May 20, 2013 by Tiffany A. Robbins
The Everything Bagel as faultily defined by me prior to tasting one: “A conglomeration of everything that can be put onto or into a bagel. Generally containing jalapenos, walnuts, and cinnamon with a baked upper layer of Asiago and spinach.”
The Everything Bagel as defined by me after tasting one: “A delicious harmony of garlic and sesame seeds put into a bagel.”
So, my rant today is themed “Let’s name things accurately, people.” Seriously, if someone had just named it a Garlic & Sesame Bagel, I would not have been missing out on these things for the entirety of my scholarly life thus far. That’s nearly 13 years of not having garlic and sesame goodness simply because someone (inventor or random barista…I have no clue) had to be grandiose in his, her, or zher naming conventions.
Let’s face it folks, “everything” is a pretty large declaration to be supported by the fluffiness that is the modern-day bagel.
How does this apply to the writing world other than this author’s affinity for hanging out in coffee shops for an unreasonable amount of time on random Tuesday and Thursday mornings? We authors all get a little bit grandiose at times.
- We put whole galaxies on the covers of our sci-fi books that take place in a single random jungle whose characters are six-legged cephalopods that never even look at the stars and can’t even conceive of ever venturing to them.
- We want to write the next great American novel and wonder why no one wants to buy our clichéd Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft bit of renamed fan fiction.
- We give our heroine every bit of girl power, tom boy toughness, and goddess beauty; yet we can’t understand why out beta readers tell us we need more down-to-earth characters.
And you know what…that’s okay. We’re writers. It is our job to be grandiose. Yes, we probably ought to tame it down on occasion if we ever want to get paid or have someone other than our Mom’s tell us how good our novels are, but we are supposed to put our whole beings onto the pages of our favorite notebooks. That’s what we do. If it gets grandiose at times, that’s probably a good thing. I believe it is a sign of self-confidence in our world. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that space ships shouldn’t go on the covers of books that don’t have space ships in them, that we need to make our characters real, and that the more you throw rocks at your character the better off they’ll be.
So, in conclusion, I have a message for all you baristas out there. “Keep calling it the Everything bagel. We’ll deal. Afterall, we’re both on the same team here. We make sure mass amounts of caffeine get consumed and we sometimes tell a white lie, like making a delicious, but ordinary bagel a little more splashy that it probably needs to be.”