Today’s the Day!

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Today’s the day!! My cookbook is finally for sale!! Yeah!! Whoohoo!!

I have to warn you – this is a rather, lengthy post so kick back, stay awhile. I want to take time to tell the whole story of writing this cookbook!! This post comes from the heart and has taken me some time to get up the nerve to share but here goes nothing!

I have literally spent the better part of these last 3 years tackling this cookbook as a legacy project for my kids by combining my passions for food, photography and down-to-earth whole living, while documenting all of my kids’ favorite recipes and sharing my own life lessons and memories with them. Crazily enough, each and every word, page, recipe and photograph in this book comes directly from me – not one single thing in this 426 page endeavor was outsourced (other than the numerous transmissions of files back and forth to my family for proofreading and endless phone calls to my mom, sister and niece)!

I bravely took on this project as an amateur at best and feel like I have come up out of it, more experienced and seasoned than ever, especially after learning how to dust myself off and pick myself up after encountering every possible hurdle imaginable. I am so lucky not to be in the loony bin after a few of those hurdles. Let me lay it on you, I lost all contents of the book not once but twice! Talk about crying a river! I should have capitalized on it and bought stock in Kleenex – those were dark days.

So many people have said, I didn’t know you were writing a cookbook? Well, frankly I didn’t tell many people as I didn’t want them to think I was being all “Goody Two-Shoes” writing a cookbook for my kids. This was a devotion of wanting to give my kids a tangible legacy that represented my heart and could be passed on for generations to come. You are probably wondering why I would feel compelled to do such a crazy thing?

Well, the real reason I wrote the cookbook goes so much deeper than most know.  My life forever changed 7 years ago after suffering another death in my life but this one was the straw that broke me. It made life come into crystal clear focus and sharpened the reality that we only get one chance to make this life count so make it good ’cause you just don’t know how long you have. With that ulterior motive leading my every move since then, I blindly jumped into this cookbook writing process and just started. I didn’t know up from down but I buried myself in the work of it all and ultimately got lost in a process that I came to truly love (minus a meltdown or two!). I came to realize that I didn’t “share” the journey because I was scared. Scared that I couldn’t do it, scared what people might think – who is she to write a cookbook, scared, I would disappoint myself, my kids and my family if it didn’t turn out well or worse yet, never ever finishing. To boil it down, it was simply just a deep rooted fear of rejection. I tucked it all in and just put my head down and worked away, barely mentioning it to a soul, all the while, guarding my heart.

What I realize now is that I missed out on an amazing opportunity to open my heart and share my journey with all of you. You could have laughed and cried with me! I realized what good is it if I don’t share. What a hypocrite I would be if I didn’t – especially considering the title of the book! I learned SO much throughout this process and it just doesn’t feel right not to share. I want to share it all – everything from recipe writing to editing to lighting, to baking to cooking, to life, to taking pictures, to understanding the publishing process of why normal books aren’t the size of mine! Speaking of which, I have to tell you this single piece of evidence of the massive size of my cookbook shows you that I really did set out to write this book solely for my kids (and not for the mass market) as I had no idea that it is completely unheard of to publish a 426 page with photos on every page in today’s cookbook publishing standards. I soon discovered out in the publishing world that my lengthy book under normal circumstances would be cost-prohibitive to print and would have to be broken down and sold in a 4 volume set. Whoa! I wrote 4 books in 1 – who knew?! Yet again, a mark of a true novice! So, in good ‘ol novice fashion, I diverted the normal course of publishing and stayed true to my beliefs of what this book was about and wanted to maintain its integrity by keeping it as one whole book, not meant to be broken into pieces but held together from a place of love and not from a place of marketing and high volume book sales – staying true to my original intention of making this book as a legacy for my kids.

So, as I tell my kids, it is never too late to share so why not now!  I’ve created a website, http://www.sharingourlifeloveandfood.com/ with the sole purpose of sharing it all – life, love and food. The website isn’t just about selling the book (although you would make this mom so happy if you bought a copy (remember according to the real world of publishing, you are getting a deal – 4 books in 1 for the price of 1!). The website is so much more than just the cookbook, its sharing recipes, my love for photography, a blog about life lessons, tips from the kitchen and pretty much anything else you can imagine, all in the nature of sharing so maybe one less person has to go through what I went through! It’s really an extension of my heart and life gifted out to all of you.

Okay, really enough about me. I have to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being my cheerleaders! The few times in the past when I shared this project with people, they offered such kindness and enthusiasm that it really in truly kept me going. Without a doubt, I could not have finished this book without that rah! rah! support coming from all of you!

I hope you find the cookbook and the website to be a reflection of my gratitude for all the lessons I’ve learned and you feel and sense the love that went into each and every page.  I also hope that you find that it honors the guiding perspective of celebrating the sharing of our lives, love and food with each another.  Sharing it with those I love and treasure makes it all the better; and my hope is for you to share back (Please don’t leave me hanging people, leave some comments or click on the follow button in the blog section and share away. I would really love to hear from you!).

Now that I’ve gotten the bug and somewhat know what I am doing, looks like more books may be in my future. But, I have to confess – the very thought of doing it all over again still intimidates the heck out of me but this time I will remember the most important thing – to share along the way!

Family and Friends – Please stay tuned for more information about a “Share Party” coming up in the next month or so to officially launch this whole endeavor. It’s going to be a party like no other – it will be all about sharing good food, hands on tips/demos and having some good ‘ol fashioned fun!

Much Love,

Elayne

www.sharingourlifeloveandfood.com

9 thoughts on “Today’s the Day!

  1. Elayne, so happy to see this, your first cookbook, completed and published. I know hard you have worked to make it perfect. I’m certain it is the first of many. Love, Mom

  2. CONGRATS!! It’s such a joy that this day is finally here. I couldn’t agree with Pam more….you are a light in a dark world, her words fit you to a tee. Your book has every bit of you in it…your gift of photography, your easy cooking/baking style and your love of words. I truly love every bit of it as I do you!! SO proud of you!

  3. I love stories like this where many find it so hard to take that first leap into something they are terrified about and in the end, they find out it’s not only good, but so much better than they could have ever dreamed. I’m a product of this type of story. A dear friend of mine has this saying: “Your story for His glory.” God wants to bless His children with the desires of their heart. Elayne, you are clearly blessed with such great talents. I know that these stories that you share in your new book will influence so many to dare to dream, step out of the boat, take a risk, and do the extraordinary. They will become a better person because of your obedience and influence. I can see joy and love and grace all over you and it spreads to those around you. Thank you for being a light in such a dark world. May God continue to surprise you with his blessings. 🙂 Big CONGRATS on your 1st book!

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