Monday, May 10, 2010

The KEY to Life

It is Saturday night, and as I sit down to write this post, I am being forcibly serenaded by the live band across the lake from me. I had originally come out onto our screened back porch to enjoy the cool, early summer twilight while I got a little writing done. My local RWA chapter, the fantastic Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, had our monthly meeting today and I was feeling inspired to take what I learned and write the best damn series the romance world had ever seen.
(That’s right – prepare yourselves. I will be massively famous and fabulous and you will all say you knew me when. Didn’t you know?)
I had no sooner parked myself on the couch and poised my eager fingers over the keyboard when the discordant sounds of tuning instruments began wafting towards me. My first thought?
Here I was, looking for a little peace and quiet to hash out my next great scene by, and suddenly, my concentration had gone the way of the dodo bird.
Erinus Concentrationus
What was I saying? Oh yeah. Sorry, I got distracted by the jaunty remake of Stand By Me that the band just dove in to. Anyway, suffice it to say, I was a little peeved. So much for the heavy stillness of a southern night, the sweet sound of crickets and frogs, the gentle lap of water on the shore.
Instead, the unofficial Amateur Night on The Lake had commenced. Wonderful. I could clearly hear the joyous shouts of encouragement from the smattering of people dotting the opposite shoreline. Didn’t they know how well water carries sound?
I stared at my blank screen, willing my characters to break through the hoopla and start, well, doing something. Anything. Alas, they were mute.
So I flopped back in my seat, thwapped my laptop closed with more force than necessary, and crossed my arms like a petulant 12 year old.
And then something funny happened.
I heard another noise, this one much closer than the racket from across the way. I could see both dogs, and they were still curled into little hibernating balls of fur, so I knew the sound wasn’t coming from them. Looking around for a few seconds, I finally located the source: My foot was tapping. In time with the music.
My own body was betraying me? The nerve!
As I scowled at my treacherous foot, I suddenly realized that my point of view kept moving. Dag nab it! My head was bobbing. In time with the music.
Wait a second… what was that sound? Aw, crap, I was humming along.
Well, goodness. With a big sigh, I was surprised to realize my irritation was beginning to melt away. They were actually kind of good. With the ever present glow of the computer screen snuffed, and the lights low, I relaxed against the cushions and began to enjoy to smooth sounds of the band as they segued into jazz. The melodious run of the saxophone, the low beat of the bass, the steady thrum of the drum, it was actually kind of… wonderful.
Imagine that.
Sometimes, interruptions pull us away from the task that we have set before us. It can be anything, even things like the *ping* of a new e-mail that throws us off. We can get our knickers in a bunch, or we can just go with it. Every now and then, I actually do the latter… and I usually end up being better for it. So next time you feel your irritation mount at some interruption or another, take a deep breath and see what happens if you just go with the flow. You may be surprised… it could turn out to be a something as lovely as a free night of entertainment from the comfort of your own back yard :)
Darlin, darlin, Stand. By me. O-oh, stand. By me….
And here is a little treat just for you, my beloved readers. I wasn’t planning to begin my icing series post until next Tuesday, but… what the hay. I am, after all, one mellow cat right about now (if not massively famous and fabulous). My gift to you: Keylime Frosting. Without a doubt, my absolute personal favorite. (okay, now do you get the title? The KEY to Life? eh? eh?)
What recipes would you like to see in the frosting series? Let me know, and I'll see what I can provide in the next few weeks. In the meantime... happy baking!

Key Lime Frosting:
1 pound of powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1 stick softened butter
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp Key lime juice
1 to 2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest (to taste)
1-2 Tbsp of milk only if needed.
Feel free to add more or less of the key lime juice and lemon zest based on your own preference!


  1. Erin, you are too funny. I love your sense of humor. And I'm glad that even though you didn't get started on your soon-to-be-famous series, that you had a nice evening anyways. It sounds like it was absolutely wonderful, and it makes me want to escape to a getaway on a lake somewhere.

