Writing 101: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.

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Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.

Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

– Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

The biggest thing that separates you from every other blogger in the world is your voice. Finding (and being confident in) our voices is one of the biggest challenges in writing, and it’s easy to lose our voices when we’re worried about being liked by everyone, or when we compare ourselves to others.

While it’s true that embracing your voice will mean that not everyone loves you, the people who do will love you a lot. Exhibit A: The Bloggess. Is she the only person who writes about parenting, mental health, and cats? Far from it. Is her style for everyone? Nope. Does she have a huge cadre of loyal readers who are drawn to her unique voice? Definitely.

Write today’s post as if you’re relaying the story to your best friend over a cup of coffee (or glass of wine — your call). Don’t worry if it feels like you ramble a bit, or a four-letter-word sneaks in, or it feels different from what you usually publish. Maybe you normally speak more formally — that’s fine, too. Take a deep breath, tell the story in your own words, and send it out the virtual door.

Ready to share your post? Head to The Commons.

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  1. I remember when I was really young, my dad used to take me with him to his work place quite often. Every time I used to go with him, he would buy me a Bounty chocolate. Dad knew that it makes me really happy and may be, just to see that joy in my eyes, he used to take me along.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It was the simplest little treat, but it was something I always looked forward to because it came from my father. For breakfast at times he would oven cook some turkey bacon, and would slide about 2-3 pieces into a folded toasted slice of wheat bread. I’d down about 3 or 4 of them every time. Truly enjoyed them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a few fond memories associated with food, terrible I know, but on Sundays my mother would fix fried chicken home made mashed potatoes not out of a box, peas, corn, biscuits, gravy my mouth would water the kitchen would always get so hot and then the phone would ring and it would my mamaw “Dinner’s almost ready” mama would say. “No you’re no trouble! Yes she can bring you a plate over we have plenty!” And I would take my mamaw a plate, before anyone else’s had been served to make sure it was still piping hot, knowing mine would probably get cold before I came back but I loved to visit I’d clod over in a pair of my father’s boots that were too big and I would stay and savor watching her enjoy taking in the aromas of each different food. Now my mamaw is gone and my mother’s health is not what it used to be, how I miss those Sundays!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every year, on the morning of Eid-Al-Fitr, a celebration of the end of Ramadan, my mom would make a Belgian chocolate cake. This cake was literally the most amazing cake I or anyone else has ever tasted on the face of this planet. The frosting had a certain thickness to it, it was smooth, and perfectly sweet. But not a sickly sort of sweet, like many store bought cake’s icing. The cake itself was delicious. Paired with a glass of milk, I ate a slice or two for breakfast every year. Still do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are so many. One that immediately comes to mind is chicken fried steak. I’m Texan, born and raised, and I boast about our culture whenever I get the chance. Our cuisine is one of the best things about our big state. As a child, where ever I went, if they had it, I would order chicken fried steak. Creamy white gravy, covering mashed potatoes and a golden, crispy cut of round steak served along with veggies. It reminds me of home, family, meal time, happiness, Texas, family outings, childhood. It’s a memory, alright; I can no longer have it. The downside of this is my relationship with food today. I sometimes long for it, and there’s a place down the street that serves a superb CFS dinner with fries and salad–a place I often go for their other Texas cooked delights. I do my best now to not eat those types of foods. Food and celebrations, I think, have tied me in to this ritual of joy being a derivative of the sweets, treats, and scrumptious delights that I happen to crave in moments of both sadness and happiness. While CFS may hold many memories for me, I can not say it is an instrument of joy or satisfaction. It’s nothing more than an experience in the past that is tied to my home and my family.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess I would sit this one out! Because
    1. I don’t keep/have memories of meals… I just eat! (awwww)
    2. I bore myself out sometimes, when I try to narrate a real event that’s not fiction! too bad
    3. Can someone please tell me more about finding this “unique voice?”

