Also a brief note about writing
"The New Prime", apparently by Jack Vance. In the end, it is the drooling idiot who is selected, as he is the only one with the empathy needed for the task, but it has broken him. An interesting piece of post-Christian moralising.
I had no trouble with icing. I'm also an American (parents from the midwest, grew up in California, currently living in Colorado). The phrase "that's just icing on the cake" is a common expression for something extra and good in my local topolect of English. That made me wonder if perhaps there are different connotations in British English. I totally don't get why it would bring up late stage capitalism and would love to hear how it "reads" to you / other non-Americans.
On a related note of interest -- I recently retook the NY TImes American regional dialect quiz and one of the questions was whether you use the word frosting, or icing, or use both and the are synonyms, or use both but they have different meanings. To me, frosting is the thick stuff on cakes that includes butter or another fat along with sugar, icing is a thin topping that is made of just powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) with water and maybe a touch of lemon extract or other flavoring. Completely different, and indicates icing may be one of those words that is very different in meaning in different Englishes since it is so different even just within the USA.
I got the song titles first, so proud.
Everything is an extra...
I call these my 'checkpoint' scenes. Ones which induce a powerful wave of one or more emotions, no matter how often read. I tend to go off timeline and write them in random-ish order. They just cry out to be written to capture 'that' moment.
George got the icing thing first go. I got so stuck with the icing that I failed entirely. BAH I say.