I really like perfect combinations. Especially combinations of perfect beverage for certain foods. I geek out about wine pairings. I pick my teas dependent on what kind of cookie I'm having (let me tell you, double-spice chai and a caramel wafer....heaven). It's probably getting a little out of hand.
I have two all-time favorite food/beverage pairings. One is kettle-cooked potato chips, liberally salted but not over-much, with a hearty ale. The other is a square of dark chocolate and a glass of deep red wine.
Clearly, two very different pairings with two very different modes of satisfaction behind them. But it connects to writing--and reading. I promise.
I finally got around to reading the Hunger Games series. Yes, I'm a little Johnny-Come-Lately, but I cued up Books One and Two on my Nook and went to town (haven't read Mockingjay yet, don't tell me a thing!). But it struck me, as I was plowing through Catching Fire, that I plow through my little bowl of salty kettle cooked potato chips in much the same way.
Collins did not write books that make you slow down and savor, the way I savor those little wedges of dark chocolate and the accompanying good red wine. This is not a bad thing. A great snack, and a great read, does not mean it's like every other great snack or read. Collins made me keep moving, turning pages, caught on the ride. And I enjoyed that. But many of my favorite books are sloowwww dooowwwwn books. Books that make you taste the words one by one, swirling them the way the wine swirls in a glass, inhaled like a wine's bouquet.
I like both my kinds of snacks. Some afternoons, after a busy day of work and a round of "scrub the bathroom" I crave the crackle and refreshment to be found in a bowl of chips and a glass of cold beer. And sometimes, in the last golden hours of twilight, nothing fits like some dark chocolate and my favorite Malbec. So it is with reading--there are times I want delicately rendered, beautiful prose, and times I want to get dragged along for a swiftly moving story and prose that keeps me turning pages, not stopping to enjoy the scenery.
And so it is, I think, for writing. With such varying appetites out there, we need our chips and chocolate...and veggie trays and bubble gum and balsamic reductions. It can all be good writing. I've noticed debate spring up over what kind of writing is "better"--the brisk style or the langorous one--with fiery opinions on both sides. You know what? There is no better. You can't compare my chips to my chocolate, and you can't compare different writing for "better" and "worse" either. They're both great--for the right mood.
What do you think? Is there a "better"? Do you tend to be a chips or chocolate person--in reading, writing, and/or snacking?