    …You know where to find me, I am in the spectators stand! Waiting… watching…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can write about any meal you remember — ti doesn’t *have* to be a celebration. And trying to make your non-fiction more engaging is probably a worthwhile exercise. Or, write about a fictional celebratory meal!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I think about finding my “unique voice” I think about how I would tell a story or recount an event to a friend. The type of phrasing, the words, and emphasis I would use in that conversation is what I try to translate into my writing….I hope that helps!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. i miss the special food on MId autumn festival–a dish mixed with meat and duck and many other delicious food.i come from China.it is just very special ,and i don not know how to say in English!


  8. there is this dish in my homeland India called Rajma chawal (beans in tomato gravy along with rice) a true ambrosia for any and every north indian specially punjabis
    this is one dish that has remained my favourite till now and puts a smile on my face every time i eat it


    Age nine: Feasting in these puffs, actually with the motive of self destruction…
    Asking yourself, ‘how is it even possible?’ ,they are so soft and melt away in your mouth…sadly, that’s where it all started, at a later stage my favourite moved to salt and vinegar crisps…

    It all started one evening when I, my younger brother and sister went to go visit our father in Springs Gauteng. The excitement made us very happy, though we did not know the reason for the visit, and didn’t actually care, because come to think of it, we never even noticed there was trouble in paradise…

    We didn’t see daddy in four whole months, and as small children, we noticed mommy acting strangely.

    Never the less, I still remember that trip like yesterday. The cars flying by and daddy talking very secretive… Until a sudden ignorance and quiet moment, he stared at me, held my leg, for I sat in the front seat of the 1936 Passat VW, and said; “me and mommy are getting divorced”. A sudden feeling of destruction and shock overwhelmed me, as I broke a sweat and a million thoughts running thru my mind, from where are we going to live, what about my brother and sister, a million thoughts i said, starting from one and ending up with “what about Cary, my little sister, she is only 2 and still in nappies’’. Tears running down my face I couldn’t help it to ignore the feeling of a dagger in my heart. Then my baby sister leaned forward asking me, ‘’whats wrong’’ in the most innocent voice imaginable. Brother also a bit confused ,started crying as he noticed my tears . Just there and then, at age nine, I sworn to God that I will protect them with everything i have, i will be there for them when no-one seems to be, i will be their guardian in ways that they don’t expect.
    Daddy being comforting, took us into the local SHOP and told us to get anything we want. Knowing he didn’t have a job, i took the cheapest packet of puffs, and got comforted instantly. Eating away the pain i bared in my heart, feeling the vinegar crashing thru my taste buds, and even sometimes leaving my gums swollen and sensitive, salt and vinegar …just like life


    1. I really enjoyed reading this. At the end it doesn’t need the part about why you call him “Daddy” but that part doesn’t detract from it either. I see it as a stand alone piece of writing or as part of a longer piece of writing, something you can build on.


  10. I was 11 years old when Hurricane Katrina hit my beloved home, New Orleans. My family and I were displaced by the storm, my beautiful childhood home being destroyed by the first levee to break. Unfortunately, my parents were simultaneously going through a pretty brutal divorce, and so I was sent to live with family friends in London, England. The mother of my new home abroad was a very strict Belgian woman who maintained her household with the utmost integrity. Every evening dinner was served in the posh dining room where poor etiquette wouldn’t be tolerated and dessert was your selection out of the fruit basket. Except for Monday nights, when everyone was allowed to choose a single piece of delicious Belgian chocolate. I would wait all week for Monday’s dinner with giddy excitement, deciding whether to choose the rich filling of Guylian seashells or indulge in a piece of Callebaut’s milky variety. Despite all the loneliness and despair this period represented in my life, it taught me to mature, cherish moments, and enjoy Mondays.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hmm! Flour tortillas freshly made. Tortilla de Harina, right after school (elementary). My brother and I would walk home from school and my mom always had some freshly home-made flour tortillas with refried beans! Every once in a while I will have those and it takes me right back to 3rd grade.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s my favorite, too. Tortillas de harina. I haven’t written it yet, although I did write about it years ago. Maybe I’ll dig up that post but I do intend to write a fresh one later today or tomorrow. Nothing better than tortillas de harina!