riff (rɪf) —n. 1.a short, repeated line of music played by a particular performer. : Jim just sat there and forgot his riff. n. 2. a digression while speaking. (From sense 1.) : If she didn't make so many riffs while she spoke, we could understand her better. - from slang dictionary on dictionary.com
I heard the word "riff" not too long ago referring to writers using a similar theme or idea and twisting it up, changing it to something different to create a new story, something refreshing.
I suppose you could say we're all riffing on some original storyline. Everything has been done before, no story is truly new. What we do have in our writer toolbox, though, is our own psyche, our own take on the world. Made up of our own experiences, our own likes and dislikes, these experiences make up who we are as writers and thus influence our stories. No one else can create something as unique as we are. Our stories are unique to us. And in turn we will find readers who are interested in our own riff on a story.
On that note, (pun intended) I give you my daughter's recipe for Gingerbread Waffles. A riff off of Mark Bittman's Rich Buttermilk Waffle recipe in How to Cook Everything. I have to thank Mark for giving me a cookbook with suggestions on how to change up almost every recipe to suit one's unique taste. These definitely suit my daughter, who has some mad love for anything gingerbread.
|Photo credit: Hilde Vanstraelen. Gingerbread waffles will be significantly darker|
Ana's Gingerbread Waffles
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
4 Tablespoons butter (melted)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix wet ingredients separately, then combine. Pour 1/4 cup into each side of waffle iron and cook for 4 minutes.
These waffles freeze well individually wrapped and toast up even better than when first made. (Because of the molasses, these waffles are a dark brown and will also burn more easily when reheated.) ENJOY!