Tuesday, February 11, 2020

That Loving Smell...

Valentine's Day around the corner, and the stores are saturated with the sweet smells of roses and chocolate.
If you’re a chocoholic, you are happy already. You also won’t be sympathetic to this post.

Although I make a point to stop and smell the roses as I go about life, I haven’t been caught by the seduction of chocolate. Call me Ms. Vanilla.

I got to thinking about why so many confuse chocolate with that loving feeling. I read about the studies that supposedly prove a certain chemical in chocolate is identical to what our bodies secrete when we’re in love. The chemical, phenethylamine, causes the release of endorphins or some such.
Allow me to be skeptical. No doubt, the chocolate business loved it.

Long ago, red ripe tomatoes were viewed as love offerings, the way roses are now. As I examine this dispassionately, (pun intended) I think tomatoes are a far better choice. A good tomato is colorful (unlike chocolate) and beautiful, and we now know it’s good for you. Medieval Europeans, apparently, thought tomatoes were poisonous. Think of how much good eating they missed.

This bring me to (what else?) writing conventions. We hear that editors are hungry for “different,” but much of what is published is a slight variation on the same. What if we really thought outside the box?

Think picture books that are one hundred pages long. Think middle grade stories that consist of links only, each telling their POV of the same event. Think novels that are wordless. Just think.

Okay, the smell of love in the air has my brain floating on a misty wave. In a week, I’ll be back on earth, and working on my next (very grounded) revision of a tried, true and conventionally acceptable manuscript.
With love.


Vijaya said...

I love both chocolate and tomatoes but tomatoes are definitely the winner. As to what editors want--sometimes I think they don't know until they see something that evokes an emotional response. Write what only you can--I say this as a reminder to myself.
A happy Valentine's to you!

Mirka Breen said...

Love, chocolate & tomatoes to you, too!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I loved this post. I'm not a chocoholic, either. Once in a blue moon I like a small piece of dark chocolate, and I do like a cup of cocoa in the morning. It's a nice "wake-up." Other than that, when someone gives me a box of chocolates for Christmas, say, it languishes on the shelf forever, unless guests come that I can offer some to. Tomatoes I do like.

I also loved your idea of stories and novels "outside the box".

Evelyn said...

I like tomatoes, but I do like chocolate also. And I was delighted just this week to read 5 health benefits of eating chocolate--https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/food-nutrition-and-diet/5-sweet-health-benefits-of-chocolate :)

Mirka Breen said...

Go for chocolate, Ev :D Happy Valentine's <3

Kelly Hashway said...

If it isn't dark chocolate, I don't want it. ;)

Mirka Breen said...

Yes, Kelly. The darker-- the more we can call it chocolate if that's your thing.

Tina Cho said...

Interesting about the tomatoes; however, I prefer chocolate! Happy Valentine's Day, Mirka!

Sherry Ellis said...

I like tomatoes, but I do have to say I really like dark chocolate! :)

Barbara Etlin said...

I like fresh tomatoes but chocolate wins for me every time!

If you think chocolate isn't colourful, think outside the (chocolate) box; there is a new, raspberry-coloured chocolate called ruby chocolate. The colour occurs naturally. It tastes different but it's good.

Mirka Breen said...

I've actually just tried that pink concoction (Trader Joe's version, made especially for Valentine's Day in a mold that
had the "face of" a rose) and while it's nice and sweet, just like white chocolate I don't think real chocolate mavens would call it chocolate at all.
But I shouldn't speak for others. I'm still Ms. Vanilla.