Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A SECRET, CUPCAKES, AND MY UNDERWEAR

***awesome cupcake pics used to be in this post but due to the recent lawsuits for using photos on blogs I took them down.***


I'm going to let you in on a secret that will change your life.

Last year, me and Natalie Bahm were querying at the same time. (Side note: Nat landed a fabulous agent, Sara Megibow of the Nelson Agency. As for me, umm, well, let's get back to the point of this post.)
We, and the rest of our writing group (Megan Rebekah and Marie Devers) decided rejection was an ugly word. It was no fun to email updates saying, "Agent SoAndSo rejected me."
Rejected.
Rejection.
Reject.
There's something about those words that make you feel like you've just been slapped in the face, or punched in the gut. We didn't like it. So we did something about it.

We decided the new word for rejection was cupcake.
Rejected=cupcaked.
Instantly, our lives sounded sweeter. We sent emails that said things like...
Agent ShortBread cupacked me.
I got three cupcakes today.

Agent PermaFrosting cupcaked me, but she invited me to send her any of my future recipes.
It took months to bake, but I finally got a cupcake from You CAN'T Have Your Cake Or Eat It Too Lit Agency.

See, it doesn't sound so bad when you add some sugar, does it?

I even shared the Cupcake Secret with a few close writer friends. Sara McClung , Carolina Valdez-Miller , and Shannon Messenger have been in the elite Cupcake Clan for quite some time now. They speak my language. They know if I tell them I got a cupcake, it means I'll be needing some of this...Yes, they have a Cupcake brand of wine to help cupcake receivers cope. Coincidence? I think not. I even have an appropriately sized glass that I use if I get a cupcake on a full MS.Sara sends me cupcake themed gifts (I'm not sure if that's a good omen or not, but they sure are cute!)See, I told you this post involved my underwear. Thanks for the cute nickers, Sara!

It truly does sound good in theory--this whole cupcakes craziness. BUT(T), even with the cute underwear, the delicious wine, the sugary sweet wording, and all the other upsides of the cupcake way of life, the literary world cupcakes don't taste very good. Most days they are still hard to stomach. The worst part is, I've started looking at cupcakes much differently than I used to.

Some days I think this is the only good use for them.
They never look this cute or interesting in my email box.
On days when I'm really emotional, cupcakes seem mean and destructive. Kinda like this one.
I see stuff like this,
and think, umm, that's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one.

Sometimes I raise my fists in the air and shout, NO MORE CUPCAKES!

(At least until I recover from my sugar crash).

So, now you know. We are sharing our secret with you because we think this new terminology would make the writing world a happier place. We give you permission to remove the words rejection, and rejected from your writer vocabulary and replace it with cupcake and cupcaked (if you so choose).

Some days it will help the road to being published seem a little sweeter, but there will be days when it feels like you've been smacked in the face with a stale, 5 tier, schnozberry filled cupcake. The icing will burn your eyes and clog up your nose so that you can't breathe in or out, and you'll think, "This is it. This is how it ends. I've been cupcaked to death."

Fear not. Cupcakes will not be the death of you.

Take a moment to wear each one proudly. You worked hard for them! You've earned every cupcake! However bitter or bland it may be, try to enjoy whatever yummy part you can salvage, then ask a writer friend to hand you a few napkins. After you wipe away all that unwanted icing, put on your Brave Girl (or Guy) cupcake panties, celebrate your step in the right direction with a bottle of Cupcake wine, and keep persevering.

47 comments:

  1. I'm, um, not entirely sure they make Brave Guy cupcake panties. Even cupcake boxer shorts would be stretching it, methinks.

    I'll have to think of another expression. Vodkaed? Mozzarella sticked? Cheesecaked? Ach, I'll figure something out. :)

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  2. dude, I can't believe you're sharing the terminology!! I'm so happy I can pass it on now :)

    Ahem, and the cupcake themed gifts are more of a sticking your tongue out at the bad kind of cupcakes kinda gift :)

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  3. It does sound better . . . but it my just ruin my taste for a favorite goodie! Although, there are plusses to that, too. ;)

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  4. A rejection by any other name is still a rejection. They suck. However, getting lost in the cupcake fantasy is quite appealing versus the reality. Fun, bittersweet post.

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  5. Cute post. I always appreciate all the photos you use. You're a great blogger.

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  6. The cupcakes are nice, but how about that glass. I want one...

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  7. Ooh, now I don't feel so bad about all those cupcakes sitting in my inbox :)

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  8. Oh! This is very useful cleverness. Cupcake. Very good post.

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  9. I love this. Here's hoping I won't be getting any more cupcakes.

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  10. This is awesome, Karen!!! Thanks for sharing your sugary sweet lingo for the inevitable parts of the writing life!

