Friday, March 25th, 2011

Writing Prompt – Waffles and Waffling

Waffles with Eggs and BaconToday (March 25) is International Waffle Day.

According to Wikipedia, “Etymologists say the term [waffle] was derived from waff, a 17th-century onomatopoeia for the sound a barking dog makes, similar to the modern woof. Although the relationship between a dog’s bark and indecisiveness is unclear, the inference is that waffle words have about as much meaning as the noise made by a dog barking.”

Also, according to wikipedia, “a waffle is a batter- or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a distinctive and characteristic shape. There are many variations based on the type and shape of the iron and the recipe used.”

Thus, International Waffle Day can be celebrated by waffling on decisions or by consuming waffles. Your choice. (If you find yourself waffling on this decision, feel free to do both.)

True story: Once, I was traveling from Maryland to Georgia to meet some friends, and they gave me directions:

Get on Route 95 south.
Waffle House.
Waffle House.
Waffle House.
You’re there.

Such is the greatness of waffles.

Here’s Your Prompt: (Your Choice. If you’re waffling, do both.)

1 – Write about indecision. Tell a story about a person who must make a tough decision. The decision must be of such import that the choice of one contraindicates the choice of the other. This can’t be a “stay or go” choice. Either option must be painful. For example, your protagonist’s best friend needs a kidney, and your protagonist is a perfect match. If he doesn’t give up a kidney for his best friend, his best friend will die. But your protagonist suffers from a rare anesthesia allergy, and giving up a kidney might also mean giving up his own life. What does your character do? How does he feel? Why does he make the choice he does? (Not choosing is not an option.)

– or –

2 – Write a scene of someone eating waffles. Why are they eating waffles? Are they fresh? Homemade? Frozen? Are they eating at a restaurant? What’s the atmosphere, the sounds and smells, around him? Coffee and bacon? Orange juice and toast? Is it noisy? Glasses clinking, pots steaming and sizzling, loud conversation? Or, is he eating at home: quiet and serene on the back porch, with a gentle breeze shushing leaves and birds singing? Is the dog waiting for a handout? Does your character enjoy eating waffles, or is it the only thing “on the menu?” What condiments does she use on her waffles? Butter, syrup, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, fresh fruit? Once you’re done, make the event of eating waffles the significant action of the scene. Why is eating these waffles important?


Image by Churchill95, captured at:

3 comments to Writing Prompt – Waffles and Waffling

  • Carl Rauscher

    My mother lived in Asheville before she died and we’d try to visit her at least once or twice a year, when work and vacation schedules allowed. At the time, we lived in upstate New York, which meant a 17 hour drive and leaving just after work on Friday to avoid serious traffic jams near the major cities along the way.

    Virginia’s diagonal interstate connecting I-95 and I-40 were the worst, with sleeping family, highbeam headlights in your face, and few places to stop for coffee/potty breaks. We’d eventually get to the off-ramp (Exit 50) to Mom’s place and the first sign we would see was a large yellow “HUDDLE HOUSE” sign. It was too early to arrive, so we’d stop and enjoy a nice breakfast – pancakes, eggs, coffee, with our daughter ordering belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. She’d eat the fruit and fluffy white topping first, then fiddle around with the waffle itself until it was a goopy mess of syrup and squares, then it was time to get back in the car and see if “Grandma” and “Grandpa” were up yet.

    We went back to Asheville about five years after they both had passed away and our family had grown by one. The car nearly steered itself down the exit ramp and into the parking lot under the familiar old sign. Our youngest child wasn’t sure what was going on, but was happy to dive into her older sister’s favorite menu item and for a brief point in time we forgot there was no-one at the old place for us to awaken.

  • Carl Rauscher

    No – I always figured my background was too close to fiction to be believed.

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