    You're so right, though. With a 4-month-old, I'm constantly getting interrupted. But there's nothing I can do but go with it and try to have fun with the munchkin when she only takes a 30-minute nap instead of a two hour one. LOL!

    I'm going to stash your recipe away and try it sometime...maybe when I can guarantee the baby will stay down long enough for me to whip it up :)

  2. My goodness, Jerrica, having a 4 month old definitely takes the cake when it comes to interruptions! I'm sure you take one look at that little princess, however, and any irritation melts right away. Usually ;)
    Thanks for stopping by, and I am so happy that you like my brand of humor!

  3. Hi Erin,
    Here's a challenge for you. My great aunt used to make mint cupcake frosting. I have no idea what kind of mint she used, but it was delicious. I love your blog. You have such beautiful pictures.

  4. Hahaha! Erinus Concentrationus! Brilliant. Sounds like a beautiful night...I wish I could have been there to tap my feet along with you to the music.

  5. Mmmm...there is nothing like a good, refreshing mint frosting, Clarissa. I especially love it on dark chocolate cake. I shall add my best mint frosting recipe to the list!
    Thanks for the compliments on the pics, I love when I can get the picture just right :)

  6. Kara, I wish you could have been her too! You must come visit soon :)

  7. Mmm, that sounds yummy. I'll have to try it sometime. I was just getting annoyed by my current interruptions, too. LOL. I guess I'll have to give them another shot. Maybe I need to be interrupted.

    Oh yeah, get back to work on that most-fantabulously-famous romance series idea. Stat!

  8. Aye, aye, Catherine! :) I think I needed that, I was kind of dawdling just now. Let me know if you try the recipe, I'd love to know what you think!

  9. You have a sweet sense of humor, Erin - and a great point. Nope, doesn't make any sense to get all mad for nothing when it accomplishes nothing more than making you upset. Besides, sometimes interruptions can lead to good things ... like an email announcing a request for further information, or just good news from a friend.

    As for your icing - I'll have to pass it on for my mom! She adores key lime and this will be the perfect recipe for her; thank you!

  10. Thanks for the compliment, Shelly! I'm glad you agree with the 'going with the flow' philosophy. If your mom tries the recipe, I hope you'll let me know what she thinks!
    Thanks for stopping by :)

  11. Hmmm there is nothing better on a well made cake than an equally scrummy icing. In fact I knew a lady once who bought cake simply as an excuse to get to the icing. No not me. But I did think her strategy interesting.

    Thanks for another yummy reciepe but I might have a wee bit of trouble following some you post though. And thats where I hope Google will save me, I'll have to query some of the ingredients to make sure my guesswork at the Aussie equivalent products is right.

  12. Thank goodness for Google, Heather :) Again, a stick of butter is 1/2 a cup. I hope you'll be able to work out the other equivelants. If you can't get key-lime juice, you can substitute 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp lime juice. It's not quite the same, but still very good :)

  13. Love your writing 'voice' and I could actually picture the tune and the tapping. Keep writing, keep submitting, and KEEP BAKING!

  14. Thanks, Nancy! As long as you guys keep eating those cupcakes, I will keep baking them - lol!

  15. I might just get into these blogs of yours :) Is the Key Lime frosting 0 cal? Just checking!

  16. LOL- Angela, I wish! the good news is that it is potent enough that you won't need a lot... the bad news is, it is so good you'll want a lot!
    I'm so glad you stopped by!

  17. Ahh...the *ping* of a new e-mail. Pulls me out of my concentration every time, and yet I can't make myself close the darned inbox.

    Love key lime ;)

  18. Honestly, Heather, that sound is like crack to me! I could be clear across the house and still hear it.
    Thanks for dropping by to say hello :)

  19. Not sure about an email ping, but I'll definitely try to embrace life's more melodic distractions. Glad you were able to! Great post!

  20. Good to hear Ryan! Those are the kinds of distractions most of us can use a little more of :) Thanks for stopping by!