The Cake, The Frosting And The Gauntlet

Okay, cakes made and delivered.  If I can figure out what the kid did with the camera there will be pictures appended.  We got cake1 there without a problem, but because it was so tall I wasn’t sure we could, so I made a back up emergency cake.  (Because I’m insane.  Move along.)  The girls awed and said how cute it was, so… I guess it was worth spending a day on this and making my kitchen worthy of superfund cleanup.  (Which shall happen tomorrow morning.)

Frosting incidents — 2.  Showers — 3.  I think it’s a record, even for summer in Ohio.

The Gauntlet — I don’t think Ms. Ogle is going to take it, partly because, well, let’s face it — if she gets the kind of advances that fund one’s research for five years, I’m dust beneath her carriage wheels.  Eh.  Shrug.  Ain’t enlightened self-interest a b*tch?  When it’s OTHER PEOPLE’s of course. 

Soooooooo…………  I don’t know any other Defender of The Establishment ™ who wants to play, do you?  I guess I’m stuck running my mouth on my own again/still.  BUT… any questions y’all have?  Even if I’ve answered them before, it’s been a good two years.  (Yes, this is called Sarah is lazy and out of blog posts.  Give me some ideas.)  I’ve noted foreshadowing down and of course tomorrow is Witchfinder.  But I’m open to questions.ImageImage

31 responses to “The Cake, The Frosting And The Gauntlet

  1. WOOT!!! Well done! And *they* did excellently!

  2. ppaulshoward

    Those cakes look good enough to eat. [Very Big Grin]

  3. What a great cake idea! They both came out looking very cute. And with a backup, you still have your cake and got to eat it too! (Unless both cakes got eaten already.)

  4. Nice cakes.

    I am not sure that your non-opponent realized that she is for all intents and purposes a niche author. There is a limited market even for the best of books on beer, so it makes me wonder in just what rarefied stratosphere she flies. She seems to have expected you to make an effort to publish in a smaller venue just to try and gain the respect of people who would probably never respect you (a genre fiction writer) anyway.

    • She apparently also wrote about meat and a city. You know, the thing is I didn’t view her as an opponent. I mean, yes, she’s a dahling, but that’s not her fault. I thought honestly it could be enlightening and I viewed her as an interlocutor. Clearly she didn’t see it that way but under the making me a favor and telling me how to smarten up thing. Eh.
      Part of this is what I ran into with agents and editors (EXCEPT Toni, of COURSE) who always told me “You should stop writing this schlock. You know how to do literary. Why don’t you want to?” BUT what they mean by “literary” is pretty words and pretentious and I want to write fun stuff about people I love… They think I should be in it for prestige. I’m in it for fun, love and money.
      Different worlds, I guess.

      • You don’t have to guess. It is different worlds.

        In spite of our Revolutionary attitude there is a natural human tendency to think in hierarchy. Particularly if you can place yourself in an upper levels. (At least the rules in Regency England, although very restrictive, were pretty clear, here we have unexpected quicksand.)

      • If I may be just the tiniest bit ironic: F*** Literary.

        I’ve read enough Literary to know just how far from Interesting it is actually is — let’s be blunt: From Interesting…

        o/~ It’s a Long Way To Literary, it’s a long way to go…. o/~

        >:)

      • callanprimer

        Not to start any wars about the way HS English is taught, but child #2 hated with white-hot passion the books she was given in HS. If there hadn’t been Michael Moorcock and Barbara Leonie Picard on the bookshelves at home, school would have taught her to hate reading.

        One thing I noticed, though, is when she read some offending passage from _White Noise_ aloud to me, I, genre reader that I am, thought it sounded fascinating. Then I tried to read it and understood her hatred completely. That’s when it struck me: the literary genre is meant to be read aloud. Preferably with a thoughtful, sophisticated audience in front of you, a decent glass of cabernet at your side, and a graduate assistant hovering behind you.

        • In other words, it’s more performance art than writing. Yes. Though my kids also had to read what I’ll call “Pseudo-magic-realism” which is long sustained whines about American Imperialism even when it doesn’t make any sense. I SWEAR their least favorite book (which also got read aloud — snort, giggle) was about a Lesbian, handicapped, Wiccan Latina being endlessly discriminated against from page one and in no way to the level of skill in writing that kind of po’ me book that was displayed in Jane Eyre.

          • Horrors. I am so glad we choose to home educate, otherwise The Daughter would have never survived the experience, and might have taken no captives in the process.

            The worst I required of her was an attempt at Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore. Had some interesting conversations, but we choose not to finish it.

            • And the sad thing is, nobody hates stuff that really is of enduring literary value, or which really is great for reading out loud to family and friends. (Just like most people naturally like beautiful art or beautiful music of enduring artistic value.) People like things that stir the heart and soul, refresh the spirit, and remain a joy in the memory.

              But what the critics call literary in today’s writers, and what really is literary, are poles apart. Sigh.

