23 April 2007

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day

Thanks to the exbf I found out about International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day (which coincidentally is both St. George's Day and William Shakespeare's birth and death day), a day to embrace your inner technopeasanthood. What's it all about? Read Jo Walton's post here and the post that started it all here.

So what am I doing participating in this event? Well, I'm not a SFWA member, but I have had several pieces published hither and yon (far too dull to talk about so I won't). Besides
this comment (and response) is all I needed to delve into the back-up discs to participate.

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that I've been tinkering away at a novel. Bits of it have been posted on-line, but I thought this snippet would be fun to bring back. Yes, for those of you who are fans of my conversations with my mummy will recognize Sophia and her mum, Mrs. K...not a verbatim of a conversation with my dear Mummy, but, you know, it's awfully close to something that happened several years ago. Enjoy!

Cakes were not Mrs. K’s strong point, so she always ordered them in. At first there was quite the variety: vanilla, chocolate, lemon, pound cakes and the rest. The year she discovered black forest cakes was one that everyone remembered as the year that all other cakes ceased to exist to the family. At every opportunity Mrs. K served one: birthdays, holidays, shopping days.

Unfortunately her enthusiasm for what was supposed to be cream and cherries sandwiched between layers chocolate crumb was not shared by her daughter. Sofia hated them: slabs of chemically-induced “chocolate” cake, swirls of saccharine-ladened edible oil product and sugary, sticky cherry preserves of a colour not known in nature. If she were truly unlucky, the cake would be a day or two old, cherries hidden between each layer and on top of a cloud of cream and the entire cake would be covered in waxy chocolate curls. It was enough to put her off of all cakes and pastries.

Previous requests for a plain chocolate cake resulted in a white-swathed tower, sometimes with chocolate shavings, sometimes with toasted slivered almonds. After the off-key singing ended and candles were blown out, Sofia drew her knife through gateau layers, disappointed to find an almost glutenous cherry filling oozing out from between the cake layers, and puddling onto the plate.

"What is the matter, Honey? Is there something wrong?" Her mother would ask.
"No, nothing's wrong."
"But you do not look happy."
"Well, I thought I'd get a regular cake. That's all."
"But it is a regular cake. It is a chocolate cake. In fact it is much better than a chocolate cake...it is a black forest cherry layer cake...you do not like it?" Mrs. K. would ask with a hurt tone in her voice.
"Well, I really don't like black forest cake, and I thought that you’d get me something different this year."
"No. You told me that you love Black Forest Cherry Layer cake. That is why I ordered it for you."
"No, Mum. You like Black Forest cherry layer cake. It's your favourite cake."
"You asked for one."
"I asked for a chocolate cake, mum."
"And that is what I got you."
"Okay, fine”
“See, there is cake and it is chocolate.”
“Yes Mum.”
“And look—it is covered in whipped cream. You like whipped cream—that is why you are so fat.”

“Yes, Mum. I like whipped cream, but no…I’m not fat.”
“And look. There are cherries. You used to dig through the fruit cocktails for the cherries when you were little.”
“Yes Mum.”
“So, this is all of those things in one cake.”
“What “but?” You just said you liked all of these things.”
“It's great. I like the cake."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
"As long as you like it."
"Yes, I like it."
"See, I told you Black Forest Cherry Layer cake was your favourite."

here for the event round-up.

Thanks Jo!



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