Stephanie Burgis
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Chocolate Cake is Driving Me to Madness
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Like the title said....

I really enjoyed the mixing part of baking chocolate cake. It was fast, it was easy, and I stuck the cake tin into the oven at 11:05 for a 25-minute back. By 11:20, the smell of baking chocolate was filling up the house, heady and mouth-watering. I wrote a smug little email to Patrick about how great cake-baking is. I told Nika we'd be out on her walk by 11:35.

Well. It's 12:02, and guess what? The inside of the cake is STILL not baked. It's dripping wet. The outside, of course, is close to burning, and I am close to madness. Darn it, this is my family's traditional birthday cake, it's always tasted delicious when other people made it, and I know I followed the recipe exactly. This cake has to be cooled, iced, and ready for a birthday party at 1:00. Nika has to also be walked by then. I have to keep my mind, somehow.

This is definitely the reason why chef-hood was never an option for me.... I think chefs must be far more calm (not to mention capable) about these things....

Oh well. In other news, I wrote another two and a half handwritten pages of my novel this morning at the coffeeshop. I'm back to being excited about it, after a minor meltdown in confidence this weekend--a lethal combination of physical issues (Saturday night emergency room visits are never fun, and when they involve painful physical exams, they just suck), four rejections in three days (why do rejections always hunt in packs?????), and, worst of all, the experience of reading-to-crit someone else's drafted novel which is excellent. I'm loving reading it so much...darn it. All I can hope is that it isn't a first draft. I looked at my own novel manuscript with a decidedly jaundiced eye for the next thirty-six hours or so.

But last night, I decided to use all my frustration and depression in a constructive way, so I finally sat down and did a first revision on my flash fiction horror piece, "Bone Mother", which I'd been neglecting ever since it got a very useful collection of crits at the Online Writing Workshop. (At the time I thought, ah, yes, these are all good ideas--and darn it, that's going to be a lot of work!) I'm happy with the revisions I did last night, and better yet, they helped me get back into a writing (vs. moaning) mood, which is always an Excellent Thing.

And now back to That Damn Cake....

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