Literary Cookies (in Theory)

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

Just about everyone loves cookies — and while that’s obvious with Cookie Monster (though he’s not really a “literary” character), other characters could be huge cookie fans, as well. So what cookies might our favorite characters go for when they have the munchies?

Count Dracula: Strawberry Cookies

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |
As usual, Dracula would opt for something with a mushy or liquidy red filling, in this case, strawberry-filled cookies.

Orpheus: Kourabiethes

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

These were also the pick for Orpheus’ “Literary Holiday Food.” These Greek cookies would be Orpheus’ favorite cookie for the holidays and otherwise, hands-down.

Scrooge: Shortbread

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

Any sort of decadence in a cookie would be sheer ridiculousness to Mr. Scrooge — why pay any more than necessary for such a simple snack? For Scrooge, only the least expensive shortbread cookies are even worth a look.

Frodo: Oatmeal Cookies

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Frodo’s favorite is bound to be something good and earthy, something easily baked in an oven in Hobbiton.

Winnie the Pooh: Animal Cookies

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

Technically, these are animal crackers, but Pooh doesn’t mind. They are so sweet and fun to eat that Winnie the Pooh is happy to call them his favorite “cookies” instead.

King Arthur: Chessmen Cookies (Pepperidge Farm)

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

With symbols harboring pieces from the timeless game, Chessmen Cookies would be the perfect snack to serve to the King of Camelot.

Dorian Gray: Macaroons

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

Unlike Scrooge, Dorian Gray would find a simpleton’s cookie a complete abomination! The only cookie worthwhile to consider for Dorian Gray would be the best of macaroons.


And for one of my characters, Archaeologist Anna Purgitt: Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Literary Food: Cookies (in theory)" (blog post) | |

She may be an archaeologist who has traveled the world and explored exotic places, but Anna would always come back to her tried-and-true, good-old-American favorite: chocolate chip cookies.

Anna Purgitt is featured in the short story, “Revvel’s Tomb.”

Check out other posts in the Literary Food Series.

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The Benefits of Oil Pastels: A “Happy Medium”

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Oil pastels don’t seem to be used nearly as much as other art mediums—they’re not even used as much as chalk/soft pastels. Yet they can deliver amazing results.

Even on the Internet, if you’re looking for information on oil pastels, there’s little about them. Surely, everyone needs to find his or her “happy medium.” For this particular drawing/painting of a carousel horse, based on an original photo, oil pastel was perfect.

"The Benefits of Oil Pastels: A 'Happy Medium'" (blog post) | |
Underpainting done in Faber-Castell Gelatos for Carousel Horse Oil Pastel

First, the underpainting was done with Faber-Castell Gelatos. It probably would have been best to skip the background underpainting so that the softness of the oil pastels would simply create a more blurred look when blended. Still, the whole underpainting worked.

Drawing (or Painting) the Carousel Horse

Depending on what you prefer, oil pastels are either considered drawing or painting. We’ll just use both interchangeably here.

All of the oil pastel portions (almost the entire painting) were blended, either with a blending stump for smaller areas or a make-up wedge for larger areas (as a sidenote, try to use make-up wedges where the holes of the sponge are not as obvious, as these will last longer and are less likely to disintegrate as you go).

The decorations on the saddle, the “bar” areas of the saddle and a few other areas needing more precision were done with conté crayon, and for really small areas, a wax-based colored pencil.

One Major Con of Oil Pastels

The one major disadvantage of oil pastel is that it’s difficult to deal with mistakes. It seems that you either have to somehow work the mistake into the piece (e.g., creating a shadow) or hope that you can blend it out (doesn’t always work). You cannot paint over it; you cannot erase it.

"Benefits of Oil Pastels: A 'Happy Medium'" (blog post) | |
“Carousel Horse.” Oil pastel on mixed-media paper.

Oil Pastels: A Beautiful Art Form

If you’re open, oil pastels are a lovely medium to try. Don’t let the fact that they’re not as commonly used thwart your efforts: They’re totally worth it!


Materials used:

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Your Favorite Characters: If You Had to Give Them Nicknames….

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Nicknames are fun — I was once told I could be given the nickname of “Running Ulcer” because of walking quickly (in high school) and worrying a lot.

Most likely, some characters are given nicknames by the author. If you’re a reader, what nicknames might you give to some of your favorite characters? And if you’re a writer, what nicknames might you give to your own characters? (This is an especially useful tool for writers to really get into the world of their characters.)

Really quirky or eccentric characters would likely get the most interesting nicknames. Ebeneezer Scrooge, for example, could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.” King Arthur could be “Master of Excalibur.”

Ebeneezer Scrooge could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.”

Not all people automatically have nicknames (nor should they), so the fact that we may be inclined to nickname certain characters may show the power of the characters themselves.

Nicknaming Characters Really Makes You Think

If you’re inclined to nickname a favorite character, that’s one thing. For authors, however, the exercise of nicknaming characters is not always easy. For example, in trying to name some of my own short story characters, the only obvious one was “Tomb-Singer” for Mark in “Revvel’s Tomb” (though other nicknames for him are certainly possible, some of them being rather macabre).

Some people who may bother to nickname characters might be given the nickname of “Bookworm” — but then again, that’s not really a bad thing. 🙂


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