Saturday, December 11, 2010

And the Winner Is....

Thanks for your patience guys, sorry it's taken so long. 

So here's the thing.  I asked an independent (i.e. professional writerly) source about the entries on my blog mini-comp and the answer was:

"They've given you some powerful words, but nothing I'd describe as 'excellent'." 

Hmmm....  That's hard to hear - but we're all in this together, right? 

So I started thinking about what makes for excellence in writing, and one thing kept coming to mind.  This post by Lynn Hoffman on his Radiationdays blog:

Skip down to Part Two and read what has to be the most powerful description of a 'mundane' task (the art of cooking and eating a Creme Brulee) I've ever read.

Here's an excerpt of my favorite part, when Lynn has made two Creme Brulee and is about to eat one of them:

"...Say the name car-a-mel. Don’t cheat on a single syllable: caramel. Sugar all grown up and ready to go out dancing.

I’ll put a piece of plastic wrap over one of the dishes and put it in the reach-in. It will be a gift. Then I’ll sit the other one on the counter where the skylight is rich and cool and shadow-less. I’ll take a teaspoon and tap the back of it on. . . what? Yes, the caramel and it will crack.

I’ll make a dozen pieces or so. I’ll look at them, study them like they were a map of a place I plan to visit next week. I’ll smile at the vanilla-rum scent that comes through the borderlines. Then I’ll dip the spoon in one of the cracks and lever up-a township? a county? some little division of Carameland. There will be exactly the right amount of eggy dense custard clinging to the crust. I’ll look for a little translucency on the edges-do you remember that tv show-I Love Translucency?

It will take a long time for each bit to dissolve and coat my mouth. Texture, flavor, evocation, drama. The custard will play the part of Love, the caramel will appear in the role of Wit. I will rumble with the beauty of it, I will think of absent friends-and that my dears, is the only possibility."

That, my friends, is excellence in writing.  It's what I wish I could achieve every day. 

How about you?  Can you point us to an example of something that just took your breath away?

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