Photo Submission Complete

Whew! Deadline number one met! Last Monday, I mailed a disk with one hundred photos for the book to my editor. After I left the post office, I celebrated by going to Market of Choice and enjoying peanut butter chocolate gelato … sure, it was 9 a.m., but I didn’t care.

I’m working on editing … still. I can read a chapter nine times and continue making edits or minor adjustments. Eventually, I make myself move on and add it to Emil’s list for his review. Speaking of him, we’ve changed our editing process once again. I think it works better for us, but it’s a little slower.

So, we’re edited a little over half of the chapters. Time is flying by fast. With Mt. Bachelor opening a week early, it’s put us behind. I’m in super high stress mode right now. Oftentimes, I rise at 6 a.m. to edit before going in to work. Coffee is my best friend!

Well, back to editing! Thanks for your kind support! It means so much to me.

Book Update

Hi All! Wow. Time is flying by, and I definitely feel the pressure. So far, I’ve sent two chapters to my editor for review, and she likes them both! A few changes, but not much … that’s fantastic! She gives a nice combination of suggested changes and positive notes. I have other chapters completed, but I won’t send each chapter to her.

My photos are due mid-November, and I’ve completed the selection and dropped them into my manuscript to see what the chapters will look like. I’ve also picked out several photos for the cover, and it will be tough whittling them down. I’ll send in seven to nine photos for it. The captions are written and ready to go for further down the road.

As far as the manuscript, I’m editing three chapters at one time. My process (thanks to Kathleen Coop) is to work on the chapters, go for a walk, come back to the chapters, go whip up some cookies, come back to the chapters, and then go to bed. The next morning, I look at the chapters again and possibly two more times. When I feel good about them, Emil edits the chapters. Then, I go back and read the edits and work on them again. It’s a long process and requires lots of patience on my part. Plus, I’m out of freezer room with all the cookies and quick breads I make.

My word count is almost 30,000, and I have one more interview with a farm in Culver. Very exciting to meet the farmer and see his operation.

I’m working more hours right now with my jobs, so I’ve editing in the evenings as well. Trying not to stress eat carbs! Keep me in your thoughts as I continue. Looking forward to the milestone of turning in photos!

21,323 Words and Counting

Hi Everyone! The book is rolling along, and I celebrate every milestone. I’ve started editing the chapters, and it’s so fun to read and think about my time on the farm or with the chef. I’ve also started a folder to collect photos for the cover. I’ll submit five to seven photos for the cover, and there are so many good ones for consideration. Lots of colorful vegetables and gorgeous plating. My editor will make the final selections.

Here are some interesting facts about the book:

  • My word count has to be between 38,000 and 42,000
  • The book will have 50-80 photos
  • I pay for all expenses incurred. It’s very important to me to pay for the dishes we photograph. I support the restaurant. This is not a restaurant review.
  • I think, talk, and work on the book when I’m not working my other jobs.

Next up: New author photo in October. Handing over the chapters to my in-house editor(Emil) and finishing a few more interviews. It’s a super busy time for chefs and farmers, so I’m patient. There’s plenty for me to do in the meantime.

I’m so thankful to everyone for their support. I appreciate you asking me about the process and how I’m faring through it all. I always say it’s very emotional, and it’s true. Mostly, I just worry about what folks will say about the finished product. You know me … I always worry about something or someone. It’s just in my nature.

Well, back to editing! Have a super weekend! Happy Fall!

Progress Report

Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for all your love and support! I’ve written over 15,000 words, and I’m feeling pretty good about the content.

Many evenings spent looking at pictures taken by Emil (thank you!). We’ve developed a process. A quick scan, pick some favorites, turn them into black and white, and then back to color. The book will have a color section of at least thirty two pictures. Almost all of the food pictures look better in color … no surprise there. Each chapter will feature one to three black and white pictures. I’ve posted many of the pictures on my Facebook author page. Thanks for all the new likes! Ultimately, my editor has final pick of pictures and will format them, but I’ll send in my recommendations along with notes on cropping, etc.

So, what’s next? I’m setting up a few more interviews this month. Then, I’ll spend October editing the manuscript, finalizing picture captions, drafting the back cover text, finalizing a title with my editor, and handling last minute items from the publisher like lists of where to sell my book, book-signings, and more.

Again, thanks to all the farmers, chefs, advocates, education program folks, and more for making time for me during the busy summer!

Idaho Bike Ride and Book Update

Hey Y’all! Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks, and now I have time to breathe again. Spent nine days working on the rest stop crew for Bicycle Rides Northwest on their Idaho bike ride. What fun! Made new friends, ate my weight in potato chips, saw Idaho, and set up my tent five times!

The book is progressing well, and I’ve written approximately 12,000 words. I’ve started sorting through photos and choosing the ones to be published. Here are a few of my favorite photos so far:

I spent some time at the Deschutes Library last week and researched a bit for the history chapters. I hope to finalize my bio this week and confirm more interviews for mid-September. Also, looking forward to one final catering gig of the season!

