So, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that after ten years I am finally making some progress on my writing. This week, I had three manuscript requests through the latest round of queries I sent.
After all this time it has been incredibly gratifying and emotional to go through this. I am beyond words thrilled to see that my hard work is paying off. This is a book I wrote several years ago and recently pulled back out to revise. I also changed the way I described it and formulated my query letter. It is amazing how just a few changes can really affect how a book is perceived.
I can’t take credit for all these changes on my own. An agent I connected with earlier in the year gave me some helpful hints, and after meeting Tomi Adeyemi earlier this year, I signed up for the writing tips on her site. I used her query letter formula, and I can see why she is so popular and well respected. I also made a new friend who suggested I focus on and visualize landing an agent instead of jumping from an unpublished manuscript to the New York Times Best Seller list.
These three manuscript requests do not guarantee anything. I really hope they will result in my landing an agent, and it is still very early in this querying round, so more requests could come in. The incredibly anxious artist in me is terrified about being rejected again, not knowing the next steps to take.
But the hard worker who refuses to give up, who knows she is talented, she has faith. Like a devil and an angel on each shoulder, these two opposite feelings, fighting each other every step of the way are both present, one more so than the other at any given time.
So wish me luck as I keep working on more novels because the more I write and the more submissions I send, the better chance I have.
When I need a break, sometimes I bake. I was looking for something to make and was super inspired by a Tahini Cake I found on Food52. I changed it up a bit to make it paleo and reduce the steps in the process. I ended up with an insanely moist cake with a dense crumb that had me dancing around the kitchen.
The tahini gives it an almost peanut butter flavor, while the berries provide a hint of acidity. Basically you end up with a very adult peanut butter and jelly cake that is pretty much to die for. And it’s paleo, so there’s no grains, gluten, dairy, or refined sugar in this baby.
Here’s to cake, agents, and hard work! Not necessarily in that order … particularly if you are an agent reading this.Print
- ¾ cup tahini, plus 4 tablespoons for pan
- 1/3 cup sesame and chia seeds, plus 4 for sprinkling the pan
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons paleo baking flour (I used Thrive Market’s and it’s great!)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a bundt pan with the 4 tablespoons of tahini and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of seeds.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Whisk in the orange juice, followed by the tahini. Once no lumps remain and everything has been incorporated, stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Finally fold in the remaining seeds and the black and blueberries.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, tenting with foil if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan about 30 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.
- Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in the microwave for about a minute.
Recipe adapted from Food52
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes