Editing with a side of cupcakes. And Nutella. And chocolate.

I’m stressed this week.  Already.

But hey, I’ve been trying to set aside my eternal pessimist attitude and adopt a more optimistic “hey, there’s half a candy bar left!” kind of attitude.  Let’s make this a “compliment sandwich” kind of rant.  Because, you know.  The depressing is always easier to digest when it’s a) presented in between two good things or b) sung.

You can ask my cube mates.  I’ve been singing about being stressed all day.

1.  Good thing – 100 pages to go and the first edit of my first draft is complete!

Can I just say, I am thirty years old and have been living a lie.  I had never tried Nutella until this weekend.  My mother refutes this fact and says that a jar of Nutella sat, half empty, in her cupboard for months until she tossed it because I thought it was gross.  But look, friends, The Hubs and I purchased a jar of Nutella this weekend.

And it was glorious.

The Hubs also purchased a bottle of Cherry Southern Comfort, which I personally thought tasted as gross as regular Southern Comfort, so in an effort to get that bourbon-y taste out of my mouth, I spread some Nutella on a slice of bread.

Heaven.  God bless you person who came up with Nutella.  God bless you.

I’m not entirely sure I know what a hazelnut is.  I’m not sure I could pick one out of a pile of nuts and identify it.  But I know what cocoa is.  And I know that a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich was the highlight of my work day today.  And will be again tomorrow.

In between Nutella toast and plans to make a banana Nutella milkshake later this week once the bananas are overripe and I squirrel one out of The Toddler’s line of sight for my own consumption, I edited.  A lot.  And I’ll tell you what, I am just a happy little camper with how editing is going.  Maybe it was the Nutella, maybe it was just a string of really good chapters–at any rate, there’s only about 100 pages left to high level edit and then I’m tearing into a hard copy.  My goal still remains three edits by May.  Do-able.  I’m concerned I’m going to go through an awful lot of Nutella in the process.

Which is why I’ve also taken up jogging.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any time to actually go out and jog, so I just…awkwardly jog in place.  Yes.  I look dumb.  But in my brain I’m running through the woods with Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead and The Doctor (as portrayed by David Tennant).  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

2.  Bad thing – our crappy SVU is just waiting–waiting–to fall apart in a heap

Something is amiss with our crappy 2008 SVU.  The Hubs will be mad when he sees I’m referring to it as “the crappy” because he really likes it.  It’s his car.  He’s also ripped the front of it off three times now, because apparently a detachable front was part of the “convenience” package we got, along with sattelite radio and a sun roof.

Whatever.  So, the check engine light came on the other day.  I literally had to pull over and consult the owner’s manual, because I thought the indicator light looked more like a spleen than anything else.  The manual was kind of vague as to what this particular indicator light could mean: anywhere from “it’s not really a big deal” to “if you accelerate too fast, your vehicle just might explode.”  I drove home anyway.

When presented with this information, The Hubs said, “I’m sure it’s fine.”

Okay.

Going along with that assumption, we just kind of ignored it and pretended it would go away.  Then one of the windshield wipers randomly stopped working.  This was markedly more problematic, but whatever, The Hubs was fairly confident it was fine.

Okay.

His assumption was apparently at least somewhat correct, as the windshield wiper randomly started working again and the SVU hasn’t blown up yet.  Yet.  The week is still young.

There’s also a whole plethora of other crap to deal with currently.  Long story short, I’m not a happy camper and I’m coping with chocolate.

3.  Good thing – I registered for the Writer’s Conference today and it’s going to be insane.

So, yeah, this is somewhat related to the first good thing of our “sandwich” but, on its own, is insane.  So, I got all nice and registered for the Writer’s Conference today.  This is the one writer’s organization I pay to belong to and also the same writer’s organization I submitted the first chapter of my novel to for a writing contest.  In my continual effort to be proactive and on the ball, I decided today I wasn’t going to the writer’s conference because it’s expensive and I’m poor.

And then I went to the website and saw, hey, registration is open.

Well, I said to myself, I’ll just fill out my name and get logged into the website.  Just peruse around a bit.

Which turned into, well, I’ll just go ahead and fill out my contact info and see what else there is to be seen.

Which then turned into finishing the registration and paying the registration fee.

