1.  I have fallen completely, utterly in love with the new Kate Bush album, 50 Words for Snow.  Late to the ball on this one, I know, but I thought it was a Christmas album, and I refuse to even go near those.  However, after finding the album on Spotify I thought I’d give it a listen (especially since none of the titles of the tracks seemed Christmasy).  It blew my mind.  I finished most of the last 100 pages of Persephone with it playing in the background.

2.  Somewhere around the third draft of Persephone, I realized that I needed to rethink the whole plot thing.  By which I meant that in order to do the rewrite I had to sit down and plot out the whole novel, and then go back through what I’d written and refit it into the plot.   Figuring out what happened in the damn book was probably responsible for about 1 year of the rewrite.  (The other three I blame on law school.)  This last draft only took 8 months, and would have been even shorter if I’d started making myself wake up early and write every day back in August.

3.  I’ve had a new novel in my head for a month or so now, waiting patiently for me to plot it out.  Which, quite frankly, I’ve been dreading.  Part of what I love so much about writing is finding out what happens next.  I’ve always been afraid that if I stopped to plot it out, the magic would disappear, that I wouldn’t want to write a story if I already knew the ending.

I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.  Over the past few days, I’ve plotted the basic outline of the new novel.  I still need to sketch in the scenes, but I know where it starts, I know the crisis points and the resolutions, and I know how it ends.  And now that the skeleton is there, I’m even more excited to write it.  It’s oddly reminiscent of the moment I discovered the absolute freedom of poetic forms.

4.  I baked cupcakes earlier this week, and send a batch to Kat Howard.  Judging from her response, I think she liked them!  Recipe (which I created my very own self) after the break.

@KatWithSword  You guys. You guys! @thegirlhaswings SENT ME CUPCAKES. KEY LIME CUPCAKES. THAT SHE BAKED HERSELF. I am the Happiest of Kats.

Key Lime Cupcakes for Kat

Key Lime Cupcakes for Kat

3 cups cake flour (although I suspect regular would also work)

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 14 oz can condensed milk

2/3 – 1 cup key lime juice, to taste.  Nellie and Joe’s highly recommended.

2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup milk

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center and add condensed milk, lime juice, and milk.  Mix well.  A whisk should do it.

Optional:  if you want the cupcakes to be lighter and fluffier, beat the eggs separately, until they are pale, fluffy, and about tripled in volume.  You might want a handheld mixer for this part.  Fold the eggs into the batter.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Recipe makes about 2 dozen.