No one really knows how National Cake Day came about, but we all know that we all love to eat cake. Birthday parties, wedding receptions, baby showers, bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, and pretty much any social event has cake for dessert.
On November 26, join us in celebrating this sweet delight!
National Cake Day Activities
1. Bake a cake The most obvious and fun way to celebrate National Cake Day is by putting on an apron (or not if you wish to get flour all over your clothes), and preheat your oven! You can make one from scratch or use a little help from little box at the store.
2. Invite your friends over for a cake decorating contest You provide the base and they provide the creativity. Invite your friends over for a night full of frosting and laughs, and judge the cakes by the best, worst, and most creative designs. The winner gets to choose who gets cake in the face.
3. Let them eat cake (at work) Everyone loves a nice treat at work. Surprise your co-workers by bringing in a homemade or store-bought cake. When people ask what the occasion is, the answer is simple, "It's National Cake Day, duh!"
Why We Love National Cake Day
A. There are so many options It's true, cakes come in different shapes and sizes, and flavors! The bread options vary from chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, funfetti, and strawberry, to name a few. Not to mention the endless possibilities of frosting and filling!
B. They're so moist Cakes are known for their fluffy, moist consistency. These traditional desserts deliver the perfect amount of sweetness (sugar), carbs, and butter— all the ingredients that make it the glorious dessert it's known to be.
C. The decorations A cake is almost always covered in frosting and special decorations, which alone, is a cause for celebration. Any cake can have a traditional foundation that provides a canvas to get creative. There are even shows on TV which celebrate the art of cake decorating.
My wedding and My cake.
35 years ago -- yes I just celebrated my 35th wedding anniversary -- I had recently moved from Memphis, Tennessee to marry my beloved Jackie Woldering. I chose my favorite color red to go with my white dress and had red cloth flowers as well as red poinsettias in the wedding. The napkins were red. My bridesmaids wore red skirts and carried red bouquets.
For the reception I requested a cake my Aunt Flonnie Carter used to make when she ran a catering service out of her Sardis, South Carolina home: RED VELVET CAKE.
There was a problem. In 1983 in Euclid, Ohio, no one had ever heard of such a cake. I told them that the cake had cocoa powder in it and a lot of red food coloring, but (this being before the internet) I didn't have a recipe.
To my great chagrin the wedding cake turned out chocolate-looking with only a vague hint of red. The tale of the disappointing cake became a family legend and time passed. Gradually I began seeing Red Velvet cake mix and Red Velvet Cake in stores. Then in 2016 my son Thom married. To my delight, part of his own cake had a Red Velvet layer.
So if you like Red Velvet, here's a recipe.
1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole buttermilk
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; spray with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 2 days.
A little more about Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018
Now it's FREE and will remain FREE Why would we do that?
We, the authors shown below, have each furnished a sample of our writing in the form of a short story so you can see how we write without any sort of financial commitment to our longer works. So download us now for absolutely FREE.
In October of 2013 I published Voices in Crystal - Book 1 of Children of Stone. It was print only and sold (or didn't sell) for $30.00. I knew nothing at all about marketing, pricing or anything else except that I had made good on a lifelong dream to be published. There were tons of typos and grammatical errors. The story was a didactic and historical narrative with bouncing POV's. The only editor it had seen was myself because I'm just that thrifty.
THE REVIEWS WERE 5 STAR! People loved the story, but did mention the errors and wished the book was an e-book,
in October 2014 I revised the book slightly, lowered the price and created the e-book. 3 books have followed, but now, taking all critiques to heart and having found more of a community of writers, I can make another round of improvements on good old number 1 which is still running at about 4.5 stars.
This version will have a map, a glossary of terms and a cast of characters with pronunciation. It will be tighter with fewer lengthy passages, shorter chapters and natural stopping points. It will be edited by someone other than myself, beta read, and will have the POV shifts cleaned up.
What remains is the same great story content, world-building, characters you hate and love, poetic style and a sense of history as well as fantasy it always had.
It will have a new cover that says something about the genre and the story inside. The three pictures I've posted are my inspiration from which the cover artist will draw the new Voices in Crystal cover. I'm not exactly sure when it will be available, but go ahead and get the earlier version if you haven't started. WATCH FOR SPECIALS - COMING SOON!!!
Last week I interviewed Christian Terry.
Today we're meeting Louis Scott, a character in Seven Lives and Ten Lives.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
I’m Louis Scott, Mike Wesley’s adopted brother. I used to work in an electronic store before getting caught up in this Kelenian business.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
Born and raised in Atlanta. July tenth, nineteen eighty seven is my born date.
