Cupcakes as Competition

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Pretty blue & white flowers on chocolate cupcakes

We are up to day 21 of the Wordcount Blogathon 2013. I am glad I held a few ideas back for the end of the month because I am feeling a bit brain dead these days. One of the topics I’d like to explore over the next few posts is competition.  When someone says the word – competition – people tend to picture an athlete, or more specifically, a young male athlete. They don’t normally think about middle aged women. Believe me, middle aged woman are very competitive.

In Overlook, the women are shockingly competitive. Stacia Curran abuses her already broken body to compete in long distance open water swims. She is fueled by guilty and ambitions. Kitty Haskell relentlessly practices her tennis strokes in order to win the neighborhood round-robin every year, she keeps track of who is in or out of The Lookers clique of popular moms, and she makes the most beautiful cupcakes on the bake sale table. Kitty doesn’t have to make cupcakes with fruit leather butterflies or decorated to look like ladybugs. She does it to one up the other women.

When you go to a school or church function, is there one women who always brings beautiful desserts or fancy hors devours? Is she doing so to express her creativity through food, or is she trying to one up everyone else?

Photo attribution: Angelina Cupcakes via Flicker

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Stay-At-Home Mom

I’m an author, so I am a bit fractured in the way I react to the world. For instance, I read Lisa Endlich Heffernan’s excellent post on Huffington Post,  Why I Regret Being a Stay-at-Home Mom, through the lens of my own experience and as my characters. I recommend you read Ms. Heffernan’s piece. It is poignant and thought provoking. If you’d like to read my personal reaction to the piece, I wrote about that on my other blog – Scribbling In the Storage Room.

When I read Ms. Heffernan’s article I thought about the ladies of Overlook. The two main characters in Overlook are both stay-at-home moms. Stacia Curran chose to stay home with her children while ruling her real estate empire. Kitty stumbled into the role through a series of bad decisions. Kitty regrets being a stay-at-home mom. She had dreams of having a career as a museum curator. She wanted to leave her repressive buttoned up childhood behind and be her own person. Motherhood and marriage short circuited those dreams. No amount of beautifully decorated cupcakes and luxuries could make up for her dashed hopes. She would identify with the statement: “The most expensive decision of my life I made alone.”