    • Insofar as I could tell – I will confess to NOT doing my research and looking her up, which I should do, I suppose – but by the sound of the books I gather she’s written, she sounded like a travelogue type of writer.

      Those are cool, and not infrequently I use their work for my research when I can’t afford to go to a location, but as you said, yes, a niche.

  5. Cakes are KYOOT! Now I have a hungry…

    • pohjalainen

      Me too. And I’m trying to diet here. If I now go and buy myself something sweet and fall off it’s all HER fault for talking about cakes and stuff and posting those pictures. Yes. Snif.

      Hmm. Maybe just one chocolate muffin, with chocolate cream inside and thick dark chocolate covering, there is this one bakery nearby… and totally not my fault. I’m being made to do this.

      • I need to post some low carb cake/cookies recipes, don’t I? Which these cakes weren’t and which means I spent the day immersed in them and couldn’t even TASTE them.
        Which means I’m making us not-rice pudding for desert today, is what it means.

        • pohjalainen

          Please do :) Low carb cookie/cake recipes are always very welcome.

          Actually I do eat mostly low carb, have to, while I don’t officially have celiac disease, at least according to blood tests, I’m very obviously sensitive to gluten. Have to admit I do cheat occasionally, but since I usually do that something like every second month and keep it to that one muffin or something similar it presumably shouldn’t affect my weight, since otherwise I eat pretty damn healthy by any – except strict vegetarian or vegan – standards. But I still can’t get rid of the excess fat.

          May have something to do with a thoroughly messed up sleeping schedule, I’ve been working nights for over twenty years. Lesson: if you have any tendency towards gaining weight do NOT take a job which forces you into a permanent night shift. Or perhaps any kind of shift work, but always nights seems to be worst.

          • Recent studies indicate there is a correlation between night shift work and a whole string of health problems, effecting the quality of your sleep, how your body handles food and circulatory problems. Some are believed to stem from the lack of day light, some from the tendency of third shifters to be less physically active, and some from lack of sleep and proper eating habits as third shifters try to manage lives in a generally non-third shift world.

            • Shift work can kill you, especially if you have any stress in your work (which most do). That brought on some of my current medical problems, which includes Type II diabetes. Before that I was hypoglycemic, so we’ve lived a long time watching sugar consumption. That’s really too bad, because my wife is a tremendous cook, and she’s got a recipe for cherry pie to die for — but not right yet!

  6. I’ve always envied Michael Jackson (the writer, not the pop star: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson_%28writer%29).SOB got paid for chasing down the best in potables.

    The best in travel writing (imo) was done before commissioned works became the rote. Evelyn Waugh, Eric Blair, and Graham Greene come to mind. (note oxford comma) P J O’Rourke stands as a rule-proving-exception, Hunter Thompson does not.

    I’ve recently lost my favorite gig, for a museum company. “Quick, JC, we need 5 kilowords on (dinosaurs, sub-equatrorial African history, the Red River battles of the Late Unpleasantness), by Thursday morning. Print ready! (Plea always delivered Tuesday morning, and thank God for t eh Intertoobnewebs, I say).

    Kinda like school. High school level prose, postdoc level research, and pro level editing. And, much like school, I got paid f-all, but I learned a lot in the course of the work

    I may have to go back to tech writing again. Still buggerall for pay, but the knowledge acquired is totally fungible.

    • Hey, consider doing that sort of thing as “YA books” and see how they fly on Amazon on your own. Do it on your spare time (snort, giggle — Hey, I’m learning not to sleep) and do it as a test. Will it sell? Who the heck knows. It would have sold like crazy to my kids 4 year ago. You can get illustrations pretty cheap at dreamstime. If you need to figure out how to do the technical part of putting the books up, Amanda is doing a free workshop and if you say her name three times she’ll show up. (And no, we’re not the same person. Some people here have seen us together. She’s way better at tech than I am and much nicer too.)

    • Heh, one of the grad students in the geography department at Flat State U did a MS on the economics and demographics necessary to support brew pubs and microbreweries in [Flat State]. Even got a grant for part of the research. Yes, he was over 21 and no, he insisted that he had no need for additional field researchers or support staff. Thpoil thport. :(

  7. Oh, and great cakes. But as previously noted, the combination of icing and silk stockings is a little bit more than my girlfriend wants me to have. (Meaningless emoticon goes here)

  8. JC, thinking of traveling books, have you read Patrick Leigh Fermor? His “A Time of Gifts” and “From the Woods to the Water” are two of the best travel/ coming of age books ever written, IMHO.

    Sarah, in addition to foreshadowing, would you be willing to write about the use (and abuse) of flashbacks?

    • Tex,
      Of course.
      JC I’ll note that for fiction readers, detailed books about your region can be very useful. Particularly if you go into the history too. I have a whole series on the history of Denver. I don’t know how they do, but I’d buy them indie.