I like to share the love. It is in fact possible that I go beyond sharing into recruiting. And by ‘possible’ I mean ‘everyone who knows me is aware of this thing’.
When I find a thing I like, I want to share it with people. It makes me happy, so it might make them happy, so why not, right? If I find an awesome new shop, or blog, or trick with broccoli, it needs to be shared!
Which is why I spent half an hour at a NaNoWriMo write-in extolling the virtues of my favourite bra-shop to every other large-busted lady at the table because they were having a sale. (Seriously, specialty sizes tend to cost $70- $150 per bra, sales are important). I was writing down the name and address and handing them out like party favours.
I have also been a fervent recruiter for bento box lunches. I adore bento boxes, when I was working I had half a dozen of them and filled one nearly every day, and that is also a love I want to share. With the world. I have recipes and I know the best sites to buy from online and I read bento blogs and my enthusiasm must be shared!
I also like to cook. I have been planning a food-blog for a while, (Cooking from the very beginning – simple instructions for the total amateur!) and I read food blogs and I like talking about food and our NaNoWriMo group – being ninety-nine percent of the people I associate with because I don’t get out much – has already had one Cooking Day where those of us who like to cook got together and made sushi and meatballs and pikelets together for the rest of the group. We’re planning to do it again. Like I said, I recruit.
I actually do this less with new fandoms than I do with food and shopping, because I’m willing to concede that fandoms are more subjective than the need to eat or put clothing upon our bodies when in public. But if I fall in love with something new, I’ll still ask people if they’ve seen it and try to find – or encourage a friend to become – someone to share my enthusiasm.
I do try not to be pushy about this. If someone’s not interested in cooking or Being Human or whatever, that’s fine. I will ask someone else. But I do always ask, because fandom is even more delightful when it’s shared.
So I’ll be sharing some of my favourite links with you. And if you’re wondering what they have to do with writing, well, there’s a lot. I’ve blogged before about how important it is to mention food in your writing – not only do people need to eat, but what they eat tells you something about them. Food blogs can provide wonderful inspiration not only for your kitchen, but for your characters’ kitchens. Sometimes during November I’ll pack myself a cute little bento and make myself earn it with word-count, which makes for a less guilt-inducing reward than buckets of chocolate, and also means that if you get on a roll you have something healthy to eat without having to get up. Promising to buy yourself a nice box set if you win NaNoWriMo or finish your first draft is also a nice incentive.
I wordle this blog frequently, and often put chapters of my novels in there to check word frequency. If ‘and’ is one of your biggest words, which did happen to me once, your writing has a problem. Plus, it’s just fun to see a word-picture of your work. I use doll-creators to work out at least an approximation of how my characters look, since I can’t draw myself. As for the tiny houses – well, I love them because they’re adorable play-houses for grownups and I want one, but they’re also a good reference for how big a little cottage or one-room shack actually is, and what you can and can’t fit into one.
So in the spirit of sharing, here are some sites that I like featuring things that I love:
Bento boxes and food:
JList has to come first on this list – their selection is great, and the service has always been impeccable when I ordered from them. http://www.jlist.com/category/820
Bento&Co has wonderful sales and is my current favourite site for drooling over things I can’t afford – http://en.bentoandco.com/
Combining Bento *and* Cooking, Just Bento is my favourite food site and has a ton of delicious recipes as well as plans for making healthy bento lunches – http://justbento.com/
Cooking Cute is an older site, but still has a huge and exciting recipe section as well as helpful hints on making a bento lunch pretty – http://www.cookingcute.com/recipes.htm
Lunch in a Box is no longer updating, but it was my first bento site and I still like the simple boxes and recipes a lot. Now that I have a toddler, I’m visiting again for its advice on packing lunches for tinies – http://lunchinabox.net/
Lock&Lock make great quality boxes – they have an official site for Australia (http://www.locknlock.com.au/), but I prefer to shop on ebay – there are plenty of importers there who have a better range at better prices.
Outside of the bento sites, my current favourite food site is Smitten Kitchen! I haven’t tried many of the recipes yet, but they look delicious: http://smittenkitchen.com/
I discovered about three years ago that I’m gluten intolerant, so I like GlutenFreeFamily because it’s an Australian based site using brands I can access – http://glutenfreefamily.com.au/
I’ve never actually sat down and searched through BBC Good Food specifically, but given how often it pops up on my recipe searches, I really should – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/
I love the tiny houses so much that I usually call this site Tiny House Porn – http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/
If you haven’t Wordled, try it now – http://www.wordle.net/create
I admit that I still love playing with doll creators, and Azalea’s Heroine creator is my current favourite – http://azaleasdolls.com/heroine.html
(I will note that I am not in any way being encouraged, paid or blackmailed into recommending these sites. They don’t know I’m doing it – they’re just sites I like and visit a lot)