Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Isn’t that the most beautiful number?

Since you are dying of curiosity about what makes this number very significant, I will tell you.

It is the number of words I have written on my novel.

Yes, now that I am well into Week Two and have broken the 15,000 mark, I feel it is safe to announce to the world that I am writing a novel. I began it, at least this version of it and with this level of seriousness, on October 1 as part of a challenge to myself to complete a novel in a month.

Some of you have heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and know that the official month for doing it is November. I couldn’t wait that long. And besides, I wanted to relax and rejoice over the holidays. So I committed to writing 1,667 words per day for each day of October. At this point I figure that I have done it this far and survived so I am most likely going to finish. So I am going public.

It is way exhilarating, I tell you.

And it is having other effects. I am experiencing lots of ideas for other things I want to write, and having to put scribble down notes for later down the road when I’ve got this vulture off my back. But I like the increase in messages from my subconscious that comes when I am committed to writing every day. As I recall, this happened to me also when I was doing the poem-a-day-for-thirty-days project in the spring.

Anyway, while my mind is occupied elsewhere, I’ll leave you with a little fall recipe. Fall is the time when I start getting excited about baking and cooking again. Here’s my first fall treat. I got this recipe (which was very popular at a recent AML Board meeting, BTW) years ago from my probably-oldest friend and loyal blog reader, Marjorie. (Not to imply that you are the oldest of my friends, Marj. But maybe the friendliest.)

Marjorie’s Apple Cake

1 c. sugar
1 egg
¼ c. shortening (I melted it)
1 ½ c. grated apple

1 c. flour
¾ t. cinnamon
¾ t. nutmeg
1 t. soda
½ c. nuts (optional and let me tell you they would NEVER go into a cake of mine)

Bake in ungreased 8” square pan at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve topped with butter sauce.

Butter sauce:
1 square butter (1/2 c.)
½ c. sugar (I usually do a little less)
½ c. canned milk

Heat in saucepan until thickened but don’t boil (abt. 10 minutes). Add ½ t. vanilla and a dash of nutmeg.

This would be the perfect treat for me to make for Angela, who, I must be allowed to brag on her behalf, JUST WON $500 IN A FICTION CONTEST!!!! But I am too consumed with envy to bake her anything today. Besides, she should be BUYING ME A TREAT since she is so wealthy now. (Congrats, Angie.)

p.s. Speaking of fall recipes, if you're reading this, Aunt Joanie, I've GOT to have your recipe for zucchini cake. That was so divine. I'm sorry for eating all of it. But not really.


Marj said...

You are kind and I'm excited about your book. Yummy cake but kind of fattening.

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks for the recipe. Baking in the fall makes me happy. I'm also happy that you're writing a novel--in one month! (And a month early, even.) Now that's efficiency.

Good luck!

Ang said...

Darlene, I will make you apple cake AND I will make you my famous chocolate chip cookies--not because I won some contest but because you're such a good friend :-). I'm so proud of you for writing so prolifically. I think I need to get this first book out the door before I can concentrate on #2. I'm starting to get the sophomore heebie jeebies ("can I do it again?" and all that.) I was actually thinking about giving NaNoWriMo a try in Nov. You're an inspiration!

Roger said...

I am so proud of you. You certainly have been conscientious about getting it done every day. I am proud of your effort. I also REALLY think ang should make those chocolate chip cookies and bring them over.

Johnna said...

Inspiring! I want to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I didn't think I could start now. Of course I should start now!

Zina said...

Darlene, I don't know how I missed the fact that you have a blog -- I think I finally found it (the other day) b/c somebody linked here from somewhere (probably Segullah) and I have been dipping into your archives when I have time, and thoroughly enjoying it. REALLY enjoying reading it, embarrassingly almost -- like, I have a crush on your blog. So, I am guessing that your novel will be delightful, too. I'm very impressed that you've kept a daily writing goal for that long, too.

I'd post my recipe for really delicious apple crisp, but I think I'd shock everyone with the amount of butter in it.

Betsy said...

Wow! I'm excited about your novel (as so are many other fans). That is great! I could never do that. You have a true talent. Good luck with the rest of it!

Darlene said...

Thanks, guys! You made me so happy today. Who couldn't succeed with such great cheerleaders? (BTW: broke the 20,000 mark today)

You go, Johnna! I'd love to see a book from you. Fresh and quirky and deep, I bet. (No pressure.) That's the cool thing about NaNoWriMo: no expectations but word count. You can zing it up later.

To put pressure on myself, I've started telling people in my ward. Now they say,"We want to read it when you're done." Maybe that was an oops. Not everyone has the same taste . . .

Is that Zina W.? Hi, Zina! Bring on the apple crisp recipe. Butter is good for you. (Well, better than margarine, right?)

Roger said...

Maybe I can try that apple crisp after I try the "famous chocolate chip cookies."

Zina W. said...

Oh, sorry, I just assumed you'd know it's me since there aren't too many Zinas around (but there are a few.) Yeah, I'm Zina W.

I'm kinda lazy at this exact moment, but I'll post the apple crisp recipe soonish. And yes, butter is very good for you. :)

Ang said...

I'd better get those cookies to you toot sweet, if Roger has anything to say about it! :-)

Roger said...

Wow, yes, very good ang. Thanks!