect, someone reading your book all alone.

And of course you can write in single serves. Think of all the novels written on cell phones (keitai shousetsu) or even as a series of tweets. Some novels are written in tiny chapters, a page and a half long. That's enough to move the plot forward and keep your lonesome readers reading.


  1. My book group focuses on short stories and today we read your "Popping Out" from 1990. We wondered if Dareen (who clearly needs Penny Oliver's book) was going mad or was merely lonely, leading her to flights of fancy. Would you comment, please,? Thanks from West Lafayette, Indiana.

  2. Someone said to me once,' Can't be bothered cooking when it's 'only me'. I said 'me' is the most important person in your life, you need to look after her. Cook on Rachel, Renée