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Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.  ~Audrey Hepburn

Apparently, according to Wikipedia, the birthday cake has been an important part of Western European birthday celebrations since the mid-19th century and is common in many Western cultures. Adding birthday candles to the top of the cake actually began in Germany in the 18th century. But the actual beginnings of associating cake with birthdays began back in the days of the Ancient Romans.

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Of course, my own desire to have a cake or at least a homemade baked yumminess for my birthday has very little to do with the Ancient Romans other than there having to do with the start of the tradition.  It has more to do with my own family tradition and the feelings of love and security from my own childhood. We didn't have baked goods in our home on a daily or even weekly or even monthly basis. But I could count on that chocolate cake one time every year.  Mom (my grandmother who raised me)always made my birthday cake (and usually a requested meal).  The cake might have come from a box mix but it was mixed in her mixer with her loving hands and baked in her oven and the frosting was always homemade...full of sugar and love.  It was to me, what made the day special.  There was something about someone (my mom) taking time out of her day to make something delicious just for me to celebrate my day.

Add that to the additional memory of sharing birthdays with PapPap... He got his Poorman's cake and I got my chocolate cake... and it was special blowing out candles together.  [ Wish I had a picture of that to show you....hint hint to my sister if she's reading this....  I REALLY need to learn how to access photos from the family online....I REALLY need a tutor.... wink wink]

There was, however, one year that wasn't going so well that I recall as well.  I wasn't living with Mom at the time.  I lived with my father and step-mother.  I don't recall a lot of the details of that birthday, but I do remember that my father baked my cake.  He's not exactly the type to bake cakes.  And he's not the type of father to do lots of frilly stuff for/with his child.  But he made my cake that year.  And I remember that with great fondness.

So I like my cake.  It's important to me.  And the few birthdays I've had without one have been a little sad for me.  Not that I didn't appreciate what those around did for me - the cards, flowers, dinner out, etc.   But there's something about that cake....

What tradition(s)  do you hold near and dear to you?

Random Thoughts on A Saturday:

  • I also like the traditions of hanging stockings by the fireplace, Making Christmas cookies, buying my children ornaments every year that represents a memory for that year,  putting out cookies for Santa,  and opening Christmas presents in our pajamas!
  • I wish I could read as fast as Spencer Reid....lol...and have his memory!
  • Kristen Lamb's Blog is pretty awesome....really good posts if you are into writing.
  • I love listening to my daughter play piano.....  it's extra soothing now that she's been away at college...  I could just listen to it for hours.
  • I need a good Paleo cake recipe and brownies too!
  • Finding fiction and non-ficiton critique partners shouldn't be so hard...anyone out there want to partner up?

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PiBoIdMo is over.     🙁

But I am soooo glad I discovered it at just the right time!!

It was an awesome month!

PiBoIdMo, as I stated at the beginning of November, is Picture Book Idea Month.  PiBoIdMo challanges the children's writer to come up with 30 picture book ideas.  I took on the challange and ran with it!

Not only did I have  38  ideas by November 30th but I was once again a member of SCBWI and I also had 2 complete manuscripts...still in rough draft form and I have no idea where to send them off to when I feel they are finished but, hey, that's a LOT more than I had over a month ago!!!   🙂

I'm also trying to find some critique partners.  I had three people take a look at one manuscript which was in a very rough form and it helped me refine the idea and get it headed in a better direction. My husband also bought me the 2014 Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators Guide so I can start getting a handle on what publishers are looking for in manuscripts these days.

I'm really excited to be writing again!  Can you tell?

Anyone else out there do PiBoIdMo?  How did you do?