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One thing I’ve realized about myself is – that I like to promote others and their accomplishments. It makes me happy. So on that note – I want to celebrate with Michelle McLean (remember our fantastic logline judge??) and her recent book (click and buy her book … you totally should) that is out 😉 I wish I had this when I was in school writing term papers – ouch. But … not only do I have a guest post from her … I also have a new treat that will accompany all new guest posts 😉  Something that is totally me and my gift to you …. a chocolate recipe!!!!  (I was quite excited when I thought of this new twist …)
Here goes … from Michelle’s fingers to you:
Steena asked me both how writing has affected my life, and how my life has affected my writing. In a nut shell…writing has affected everything about my life and my life has affected everything about my writing 🙂

 
Like any writer, my experiences, my personality, my relationships, my emotions on any given day…all of these affect my writing. But these things affect non-fiction and fiction differently.
Fiction is very much an emotional sport. You sort of have to be in the right mood to write fiction. Because you take all your emotions and past experiences and make them a part of what you are actually writing, all the aspects of your real life that affect you tend to affect your work as well.
But non-fiction is very non-emotional (unless you are talking about creative/narrative non-fiction like a memoir or narrative personal essay). Actually, in my book, Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, I’m trying to calm emotions down. I want to remove the stress and anxiety my readers feel about writing these assignments by making the process as entertaining and easy as possible. So, whatever is going on in my life at the moment doesn’t really affect my non-fiction writing.
Now, how has writing affected my life? Wow. In every way imaginable. In ways I never even dreamed. If I were to make a pro and con list, writing would probably seem like it affected my life negatively. My house is a mess, my kids live on cereal more often than I’d like to admit, I don’t spend as much time with them (or with ANYONE for that matter) as I should, I tend to spend all my time in front of my computer instead of out in the world…
But the pros are pretty awesome. Because of my writing, I’ve met the most wonderful people; I now have an amazing outlet for both the more analytical/educational non-fiction side of me, and the overly imaginative/dreamer fiction side of me; I get to spend my free time doing what I LOVE; I’ve learned to be patient and persevering and PROUD of who I am and what I do. There is nothing quite like working toward your dream. I’ve found out just how strong and determined I can be. Writing is helping me develop into the person I always wanted to be. 🙂 
*****

And now for the RECIPE (and seriously this is one of those YUMMMMY ones)

We always call this the Pollyanna cake because it looks like those big, huge cakes they had at the fair in the Hayley Mills movie Pollyanna 😀
1 ¾ cup sugar                                      2 ½ cups flour
2/3 cup shortening                               1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs                                                  1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla                               1 cup milk
To Be Mixed Separately: ½ cup cocoa and ½ cup boiling water
Cream sugar, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and alternate with the 1 cup of milk, adding to creamed mixture. Mix the cocoa and boiling water together, then add to the cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Makes 3 round layers…smoother each layer in chocolate frosting and dive in 🙂
 
*****
Michelle McLean is a writer and the Chief Editorial Consultant for PixelMags, LLC. In addition to her non-fiction work, Michelle writes YA historical novels and other children’s books. If she’s not editing, reading or chasing her kids, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book.
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