My Relationship with the GBBS

So…I have entered into a serious relationship with the Great British Baking Show.

I realize I’m behind the times and many of you have watched the GBBS for years, but it’s all new to me.

How We Met: One day, Netflix suggested I might like the GBBS and pointed out Season 6 had just dropped.

“Hmm,” I thought. “I like cooking shows. Maybe I should check this one out.”

What Was Your First Date Like: Honestly, I enjoyed the very first episode of Season 6 but I didn’t know how serious we’d get. I mostly thought, “This is soothing, these baking challenges are neat, I’m interested, I’d watch this again.”

When Did You Know It Was Serious: After a few episodes, I found myself thinking about the GBBS during the day and longing to get home to it. I felt connected to the bakers, the hosts, and the judges. One day, I realized I gasped out loud–an audible, thrilled gasp accompanied by a hand flung to my chest–when Paul shook a baker’s hand. This was it. I had fallen hard.

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Your Partner: I love that the GBBS is so different than most US reality shows. Most US reality shows try to showcase/manufacture interpersonal conflict and drama between the contestants. I do quite enjoy the show Chopped, but the little bios and quotes from the chefs are always things like, “I’m the best, the world’s best, and I’m here to show everyone I’m better than everyone, and no one else has a chance, take that, you losers.” On the GBBS, bakers genuinely seem to form a bond and root for each other. Sometimes they help each other out–lending a sieve or moving cookies to the final plate when time is running out. They often hold hands when the Star Baker and the losing baker are announced, which is SO DAMNED SWEET. Like, the biggest drama is whether Paul will choose to give a handshake or when something actually related to the baking goes wrong–someone puts in salt instead of sugar, a cake topples, a biscuit breaks.

I love the three very different challenges each week, two that can be prepped and then the absolutely surprising technical challenge.

I love the accents and “biscuits.” I love how soothing it is to watch things get mixed and to watch dough proof. I love the artistry of the show stopper pieces (and many other items).

Where Is Your Relationship Going: We’ve moved on to the next phase. I’m now watching Season 5. After finishing Season 6, I chose Season 5 primarily because someone told me one episode had bakers making a biscuit board game–and you know how I feel about board games. After Season 5, I’m going to watch the Holiday Show. After that, I’m probably going to go back to Season 1 and watch the rest of the seasons in order.

My primary plan for winter break is to watch a LOT of the GBBS.

What’s Something Special About Your Relationship: This weekend, my 18-year-old KitchenAid stand mixer bit the dust. The motor began to sound like a dying, growling creature.

It’s cookie-baking season and I’ve been watching a ton of the GBBS, so you KNOW that I could not wait long to get a new stand mixer. I hopped right online and ordered one on a great sale. I happen to love purple, so I ordered the Boysenberry model.

The next day, I watched the first episode of Season 5. Guess what? The decor of the tent in Season 5 features several colors of KitchenAid stand mixers INCLUDING BOYSENBERRY. Some of the contestants are using the very same mixer I now own.

Can you believe it? The GBBS and I are linked for life.

Or at least for the next 18 years or lifespan of my mixer.

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Picture of the gorgeous KitchenAid mixer in Boysenberry.

Moving Goal Posts

You know what human beings are really good at?

Moving goal posts.

There was a point in time when I thought: “If only I could actually finish writing a novel–a whole novel–it wouldn’t even matter if anyone else read it or liked it.”

Then I wrote a novel (NOT a good one) and it became: “Okay, if only I could write a GOOD novel that would get PUBLISHED and people would enjoy it!”

Then I published two novels and started to think: “Okay, the people who read my novels really enjoy them, but not enough people are reading my work. These two novels were with a small press. If only I could get a good agent and publish something with a better press.”

And I think: “I want to sell enough short stories to professional markets that I can become a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.”

I start sending out stories. Some of my pieces make it to the final rounds of cuts in really high quality markets. I get a number of personal rejections, not just form rejections. That’s all good. I know that’s good. I see the statistics on The Submission Grinder and I know how hard this is.

I sign with Irene Goodman, who is a fantastic agent–encouraging, thoughtful, and kind, with great connections and a solid reputation. She’s shopping around SMASH: Tearing Down Gender Rules. 

I’m publishing book three of Calling the Moon in 2019 with the small press.

I’m working on Marked, a young adult fantasy novel that I’m really excited about.

I got selected to attend a really cool online writing workshop and I’ll get to learn a bunch there (more news on that when I’m allowed to share it).

I write at least 5 days out of 7, even if it’s only 400 words some days.

Why do I keep moving my own goal posts instead of recognizing my accomplishments and appreciating how hard I’m working?

I don’t think I’m alone in this, right? Some of you feel this way, too? I think many of us have a hard time celebrating ourselves. Instead, we’re filled with imposter syndrome. As soon as we accomplish something, we move the goal posts for ourselves. We want to meet the NEXT goal.

I’m going to start thinking more consciously about this–about celebrating myself. You know how some football players do crazy dances in the end zone? They strut and prance and carry on a bit?

We need to do that more in life. We need to celebrate ourselves. We need to embrace our accomplishments and bask in them. We need to remember what we HAVE done–instead of always moving toward the next thing we want to do.

I’m going to work on this. Celebrating.

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