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.