Motivating creativity: baking for the imagination
This week I’ll share a chocolate cake recipe my mother used to do for us when we were little. It tastes of childhood, of innocence, of little mischiefs.
For those who missed the previous post, let me explain what baking has to do with the imagination. Sometimes when I’m writing a particularly good scene, I lose myself in the story so completely; the world around me fades away. It’s a wondrous thing, to lose oneself in the make-believe.
Sometimes, those scenes come naturally to me, a slideshow of ideas that keep pouring in while I try to keep up.
Sometimes, those ideas contrast with each other, and I have to choose one.
Here, I stall.
What should I do when both ideas are good enough but completely different?
I follow the thread down the line. I think about the next scene, and how the follow up will eventually meet the ending of the book. I imagine both alternatives and play it in my head – dialogues and all – and choose the best one. Sometimes it’s a long process, and sitting on the couch distantly watching space while I figure it out scares the kids away.
So I bake.
Today I’m going to share that recipe with you.
– 2 cups flour
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 cup cocoa powder
– 1 tblsp baking powder – full
– 1 cup oil
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup boiling water
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder) make sure there are no lumps. Add oil and eggs and beat well, then start adding the boiling water while it’s mixing.
Pour batter into floured cake pan and bake in preheated oven – 375 f until toothpick comes out clean.
This cake is excellent with a cup of coffee.