3. How would you describe yourself?
A very smart, funny, nerdy guy who enjoys to learn about new cultures.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
One of Atlanta’s toughest neighborhoods in Bankhead. There’s gangs that roam the streets there and I don’t think I would have survived if my brother wasn’t there watching my back.
5. How old are you?
Twenty nine years old.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Well yes and no. I was a hard headed trouble maker. I used to do the opposite if someone told me to do something which always resulted in Mike saving my butt. If it weren’t for him we would not be having this conversation now.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
My brother Mike taught me to be a good guy. He’s the one person I can always look up to. Him being around has made me the man I am today.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Compassion for others. If someone needed help I will go the extra mile into making sure that person got what they needed. It has come back to bite me a few times but I wouldn’t change that about myself.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Learning more about the Architects. For those who don’t know the Architects are a mysterious race that vanished millennia ago on the planet Kelenia. Their whereabouts are currently unknown but with every temple Mike and I clear, we are getting closer to solving this mystery.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I’m an optimist and I think that can carry you a long way. When there’s only slim odds in your favor to win, you need every bit of positivity that you can get.
11. Biggest fear?
Bitch ass cats! Have you ever met an small alien cat species with fur that can paralyze you instantly if you touch it? Then eat you whole. I’m afraid of that!
12. What line will you never cross?
I know when there’s a tense situation that I’m not equipped to handle I’ll let Mike handle it. I follow his lead. I’m Robin to his Batman.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The best thing I would say is when I met Ariel. That’s how I found that we aren’t alone in the universe. He may also be the worst thing. After finding out Kelenia needed help Mike and I made the planet unstable after we collected the fire emerald from the temple. Now the clock is ticking on when the planet will die. Our bad Kilenia!
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I used to be chubby when I was younger nowhere near as fast. I only have two speeds: slow and stop. I once tried to outrun a dog after I was in a strangers pool and I lost my swimming trunks in front of a group of girls. My face turned dark pink, hence how I earned the nickname Piggy.
15. Biggest secret?
I wish I were as brave as Mike but I’m happy with who I am. I’m a hell of a role player. I’d rather throw you an alley oop than dunk. You win, we all win!
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Headstrong. I’m usually jump into things without thinking while putting others at risk. I’m working on that.
17. What is your current goal?
The current priority is to rescue as many people as we can from the Kelenia’s oncoming destruction. We don’t know we’re gonna do it but I’ll follow Mike to hell and back. He always has a plan.
This week I'm introducing Susan Marcus. Hi Susan!
What made you want to be a writer?
Literacy experts claim that reading to children at an early age fosters an appetite for the written word.
Some of my earliest memories feature my mother animatedly reading chapters of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass to me. Those experiences and story ‘hour’ during my preschooler days clinched my love of books and storytelling. That passion has endured all my life and encouraged me to write, write, and write some more.
Before I undertook my fantasy trilogy, the Malevir series, I worked for nearly 20 years as a puppet theater artist. I wrote my scripts, crafted the puppets, and staged the shows. Sometimes I performed solo. Sometimes I collaborated with other artists; but at all times, I was inventing or adapting stories suitable for young audiences. I still have a collection of more than 100 puppets I created.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
Although I also write speculative/unsettling fiction short works published in several print and online journals, my first novel-length venture is the Malevir trilogy, starting with Malevir: Dragons Return. The second book in the series, Where Dragons Follow, was published May 30, 2018, and I hope to release the final volume in late 2019. They take place in Dragonwolder, I built and continue to expand.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
When I read someone else’s novel or short story I feel as though I am privy to their thoughts and perspectives. It’s almost as if I were having a conversation with the author, especially if he or she is skillful and engaging. I do study their techniques and imagery when the work affects me deeply, so a reading habit is helpful and at times pleasurable.
Do you remember the first book you read?
Before entering second grade, I attended a progressive school that delayed formal reading instruction. At age 7.5, I was great in math but did not read. In second grade, I transferred to a public school where a tutor worked with me. Quickly I caught on, and I do remember my first book, Dick and Jane, forever associated with humiliation.
What book are you reading now?
