Friday, December 16, 2011

Baking and trophies (but not trophies for baking)

I have never been a sports-minded kind of girl. (Except when it comes to watching some sports, like baseball, for obvious reasons like CJ Wilson.) So my childhood/teenage bedroom, whilst exceptionally stylish, was never filled with trophies. I was a musician and scholar, so I had certificates, and ribbons, and funny colored-cardboard meritorious achievement slips from the local Eisteddfod, but I didn't have trophies.

But now, in my office, I actually have a shelf set aside. Yes, it's only taken forty years, but I finally have a trophy shelf. Check it out:

The latest trophy is the one on the right -- for First Book Sale from the lovely ladies at MRWG - the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. Next to that, in the middle, is another MRWG trophy -- for the Joan Hunt Award which I was presented with last year. It's an award that's given each year to the member of the group who's put in the most effort during the year. This year the trophy went to the amazingly talented and prolific Charlie Kramer from an outstanding list of contenders.

The trophy on the left is for my RWA Australia Emerald Award, presented at the RWA conference mid this year. (Which, incidentally, is how I ended up with Cassie's Grand Plan coming out with SuperRomance!)

The MRWG trophies are presented at the annual Christmas party, which is a wonderful meeting where the group gathers together to celebrate the achievements and wins throughout the year. I've been a member of MRWG for four years in January (gasp!) and I have learned so much and met some lovely people as a result. I know writing groups are not for everyone, but for me, having a monthly meeting to hold myself accountable for meeting goals and writing a set number of words was really helpful. Writing is a very solitary thing, and for people like me who need a measured amount of interaction with actual human beings, getting together with a like-minded group of people regularly was a life-saver.

The MRWG gals have encouraged me, commiserated with me over too many knock-backs and rejections to count, and celebrated with me when the cards finally fell into place.

So, where's the baking in all this, I hear you asking? Well, no Christmas party would be complete without a table groaning with delicious goodies, and the MRWG party is no different. This year I made "Honeycomb Cream" cupcakes. I love a good Women's Weekly recipe -- they just always turn out well and the decorations always seem achievable.

Here's what mine looked like:

Carving up the Violet Crumble for the topping was actually quite good fun.

I was pleased with how they turned out compared to the picture in the book. (Again, thank you Women's Weekly.) Brown cupcake cases would have looked nicer, but the silver gave them a Christmassy look and I put them on a gold plate to serve them up.

This weekend I'm going to be baking my Christmas cake, with fruit that has been soaking in Grand Manier for almost three weeks. It's going to be 30 degrees (85F) or something fun like that, so having the oven on for three hours is not the best idea, but that's Christmas in Australia for you.

Hope your Christmas plans and preparations are all going well.


  1. The trophies are well -deserved and I'm sure you will have to get a separate cabinet for all of them someday!

    And the cupcakes . . . . yum!

  2. Thanks Robin -- they were pretty yum. There's an empty spot in the tray photo -- that one was sacrificed to a taste-test. And then there was one lonely one leftover that I had for dinner that night!

  3. As someone who tasted those cupcakes I can say they were absolutely delicious . And you are so deserving of all those awards for your achievements. You are a real inspiration.

  4. Aw shucks, Louise! *blushes* Compliments from a gourmet and fellow foodie like you are the best!

  5. Definitely agree - you SOOOOOOO deserve the trophies and the MRWG are very proud of all your achievements. And the Honeycomb Cream Cupcakes (and last year's Red Velvet Cupcakes!) are, well, the icing on the cake :) Yummy!!


  6. Hi Emmie,

    I can vouch for the Honeycomb Cream Cupcakes, they were delicious!

    You deserve your awards you worked hard and kept the faith and have been inspiration to us.

    I have pre-ordered Cassie's Grand Plan and can't wait to read it.


  7. Congratulations!

    Look at all these trophies! I wish you many, many more throughout your writing career now!

    And may I come over to taste that yummy cupcake?

  8. Hi Emmie,
    Me too, me too she cried. Like Louise, I also had one of your cupcakes at the party. They were to die for. I actually thought you had bought them from some fancy cake shop.
    Congratulations on your awards. All well deserved.

  9. Serena, glad you liked this year's treats! I liked the red velvet too, but I liked the spices in these ones a lot -- very Christmassy, I thought.

  10. Hi Margaret M! Thanks so much for pre-ordering! I can't wait to have an actual book in my hand -- once I do, a copy is going straight on the trophy shelf!!

  11. Thanks Nas -- I'll have to find a way to get some cupcakes to you! Not sure these ones would go very well in the post, though... ;)

  12. Glad you enjoyed a cupcake at the party Margaret T! There was actually only one left over -- I ate it for dinner that night, lol!