8.19.2012

And how


Back in January, I told you that New Year’s Day felt like a genuine starting line this year.  I said that 2012 would be a year for working hard on things I care about.  All I can say is and how.   It’s been the workiest time, the best time.  And it’s about to get even better because today, I finally get to tell you what I’ve been working on.  It’s a four letter word that starts with a “B” and no, I don’t mean another baby.  Friends, I’m writing a book.  

You know, I’ve been wondering what it would take to make those words feel real.  Shipping off my proposal, maybe, or the meeting at Penguin in New York, or testing my first recipe last Sunday morning or – certainly, certainly – hearing from my agent on Friday that the contract is officially good to go.  But honestly, friends, getting to type those words here, just now, is what’s made me believe them.  So before I go any further, I want to thank you, for your cheers, for your every kindness, for your company in the kitchen and right here over these last weird and wonderful years.  This book would not be happening if it weren’t for you, all of you, and I mean that in the most literal sense.   

It was four years ago today that an aneurysm burst in my brain.  August 19th is my “aneur-versary,” and I love that I get to share this news with you on today of all days.  The book (my book!) is a memoir with recipes, to be published by The Penguin Group in the fall of 2014.  It’s the story of my illness and recovery and what I learned along the way, that food had something to tell me, and that it felt good to listen. It’s about cooking and baking myself back together again, fixing what’s broken, and living with what can’t be fixed.  It’s a love story.  Mine and Eli’s, yes, but also one writ large, about the people who reminded me who I was when I felt least like myself.  Above all, it’s about what it means to nourish and be nourished, to remember what it is to be hungry, to honor that hunger, and learn how to feed it.    

My manuscript is due in a year, and I’m taking a leave of absence from graduate school to write it.  You read that correctly:  I’ll be writing full-time.  I’m excited to see what that’s like. 

Some thanks are in order before I sign off today, first to three dear friends who shepherded me through the proposal writing.  (Let me tell you, I can be one unruly sheep.)  Molly, Luisa, Molly, I hardly know what to say.  You inspire the heck out of me.  This process might have felt terribly lonely, but it didn’t, and that’s because of you.  And then there’s the matter of one Eli Schleifer, the guy who reads my every word, once, twice, as many times as it takes, who makes me better, braver, and reminds me when I need reminding that once you’ve figured out what you love most to do, you don’t get not to do it.  You, my dear, are an incorrigible smarty pants.  I’m so happy you’re mine. 

Finally, because it bears repeating, another big thanks to you, friends.  You’re the ones who made me think I could do this in the first place, you know.  Thank you for that, for being here, and for making all of this so much fun.

 

65 comments:

Lisa Johnson said...

Congratulations Jess! That's awesome! : )

Sina said...

how exciting. congrats on this personal project. i think you'll be so amazing at it, your leave of absence might be permanent ;)

and, happy aneur-versary

nina p. said...

Jess! Congratulations and what amazing news. I cannot wait to read your book, but, holy smokes, you are one busy lady! :). I know that your words will be nothing short of amazing and I am so happy for you. We will all be with you, cheering you on, as you take this leap into such exciting territory. Congrats again! xo nina

Dee said...

What awesome news! You write beautiful words.

megan said...

And how! You guys are doing great work, keep it up and I can't wait to read -
xx
megan

Shanna said...

This is amazing news, Jess. Congratulations!

Lecia said...

I didn't realize your aneurysm anniversary was the 19th - Cal's birthday! Now he's 8, and you have that behind you by four years. I know those anniversaries are big deals - here's to moving on from #4.

Congratulations again about your book. xoxo

la domestique said...

Congrats on your book! As someone who was suddenly diagnosed with leukemia 10 years ago and survived the terrible experience with barely any permanent side effects, I can't wait to read your book.

Meg said...

wow amazing!! i am definitely excited to see your memoir in print :)

Holly said...

Congratulations Jess!

Jennifer Hess said...

Amazing! I can't wait to read it - congrats to you!

alexandria said...

