Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

March is articles month for me, apparently. I’ve had eight assignments due by April 1, for various print and online publications, so I’ve been plugging away at these. One of them is for a new online venture — I’m not allowed to discuss it yet (secret!) — but they assigned me a profile of Jen from Cake Wrecks.

Some of you will be thrilled to have just read that sentence, because you love the Cake Wrecks blog and you love Jen and despite having landed a book deal and opened herself up to a few interviews recently (one here, another here), she’s still pretty mysterious and indie-cool.

Others of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Jen? Cake Wrecks? If this is you, then open a new tab in your browser, click over to Cake Wrecks, and have fun for a few minutes. If you come back — quite possibly a big “if” — then you can thank me in the comments. Because even if you don’t bake…even if you don’t like cake…even if you don’t like to laugh…Cake Wrecks is still a really cool blog.

Now that you’re back, I’m gonna let slip a couple of Jen’s emailed answers to my interview questions, just because I’m pretty sure they’re not the kinds of questions she gets asked very often.

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Jason: Many of your readers seem to appreciate the “cleanness” of your blog, especially when there are plenty of opportunities for you to go toward the seamier side of humor. Is this a deliberate decision on your part? Is it a reflection of your personality or beliefs?

Jen: It’s true I aim to keep Wrecks at a PG rating, mostly because that’s how I like my own entertainment. With that said, my sense of humor can be a little less family-friendly than what I showcase on Wrecks — not much, mind you, but a little. As the site grew more popular, though, I realized I’d rather err on the side of less-offensive. If I didn’t care about my reader’s preferences I might use a smidge more language (just for emphasis, when I think it’s funny) and more innuendo than I do now. However, I do care, and I know that a lot of moms out there read Cake Wrecks with their kids. So, I adjust my writing style a little. [My husband] John calls this “self-censorship.”I call it “not a big deal.”
And yes, this absolutely is a reflection of my personality and beliefs. I think swearing shows a lack of creativity, so unless it’s mild and for the sake of the joke, I don’t. (And certainly never in person.) I also don’t feature X-rated cakes (which I get a lot of — and believe me, some of that stuff is downright traumatizing) or the hugely gory stuff because I don’t like looking at them personally. There is a kind of humor that seeks to shock or disgust, but that’s not something I want on Cake Wrecks — with the exception of a few gross foot cakes, of course.

Jason: I get the feeling from the Cake Wrecks tone, along with the occasional non-cake related post, that you may come from a religious background. Am I correct? Would you be willing to explain anything along these lines?

Jen: Sure. I’m a Christian, and grateful to be one. I don’t ever want to be seen as hiding my faith on Wrecks, but then again I don’t intend to use the site as a soapbox, either. It’s a humor site: I’m there to make people laugh. If folks detect whiffs of morality or certain religious leanings there, it’s only because that’s who I am. I believe I have a Creator who gave me these abilities, and I want to do everything I can to use them to benefit others. Whether that means making people laugh on Wrecks, or painting inner-city homes through our church’s community volunteer program, I want to give more than I take from this world.

I realize that some of my readers will be disappointed to hear that I’m “religious,” but it’s my hope that by living my life, doing what I do, I can show that even “one of those people” can have a sense of humor, like sci-fi, and maybe even be a decent human being — or at least one who spreads more joy than hate in this life.

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When the full profile is live (and fully written), I’ll be sure to let you know. Now go laugh at some unfortunate attempts at cake.

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