Michaeline: Summer Ghibli Film Festival

A giant old tree that resembles Totoro.

A narrative can take surprising shapes and forms. Tree of Totoro, by contri via wikimedia commons.

It’s week three of summer vacation here in northern Japan, and my daughter decided to remedy a terrible gap in her education by renting 10 Ghibli DVDs last week. Ghibli is a world-famous animation studio, and you may know their films – Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro  and Kiki’s Delivery Service are just a few of the internationally released full-length features.

I’m trying to figure out what structures underlie the films. Continue reading

Michaeline: Writing Good Food Scenes

Dinner at the Crachits from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens used food very effectively in *A Christmas Carol*.

Good Saturday, everyone, or whatever day it may be for you. Remember last week when I asked you to share food scenes that moved you as a reader? Today, let’s identify what made those scenes work for us, and think about how we apply that to our own writing.

I think it’s important to remember that food is a very basic need – right at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with friends like water and shelter and sex. When you write about food, you are writing about basic human needs that every human reader has.

I noticed four important things that turn food porn into something Continue reading