It’s my husband’s birthday, and as I do every year, I’m making his birthday cake.
But this year, because of lack of favorite flavor cake mix being available, I decided I would make it from scratch. And I was going to decorate it with an image that combined two of his favorite things: tux the penguin (Linux OS Mascot) dressed as Link from the The Legend Of Zelda series. Oh, and I was going to do this before I did the homemade pizza made from a special kit my mother mailed us from Nova Scotia.
Did I mention I was going to do all this in the nine hours he’s at the office?
AND I was going to work on my current work-in-progress in between tasks?
Yeah, a little ambitious. Especially for a Monday. Oh, and I started this before I had my morning coffee.
After having discovered that cake batter #1 was actually made with too much butter (that’s why it’s the consistency of dough), and batter #2 managing to make its way to the floor (I’m still trying to figure out how the cake pan fell off the counter), and batter #3 being made from a white cake mix I was about to give up. He wanted marble cake, and I wanted to surprise him with an epic cake design, and there I stood in my kitchen with the wrong flavor cake mix in hand, and cracked concentrated food coloring in the other, wondering i raise the white flag of defeat.
How many times had I wanted to do this when working on a manuscript? And how many times had I actually don’t it? A couple days ago, when talking to a writer friend of mine, I went into my *cough* incomplete folder of writing and discovered eighteen files and folders of story. Eighteen! I’ve abandoned ship on a story eighteen times since I really started to save stuff, which is when I got my first computer at fifteen. So, in ten years (with a five year hiatus in the writing venture) I walked away from more projects than I completed (which, including first drafts, adds up to nine).
Then I remembered that of those nine completed more than one has had its share of, shall we say, trying moments. Like when my computer fried and I lost chapters I had yet to back up, or the corrupted file that somehow managed to happen and, therefore, I would have to OCR scan entire manuscripts so I wouldn’t have to type words again, and stubborn characters who wouldn’t tell me what I screwed up so I could get over a bout of writer’s block. I got through it, I refused to raise the white flag, and each one of those nine completed manuscripts give me some level of satisfaction.
So trudge on with the cake I did. I added coco to part of the batter and made a successful marble cake. Then, despite broken icing bags, spilt food coloring, and super propelling decorating tips I managed to actually make this cake look have pretty good.
Makes me wonder if I should go back after NaNoWriMo and take a look at some of those abandon stories and see if there’s something that could survive the odds and make a good story. After all, if the I can conquer the cake, I can probably make one of my failed stories work.