7 Rules of Eticake is Here!

“When you’re down and out; when you’re on the street.”* Okay, I’m not on the street, but I’ve been down and out for a couple of weeks. This week is looking up. It doesn’t hurt that the project I told you about waaaay back in June surfaced. Something like this just makes a writer happy, happy, happy. You know?

The Project: I was hired to write a video script in April advertising Cake Theater.

The Actors: Youtube comedy team, Blimey Cow.

The Perimeters: The script needed to speak to cake decorators, be humorous, and subtly promote the Cake Theater website. And, of course, it needed to fit Blimey Cow’s style.

The Research: I read a myriad of cake decorator rants, exploring the documented dos and don’ts, wills and won’ts. (There are actually a good many of these online.) Then I picked the brains of local cake decorators for insight. Honestly, the stuff these cake decorators go through is insane!

So, for your viewing pleasure…(insert drum roll here)

without further ado…

or further adon’t (wow, that was bad)…

Cake Theater’s 7 Rules of Eticake!

So, what did I learn from this project?

1. Appreciate the person who makes the cakes. Seriously, if you think that video was exaggerating about customers’ requests, you’d be surprised.

2. Unless you have some knowledge of cake-decorating, this video really doesn’t relate outside of the cake-making sphere. Like, what is the pink hands comment all about, right? Well, red frosting dye can stain hands for an average of three days. And, for some reason, everybody wants some form of red decoration on their cake, regardless of toxic dye issues and allergies. Red is just a great color for cake.

And 3. If you think Jordan is a little intense and his eyebrows have a tendency to cause a bad case of seasickness, I know. I watched many of his videos to get a feel for how to write the script, so… I know.

*Lyrics to Bridge Over Troubled Water

Sweet Success

A quick review of my checkoff list from June:

Point 2: It happened. I had a whole week on my own…where I did everything but sit down and write. Go figure.

Point 3: June 30th was my deadline for finishing Dragonfly Prince. Well, I edited like a madwoman, chopping out chunks and chunks. I had to keep a document open to paste what I cut out because I knew I was going crazy, but it was the good sort of crazy. The ending became more succinct and action-packed because of it.

But did I finish it? I did. I did it! No lie: it was down to the wire, though. On Saturday, June 29th, I completed the last ten pages, cleaned up the paragraphs and phrases trailing at the end, and printed it all out…452 pages.

Now I’m reading the physical copy and making touch-ups. As I’m reading it, I keep thinking, How cool is this story? Then I question, Why I’m being so conceited? Is it really that good? And then I giggle to myself, answering, Yeah! It is! And the fact that I’m answering my own questions makes my opinion altogether suspect. 😛

My next goal? (So glad you asked.) Finish the touch-ups and hunt for a beta/critique partner. Any takers?

TARDIS Mk VII
TARDIS Mk VII (Photo credit: Rooners Toy Photography)

Point 4: My baby sister is married. I’m still reeling over that statement. It was a wonderful, wonderful ceremony and reception. The highlight of the wedding was an awesome TARDIS groom’s cake made by Kristen of Home Slice Cakes. It was other-worldly. I’m serious. The cake part was melt-in-your-mouth fudge-y chocolate with thick layers of rich fudge frosting. And there was no fondant involved in its creation. All buttercream artistry. Talk about true cake decorating genius. I was enraptured. I ate five pieces in the week I was home. (That’s ‘pieces’ and not servings.) So…one of my goals for July is to do more cardio and cut out the sweets. Otherwise, I’m going to be exploring more dimensions than Doctor Who.

Point 5: Did you enjoy going with me on my research trip for Book 2 last month? I hope it was a pleasant experience. I’ve noticed a good amount of blog friends are taking a break from posting over the summer. I completely understand. I’ve thought about doing it myself, but I think I need the accountability right now. Since I plan to place my book on many agents’ virtual desks this fall, I’m intent on keeping to my posting schedule each month—to the best of my ability. So, expect updates on Wednesdays. I’m still here…writing, reading, and commenting.

(Point 6 is missing. 😦 Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you more about it later.)

P.S. The newlyweds actually called home during their honeymoon to request someone freeze some TARDIS cake for them—you know, like that top layer of the wedding cake? Request denied. The TARDIS will have no foreseeable future visits.

This is a Piece of Cake!

Guess what I’ve been doing? (I bet you’ve guess it already because you’re brilliant like that. You must be; you read my blog.) Just in case you’re stumped, I’ll give you a hint: food writing. I have a friend who contacted me about a project with CakeTheater. The job description was something like, “creative writer to come up with blurbs for cake categories.” Within seconds I responded with, “Me! Me! Me!” Decades later, (okay, maybe just days) I was asked about my hourly rate. Thankfully, I didn’t send my immediate response, which was something like, “Somebody is going to pay me to write stuff about cakes?” Yes, confectionary delight of delights, all is right in my world! And, oddly, I’ve started making cakes. I think I must be very persuasive.

At first I tried to be all healthy about it. A carrot cake was my first attempt. The icing was made with cream cheese, whipped up to a fluffy cloud of sweetness. It melted on my tongue like butter. And, yeah, I used real butter anywhere it called for shortening/oil.*

It was completely fattening.

It was irresistibly good.

I couldn’t stand the longing looks the cake received from the fridge repair man when it was placed on the counter. I did not share with him. I was more generous when my sister and her boyfriend came over. (Actually, I was pretty much carrot-caked out by then.) Then they told me they’d been filching thin slices so I wouldn’t notice.

Jam & Tea Cake

You can see, cake decorating is not my forte. I’ve even taken a course. Isn’t that sad? That doesn’t seem to stop me, or anyone else at my house, from eating them. For this reason, this cake-writing project could be the death of me in terms of caloric overload. Otherwise, I am living in a dream… that funds the butter supply.

Here’s a cupcake idea I tried:

A mini Cat in the Hat birthday cake. Yes, I wrote a poem to go with it. (My creativity is good, though my artistry is lacking.)

Let’s do a recap of what you can know about me from this post: (1) I can’t decorate cakes well at all, and (2) my photography is just as bad. (Oh, and I’d better be keeping to a serious daily workout.) But know: if you’re drooling, or thinking about how long it’s been since you’ve had proper cake, then my work is complete. For you connoisseurs of our fine-floured friends, come be inspired by the cakes at CakeTheater. Not to tempt you or anything.

Oh, you talked me into it. One more:

Iced Lemon Cake for tea time

*Most shortenings and basic cooking oils are made with soybean oil, and I’m soy intolerant.