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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Sushi and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Do

Sushi and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Do

If you think the Take Out platter is pretty, you
should see what they serve in the restaurant!
Up until the beginning of October, I would’ve sworn that raw fish would never pass my lips. I mean, it’s fish. And it’s raw. And it’s sometimes wrapped in seaweed. Why would anybody eat that?
I can’t explain what happened to me. Perhaps, because my husband orders sushi regularly at our favorite local restaurant Sake Hana, I just got used to the sight of it.
One night, out of the blue, I asked Bob if I could have a taste. A small one. And then I asked for another.  The next time we went to Sake Hana, I asked him to choose a small sushi appetizer for me. And the next time … we went for the full Sushi Platter for Two.
Now, I can barely make it through the week without craving succulent sushi. Here’s me, dreaming about sushi …
Maybe sushi has something my body desperately needs at my age? I don’t know what. Iron? Fish oil? Something!
Now here’s the part of the post where I try to connect this phenomenon to writing. Ahem …
After writing six historical novels — yes, six, even though only two have sold (so far) – I never thought I’d write a contemporary fantasy series that featured a teen hero with numerous tattoos who rode a motorcycle and carried an ornamental dagger. Where did that even comefrom? It is so foreign to my usual tastes and interests.
Back when I was working on the first draft of that novel, I remember blogging repeatedly about how strange a departure it was from my normal writing. I disclaimed loudly and often that I didn’t know if I would finish it. I also shared this graphic to explain what gave me the courage to attempt it … even though I was sure it would be a disaster. (Just like I thought sushi was yucky.)
via Laurie Baum Olson
There are a lot of other things I’m scared to try – like writing an adult novel and sky-diving. But I think the past year has shown me that many things I thought I’d never do have turned out to be my favorite things to do. I can honestly say, I don’t know what I’ll do next.
(Not sky-diving though. I REALLY think NOT sky-diving …)
What have you done that you never thought you’d do?

P.S. Unicorn Bell has Part 2 of my interview up today: How I moved from self-publishing and a contract with a small pub to finding an agent and her first deal for me.

24 Responses to Sushi and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Do

  1. That is one beautiful sushi platter! In terms of food, I hope to one day get up the courage to try cottage cheese. I used to want to sky dive and bungee jump, but paranoia about faulty parachutes and having young children has cured me of that. I would say that I’d like the courage to just impulsively book a big vacation for myself and hubby one day and not even worry about the credit card debt 🙂 Pretty boring stuff. With writing, I do have a couple of ideas I’d like to try one day. I just keep putting them aside because I feel like I’m not “there” yet, craft-wise. Maybe I’ll dive in anyway one of these days 🙂

  2. SA Larsenッ says:

    You dream of sushi in such an attractive way. 😉

    I hear you about that comfort zone. I think that’s what has kept me writing this MG novel longer than I’d thought. I decided to delve in mythology; Norse, not Greek as I’m familiar with. I’ve done ungodly amounts of research. And with each success forging me closer to finishing that book, I find another element about Norse Mythology I’d like to explore. Phew… But on a lighter note: I recently moved out of my comfort zone with success. I wrote a steampunk short story. OMGosh! I’m so glad I did. It was so much fun…once I got over the fear of writing it.

  3. Sushi is something I have never been able to get myself to try. Several friends of mine love it and have long tried to talk me into it. Maybe someday. After all, I’m all about stepping out of one’s comfort zone 🙂

  4. That illustration is perfect! I agree that sometimes the magic happens when we try something new and different! Can’t wait for your middle grade!

  5. Southpaw says:

    That is a gorgeous sushi plate. I never thought I’d attempt something historical. I love to read them, but writing? No. And now I am writing one.

  6. You are definitely braver than me! It looks pretty…but like you said. Raw. Fish. Course, I grew up eating my grandpa’s fried fish(his recipe for batter included Dt. Mountain Dew) and I gross out my in-law family by telling them how he used to batter up the fish eggs he’d find in the females and fry them. =)

  7. Tiana Smith says:

    I often try new things with my writing. Right now I’m working on a contemporary YA, which I never thought I’d do 🙂 But no, I don’t think I’ll ever like sushi…

  8. Alas, Sushi is one of those foods that my body can’t tolerate. Shellfish and me don’t get along. But you’re right! You can never know if your strength lies in another genre unless you try it! 🙂

  9. Robin says:

    I love how you tied sushi into your writing. We all have things we think we won’t like or are afraid to try. It’s such a shock when we realized that we were WRONG. Yep, that is where the magic happens.

