This last month of writing is proving to be far tougher and challenging than all the 12 months before it.
In this past year, as I finish up writing 'A Dozen Ways To Celebrate', I learned that there ghost writers (discovered that all celeb chefs use ghost writers at $200-$500 a recipe), design teams, taste testers & cleanup crews, pro photographers, master editors, coffee assistants, marketing teams, publishing backup & literary agents. I did not know this. It is like a circus back there!
And because of this lack of knowledge, I have been beating myself up to try being all of these, in addition to the regular life I used to have. Now my family's expectations have changed from a bowl of pasta, to the picture plate they have begun to expect out of the kitchen. I cannot resent it, but please help me remember that I am raising a discerning family who may, at some point in their life, recognize the hard work that went into being their mom.
We are learning priorities, and that is very important.
I discovered that recipes have their own personality. Dissecting them can be akin to murder for the people who are close to it. For example, re-writing the recipes from the past generation, i.e., doing them my way. Generations before me have modified the recipes that were written generations before them. As a mother, I need to come to terms with it, my daughter will probably butcher my notes and recipes, and I dont want to be turning in my ashes.
I have been on edge, sleep and rest deprived, and questioning all the glam stuff that goes with what looks like a fun task on paper. I was naive.. I need to remember that all the glitters came out of a dark mine somewhere, at the cost of someones' blood and sweat. The jewels of Tiffany did not materialize out of thin air.
I learned that there are a few good souls come out of the woodwork and lifted my spirits with a wink and a glance when I least expected it. With a hug or a simple check-in or a note that I wanted to cry over. I am grateful for those friends, especially those who dont know how their little acts mean so much.I am grateful for this chance to chase and obsess over something that will hopefully serve V well, and become her tools for when I am not around. That is my karma bank. I know you have a plan.. Is this your plan?
Please help me the next time I see a cookbook, to bow down and say a fervent blessing to the writer for all their effort.Please keep me away from the bargain book shelf for discounted books. Please keep me from picking up a glossy cookbook without spending a few minutes reading who has *actually* done the work in getting it this far. True authors need the validation, when I recognize their work.
Please help me recognize that all projects and tasks in life that are really worthwhile are not only organic, but are similar to the 'farm to table' model. Blood, sweat, toil, mud and yes, a good bit of *manure* too.
I am going to try being good to remember this and thank all those who kept me from going utterly batty. All between the first wave of madness and before the next one begins.
Dec. 2014, Postscript, aka some fun notes:
'A Dozen Ways to Celebrate: Twelve Decadent Indian Feasts for the Culinary Indulgent' is an indie publication funded completely by generous support from the Kickstarter community. See its project video here.
A limited edition of this book is now in homes and kitchens around the world within the Kickstarter community, and is available electronically in various ebook stores (iBook, Kindle & Nook)