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  11. Yay--now I don't have to keep the term secret anymore!!!!

    Beautiful post Karen. So glad you decided to share your sweet, positive outlook with everyone. I think a lot of people will be using this in the future. :)

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  12. :)

    You are hilarious, Karen. Even though I knew all about cupcakes this post was delightful. I'm glad you got to reuse some of your classic cupcake pictures.

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  13. I love it! Cupcake DOES sound much better than rejection.

    I got two cupcakes last week. *sigh*

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  14. Love it! Thanks for sharing the secret.

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  15. Gotta love this idea! I say we go a step further - make mini cupcakes to freeze and everytime you get cupcaked you pull one out ... oh wait ... doubt I'd be able to get out of the chair to grab one if I kept that up ...

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  16. I LOOOOOVE this! Lots and lots of cupcakes have been thrown at me and my critique group, so I think they'll love this. Thanks!

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  17. Cupcakes make anything sound better, especially ones with chocolate icing.

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  18. I think you've just knocked, "When life gives you lemons..." off the charts. Cupcakes rule!

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  19. Wow. I'm not sure exactly what to say Karen, but this is clearly completely freaking awesome.

    I like to think of rejections as much darker, bloodier things, but only by my lonesome.

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  20. Thank you so much for sharing you sweet secret. I absolutely love it. Makes getting cupcaked a little less sour. :-)

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  21. I saw Karen's underwear!
    I saw Karen's underwear!


    I can't wait to write it on the stall in the bathroom!! :)

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  22. Oh this is awesome!!! Thanks for the smile. I hope you never get another cupcake. Well, unless it's a literal cupcake because I love those.

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  23. I'm suddenly imagining a cupecake food fight. Perhaps set in a confection bakery? Blood colored frosting and filling covering the walls? Little boys smearing bits in your face an hair? chocolate flying back and forth? Count me in. Sounds fun.

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  24. I love it! great idea! everythings nicer when its sugar coated.

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  25. See the brighter side of cupcakes. Like it? Love it!:D

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  26. But, I like cupcakes... Maybe I'll call them something else. Llamas? I'll think on this more.

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  27. Love it, and love your Cupcake Clan. And Cupcake wine is quite good - both the red and the white. I bought it for the name and enjoyed it just the same!

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  28. I'm so hungry now, all this talk about cake. ;)
    I think it's great that you have such supportive friends who speak the same language! - G

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  29. WONDERFUL idea! I love what you guys have done. And since I'm still new to the cupcake replacement idea... those pictures are making me surprisingly hungry for frosting. Send more cupcakes my way, agents!

    Thanks for sharing, Karen! :o)

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  30. Karen, you are wonderful. I love this cupcake idea and it's true that a word can make all the difference. To be "cupcaked" actually sounds... nice and yummy. Certainly not something to be feared. Thanks for sharing your genius idea. xx

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  31. I LOVE THIS! Gee, I've got a ton of cupcakes...too many they make feel sick! =)

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  32. Such an encouraging, inspiring post, luv. Especially because everyone gets cupcakes--and they often have to EAT them, too. Like, whole. One gulp. Chomp.

    But, okay, I vote no cupcakes today. Let's go for ice cream.

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  33. I haven't been cupcaked yet but when I am, I'll know who to thank!

    This was super *sweet* post! I love :)

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  34. Okay I must say, this is one of the most creatively written posts I've come across. I've got a file full of cupcakes! How did you manage to find all those incredible cupcake images! Ha, ha!

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  35. I am starved of cupcakes...but only because I haven't started the querying process to get any...and we have no cupcake mix. Now I'm hungry to work on my novel AND eat sweet things. Love the post! ♥

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  36. Love. Love. Love this!! Thanks for sharing Here's hoping you get some brownies instead of a cupcake ;o)

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  37. By the way, there's an award for you on my blog. :)
    http://mavieenviolet.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-general-randomness.html

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  38. I can't wait until I get some cupcakes. I know I say that now but once I receive them by the baker's dozen I know I won't want them anymore.

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  39. Too cute! I wasn't too bothered by the cupcakes I've gotten in the past with SHARDS, but because I feel so much more confident about GODDESS - well, I think those cupcakes are going to be harder to nom.

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  40. That was a great post Karen. I made me want cupcakes...the real kind.

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  41. I loved this post - I'm going to adopt your phraseology. Getting cupcaked sounds SO much better than any of the alternatives!

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  42. What a fabulous idea! You actually reminded me of something similar I had with a couple writer friends back when we were all amassing rejections. I had completely forgotten about it, but now that you've reminded me, I might have to blog it myself (and link to you as thanks for the inspiration, of course!)

    Thanks!
    Tawna

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  43. That's fantastic. Think of the power of that verb to infuse cute sugariness into a dreadful experience. You rule.

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