Secondary Food

So finally I was able to open up my current document and do some writing. It felt good, and I want to do more of it.

But then there’s this whole job thing, so we’ll see about that.

Anyway, meanwhile, a friend recommended a book that sounded really great, so I got a copy and started reading it on my lovely subway commute (I should just start calling it the LSC, since I am so appreciative of it, since I get to read). It is great. It is phenomenally up my alley.

But it’s secondary food.

Let me explain. Back in college, I had a friend who was the result of a German woman marrying a Japanese man. A made in World War II relationship. My friend, let’s call him Mr. Axis Power, told me how in the beginning of their marriage, his mom would cook all sorts of things–German things, of course–for her husband. She’d ask him how it was, and he would say, “It’s good, for secondary food.”

This baffled her. She kept trying, doubtless serving all sorts of delicious schnitzels, and roesti, and big meat dishes. Still–the only praise she received was “good for secondary food.”

Eventually, the two figured out the problem; for him, being Japanese, rice was primary; all other foods were secondary.

So back to me. For me, romance is primary; all other genres are secondary. I am loving this book, but it’s not compelling me to read as it would if it were an equally fantastic romance. It’s good–for secondary food.

And so my next book after I finish this one (The Devil You Know by Mike Carey, btw) will be a palate cleansing primary food, a romance carefully chosen from the stack.

And hey, any day where I can equate books and food is a good one, right?


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11 years ago

I love this post and the fact that I get it and how you got the perfect cool name for your friend. Mr. Axis Power. Like a super hero.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Secondary food. I love this concept!

Keira Soleore
11 years ago

Oh, this is such a good line. I have to rememberit.

Elena Greene
11 years ago

Yeah, romance is my “primary food” too. My problem is I can’t seem to read it and write it at the same time. So I read romance between drafts and other stuff the rest of the time. I think it’s good for the writing to read in other genres.

Off to do some more shoveling. At least it is good exercise. I have lost some weight lately and I swear it’s at least in part due to the snow. Anyone else buried today?

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

What a perfect description! My “primary food” is historical romance, but I enjoy romance in all its forms next and then many other genres as well. My list of “secondary foods” is long, but my heart (or my reading stomach, if you will) belongs to historical romance.

And I also tend to read other genres when I am writing, but once I finish a book or as a reward for finishing a certain number of pages I do gorge myself on my “primary food!”

So sorry about the snow, Elena. We have had a glorious week or so of beautiful weather here in Alabama. Rainy, windy and cold today, of course, because it is my day off!

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

LOL! I do love that phrase. Not sure what my primary food (either real food or books) would be, they change all the time. Right now–maybe mysteries and protein bars??

11 years ago

I too love this idea of secondary food and primary food. I will have to remember it. I am like Amanda. I don’t know what my primary food is….I think it might be fiction which has art in it. But who defines what art is? And suddenly I feel inadequate. I guess it’s time to go back to some primary food.

Elena, we are covered too. I think we’ve received 5 inches in the past two hours and it’s still snowing.

Megan Frampton
11 years ago

Hey guys::

Glad you liked my analogy! It goes through my head frequently in respect to lots of things.

The Carey continues to be great. But I am hankering for the primary.

11 years ago

I miss my commute to work. I would have an audio book in and I got to listen to so many good ones. There isn’t a good place for me to listen in the house unless I am sewing. I am going to try listening while I walk the treadmill.
The secondary food comment is so very true. Every culture seems to have their own.