thoughts

All posts in the thoughts category

Eating Good in the Neighborhood (or not)

Published May 3, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

Ah, the cultivation of food. What would we be without it?

I don’t even want to think about it. Please don’t make me. *Whimpers in corner, clutching coffee* My Preciousss. It is minesss. Mines by rightses! *pets*

Ahem. Right. Where was I?

Agriculture is a huge part of society, because you know, it deals with food and how we get it. In fact, I would say it is the most important part of civilization.

There are many theories as to why we started to grow delicious food crops, which is likely due to our inherent laziness*, but I’m not going to get into that. I’m not even going to talk about the cultural, environmental, and societal impacts agriculture has had on us. I’m going to talk about how it pertains to you. Or more specifically your book. Or even more specifically, your characters.

In every fictional society, whether one set in Ancient Egypt or a futuristic colony on Pluto, your characters need to eat. And the food they eat will vary depending on where (and when) they are. For instance, in your futuristic Plutonian colony, why do they eat the foods they do? Why does one crop grow better than another? Is it the mineral and PH make-up of the soil, the accessibility of water, the hardiness of the plant? Have they been genetically modified to survive in the alien environment?

Not only that, but how do they cultivate their food? Is it in above ground greenhouses with special glass to absorb the weak sunlight, or are they underground with artificial lamps? Why did they choose to do it one way over the other. Weather, environment, and technology play a huge role in deciding these questions.

If you are writing historical fiction, you should consider not only what they had, but what they didn’t have. If your story takes place during the Tang Dynasty, obviously your characters will not be eating chocolate, because you know, they didn’t have it. Also, chocolate was originally a drink served frothy and delicious. MMM, chocolate…

Anyways, food. It’s important. And so isn’t how your characters get it.

*Purely unscientific assumption

 

Why Do YOU write?

Published December 14, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

This post is a conglomeration of two conversations I’ve had recently.

The first was on a forum I visit, wherein the thread was about the end of “celebrity authors” in the internet age. I’m not going to post my views about that, because this is not what this post is about (mostly).

The second conversation was with my brother about the zombie apocalypse (I swear, we talk about nothing else). Which basically came down to me saying that if I survived (I have a pretty sweet plan, btw), and even if I was the only survivor in the world, I would continue to write.

 

What’s the point? You may ask.

Well, for one, it would give me something to do when I wasn’t desperately trying to survive, or showing off my sweet zombie slaying skills*. In a world full of danger, you need downtime, something relaxing. Like reading, or a hobby.

I write because I have to. Because the characters in my head won’t shut up, and because I can’t stop exploring new worlds. And even if there was no more paper or pens left in the world, I would continue to make up stories and worlds and characters in my head. It would be the stories themselves that would keep me going, keep me alive and sane when all looks hopeless and pointless.

I don’t write for fame and fortune (although they would be nice). Nor do I write for validation. I write for the same reason I draw, because it’s something I enjoy doing. And as long as I enjoy it, I will keep on doing it.

*Note to self: I should probably write a zombie book.

Why do you write?

 

Also, don’t forget to enter my Secret Santa give-away. There are some pretty cool things in there. May the odds forever be in your favor.