Siân Griffiths lives in Ogden, Utah, where she teaches creative writing at Weber State University. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Cincinnati Review, and American Short Fiction (online), among other publications. Her debut novel Borrowed Horses was a semi-finalist for the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Her second novel Scrapple and her short fiction chapbook The Heart Keeps Faulty Time are forthcoming in 2020. Currently, she reads fiction as part of the editorial teams at Barrelhouse and American Short Fiction. For more information, please visit sbgriffiths.com.
Here, she talks about the merits of slightly aged Red Vines, crackers, and cheese while watching reality competitions, and being the Jeffrey to her husband’s Ina.
On her all-time favorite meal:
That’s such a hard choice! My husband is a food guy, and he loves to cook, so I’m mostly debating between different meals he’s made. I’m going to go with his lasagna, which riffs off of an Ina Garten recipe and uses sausage, goat cheese, and fresh mozzarella. It’s decadent and amazing, so it’s not in heavy rotation, but I’m happy to be the Jeffrey to his Ina any time he wants to make it.
On what the light looks like during her favorite meal of the day:
Our dining room table has an unfortunately harsh can light directly overhead, beaming its glare over my family, but it illuminates my children’s smiles as they tell me about their day or tease one another. The steam from the evening meal glows, and its scent becomes briefly visible.
On snacking while writing:
Not often, but when it’s late in the semester and time is short and I manage to carve twenty minutes out of the day and get my courage up to face the novel manuscript and all the problems I can’t figure out how to solve, I’m not above rewarding myself with some Red Vines. If they’re slightly aged/tough, it’s best because then I really have to work at getting that one bite, which is exactly what I need in those stuck moments when I have to sit back and figure out what the hell happens next.
On her go-to late-night snack:
Tillamook sharp white cheddar and roasted tomato Triscuits. They taste best if I’m also watching some really stupid and mindless television, preferably anything in which creative people are cheerfully competing with one another: The Great British Bake Off, Project Runway (I miss Tim Gunn), Blown Away, Top Chef, The Great Interior Design Challenge, Glow Up. In the rest of my day, I want narrative, but by the end of the evening, I just want to cheer on people who make interesting and inventive things.
On her food quirks:
I would love to say no, but anyone who’s lived with me knows that I have at least one. I love to nibble tiny bits off of pretzel sticks and swallow the small chunks whole. I can’t begin to explain why this is so satisfying.
On her final meal request:
Oh my god—am I on death row? What did I do? Is a meteor hurtling towards Earth? Has everyone else been raptured? OK, OK—focus, Siân, focus. If I’m not locked up, then let’s make it a picnic. It’s a beautiful, warm, breezy day. My family members—both immediate and extended—are there and also all of my favorite people from Barrelhouse Writer Camp and my friends from grad school and anyone else whom I’ve met and enjoyed along my journey. There are horses to ride and a lake for swimming and badminton. The food is set up on a long banquet table, and there’s everything amazing: rhubarb pie and ice cream and deviled eggs and Tim’s Cascade jalapeño chips. There’s a beautiful green salad with grape tomatoes and poppyseed dressing. There’s pulled pork and coleslaw for sandwiches. There’s spicy pulled chicken and beans and rice for burritos. There’s a mound of fresh strawberries and an enormous bowl of frozen grapes and a multi-tiered carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting. There’s homemade lemonade and beer and pinot noir and bourbon, and everyone is delighted and laughing, and we have all have completely forgotten that I’m about to die.