Anna’s Kitchen was my very first book, and I completely self-published it. I think there should be a requirement somewhere that every author must do this at least once in his or her lifetime. It’s an incredible learning experience as it makes authors extremely aware of just how much hard work goes into publishing a book.
Since I had no one to edit or proofread my book I did it all myself. This meant I used my spell checker for a proofreader. Big mistake, I know, but that is one of the many reasons why I learned that every author, no matter how rich and famous, simply must have an editor.
Once the book was printed I found all kinds of errors going back to the original manuscript. One of my friends found one to be particularly amusing. It was in a gravy recipe, and it said, “Add two tablespoons of fate.” He laughed and laughed. Then he asked me if it meant we were supposed to pray over the gravy as it was being prepared. Now mind you, it’s actually not a bad idea. I pray over the little everyday things in life much more than the big things, but in this case it was actually a typo the spell checker had missed. “Fate” was spelled correctly. What it should have read was, “add two tablespoons of fat.”
Yes, that would be a good recipe for gravy. But for everyday life yes, you should add two tablespoons of fate everyday. What will be will be.
My thought for the day.
One of the perks of being an author is that from time to time people give you awards. And contrary to what you might think, it’s really a humbling experience.
Two of my Luke and Jenny books have won awards. That’s always something because book awards, like any other artistic award, are so very subjective. One judging panel may simply love your book, and another panel may not. This is why I encourage you to keep entering book competitions. You never know when your work will hit the right chord with the right judge, and try not to get too discouraged when you don’t win.
A few months ago I received word that I had been selected for a very special honor — The Spirit of the Old West Alive Award. This was not a competition I had entered, rather I was being honored for my overall work in keeping the history and the culture of the American West alive and well. Talk about an “awe shucks” kind of moment. Then to discover that other recipients of this award included Bob Boze Bell, publisher of True West Magazine, Marshall Trimble, the Official Arizona State Historian, and actors Peter Brown, Hugh O’Brian, and Bruce Dern. Well, that really took my breath away.
I received my award this past August, and my co-recipient was a man by the name of Joe Bethancourt. Joe is a musician and entertainer here in Arizona, and he’s best known for his appearances on the old Wallace & Ladmo television show. Wallace and Ladmo had the longest running local TV show in Arizona history — 35 years. So to be honored with Joe was a big deal. And did I mention I’d met Joe once or twice before, and he’s a heck of a nice guy.
So the evening was fun, and humbling, at the same time. Here I thought of myself as doing my thing, and I didn’t think anyone had really noticed.
So the lesson here today is to do the things that you are passionate about. Whether it’s cooking, writing, art or music. If you stay at it long enough someone just may take notice.
My thought for the day.