Christine Sneed’s Paris, He Said and The Virginity of Famous Men; and Serendipity by Thomas J. Thorson
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
In collaboration with my youngest grandchildren who at the time had a passion for dragons and considered them the opposite of dinosaurs. They wanted a dynastic story about magical, powerful, yet benevolent dragons. ‘Malevir’ is my invention. When I decided to use it in my title, it existed nowhere on the internet. Now, it’s popping up everywhere. Nevertheless, my work is protected by copyrights.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
Personally, I have a ‘thing’ for my sprites, whom I call Loblin (singular, Lobli). They are loyal, smart, helpful, and cooperative. And pretty darn cute. My favorite is Sweetnettle.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or
events in your own life?
The books’ settings are medieval-ish and pre-technological, but the emotions are real. In Where Dragons Follow the protagonist, Kurnan, shows symptoms of PTSD, a condition needing more attention and research.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I love to travel, but I detest the airport part. My greatest pleasure is traveling around the U.S. and tasting the varieties of experience different locales have to offer. Immersion in other cultures and ways of thinking can only benefit a writer. I take notes during travel but don’t try to write full out.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet
I prefer quiet.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
One of my cats.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Sweeping away cat hair.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Anxiety before beginning the submission process, e.g. setting up accounts, getting an ISBN and copyright on my own).
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
Stephen, my husband.
How do you market your book?
Appearances, local bookstore, social media. Paid ads don’t produce.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
Yes, they say they love the genre and look forward to the next book.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My husband, beta readers, and a good editor or two.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
It took place in a venerable, indie bookstore sits just across the street from my home. Located in a loft building on the first floor, its walls are bare brick, but all the furniture and features are wood. A cozy place to browse. The proprietors are generous in publicizing my work and have hosted a launch party. They set up my presentation area, served wine to attendees, and offered pens for signing. Neighborhood people (artists, architects, airline employees, lawyers, brokers, college students) and the store’s customer base attended.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Seek peace though cooperation and compassion.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My youngest grandson, Flynn, is fifteen, has studied musical theater, voice, and dance intensively, and is brimming over with talent. His sister Eliza is an equally talented actress whose current interests are writing and improv.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jane Austen. I’d love to know what really encouraged her to write these insightful and timeless studies of class and social mores.
Pasta. Ice cream, A wide range of vegetables. I don’t eat mammals.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Sagittarius. No number is lucky.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book?
Giuseppe Tartini’s Sarabanda
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Perform with puppets.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Saying ‘good-bye’ to those I love.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Sic transit gloria.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
I’d lop off 100 pages and eliminate some of the characters.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Edit, edit, and edit some more; then hire an editor.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
All of the above.
Social media links and websites?
Stormhaven Rising - Atlas and the Winds Book 1 by Eric Michael Craig is a well-planned novel with a large cast of players.
The characters are presented at the beginning of the book for easy reference. The novel fits in the science-fiction genre, but seems more future feasible than fictional with a generous helping of an unfolding political thriller. The first book is called Atlas and the Winds. A second book has recently been published and is called Prometheus and the Dragon. The story is about the discovery of a civilization ending asteroid that is heading toward Earth. It will arrive in two years and is scheduled to make a hole in the heartland of North America. The only observatory to notice it is shut down, but the news leaks to the sci-technical research facility called Stormhaven.
There are a plethora of top secret operations including a spaceship being developed there. The CEO is Colton Taylor. The big question then is should the asteroid be stopped or should some citizens plan to go to a colony on the Moon and wait to repopulate the Earth once it is habitable. I’ve seen plenty of movies that explore this theme. The characters even joke that they have seen the movie already.
Different governments find out, but no one lets citizens know or broadcasts about it for fear of widespread panic.
Governments of the US, China, and the residents of Stormhaven each have conflicting solutions for the asteroid. I’m not that well-read in classic hard Sci-fi, but I did enjoy the novel. At first I was overwhelmed by the number of characters and the pacing seemed to bog down as the technology was related and explained. It took a few chapters for me to sort description from the story itself but once the pace picked up it was hard for me to fault the storytelling at all. It does have a cliff-hanger end, but the next book in series is already out. It is well thought out and will delight fans of hard sci-fi or political thrillers everywhere.
The next Party Hat Award will be announced on December 3 so keep on sharing and commenting
All of Us: A Mental Health Anthology Kindle Edition Robin Rance and others October 26, 2018 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JR1NJJL/ref=pe_1884340_374872560_pe_re_csr_ea_image
Prehistoric Crisis: The Official Manual and Secrets Guide Kindle Edition Angel Ramon October 28, 2018 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GNT1MGQ/ref=pe_1884340_372754710_pe_re_csr_ea_image
Gluttony (Surviving The Sins Book 4) Kindle Edition