Making someone a cake is an incredibly intimate thing

I moved this week! My new apartment is still filled with boxes but I can already tell I’m going to be very happy here.

I hired movers, which I’ve never done before. It was an interesting experience–I never thought about it before, but movers get a really unique insight into people’s lives. At one point, I was saying that I didn’t know where to put the leaf from the dining room table, and one of the movers said, “The most common place to hide a leaf is under the bed.” I had no idea! Then I mentioned that I wasn’t sure yet how we were going to lay out the furniture in our living room. The mover told me, “Well, the most common layout I see for this living room…” I was fascinated.

Then my roommate and I were watching Ace of Cakes, and Duff said, “Making a cake for someone is incredibly intimate thing. It’s like taking their joy and making it into a tangible object.” I’d never thought about it like that before. But isn’t it beautiful?

Duff with some cakes

People often relate to the world in really job-specific ways. It’s something I love to play with while writing–after all, half the fun of fiction is experiencing the world from inside someone else’s head. It can be difficult to capture because of course, I only have experience doing my own job.

It’s something that’s especially relevant to A Lily among Thorns, because my hero and heroine are both from quasi-upper-class backgrounds, and have both chosen to be tradespeople: my hero is a chemist who works for his uncle’s tailoring shop, and my heroine is an innkeeper. And they see themselves as defined by those things in opposition to a lot of the people they knew growing up. I worked hard to make that a part of their characterization.

Which is all leading into my exciting announcement that my workshop, “Making Your Hero(ine)’s Job Work for You,” has been accepted by the Emerald City Writers Conference! You should all register for the conference (when registration opens) and come! It’s going to be super fun. I had an absolute blast giving my sex scenes workshop last year and I know this will be just as awesome.

4 thoughts on “Making someone a cake is an incredibly intimate thing”

  1. Congratulations!
    On both the workshop and the movers, actually. I have taken a solemn vow that my next move will involve paying burly people to put stuff into cars while I go drink something cold.

    1. I can’t recommend the experience enough. I still moved a lot of my own stuff, but they did all the furniture and the heavy boxes. I saw one of them carrying three boxes I’d marked “HEAVY” in one trip as if it was nothing. I would have been dying. Awesome!

  2. Rose – I’m looking forward to your workshop (hopefully I’ll be able to attend instead of being overwhelmed by editor/agent committee stuff). My heroine is a doctor, so I try to make her look at the world through that filter – spotting things that are wrong with people, for instance, or the metaphors/similes she uses have a disease angle. It’s hard not to overdo it, and also I struggle to make sure it’s understandable and that a reader doesn’t have to look something up. I really hope I get to come to your workshop, b/c I think this is such a great way to deepen character.

    1. Thanks, I hope so too! You’re right, it’s a delicate balance. (I’m not saying I always get it right either. 🙂 EEE I’m so excited for the conference!

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