Yay! I'm so happy and excited for you. What a treat a book by you will be. Congratulations, Jess.

kickpleat said...

The best news!!! Congratulations, hard hard work and how. Good on ya.

Julia said...

best news ever! congrats jess! can't wait to see what you come up with. i know it will be brilliant.

jacqui | happyjackeats said...

No words. Just smiles and squeals and hugs and kisses.

Hannah said...

Yay! I can't be the only one who saw this coming - you were born for it! Can't wait to read. Big cheers!!

kasey said...

Yaaaay, Jess! I couldn't help but browse the Penguin website. I hope that your book cover looks exactly like this one:

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/CoverImagePopup/0,,9780425246078,00.html

Stephanie said...

Hip hip hooray! If the book has even an ounce of the love, attention, detail and care you put into that proposal, there are going to be some very very happy readers out there, m'dear. I cannot wait to sample and test and tastes the fruits of your labor along the way, my friend. You are a little slice of magic, Jessica. xo

Michele | Cooking At Home said...

Great to hear. Congratulations, Jess.

Molly said...

Hurrah! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm so, so proud of you. You're the best. And I cannot WAIT to read the hell outta whatever beautiful thing you create. xoxo

anya said...

Oh Jess, congratulations, million times!! Seeing what beautiful writing and food you've been treating us to over here, there is no doubt in my mind this book is going to be a feast. You are an inspiration to match. I'm so happy for you!!

molly said...

HOOT!

Hooray, for all the world to hear and know. I know I am (nowhere near) not alone in beginning the foot tapping now for fall of 2014. And if said book is anything like the latter half of paragraph 3? Well, not a one of us will have tapped one moment too long.

Jess, I couldn't be happier for you. Or us. Hee! Win win.

xo,
M

Rivka said...

YAHOO!!! Finally! So excited to virtually toast you in this space. I'm thrilled that you're doing this, thrilled at the prospect of reading YOUR BOOK. Cannot wait. Congratulations darling!

Kendra said...

Big hugs, sloppy kisses, and one really big WOOOOO HOOOOOOO! We're all so incredibly proud of you, Jess. Bravo, my dear, bravo!

Anonymous said...

Will enjoy the journey your about to go on.... Exciting!

Sara said...

Yessssss!! I have been waiting for this kind of announcement from you for a long time :) So well deserved! Can hardly wait for 2014 :) So happy for you!!

linda said...

KUDOS!
it was four years ago that i found SA…"the other side." it has been a wonderful journey (filled with grand recipes & brilliant writing).
we all look forward to this new adventure & where it will take us…
cannot wait to get your book in my hands!….oh…to the book tour….yeah!!



charlottesrow said...

Congratulations! I am new to your blog, but I must say I am inspired by what you write and I really look forward to reading your book next year! What a journey you are on. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride.

Alison said...

I've read along quietly for years, but had to pop in to say a huge and wholehearted CONGRATS! Your writing and recipes are gorgeous and have pulled me right in from the start. Looking forward to reading more.

Holly said...

I'm totally buying it. Your book, I mean. :)

Emma Gardner said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news. I'm really looking forward to reading your book.

Danielle said...

Jess, I read this in the morning and I've been thinking about you all day! How wonderful! I have been hoping you'd write a book and I cannot wait to read it. Sign me up.

All the best for an exciting year!

Nicole @Eat This Poem said...

Such exciting news! Congrats! Should be a year of adventure ahead.

RecipeGirl said...

Fun news! It will be awesome- good luck!

koshercamembert said...

I'm so excited to read the book. If you need any testers or tasters...I'm right here for you!
- Gayle

momMe said...

Congratulations on your coming out --- love you and how you "use your words" so much!

kelsey said...

So, SO much love. Can't stop thinking about this.

Monica said...

Hooray and congratulations! Your writing is so honest and human. I can't wait to read your book!

El said...

