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Stories. By Hand. By Mouth.

My podcast, Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons, premieres TODAY! Subscribe at the website or on iTunes. Thank you for all the support and encouragement. This has taken me almost a year to complete, and I’m so grateful. And excited. Time to crack open a beer!

I’ll never forget the day I figured out how to get an “A” every time. In English at least. I was a Senior, and as part of our Advanced Placement class, we had to write an essay every Friday on a given topic. It was shitty and we hated it. Imagine that’s how you end your week every week? But we did it, and now I’m grateful to Mrs. Boyce because I can write a 5-paragraph essay in my sleep. When I figured out if you include the word “alienation” in the essay you automatically get an “A” the rest of my high school (and college) writing classes were a breeze. As was the formula for the 5-paragraph essay. Introductory paragraph, followed by three paragraphs supporting the thesis, and a clever conclusion.

Embarrassingly today I still write most of my blogs using this format. I present an idea, then spend the rest of the time offering supporting material, then attempt a clever closer that brings you back for more. Hey, if a formula works. Sometimes I have a hard time finding a topic to fit within the framework and so the edges of the formula might bleed a bit, but for the most part the 5-paragraph idea is there. In theory at least.

I read an article in Elle magazine recently about the writer Alessandra Torre who became a superstar by self-publishing women’s erotica on Amazon. She’ll publish a book every six weeks or so, speed-typing the plot and when she comes to a sex scene she’ll type something like “THREESOME FORMULA” and later she’ll go back in and plop down formulas for these scenes she keeps filed away. Mad Libs for the horny soccer mom? Quite a formula.

Why so many words about formulas? Because lately I’ve been getting bored with my own. Not the topics, God no, there’s enough stories around here to keep me typing until end of days. No it’s the written formula I want to break away from.

Which is why I started a podcast. As of today, February 27, 2015, you’ll find me telling stories with my voice instead of my words. At Edacious – Food Talk for Gluttons, every other Friday I’ll tell stories, then offer up interviews with food folks in our region. All of whom have stories of their own. In addition, we’ll broach a food topic and discuss it in depth, hopefully starting a conversation that continues above and beyond the podcast.

Why? Not to get too hippie-fied but every time I turn around the signs point to me doing this. Someone telling me I have a good voice. My own intense love for Maron’s podcast and This American Life. The fun I had being interviewed for two different podcasts in the past. The clincher was Jack Hitt’s book, “Off the Road” about his adventures while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. He mentions the medieval epic poem the Chanson de Roland and the oral tradition of poets during that time. Most people assume these “singer of tales” memorized the entire story, but no. They memorized phrases, or “formulae” (there’s that word again), consisting of scenes, names, events, and dates they interplayed so each retelling was unique. No one telling of the poem or story was ever the same.

This fascinated me. Stories by mouth rather than written formula. Sure there are certain phrases I’ll use during a vocal, spoken podcast, certain names and dates and events. But I bet the telling is always unique. No podcast will adhere as tightly to the 5-paragraphs. No retelling will ever be the same. I feel real honesty in that. And I want to try it out.

I’ll still blog. But I want to branch out. I don’t want to say I never tried. I want to live my life as a learner, an experience gatherer. This will be a new, hopefully exciting experience and journey. Please join me. I’ll do my best to provide you with enlightening, entertaining podcasts and as always I welcome your feedback. You can subscribe on the home page or through iTunes on your phone or iPad. Thanks again. Cheers.

Virginia Travel Guide 2015.

On 2/27/15 my podcast, Edacious, will premiere right here and elsewhere to hopefully much fanfare and applause. Uploading 3 episodes to begin. Segments will run anywhere from 30-60 minutes in length (slightly more if we get chatty), and appear every other Friday. When I get the hang of things, work out the kinks, I’ll post EVERY Friday. Each installment will consist of food news, reviews, and random thoughts from myself and one selected food professional or enthusiast from our community. Initial guests include Chef Craig Hartman, and the awesome women behind Our Local Commons.

I’m very excited about this new project and hope you’ll join me. Look for Edacious on iTunes, Stitcher, and the regular podcast hangouts (including a link here) beginning Friday, February 27, 2015! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Have you found yourself on a Virginia Interstate recently? Needed to go to the bathroom? Walk the dog? Maybe you’re lost and need a map because either you don’t know how to work the Google Maps GPS on your phone or it has no more juice because you listened to three straight shows of Howard Stern downloads?

Whatever the case may be, you find yourself turning into a nice, clean Commonwealth-sponsored rest area or Virginia Welcome Center. You walk past the Doggy Rest Area, and there, on your way to the potty, you might spot the 2015 edition of the Virginia Travel Guide.

You just might. And you just might pick up one of them, designed with not one, but FIVE, yes FIVE, different covers. And you might turn to page 22. And you might see this.

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And you might just SQUEEEE! And do a little dance. You might. If you were me anyway. Because that’s what I did.

Yes, folks it’s my first magazine. Last spring I tromped all up and down our great Commonwealth and came up with what I feel is a great and definitive list of all the “hidden food gems” in our area. Although I never made it to Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, not sure why that one is in there. Although I’m sure it’s very nice. And I DID want to include Sally Bell’s Kitchen in Richmond, but they wouldn’t because there’s no seating.

Pshaw! Seating. Who cares about seating? Go to Sally Bell’s. Go early and often. Buy a boxed lunch. Sit on the curb. Sit on your car hood. Sit in the street for all I care. Because wherever you sit, the lunch will be wonderful. Go to Sally Bell’s. Now.

Anyway, I’m damn proud of this. As is my Daddy. The man with no computer, not even an answering machine. But I can mail him a copy, and he can carry it down to his local Kmart whenever he picks up his prescriptions. Crow about how his oldest daughter is a RYE-TERRRR. Something tangible with shiny pages you can hold in your hand and re-read over and over and over. Finally, after almost 7 years of blogging he can see I’m actually stringing words together for a living. I’m not kidding about the no computer thing. I had to print a book of my old blog posts so he could read them. A true Luddite.

He’d hate that I’m including him in this post, he plays it pretty incognito. What the hell, like I said, he doesn’t have a computer. And now, for the next year at least, every time I have to pee on road trips (which is often as I have an unholy addiction to coffee) I’ll probably grab another copy. Do my part so they’ll run out and have to print more. Sure it’s not The New Yorker. Not yet. But it’s a start.

2014 in Review.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my little space on The Interwebs. Well, I know what you guys like at least……which is why I’m launching a PODCAST on Friday, February 6th! Because while I don’t necessarily write about current Cville restaurant news all the time….I’ll talk about it. All. The. Time. Look for it here!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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