Monday, August 2, 2010

Smooth as Glass and Chocolate Cake Pops


When I gave an essay I had written to Trusted Mentor to read for me, I was pretty sure my writing was just as smooth as Lake Sprague in the Colorado Rockies on the day I hiked its flat one-half mile perimiter earlier this month. Since we all need editors, you won't be surprised to learn TM found my lake of writing had a few rough spots.

She pointed out that I had used the word "hope" twice in the space of just a few sentences. As writers, we know to avoid that, yet there it was. I had used the word as a verb: I hoped. . . . And again: I hoped . . . .  An easy fix, right?

Not so easy when I began looking below the smooth surface. The essay was about seeking self-direction and control in my life, yet here I was hoping for outcomes -- not once, but twice. What did that mean -- about my past, my present, what I wanted for the future? Where had I learned to rely on the whims of hope? Was that good or bad or something else?

Later in the essay, I had written, "I didn't say anything." There was TM again. "Why didn't you speak up? Where did you learn to be silent?"

I harumphed a bit. Well! The answer should be obvious to the reader.

Yes, it should be obvious; but it wasn't. Because I had not written it. And I hadn't written it because I hadn't thought about it. I had skimmed the surface.

I re-examined what I had written and, not satisfied to skim across the smooth surface, I went deeper. Was it uncomfortable? Yes. Is the writing now more interesting and more meaningful? I believe it is.

As comfortable as it is to be lulled by the prettiness of a glib first draft, make the effort to dive deeper. Question yourself. Make a few waves.


Hike, hiking. What is a hike? Where do hikes take place? How is a hike different from a walk. What is your favorite hike?

Write for ten minutes. Put away the writing. Maybe take a hike. Come back to the writing in a few days. Find places where you can go deeper in your writing.


Today's recipe is so fabulous you just won't believe how good it is and how easy it is to make. It is made with almond bark, but if we call that "white chocolate," it will still fit our chocolate category. I had these at a wedding shower so they were made with white cake and the almond bark, but I don't see why they couldn't be made with chocolate. Melinda, made them and told me how she did it. Go to for other cute, cute, cute ideas for decorating these little Cake Pops and Cake Balls. (Thanks, Melinda.)

Cake Pops

These can be made with sucker candy sticks in them so they are like a cake Tootsie-Pop. At the shower I attended, they were served in fluted paper cups, a little smaller than cupcake size, without the sticks.

Use desired flavor cake mix and bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Let cake cool. Cut into squares, size doesn't really matter.
Crumble into a large mixing bowl.
Add a container of already prepared frosting. For a white cake, use white frosting.
Mix and squish with hands until cake and frosting are thoroughly mixed.
Roll into balls, about ping pong ball size, or desired size.
Place on cooling rack with wax paper underneath and coat with melted almond bark.

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