Congratulations. I'm incredibly happy for you. We'll miss you! (and yes, the recipe calls for almond meal) Keep us posted on Twitter!

sara said...

so completely appropriate is all I have to say. Well deserved and it WILL be fabulous. You have a big crowd cheering for you, sweet girl.

racheleats said...

I raise a virtual glass to you (and a real one tonight filled with prosecco). Excuse me spell check is trying to change prosecco to process and we don't want that. Terrific news, very well deserved sing Luca and I. Go forth and write x

Tracy said...

I am anxious—the wait will be unbearable. I have not been this excited about a book in a long time. So happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I am very excited to start reading your book.

Jess said...

What a thing. So glad you're well, Jess.

Jess said...

AWESOME.

Jess said...

Thanks, El, but wait -- I'm not going anywhere! I'll be writing here, for sure.

Rosiecat said...

Oh! Oh oh oh! Congratulations, sweet Jess, you are one heck of a writer, cook, and baker. Thanks for all the joy you've brought me and my kitchen, and I can't wait to see what's next. (I mean, I get that the book is next, but it's what is _inside_ the book that has me excited, with wooden spoon in hand.)

Good luck, have fun, and lick your fingers! xoxo

girlparker.com said...

I'll be standing in line to buy "the book" as soon as it hits the shelves. Many congratulations!!!

charlotte au chocolat said...

Congrats, Jess! So exciting! Can't wait to read it.

Lisa Sanchez said...

Woohooo!! Sending you a very very big smile from Georgia, Jess. If there ever was a book that needed to be written, it's yours.

Molly said...

Three days late to the party, but at long last: WAHOOOOOOO! I am so, so, so very happy for you, my friend, and I can't wait to see what comes next. Much love. xo

Kasey said...

How wonderful, Jess! I love your description of the book and I absolutely cannot wait to hear how the process is going for you...and of course for the finished product! It must feel exhilarating and I couldn't be happier for you!

alanachernila said...

It's our gain, Jess, our gain. Thanks for having the courage to jump in and put yourself into this. It's such a gift that we'll all get to have your book on our shelves. xo

talley said...

I read this post just before I boarded a plane back to Z├╝rich and I have been thinking about it and you since. I am just SO excited for you I can barely stand it. But I'm also really excited for me too, because I get to read your wonderful book. And I know it will be wonderful because everything you write, cook, photograph here is just that, wonderful, absolutely, without a doubt some of the best out there. Happy aneur-versary - so glad you found the road to recovery and that you've let us all be a part of the ride. Hip Hip HOORAY!

Kelly said...

Such wonderful news! Happy anniversary too.

Gemma said...

Congratulations! I'm so very happy for you, it's so wonderful to see people succeed doing something they love.

I used to work for Penguin in London and I would have been so excited to see your book appearing in our offices!

Stephen Fechtor said...

A writer. Of course you are. You've been one from the start. Love you, honey. Dad

nicole said...

What fantastic news. Cannot wait to read YOUR BOOK!!! Congrats.

Shayne said...

Mazel tov! Feel free to come to Brooklyn to test out any any all recipes before/after a run in the park.

Megan Gordon said...

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! I'm just seeing this now and am just beaming from the other coast. Congrats, Jess! I'm so, so thrilled with you and would be happy to book commiserate/panic/long-distance drink with you anytime. The book sounds fantastic. Yahoooooo!

shari said...

so happy for you, jess! can't wait to read your book. xox

Luisa said...

Good grief, I'm late to this, but yahoooo!! It's going to be great. You're going to be great!

jenious said...

I saw mention of a manuscript on Instagram today and felt like - how did I not know about her book?! Of course, I know you'll understand how much our lil ones may pull our attentions away from the online realm for a time, so please accept my tardy CONGRATS!!! Very happy for you, Jess. Looking forward to the read.

p.s. - Mia is darling. Her eyes...so telling.

Julie said...

Sorry to have missed this news! It was a rough summer. Wowsers and congratulations!!

Pia said...

Yes, I'm still here. And that's most of my evening - I must stop now. A very late congratulations on the book! What a lovely read it must be. I must get myself a copy.