Trying my best to celebrate the work I’ve completed thus far instead of thinking about the work to be done! Thanks for your continued support! I so appreciate it.

Book Update

It’s been a month since I started on the book project! It’s been an amazing experience so far, and I’m so thankful for the farmers, education/engagement folks, and chefs who have made time for me during the busy summer season. I’ve learned so much, eaten freshly-plucked produce from the dirt, dined on some delicious food, and shared my experience with many people.

I took some time off to travel to South Carolina, where I grew up. My family rented a home on Hilton Head Island for a week. Ted and his family drove down from Cincinnati. Tom and his family all the way from Houston.

You know you’re in the South when there’s black-eyed peas and stewed okra on the hot bar at Publix! I enjoyed pimiento cheese several times and indulged in sweet tea. I even met up with an old friend I haven’t seen in seventeen years! He hasn’t aged or changed at all!

Here are some pics from my trip:

Pimiento Cheese and Bacon Panini in Savannah, GA

Tom, Sara, Dad

Shark on!

Ted and Aaron

Dolphins and a sting ray

Back in the Day Bakery. Swoon! I love their cookbooks!

Selfie of Mother and I.









I hit the ground running when I returned and did two interviews for the book. Then I did a two day catering gig at Rock Springs. It was good to be back in the kitchen!

Next up: A full week of interviews, and then I head out to Idaho to work a bike ride.

Thanks for all your kind support and encouragement!


Farm-to-Table Book

Big news! I’m writing a book about Bend food and the farm-to-table success here in town. So excited! The proposal process was new to me, and it really helped shape the book and what I want to write.

I’m thankful to Laurie at Arcadia Publishing for her time and patience. My questions are endless, and I like to consider the big picture (even though I’m practically dancing around the house) before agreeing to the book. This summer will be filled with interviewing farmers, chefs, and many more folks in town.

Check out their website for a complete listing of available books:

Hooray! Off to the store to stock up on legal pads, pens, post-it notes, and more….

Must Have Cookbook

I’ve been cooking almost every night from this amazing cookbook, “One Pan and Done: Hassle-free meals from the oven to  your table” by Molly Gilbert. Run out and buy it now, especially if you have a dutch oven!

Here are the recipes I’ve made and highly recommend:

– Lamb Meatballs with Spinach and Orzo (I substituted ground turkey. Lamb is expensive!)
– Bacon Biscuit Bread
– Chicken Tikka Masala
– S’mores Cups

I stumbled upon it at the library. Every two weeks, I stock up on cookbooks from the library and read them, marking the must-make recipes with post-it notes. If the cookbook has more than three post-it notes, I add it to my Amazon Wish List. With my horrible memory, I can’t rely on remembering book titles.

A shout-out to my mother who bought me a new cookbook for my birthday! Looking forward to making some vintage cakes from it….


An update

Hi! Sorry it’s been forever since I’ve posted. I’ve been working and enjoying a little time off. Last winter, I worked every day, but I’ve maintained work, life, balance this winter.  How was your winter? What are your summer plans?

I’m headed to back to South Carolina in July. Will spend a glorious week (hopefully without being stung by a jellyfish) at Hilton Head Island with my family. Looking forward to sweet tea, Southern hospitality, and seafood!

Planning to get back into shape (other than my current donut-like shape) and walk Pilot Butte again. I love walking it and listening to podcasts like The Sporkful or Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

A possible trip to Idaho in August….

Our house is gutted, and it’s like camping inside. Electrical and plumbing work is on deck next. Plus, I have tons of great plants and nurseries to visit, thanks to my friend, Candace. A little sprucing up in the yard is needed!

Enjoy Spring and stop to admire the flowers!

The News

Yep, I have big news. Drum roll …. we bought a house! More like a project. We closed on the house mid-May, and then proceeded to rip out sheet rock, floors, insulation, carpet, trim, the kitchen, and the laundry room. Minor stuff, really.

So, now you know what I’ve been doing. The project, moving, cleaning the rental, and attempting to settle in. So far, it’s been really fun. I’ve learned so much about house renovation, and I haven’t stepped on a nail yet. Although, I did take a nice hammer hit to the knee. But, I digress..

I have a nice two week window to focus on writing projects. These include edits to After We Met, finishing book three, and revising an entry to a writing contest. Piece of cake. But first, let me eat a bowl of popcorn, chase the cat around the house, drink hot tea, and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Then, I’ll actually plug in the laptop and open Microsoft Word. I also have to go through my “I hate After We Met, and I can’t believe I wrote this crap” rant. This usually takes me about an hour as I read out loud and edit. Then, I finally calm down, grab another mug of tea, and look at recipes on-line to take my mind off it.

Wish me luck. I read two chapters out loud, told the cat I should give up, and now I’m reading Dilbert cartoons.