Ambrosia -- in writing and of the food variety

Some of the best memories come from unplanned situations. I think the same could be said for books: some of the best reads come from unexpected stories. 

The night we arrived in Long Beach for our vacation two weeks ago, it was late and we were tired and hungry. When Lovemuffin busted out with the cell phone to look up eateries near our location, the usual options (like pizza and Mexican food) popped up. Then, Greek food. Let's repeat that last one together, shall we? *ahem*  GREEK. FOOD. 

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art in parking lot
After saying that, I'm sure you guessed where we went. Greek food is amazing, and this place, Ambrosia Cafe, had... heavenly food.      
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hummus, tabouleh & pita bread

It was after nine. The main part of the restaurant was a covered patio with lots of greenery and a few of those beautiful heat pit things (the newer ones--with gorgeous pieces of glass) and lights strung around and whatnot. Being the major tabouleh and hummus fan that I am (I could eat tabouleh salad for DAYS), I chose to order that as my appetizer (while Lovemuffin and my youngest ordered poor little squiddies--they were still the same shape as you'd see them swimming in the ocean *tear*, but with bread crumbs on them! *shivers*). Obviously I made an amazing decision, because all five of us attacked my food and the warm, fresh pita bread with vigor, and were left wanting more when it was all gone.  

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one of the desserts: fried banana
It made me laugh, as I thought about it later, that the place was called Ambrosia. Not only because the food really WAS so delectable (plus the owner of the restaurant was crazy-generous and sent plate after plate of dessert out to us even though we could barely breathe we were so full already), but because I ended up comparing it to my Flora series (yes, yes--the same one I've been working on for years). 

And... here comes my fun, writerly part of the post. Ya ready? There's a place called Ambrosia in that series. 

Quick side note: You'll find that us writers tie anything and everything to our writing experience. For instance, when I found out the girl I'd imagined to be my Hattie in Pity Isn't An Option was playing Teresa in The Maze Runner movie, I squee-d for like ten minutes. I won't go there about finding streets with tree names--trees have a lot to do with the Flora series, too--because I care about your sanity. But I had to make a point. Point... what was my point again? Oh yeah. My point is, of course I felt many a tie to the restaurant and its food, suddenly. Of course I had to compare my love of hummus to my love of writing. Here's the thing:

I want my writing to be like the fresh hummus, the tabouleh, the warm pita bread--to bring the feelings and warmth and whatever else makes the perfect recipe that causes a reader to be pulled in and left wanting more. To where they're done, but don't want to be, because they've fallen as in love with my characters and their situations as I have.

And of course I want to write books where the reader just *has* to come back for seconds, and gush about the "food" (word food?) to their friends. I want them to feel what I felt and taste what I tasted and long for that feeling of satisfaction after reading the last page. Just like us, at Ambrosia Cafe. We ordered more to take home with us, because we couldn't leave empty-handed.

And wanting all of that, my readers, is a very good thing. Know why? Because it means that after almost five years of writing, the true, genuine point of it all is still in my heart--and that makes my heart happy.

Here's to having at least one ambrosia moment of your own this week. Be blessed, my friends!


Angelica R. Jackson said...

I admit my first reaction was, "People go to Long Beach as a vacation destination???" My memories of Long Beach are going to visit my great-aunt, and passing the fragrant dog food factory on the way.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Long story short, it was close to LA. And not far from Valencia. And had a beach. :D

Jenni said...

Oh man I shouldn't have read this after having to skip lunch. I love Greek food and the mere mention of the warm pita bread has my mouth watering!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Jenni -- Glad to find someone else who loves it as much as I do! :) Wish we had a local Greek restaurant, but we don't. :(