Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting Back Your Voice


I hope everyone’s day is going wonderfully. I’m doing my post a little different. I have been feeling a little like a ‘clapper’ in Neal Shusterman’s novel, ‘Unwind.” I have to be very cautious or I may explode (not the ‘I’m so angry’ explode but the ‘pieces propelling everywhere’ explode.) I have decided to step back and go home to me, not the ‘what I should do/be me,’ but the ‘true’ me. The one that gives me an energized, inspired, home-baked cookie feeling. Notice the hint for my ending recipe?

I realized I do this in my writing. I think, at some point, we all do this. We become stale due to expectations, or we write in a certain style or about a specific topic because it is what is publishable or hot in today’s market. We leave who we truly are so that we can find validation in a book sale. We do not have faith in ourselves. We lose ourselves, and a needed voice in the literary world.

If you keep writing, you find this out (usually after beating your head against a wall until it is no longer a flat wall but a rounded bay window.)

I can’t help but refer to cooking. This is a Pots ‘n Pens post.

You take advice, but you learn not to mix every piece into your manuscript batter. You learn to trust yourself and experiment.

You discover your cooking style (Southern, Gourmet, Raw, Desserts….) or writing style (Edgy, Middle Grade, Historical, Magazine….) You find your voice.

In honor of returning home and finding your voice, I am leaving you with one of my cookie recipes. The cookies don’t really have a name. My kids, with wide-eyes to accent their words, call them, ‘THOSE COOKIES.’ I’ll go with that as a title (Sorry, no pictures today.)



2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

3 large eggs

1 tbsp. Vanilla extract

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 ½ cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup Caramel Bits (Kraft makes little caramel balls that are similar to chips.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Now, slowly add and blend the dry mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chips and caramel bits. Drop desired cookie-sized blobs of dough onto a cookie sheet (some sheets we leave ungreased and some we put a light graze of butter on…it depends upon how the sheet cooks or the mood we are in.)

Bake about 12 minutes, and enjoy!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the homemade essence of you. I know…it sounded like I should have had a cheese recipe.


  1. Thanks, Toni! It looks like I'll be making some cookies this weekend.

  2. Serious YUM. I'm going to have to hunt down the caramel. I haven't tried it before and it sounds like something I'd love! The kids can have a couple too.

  3. I'm definitely going to have to try making THOSE COOKIES with the grandkids. Caramel and chocolate--what's not to love?!! Thanks for an interesting (and tasty) reminder about listening to our inner voice.

  4. Ohmigosh! I'm making those tonight with my kiddos. They started fall break and Daddy's going out of town, so we will have a cookie party tonight.

    And I fully agree with you about finding your voice. When you write where your voice is really at, you know it. It's like putting on your favorite pair of jeans--it just fits.

  5. The cookies sound great, but I also just love this post. It is so important to stay true to yourself.

  6. Oh yum. Cookies are my weakness. I can't wait to make these.