    Good for you on once again going beyond your comfort zone!!!

  10. I share your sushi craving!

    As to comfort zone, I share that too. My MS is going out on sub and I’m terrified. I keep writing things in my WIP and cringing because it deals with all kinds of things that make me deeply uncomfortable. I’m not sure I want anyone to read this new book. They’re going to think I need serious psychiatric attention.

    But yes, I also think that’s where the magic happens. It’s like some kind of weird variation on the Nietzsche quote, “what makes us uncomfortable, makes us grow as writers.”

  11. J E Oneil says:

    Good for you for trying something new. But you do remember what happened to Homer after he first tried sushi, right? 🙂

    I think it’s a lot of fun to write something completely different. You find you have skills you didn’t know you had.

  12. Gwen Gardner says:

    I’m addicted to sushi, too. I get it once a week because it’s right by my bank when I go to deposit my paycheck. Sometimes I sneak it in twice. It’s a weird craving thing, LOL!

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  14. Don’t get too excited over the skydiving, Bob. I really don’t see that happening.

    But when you get home from your business trip, can we get some sushi? 😀

  15. Hi, Dianne! I hope you will stop by to claim the award I have nominated you for. Have an AWESOME day!

    Susanne
    Putting Words Down On Paper

  16. Robin says:

    I used to think I’d never eat sushi and now we roll ours as home. I have the mat and everything:)

    Moving to CA was my huge out-of-my-comfort-zone activity of the past and that worked out great. Writing wise I’m still surprised I write mainly contemp. with some magical elements (or straight contemp. as I’m a huge fantasy fan and my first book was a fairytale retelling. We just never know what might come out of us.

    Also, I know you saw on Twitter, but I read THE CAGED GRAVES, I don’t know how I didn’t do it sooner and LOVED it (and I rarely read historical fiction) so there you go. My reading sushi;)

    I’ll have to check out your interview at Unicorn Bell.

  17. Hi Dianne .. sounds like me and oysters … now I can’t get enough, when they’re around. But Sushi is delicious – that platter looks exceptionally so .. thankgoodness it’s near supper time!

    Well done on daring to write new things and test the writing ripples … enjoy … cheers Hilary

  18. Julie Dao says:

    There are a lot of things that I absolutely HATED when I was younger that have become some of my favorite foods now. Sushi is also one of mine! I still am leery about touching raw fish (although I ate a spicy tuna roll the other day off my friend’s plate and was very proud about it!) so I like to order the veggie rolls. Avocado rolls are my weakness!! In writing, I’ve been trying to take more risks by writing things outside of my comfort zone. I am about to query my first ghost story… eek!

  19. Lexa Cain says:

    Back when I was writing and subbing short stories (aka learning to write), I often wrote out of my comfort zone and experimented. I always ended up coming back to what I do best – writing horror. But kudos to you for sushi and a contemp ms! You’re brave and an inspiration to the rest of us stick-in-the-muds! 🙂

  20. Steven says:

    Sushi is wonderful, but I’m very adventurous when it comes to food and life in general. I have an idea in the back of my mind for a Shakespeare adaptation novel, something that popped up way back when I was in a grad Shakespeare class. It’s so different from my usual fare, but sometimes doing different is refreshing. Maybe I will bump that one up in the writing schedule.

  21. Liza says:

    I went to Japan. Never thought I’d do that. And I ate A LOT of sushi. I ate at a revolving sushi bar. I went to a fish market in Tokyo and ate sushi for breakfast. Never thought I’d do anything like that. Forget skydiving though. For-get-it! 🙂

  22. mshatch says:

    Yeah no skydiving for me, either, but I agree about magic happening outside our comfort zone 🙂

  23. Cynthia says:

    Now I’m craving sashimi. Don’t you just love it when you dip it into soy sauce mixed with a kiss of wasabi? (I made a pledge not to have raw fish until I’m done with nursing, so I’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

    Something I’d never thought I’d do…Well, I’ve never gone camping before, and have never wanted to do this for the longest time. But now that I have children, I’ve actually considered that it could be fun for the family to go on a camping trip someday… but wherever we end up, the place has to come with nice bathrooms!