Writing 101, Day Ten: 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. 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 grew up in coal mining village in the north east of England in the 1950’s at a time when we still had ration books from the Second World War. Sugar was a luxury and proper meat, not offal, was for special occasions like Christmas. My grandmother, my nanna, looked after me because my parents worked all day and some of the night time. She had less money than we did but still managed to produce some nutritious and filling meals for me.
    My favourite childhood meal was a meat dumpling, which to my 7 year old eyes was the size of a soccer ball. In reality, it was probably nearer to the size of an orange! My nanna would enclose whatever meat she had available in suet and form it into a ball. She would wrap a handkerchief around it and tie it off before placing it in a saucepan of water over the coal fire. It seemed to cook for hours, particularly when I was hungry. She would unwrap it for me on a plate and there was nothing better on a cold and icy winter’s day to break open the dumpling, exposing the rich gravy and tender meat inside.
    As I get older, my favourite childhood meal reminds me of my nanna, that wonderful, loving person whom I miss terribly.


    1. wow your life sounds interesting, and that sounds delicious. Particularly how it sounds like a rare treat.


  2. I’m excited to do this assignment but I’m days left with the others so I have to work on them first. With the “voice” thing, I think that’s what I already do with my previous posts.

    I love reading assignment posts from others so I hope I’d meet a lot of bloggers again through this course just like in Blogging101. 🙂


  3. My favorite meal was lima beans perhaps with rice. I was a picky eater as a child so my Mother loved the fact that I liked them. I remember she let me have them for breakfast if any were left over the next day.y.


      1. Oops, I was in the right place. Never mind. Just read it, it is much better than my ability to post comments here. I promise.


  4. You are so right Michelle because I lose my voice as I always compare to other wonderful writers and that is my drawback. Thanks for this post.


      1. It is with fiction, I wish to write all the challenges mentioned in Writing101. And I posted another comment, which occurs later. Sadly, I happened to post a new comment, instead of replying to the same post. And I apologise for that. I was too excited after completing the challenge, and simply posted a new comment.


  5. When I finish this one, I’ll be all caught up! Yay! And I’ve had a really good time with all the assignments so far. Stretches me. I love it.


  6. This is weird. I think my favourite childhood dish is something I don’t really like but still love in some sort of way. I’ve hated mushrooms since I was little, they taste bad and when you chew them it’s just awful. Like chewing on a sole of shoe.

    But, and now I come to the part where I actually like the dish and feel not disgusted by it, when I was a little child my parents had a hut close to the mountains and we used to go there in summer. We spent most of our vacations there and I loved it. My father and I built stuff out of wood, we went fishing and for long walks in the woods, the three of us. Mostly to pick mushrooms. And even though I didn’t like them, the picking was fun. I used to be really good at it, finding the biggest ones (penny buns) and not only chanterelles. And then my mother made a sauce with them and served it with dumplings. I think I didn’t like it much at first, but the whole process of finding them and then eating something you found yourself (and that isn’t out of the shelf in the supermarket closest to you) is something.
    I still can’t stand mushrooms and never eat them, except for said dish by my mother. So, now I’ve made a simple post as cheesy as possible.
    But it’s strange how sometimes you don’t even know whether you liked something right away or just because of the memories it brings along.

    The other childhood dishes I loved were mostly ice cream or chocolate and I don’t think you can call them ‘dishes’. 😉
    But I also think the ice cream tasted better back then when you saved your money for buying it. Now I can get as much ice cream as I want and that makes it less valuable.

    Why oh why can’t I write anything without making it a metaphor to life? 😀