Monday, February 11, 2013


Hi, All,

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL weekend. Chicago was 45 and raining yesterday.... Quite strange for February when the North East was pounded with over a foot of snow!

When I woke this morning misted snowflakes danced by my windows... That's CHICAGO....

Before I get to my themed post, a blogger friend, who we all know and love, seems to be having a rough day. If you get a chance please drop by Jen Daiker's @ Unedited and bring her a much needed smile and cyber hug. We all go through our gloomy Gus stages and sometimes a smile or comment from a friend is all we need. Thanks you guys....

I woke up this morning not knowing what to write about .... I read a few posts and commiserated with Jen about the "waiting" game and how it affects all of us writers. Then a thought came to me. SO many of us have ms's in dire need of resuscitation ... you know the one? Perhaps it's your first novel. Or, a current ms that seems to be going around in circles.

With me, it's my first. I had started the New year with bright eyes and high hopes and had managed to do a chapter a day once I FINALLY got into the rewrite. ROAD BLOCKS were set up for my first few chapters, and no matter how hard I dynamited the site, I couldn't break through. So what do you do? Take another street. Detour around your road block and continue ... and so I did. I am two thirds through the re-writes, but I still feel like the tread is lost on my tires. I KNOW you've all been there, and it's reassuring to me to know this. It's what gets me through the day.

So as my oat meal exploded in the micro wave this morning, and my first cup of coffee froze as I cleaned up the mess, I had to laugh. Baked goods surrounded me. Should I dare snatch up one of those amazing cranberry pecan scones I had baked last night and forgo the healthy oat meal? For the past month or so I have been baking like a mad man. It has been my answer to my mid winter blues. I thought back to last Thursday's freelance baking job for 144 frosted mini cupcakes. Chocolate and vanilla topped with THREE different colored cream cheese icings. What one has to do to supplement their income these days. LOL. My kitchen was in chaos; I had to squeeze out every drop of icing from the pastry bag, just barely making it and not having enough time to make more; and I had to deliver them downtown within the next fifteen minutes.

I rushed to dress. A moment later, I delicately placed wax paper over them for travel.... Thankfully I had a parking spot right in front of my building. I rushed down the stairs with the first tray.... IT was HEAVILY SLEETING. Great ... the weight of the drops dented my wax paper with bullet holes. Trays two and three were assaulted in the same way .... In the end it all worked out though.

What's this got to do with writing? Well I thought we could all use a new way to approach our writing slumps, so I penned out a recipe to put some life back into your writing.....

3 cups: FLOUR your ms with a Sense of humor.
                                         A writer needs this more that anything. Life and it's DRAMAS always get in                   the way, so why not take a page from it and spin a tale to show off YOUR sense of humor. Laugher, even in times of great tragedy is a much needed emotion.

3/4 cup: SUGAR your ms with sweet details.
                                         A writer needs to set the stage for their characters to ground them and add visuals for the reader.

1 1/2 cups: NUTS add CRUNCH and texture to your ms.
                                         A writer needs to create characters that have quirky and ODD personalties. This will make them memorable to the reader and add much needed dimension to your story.

                                         A writer needs to add color in all situations the mc is experiencing. Color adds movement, excitement, and visual appeal. So don't forget to COLOR your ms and weave a tapestry of beauty.

1/2 cup: DRIED FRUIT adds a bit of chewiness to your ms.
                                         A writer needs to know when to slow the pace for a reader especially between colorful and action-packed scenes.

5 TSPS: ALL SPICE for those INTIMATE encounters in your ms.
                                         A writer needs to add sexual tension between his characters. This spices up the scenes with basic human passion.

1 TBSP: SALT your ms with Tears.
                                         A writer should sprinkle them throughout the ms not drop them like a bomb to explode all over the place. Remember tears can be joyous or tragic. Why not have a bit of both.

And that, friends, is my recipe to breathe life back into your story. I hope you all have a very productive and exciting day. Thanks for stopping by and for dropping in on Jen.

I would also like to WELCOME all my new friends. I do so enjoy meeting new blogger friend~


  1. Glad the cupcakes didn't get ruined.
    Can the nuts be a couple odd characters? That I could do.
    Keep working on the rewrite, Michael. Don't give up on it.

  2. I wish I was your neighbor. I'd relieve you of so many baked goods. Yum.

  3. Yummy - now I'm itching to get baking...uhh.. I mean writing ;)

  4. What a perfect recipe. I think giving up on my silly idea that all "the good" writers get it right in the first draft was the most empowering thought. Good writers will re-do a draft 100 times if that's what it takes.

  5. Awesome tips Michael! Heading over to give Jen a pat on the back. :-)

  6. I'm with Michael O! I want to be your neighbor!!!

    And how clever is this?!?!?! Everything you do oozes creativity. I love it. And holy crap, I'm SOOoooo glad that cupcakes didn't get ruined!!!! And you have a car? For some reason I pictured you not having one--big city life, I guess!

    And I'm struggling through my writing right now. But hopefully spring is starting to creep in, and we'll all be rockin' again in no time :)

    Loved the post.

  7. I love the recipe! :) What great tips and a fun way to re-energize for more re-writes and edits. You are so creative, and so inspiring, and cool :) Have a wonderful day!

