A Feast for the Eyes satisfies the parts of you that neither food nor drink can reach. Just as aroma enhances taste, visual stimulation heightens pleasure and illuminates the hidden. This is true whether from viewing the mundane things of life, or the vision of nature’s beauty, the vastness of the universe, or the universe of the microscopic.

The eyes have been described as the “windows of the soul” and I believe that. In modern terms, this is true both on the download and the upload. One can see the horror, sorrow, and inhumanity of war in Picasso’s “Guernica” yet, at the next moment, be able to beam love to your dearest through those same eyes.

A good story is like that. It can take you from the Heavens to the depths of Hell, in a word. A wordsmith can help you know a fictional character in a sentence; or imagine yourself in a paragraph. He could convince you to find peace at home, or drive you to wander the world on a page. You could lose or find God in his written work. It will depend on the feast of words that he has prepared for you and also how hungry you are for the fare.

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”  Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Great chefs create a visual feast as well as the culinary, because they know that you “eat with the eyes, as well as the mouth”. Authors prepare a visual feast that stimulates the imagination into creating the sights, sounds and smells of their world. They agonize over words, the correctness, meaning, spelling and their placement in the sentence. They read, re-read and revise their work over and over again, until it looks and reads to their particular satisfaction. Then they serve it up to you, the reader, for your pleasure and delight.

As an author, can you relate to this? Do you know the frustration of writing and re-writing until you find that exact word combination that illustrates your thoughts? Do your inner voices go silent some days and leave you hanging out there to rely on your own skill and craft? I ask these questions because I know that likely they are ones you have asked yourself. You can write and write until your fingers cramp and still not find the correct recipe of words that come together. How many pages have you crumpled, how many times have you filled the trash file on your computer and emptied the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of words into the ether?

This is true whether from viewing the mundane things of life, or the vision of nature’s beauty, the vastness of the universe, or the universe of the microscopic.

The world in a drop of water

Are you that perfectionist that scrubs every line, every paragraph four or five times before you hand your work over to the editor? I find myself doing that as I write this. After two weeks of false starts, mixed metaphors, and deleted paragraphs I have come to this point because in the beginning, I had a vision of an article that would inspire and inform our readers of the effort it takes to write something worth reading. I wanted to provoke our authors into evaluating their writing life. Michael D. LeFevre is the author of the newly published novella, “Ghost of the Black Bull”. He lives on the verge of the Great Basin, overlooking the historic Lincoln Highway, Pony Express Trail, and Hastings Cut-Off of Donner Party notoriety–literally in the midst of history. “There are so many anecdotes that lend themselves to dramatization, that I am at a loss of where to go next in beginning my next story.” He works at being retired, reading and writing. He is enjoying his hobbies as well.

Creating a feast means work—hard, long, sweaty, sometimes dirty work. Whether it be of food, paint, or words; the creator must pay his dues in order to lay out the feast for others to enjoy. Writing a book is more than typing words into a file. There are many other considerations such as, font type and size, editing, cover design, and if you are printing paper copies you will have to decide on book size, paper color and quality, back page copy. This list is not all-inclusive. For ebook and hard copy publication, you must consider distribution plans, publicity, reviews and marketing plans, pricing, etc. The feast comprises the whole package—preparation, production, and presentation, as well.

Authors can take heart that someone will like what they serve up. Not everyone will love your hard won story. Not everyone will reject it either. The trick, if there is one, is to work at pleasing more readers with every book that you publish. Because you are going to publish more than one—aren’t you? Most established authors will tell you that the best marketing plan is to publish your next book, and the book after that. And so on.

Develop your own voice, readers that like what they hear (read) will flock to you. There is a reason that Richard Paul Evans is so successful. He found his voice and writing rhythm early and he stuck with it. Fans liked it so much that they wait months and years between some books. His recent series “The Walk” was just one example of this. Four books spaced one year apart, and each one short enough that he could have written one long novel and published it all at once. He decided to break it up and space it out. Sometimes a feast is better for the waiting.

“Tell me what you read, and I will show you what you can become”  Michael D. LeFevre

Whatever your taste, author or reader, pursue that which satisfies you. Readers, find those authors who care about how they prepare the stories that they serve up to you. Authors, put your all into your work, construct a story/book that will fill the spirit and delight the mind. A veritable Feast for the Eyes.

Michael D. LeFevre is the author of the newly published novella, “Ghost of the Black Bull”. He lives on the verge of the Great Basin, overlooking the historic Lincoln Highway, Pony Express Trail, and Hastings Cut-Off of Donner Party notoriety–literally in the midst of history. “There are so many anecdotes that lend themselves to dramatization, that I am at a loss of where to go next in beginning my next story.” He works at being retired, reading and writing. He is enjoying his hobbies as well.