Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Filler with Canelés

These are my little canelés cooling. They turned out quite to my liking, although they weren't perfect. The darker ones were a little crispier on the outside, which made them wonderful. The really light colored ones, which were in the middle of the baking mold, were a bit too soft. I guess I was trying to make too many at once. One of the eaters of these canelés asked me if I would make them for her Christmas party! I didn't really set up any milestones when I decided I'd learn to bake this year, but having my food go public should be one. :)

So, it's Friday. How is everyone doing? How is your writing going? I've had a pretty bad week to tell you the truth. I had applied for a writing fellowship and made it into the top 6. Then I had an interview that I thought went unbelievably well. I find out shortly afterwards, though, that I did not get it. And I was so pathetic I even assumed the notification was a joke and I waited for another two hours for the phone call telling me so. It was no joke. I didn't get in.

Initially, I didn't want to write anymore. I hated Cyberlama. I decided that I would never ever ever have an audience again. I started writing a project plan to start my own press so that I could celebrate other people's good writing instead of suffering with my own miserable writing.

Today I'm still feeling a little depressed, but more at peace. It really helped that Donna Hole put up a review of WG and Jason King sent me a picture of my book on his summer vacation. Other people's birthday wishes helped too. So thank you everyone!

I'll probably write fiction today, which is a good step forward. I do like Cyberlama, and I'm guessing that some of you might like it too. That's enough to keep me writing, and that's what's important to me right now.

I also have to remind myself that I have specific goals and not getting into the fellowship does not keep me from reaching those goals. My actual goal was not to get into the fellowship, but to be able to learn from good writers, which is something I feel has been lacking lately. I realize now that I can still get that if I'm willing to ask people for more help. I want more feedback on my writing. That's something I can get!


  1. Oh, Davin, I'm so sorry you have had such a bad week. I'm right there with you, as you know, but that doesn't make it much easier.

    I love that you're baking because perfecting things we love (especially things we can eat) is like the essence of happy living.

    I love that you're questioning your writing because it means you are figuring out what you really want. Ask Scott. Earlier this week I was questioning whether I want to write anymore. Questioning it and going through some not-so-fun crap has opened my eyes to a lot of things.

    Can I come over for some caneles?

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  3. So true how one thing can affect how we view everything. I'm sorry you had to go through all that but I am very, very glad you've decided not to give up fiction.

    Some days I really wish we didn't have to care so much: about people, about pursuits, but the alternative is unthinkable.

    Hand me one of them beautiful little canales, won't you?

  4. Michelle, thanks! And you can definitely come over for some caneles. Just tell me two days ahead of time so I can prepare the batter!

    Yat-Yee, trust me, you'll want to eat two. Thank you for being glad I'm still writing. That means a lot to me.

  5. Davin, I'm really, really sorry about the fellowship. I'm sure it was a very tough choice for them, and I think your initial reaction is one we can all relate to. Writing can be very cool; the non-writing parts of writing can suck, muchly.

    So, now you know I'm going to have to tell you to grab the joy and stick it to your forehead, right? :)

    Hope the weekend is much better.

  6. You're quite welcome, Davin, and I hope things continue to brighten for you. I think there are plenty of unassailable to stop writing, for you in particular I hope it's never because you're discouraged or you think that your work isn't really good. Because it us. You're a talent.

    I haven't been writing much at all this year, largely because it's hard for me to fit it in around the standing obligations (and joys) of my day job and my marriage and kids. But lately I wrote a story for Variations on a Theme that I'm quite happy with and I finally pulled out the long-neglected ms of my novel and looked it over and found a lot in there that pleases me as well. So I'm committing myself to find more time to write.

  7. Unassailable reasons, that is.

  8. Because it is, that is. I should really just attach an errata sheet to every comment I make.

  9. j a zobair, TJIOMF. I do hope it was a tough choice for them!

    Jabez, I'm glad to hear you are writing more. That picks me up! And thank you for writing a story for our anthology too. I am excited to read the entries. The fact that you are happy with it is a really good sign.

  10. Life is like that. Some weeks are better than others. You just need to keep going. Have a great weekend!

  11. The caneles look gorgeous! Congratulations on a successful baking excursion.

    I'm glad that you're writing again, too. I wrote at lunch; I finished chapter 4 and I know how chapters 5 and 6 go now. Yay, me! I thought for a few days that I'd give up writing. To be honest, I was (maybe still am) broken hearted and filled with despair that my agent and I split up and my novels still have no home, and I seriously question the point of writing more novels. But I keep writing anyway. That's the important thing, right? Perhaps no one will want to publish our beautiful novels, but they remain no less beautiful.

  12. Scott: it is heartbreaking to create something you love and you know is beautiful/meaningful/valuable only to have it be "rejected" in so many ways. I hope you'll both find the reason or determination to keep putting your words and thoughts down.

  13. Your caneles are so beautiful; they look like little lanterns, lit from within. I'm sorry about your fellowship too. But remember, the wheel of fortune keeps spinning. Sometimes we're high, sometimes low. There will be other opportunities.

  14. Though I have pretty much no idea what they are, the canelés look pretty good. Are they hard to make?

    And I'm glad to hear you didn't give up writing. Hopefully this will make you even more determined.

  15. Those look seriously yummy. :-)

    I'm glad you came to your senses and started writing again. You're a phenomenal writer (even though I haven't posted a review *yet*, your short stories are amazing), and I really hope that you're planning more publications soon. Readers can't read your work if you don't make it available to them - and these days, there's no reason not to do just that.

    It saddens me that the three of you who run this blog are some of the most talented writers I've ever come across, and also some of the most insecure. I don't know where that comes from, but if I could make that go away for all of you, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I want all of you to succeed, and I want other readers to experience your caliber of writing. Not all of us can do what you three do.

    I wouldn't make this offer to just anyone (and indeed, I don't take submissions save for my flash anthologies), but any of you are welcome to publish under my label at any time - I do hybrid publishing. I'd be proud to publish work from all three of you (and you're all on my auto-buy list as well). I can't offer the prestige of a big name house (or guarantee any kind of sales), but I know that sometimes it's nice to just know you're not going it alone. And that someone else has faith in your work.

    In any case, I hope none of you ever give up writing completely (though I suspect you couldn't if you wanted to). It would be a shame, at least in my opinion.

  16. Julia, thank you. I have decided to keep going!

    Scott, I spent some time writing this weekend, and it was a good time. I also tried and failed to make another batch of caneles.

    Yat-Yee, I think we're all still going. :)

    Gail, I really like your description of the caneles. I'll probably always think of that now whenever I make them right!

    Jake, the caneles seem to be especially sensitive to the baking temperatures, so in that sense they are hard to make. I've burned about half of them.

    Jamie, wow, that is indeed an extremely generous offer, and I'm really grateful! That means so much to me. Thank you. And I'll be keeping it in mind for when I finish my next story.


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