(Help us welcome Kathryn Magendie, who “was born a West-by-god Virginia Hillbilly (and proud of it), moved here, there, and yonder," before landing in "Western North Carolina, where she spins tales, drinks Deep Creek Blend coffee, an occasional vodka tonic with lime, and contemplates the glow of Old Moon.” Seriously, that’s her public bio. )
Didn’t I tell you not to come round here no more? Didn’t I tell you I couldn’t resist your charms? And do you listen? No. You flaunt yourself in front of me—all luscious and tasty, decadent and . . . and . . . You Yankee You! Why would this West Virginia born Hillbilly fall for a rascal from New York? Smooth . . . oh you are smoooooth.
Yes, yes, I know; I’ve called upon your charms in the darkest hours of my sad and lonely *heavy sigh* writing life. You were there while I wrote Tender Graces; you were there when I released that baby to the world—I thought I could just walk aw ay, but there you were again those long lonely minutes and hours and days and weeks and months while I wrote Secret Graces. My friend, you were, through those two books and beyond. Not asking anything of me but for the enjoyment of you. My muse, you were. My sweet writing muse.
When Secret Graces flew out of my hands and out to ever ever land, there came the fateful day I stretched my bones, sighed with a job done, and changed out of my writing pants, those loose and dreamy pants that have no defined waist. But wait. What is this?, I screamed. Unnggghhh. Unggghh. Why is not my zipper zippering? My button buttoning? You . . . you . . . you betrayer of waistlines! I thought I could consume you without consequence! Through two books you were my best buddy, and this is what becomes of that great friendship? Oh heaviest of sighs!
You won. Is that what you want to hear? With your silky voice calling. With your soft yet firm outer crust molded against the springform pan. The cream cheese! The vanilla! The touch of lemon zest! The thousands of tiny granules of sugar! The eggs—both golden yolk and slippery whites. And, you devil you; you even added a thin fine layer of sweetened sour cream on top, and then . . . oh then . . . you scamp; you held atop fresh plump strawberries oozing sweet red love.
And I, unsuspecting, tappity tapping away upon the computer. Creating my fiction worlds where my characters can eat whatever they want and run around gleefully, yippee yi yo kai yayyy . . .and all the while my own butt is slammed against a chair, spreading ever onward! Because of you, Cheesecake.
Time after time—Tender Graces draft, Tender Graces rewrites, Tender Graces Galley, Tender Graces released, lather rinse, repeat with Secret Graces—I dipped my knife in hot water, and then sliced into you. You offered no resistance. One side, then another side, then I lifted a piece of you onto my plate. Then, with my fork, I cupped you onto the tines. And the first perfect bite as the creaminess spread across my tongue.
And now, now I cannot sit at my computer to craft the next book without the Pavlov’s Dog’s response to you, Cheesecake. Again and again and again—you and me Cheesecake, you and me.
I go mad with you, Cheesecake. Yet, you rogue, you tempter, you sweet sweet sprite. You wild wonderful Muse, you. Please say you will not call to me each time my butt slams against the chair and my fingers poise on the keys and the refrigerator hummmmms . . .
Please say you will quieten the siren call of your sweet succulent love.
As ever, you know I am yours and you are mine. Damn you.
Debra here… Kat’s too polite to ask, but I’m not. What food trips you up? Haunts your mind and says, “Oooh baby, come to Mama!”