I need help thinking…

I’m world building the impending novel with a protagonist who has chronic illness, and life (and my own illnesses) intervened. I wanted to do this through looking at technical analyses, but it’s not going to be possible. So I sat down and thought “What’s the impact of these elements of the world? How precisely am I going to configure them into the novel?” And I’ve come up with a different approach.

Instead of doing it as book research, then, I’m going to ask a few questions and if anyone with illnesses wants to answer them, I’d be grateful.

The first: what shortcuts and cheats do you have with food for those days on which you and your family wouldn’t eat unless you had a cheat or shortcut? How well does each of them work? Any really big successes, any really glorious failures?

The second: when you have to pick something up, or go to an appointment, or maybe have a dinner party or go to a meeting, what problems have people caused by changing their minds? How did you deal?

PS This is also related to me looking more deeply into how different writers do research. I’m playing in new sandpits. Eep.


  1. Kyla

    Grilled lamb cutlets and warm pasta salad can be concocted in 15 minutes, assuming one has the components at hand, This, of course, includes gluten free pasta.

    Gluten free Anzac cookies (made with organic coconut and cornflakes, of all things) are my quickest out-of-the-pantry sweet recipe. The trick is not to get distracted and burn the second batch and , of course, to remember when you’re out of coconut while you are at the organic grocers. Though that is a lot easier now there are two in reasonable proximity, rather than having to go to the (literal) other end of the train line.

    People pulling out once I have committed time and a portion of my energy budget to an engagement is crazy irritating. My problems are exacerbated by not driving or owning a smart phone, which many look upon as a kind of sin, but would it kill them to be organised? And, to get all huffy when I say that no, I can’t just drop in tomorrow… I *have* to organise things in advance.

  2. Sally Beasley

    Take aways. Occasionally, just boiled eggs and foraging from leftovers in the fridge.

    I generally have a couple of frozen meals in the freezer, too.

  3. deb

    When I cook, I try to cook extra so that I can freeze portions. Easy meal for those days where cooking is just too hard.

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