Let’s celebrate with cupcakes!

003And yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  That’s a wee little baby cupcake chilling out on top of the normal sized cupcake.  I tried out my mini muffin pan tonight and aw.  So cute!  Look, I don’t know what it is with the lighting in my kitchen, but everything I make seems to look like a corn muffin.  These are not corn muffin cupcakes.  These are amazing, tasty, little vanilla gob-lettes of glory.  Well, I assume.  I haven’t actually had one  yet.

Self control, peeps.

Anyway, anyway, I’m bringing up the writer’s conference for the mind-blowing fact that I registered early.  Early enough that two amazing things have happened, or, will happen.

1)  I registered for a ten minute pitch session of my novel with an agent.  And I had my pick, so I picked the agent specifically looking for historical romance.

2)  I registered for a one minute pitch session with a panel of editors and agents who, if interested, will take a query letter and first ten chapters on the spot.

And a third amazing thing is that breakfast and lunch are provided on Saturday.  Or, if you’d rather, I registered for a really expensive breakfast buffet and steak salad and am going to a free writer’s conference.  Hot damn.

Not to mention, I’m also signed up for two critique sessions and will get to attend a ton of workshops.

Sheer terror hasn’t set in yet.  I’m waiting for that to happen, as this could be major.  Or, it could be nothing but good practice and I’ll just get a tasty steak salad and a day off from work.  Whatever.  Meanwhile, I frosted the cupcakes.004

Look, they aren’t  perfect.  This isn’t a cooking blog where I can give you an amazing recipe for Swiss Buttercream and double chocolate fudge peanut butter truffle cupcakes.  No.  These are from a box cake mix.  That’s canned funfetti frosting that may or may not have been slightly expired.  They’re rustic.  They’re thrown together in between changing diapers, washing dishes, and refilling sippy cups.  They’re stalwart and amazing and 42 of my newest friends.

And…yeah, the more I think of it, the more terrified I am about the upcoming conference.  I’m going to have to wear super nice pants to this.  Why I chose pants to be concerned about, I don’t really know.  But that’s how I roll.

So, now my goal for May not only includes a total, triple crazy edit, but also the completion of a query letter.   Yikes.

Who’s got two thumbs and is probably going to make a batch of chocolate Nutella cupcakes?  This gal!

10 Comments

  1. You’re the most energetic writer I have ever known. You get more done in a day than I do in a week. Plus, you eat Nutella sandwiches and (I’m sure) your own amazing bake goods AND you’re wearing a what? A SIZE ZERO? If you could just bottle your metabolism and sell it you’d be a billionaire.

    1. My metabolism definitely changed after my second baby was born! Of course, he was a surprise and we suddenly had two little boys under the age of two. Tonight, while I baked, I hurdled over the baby gate countless times to pry them off the top of the couch, restart the DVD, pry them off of each other, and pull the baby (well, one year old) out of a drawer. It’s a happy balance, lol. They run me ragged and I eat Nutella!

  2. I think I need to tag along in your goal shadows… the idea of getting one more edit done ever seems hard enough let alone 3 by May.. I obviously need to show more determination!! I have lots of nutella and hazel trees.. and a crazy amount of cup cake cases which I might have to fill after reading this. editing here I come.. xx

    1. You can do it! One step at a time and reward yourself. That’s why I made so many little cupcakes: the illusion of eating more! I’m oddly looking forward to tearing into my hard copy edit. Maybe it’s just the prospect of using new pens.

  3. Heather, I love Nutella too! But beware because it is packed full of calories. It has so many that it makes me sad. For that reason, it takes me forever to finish a jar. But it is amazing on pancakes. Just spread some on, roll them up, and eat them right in your hand. No silverware required! Also, good for you on the novel editing. I can’t believe you get so much done with two kids. I have one and get zero writing done. But then again, maybe if I didn’t spend so much time watching TV…

    1. TV is also my downfall, so I try to do most of my writing in the bedroom or keep my headphones on if I stay in the living room. I’m actually really excited to start the hard copy edit!

      I’m such a hard core calorie counter these days! I measure out the peanut butter and Nutella (or jelly) for my sandwiches to stay on track. It’s sad but true! I’m actually planning on making pancakes for dinner tonight…and you’d better believe I’m going to try one with Nutella!!

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