Another Year Over

2016I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to see the end of 2016. But not everything about this year was terrible (just most of it).

Actually, I should be pretty proud of this year professionally. I had my first book published, (which of course meant I had my first book launch party), did my first book signings, and even appeared on TV. (Twice!) And, my book was named as a top pick for kids and teens.

I can only hope that 2017 holds even more great things (and many fewer bad things). Hope you have a Happy New Year, everyone!

Gift Ideas for Bakers

xmas-book

The holidays are fast approaching, and since my book is all about baking, I thought I’d share some gift ideas for bakers, just in case any of you are looking for some last minute ideas.

  • Fun muffin/cupcake liners
  • Sprinkles! (You can never have too many sprinkles)
  • Bulk candy for decorating (M&Ms, M&M Minis, candy eyeballs, silver dragees, jelly beans, and Starburst minis are the most versatile – and yummy!)
  • Piping bags (disposable or reusable)
  • Piping tips: the most basic ones are a small round tip (#3-5), a large round tip (#12), a medium star tip (#21), or cupcake-frosting tips like the extra-large star tip (1M) or large flower tip (2D)
  •  A set of gel food coloring
  •  A small offset spatula (my favourite for flat-icing!)
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Apron (there are so many options available, fun ones, geeky ones, classic ones. Some places will even personalize them with your own photo/design!)
  • Oven mitts (I find the silicon ones work best. In fact, my absolute favourite is a small, purple, pig-shaped one that’s perfect for grabbing hot pans from the oven!)
  •  Cake mixes (if your beginning baker prefers decorating to actually baking)
  • Fun with Frosting (sorry, couldn’t resist a little shameless self-promotion! :D)

Happy Shopping!

 

Watching the Days Go By…

days

Sorry for the delay in posting everyone, I’ve been laid out with a nasty cold this week. But you have to kind of appreciate the irony in making you wait for a post about waiting…

The world of publishing is full of waiting. Waiting to get some emotional distance from a new draft, waiting for critiques, waiting to hear from agents and/or editors…every step of the journey seems to be filled with more waiting.

So how is a writer supposed to fill these seemingly endless stretches of time? Here are some ways I’ve been whiling away my working hours.

  1. Take a break from writing – Reward yourself by taking a day or two off. Let your brain relax, indulge in some Netflix, go for a walk, catch up on all the chores you let slide while you were busting your butt to meet your deadline. But, since the waiting will take longer than just a few days…
  2. Work on another creative project – I find the best way to refresh my creative well is by working on a creative project that doesn’t involve words. I’m fortunate to have a book on cake decorating out, so baking and decorating technically fall under “work” for me (my author Facebook page is pretty much all baking posts). Once you’re sufficiently refreshed you can…
  3.  Start planning something new – Is your book going to have a sequel? Now’s a good time to plan it out (although I wouldn’t recommend actually *writing* it until the first one sells, just in case). Is your book a one-off? Start brainstorming new ideas, and see which ones you can flesh out into a whole story – who knows, maybe your new idea will be even better than the draft that’s sitting and waiting.
  4. Take a social media inventory – Cleaning up your social media profile is a great way to kill time. Make sure all your links are live, update your photos, and generally check that you’re making a good impression. While you’re at it…
  5. Bank some extra social media posts – Have a blog? Write a few extra posts to have on hand when those revisions come back and you’re too busy to deal. Go on a photo hunt for your Pinterest or Instagram pages. Come up with some witty one-liners for Twitter.

Well, those are my best ideas. I’ve already done numbers 1, 2, and 3, and 4 and 5 are on my to-do list. I’m hoping Bri will come back to me soon with revisions, but until then, I’m determined to keep busy. Who knows, maybe my shiny new idea will turn out to be something amazing.

What do you do to keep busy while waiting? Let me know in the comments.

Top Books for Kids and Teens

ccbcfall2016

Oh my gosh, you guys! Fun with Frosting was named by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre as one of their Top Books for Kids and Teens this fall! So exciting!

Look, here’s my name in the index, and everything:

ccbc-index

There’s a ton of amazing authors and books and I’m honoured to be in such company. Congrats to everyone on the list!

Aside from that, I don’t have much writing news this week. I’ve spent most of the week pounding out Fraggles for my Threadcakes entry. The 3D sculptures are taking much longer than I’d thought (about twice the time I allotted), and the contest ends on Monday, so I’m really need to get them done.

My YA is still sitting and resting. And I have an MG a-brewing (I’m ruminating plot ideas while I sculpt), and hopefully I’ll hear back from Bri soon so I can work on revisions on my first YA. Until then, I think I’ve earned a little break from writing this week.

Hope you all have a great week!