I thought I’d share a bit more about my authorial process to show how ideas can happen anytime, anywhere. If I can do it, so can you!
It was January 2017 as I was reviewing my New Year goals and actions for the Your Food Story program, when a book idea came to me in the shower no less! (Sometimes I joke that I should put my office desk in the shower since lots of ideas are formulated there!) I thought about Canada’s 150th anniversary since confederation and how perhaps I could participate. The idea was about a cross-Canada food story collection as a way to recognize this anniversary. 150 stories? Sure. Why not?!
Things changed quite quickly when I reminded myself that Canada is much older than 150 years and that I didn’t want anybody to think I was tied to the “Canada 150” celebrations. I also wanted to recognize our Indigenous peoples and pay tribute to their land, now called the country of Canada, that is much older than 150 years. It also made a lot more sense to trim back the rather ambitious goal of collecting 150 food stories to 100. It was a more realistic target with a manageable book size to match.
As I curated, collected and wrote food stories it was evident that recipes were lovely “sides” to the “main course” of the stories. Tributes, favourite family food treasures, and ancestral meals started to make their way into the collection. This was starting to get very real. I was so excited!
The real challenge was to represent every region of the country, including all territories. It was during the spring and early summer of 2017 that I began to establish relationships with potential northern community contributors. It was a happy day indeed when the first Nunavut story was added to the collection. Soon after, after much networking, more contacts and submissions poured in from all over the country. I hit 100 contributors and still kept going to reach my goal of reaching a few more regions that were under-represented!
At this point, I decided to put my Sprout Natural Nutrition business on hold since the project was already a full-time job. From August 2017 onwards, I was dedicated my time to the book project, putting in all effort and time into seeing it come to completion in a much faster way than just a part-time project.
After a hunt that began in January, I received the last submission in mid-November of 2017. 113 food stories plus my own were now in the book. Now, the feverish task of compiling, organizing, editing, and reviewing really went into high gear. With a brief break over the Christmas season, my husband (aka editor) and I spent every weekend in January and February to hit my completion deadline. Finally, from conception to completion, after almost 15 months, the book was published at the end of March 2018.
And here we are! What a journey it’s been. I’m excited to meet the people with whom I’ll be taking the next steps in my journey.