  8. Just don't assault the reader. Not as effective.

    We're getting rain here. Good day to stay inside.

  9. Great recipe for a great novel! I'm having a hard time with my own new novel. Poison Ivy making agony of my right hand is derailing my creativity for sure!

    Have a great new week, Roland

  10. It's snowing here in England too.

    Love the recipe!


  11. Oh, my MS has nuts all right. Not exactly the crunchy kind, either! I did drop by Jen's and hope I helped cheer her a bit. Thanks for the boost and the smile. :D

  12. I visited Jen too before coming here and saw your encouraging comment.

    You are SO talented, Michael. I'm almost glad I don't live near enough to you to try all your baked goods. Because I'm really trying to stay on the healthy eating habit stage for as long as I can hold out. Loved the recipe.

  13. Excellent advice, Michael, and oh boy is the waiting game as I can attest but you're right, we can't give up. Anyway, what would we do then? Sit around and do what?

  14. You rushed to dress.... oh, you mean you were doing all of that around the house naked? Such a tease, Mikey :PPP

  15. I love that recipe!

    I read Jen's post. I've been through the waiting game and it's not fun AT ALL. It's one of the hard parts of writing.

  16. It was raining today, too.

    Thanks for the recipe! :)

  17. Now that is what I call a recipe for success!

    Thank you for sharing, Michael. Best of luck with the rewrites! :)

  18. Sounds like you had an eventful morning. Hey, at least it gave you something to write about :)

    I've lived in Illinois in the winter and don't miss it one bit. I feel your pain!

  19. GREAT post. You are, indeed, a talented writer.

  20. BIG fan of baked goods -- but not of rewrites. Keep on keepin' on, Michael!

  21. Oh Michael, send a few of those cupcakes over! I must admit I've been baking more than usual over the holidays. Not good for the waistline though. Back to the exercise program! Keep on keeping on with your WIP!


  22. My area of TN was a delightful 58 all weekend :D

    I've been a baking fool lately as well. My favorite has been crescents with melted chocolate chips and mini marshmallows in the middle.

    Rewrites are tough, but necessary. Keep up the hard work!!

  23. Those cupcakes sound so delicious....must raid pantry for sweets when done here... ;)

    Good luck with the rewrites!

  24. Every time I open any of my WiP I feel I'm dried up. Its frustrating. Its frustrating waiting on a response from an editor too. I will stop by Jen's.

    I can't believe you have so much will power you didn't eat the scones. Wow. I'm glad your cupcakes didn't get ruined. Exploding oatmeal is yucky.

    You'll get there with the ms Michael. Keep at it. Perhaps you need a night out with friends to remember what its like to be young and on the prowl again :)


  25. That is a seriously awesome recipe! What a wonderful way to spell it out. I love it!

  26. A wonderful recipe, loved the post.


  27. Love your recipe, Michael!
    So true! And glad the cupcakes came out ok. Plus it gave you a chance to think up this awesome post. :)

  28. Okay, I simply have to ask. Do all those ingredients make some sort of delicious, to-die-for muffins too? Can we pop them in the oven on 375 and make a crumb cake, if we try? I'm being serious here. As someone who loves to cook, and being that it's time for lunch, that's the first thing that popped into my mind:) Best of the day to you!

  29. Awesome recipe for bringing a book to life. Sometimes it's hard to bring all the elements together and a reminder of them can be a really great thing.

    Keep plugging away through the rewrite. You can do it!!

  30. Yum, I need to make your manuscript cupcakes. I wonder if I can query them. :D

  31. Oh, I love your recipe!

    But my current manuscript is MG, so I need to lay off the SPICE. Even so, there is a little bit of puppy crush -- puppy jealousy -- and even the surprise of an unexpected puppy attraction. I guess the spice is there, just diluted.

  32. Hi Michael!
    Loved your flamingo photos. I can't believe you guys have a zoo downtown! How wonderful to be able to wander in whenever you feel like it.
    Hugs to you for your mom, too {{}} You got me all teary with your reminiscing.
    LOVE your recipe, especially the colours.
    And, I don't know, sleet or not, those cupcakes sound delicious. Mmm, baking smells in the house...

  33. you crack me up, baking your troubles away!
    perfect recipe!

  34. Hey Chef Di Gesu,

    Great to hear the cupcakes weren't ruined - it sounds like you put a lot of effort into them :)

    And, as you say, whatever it takes to pay the bills in the slow months :)

    PS... Thanks for the awesome recipe - I shall be using it often :)

  35. I love this recipe, so clever. I'm going to print it out and save it for my next attack of the writing blues.

    I also have to agree with Michael that I'd happily relieve you of all those baked goods if I was your neighbor. Yum! :)

  36. Yep! You're creative! Cup cakes--I love to bake--and now a nifty recipe creatively put together for our writer palates.:-)

    Um, don't suppose you have anymore of them thar cupcakes, do ya?


  37. What an amazing recipe! I should have known you would be as good a baker as a writer. Excellent advice!

    Thank you so much for sharing, perfect just what I needed.

    FYI - your oatmeal exploded, my oven did -- well the electrical heating tubes did. I've never seen anything like it! I bake everything, even hamburgers, but not for awhile!

  38. Well, if your writing doesn't quite cut it, you could always get a cooking show. (LOL?)