“If I’m not in a class, I don’t write.”
You think I’m quoting one of my students there? I am–but I’m speaking for myself, too. I have a hard time buckling down and producing essays about my life if I don’t have two components in place:
- a theme I’m interested in writing about, and
- an audience expecting me to produce.
I find this is especially true when it comes to that cookbook-memoir I mean to write. I’ve got a theme–food–but no audience or deadline. Dangerous.
See, my husband is a gourmet chef–and I have an awful lot of his recipes semi-written from all the times I’ve dieted and taken notes of the ingredients he’s used in his dishes, in order to figure the calories, or WeightWatchers points, or whatever system I’m currently using. Now all I need to do is get him to dictate the instructions that go with those ingredient lists and I’ll have an amazing cookbook representing 29 years of love expressed through food. If I cook up some stories to accompany some of those recipes, I’ll have matched his gift with one of my own and created a cookbook-memoir of our life together.
Maybe my upcoming class for Story Circle Network, “Start Writing Your Cookbook-Memoir,” will get me motivated to work on that project. I’m planning to offer the same curriculum locally in the fall, through the Willy Street Coop, but we’re having trouble finding free dates on the calendar. That plan might have to wait awhile to come to fruition.
But in the meantime, if the topic interests you, and the convenience of an online class tickles your fancy, and you are “a woman with stories to tell” (Story Circle Network’s mission), then have I got a deal for you. Click here for more information about the upcoming Story Circle Network class.
Want to get a feel for what kinds of essays people produce in a cookbook-memoir class? Here are a few examples from my Meals and Memories class conducted for the Odyssey Project in Summer 2009.
- Pecan Gems
- Salad Tamate, or, a Tale of Two Tomatoes
- Grand MaMa Dovie McMullin’s Good Old Fashioned Southern Communion Butter Bread