I am on writing retreat at Saraâ€™s house with Karen and Renee â€“ all the usual suspects for these North Carolina getaways. We set goals each night, and we are not allowed to leave our DWA (designated writing area) and PLAY until we have MET our goals.
The pressure to FINISH is intense. There are horses here AND a fully stocked bar, to be enjoyed STRICTLY in that order, and post bar, there is POKER and BAD TV. I plan to get at least two chapters knocked out before I go home, so a half chap a day is my minimum.
In sad retreat news, I am FORCED to admit TOTAL CRUSHING DOGFART DEFEAT. It hurts me, because LORD KNOWS Bagel could totally make the DF Olympics A team, but truth will out. Reba, Saraâ€™s yellow dog, would totally take the gold.
Just when we thought Reba had reached her maximum dogfart potential, she snuck off and ate HALF A BOX of my Kashi Vive cereal that SOMEONE (not me, for the record) left on the floor. Each serving has 12 grams of fiber. TWELVE. GRAMS. OF FIBER. Rebaâ€™s eye-wateringly hateful emanations reached EPIC pungency. Renee, I am sad to report, is now blind.
The ONLY GOOD part is they are AUDIBLE. I have NEVER met a dog who literally makes the THBTHBTHBTHB (fart noise spelling courtesy of Bloom County) sound, so we have TIME to run for another room of the house. Or perhaps a different continent.
I am PLEASED to report I worked like a (NON-farting) dog all day today. I VIRTUOUSLY got more than half a chapter drafted while sitting in Saraâ€™s barn office. Outside, a disgruntled goat named Enzo kicked at the door and demanded I share bites of the delicious laptop I was CLEARLY bogarting.
Work done until sun-up tomorrow, we are ready to hardcore PLAY. Itâ€™s Saraâ€™s birthday. Karen Abbott--- the LEAST DOMESTIC HUMAN BEING on the planet---got all CRAZED and said, WE HAVE TO BAKE SARA A BIRTHDAY CAKE.
Sara and Renee and I (all bakers of some international renown) thought it would be AWESOME to have her make the cake. Unsupervised. I am blogging this AS we sit in a judgmental, wine drinking line at the breakfast bar, NOT HELPING AT ALL. Karen is like the little red hen, and we are the dreadful FARM CAT, DONKEY and GOAT who do not want to help grow the wheat or harvest it or mill it or mix it or bake the bread, but we shall be SO HAPPY to help her EAT it.
WELLLLâ€¦whose of us who are not fastidious will help her eat it. Five minutes in, and sheâ€™s already let Fritz stand in the cake pans. (For the record? For breakfast I ate handfuls of the Vive cereal that REBA had started on, so a little cat foot is not going to deter meâ€¦)
And, when told to grease and flour a pan, she did thisâ€¦
But she realized intuitively that she had too much OIL, so she did thisâ€¦
BUT in the end, her batter turned out SO perfect she had to sneak a TEENY sampleâ€¦
I suspect the cake may come out a little FRIED because of the amount of OIL in the pan, but, heck, everything is good fried. For a first foray into the fabulous world of box baking, I give her a 30. Out of 10. We are all justly proud.
IN OTHER NEWS. I have fallen most desperately in love with Pushkin. No, not Alexander Pushkin, the most famous and lauded of the Russian Romantic Writers. BARNEY Pushkin. I met him in the cemetery. More on him later--- The cake is about to come out of the oven. I must go see what happensâ€¦.