Welcome to a soggy Monday morning, as Philadelphia, PA (and much of the US Atlantic Coast) is caught in the grip of the meteorological conflagration that the media has dubbed the FrankenStorm: the juxtaposition of Hurricane Sandy and one or more lower pressure areas coming in from the west. Personally, I’m agog that the sensationalists on television and radio haven’t trotted out their preferred sobriquet and called it the Storm of the Century.
Meanwhile, here at my blog we don’t need hyperbole and fancy graphics to catch your attention because we have the genuine article, a new installment of EATING AUTHORS, none the worse weather. Our guest today is Julie E. Czerneda who won me over when I first encountered her Species Imperative trilogy ( Survival, Migration, and Regeneration). You know how it is when you stumble across a new author and become hooked? That was me a few years ago. I devoured Julie’s work in a nonstop binge that took me through her Stratification trilogy (Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, and Rift in the Sky), and then back through her earlier fiction.
In addition to her breathtaking work as a novelist, Julie has edited numerous anthologies and has earned a reputation for her work in developing scientific literacy using science fiction. Coming early in 2013, she’ll be breaking new ground with a Fantasy novel, A Turn of Light, the first volume of the forthcoming Night’s Edge trilogy.
LMS: Welcome, Julie. Sorry about the weather, but thanks for coming by so I could ask you to talk about your most memorable meal. Have you settled on one?
JEC: So many meals, so little time. I confess I struggled with this. In no way did I wish to slight any host — and there’ve been many — who’ve treated me and mine to a feast. Nor would I want to miss praising a worthy restaurant. Let’s not forget all those splendid DAW-Dinners™ I’ve been fortunate to attend.
But in the end, I realized my favourite meal had been far simpler, and not so long ago.
This summer was a happily hectic one in our household, filled with visitors and events. Literally. We had overnight guests or travel every weekend, with some midweek as well. The culmination was Roger’s first art exhibit and it was, I’ve no problem saying, a triumph.
A triumph with rain. The first good rain we’d seen for months up here, in fact, ending a drought that had prompted fire bans and threatened crops.
The meal? Ah, yes. The last guest (for a bit) left. The art went back on our walls. Suddenly, we were alone. We sat on the deck, and sighed, just a little. Summer was almost done, a particularly wonderful summer at that, and, though we wouldn’t have traded all the hoopla and fun for anything, we’d missed our wilderness camping trip this year.
Then Roger grinned. “The fire ban’s been lifted,” he reminded me.
Off to the forest (our backyard’s mostly that) we went. A bonfire was lit, and we sat on logs to admire it, scotch in hand, sharing fond memories as the sun set. The air cooled. Frogs sang. Embers glowed. Chicken thighs sizzled on the grate. We ate them, right there, under the stars. Nothing could have tasted better.
It wasn’t camping.
It was our celebration of a great summer, nonetheless.
Thanks, Julie. After a summer of house guests, I can well imagine the simple pleasures to be found vacationing (and grilling!) more or less in one’s own backyard..
Next Monday: Another author and another meal!
Tags: Eating Authors