Hi there. It's been a while. A little over a month. In that time, my book came out (which always sounds funny to say because I think of my book coming out of the closet.), I went to Zions and I went to Europe. My kids excelled in school, I did a lot of laundry and I bought three pumpkins for my front porch. I thought of new recipe ideas (it's like a disease), bought Skittles for my primary class and put Violet in her Snow White dress 50 times. I shaved Jack's head, rubbed lotion on Van's dry wrists and rubbed Ethan's feet a lot. It has been a busy last few weeks. A roller coaster of emotions. During the roller coaster, I have hit the low part of the ride a lot. You know the part where the roller coaster where it goes straight, but has lots of little dips in a row? I have been cruising on there for a while. I am sick of it.
I worked on my book for two and a half years. I remember when I first got started and made the commitment to myself to do it. Of course I fantasized about how it would feel when I was done. Elated, proud, strong. Anticipating that feeling kept me focused on my book. I knew it would be enjoyed and loved by people. It would get them cooking and make them comfortable in the kitchen. But I also knew I would get criticism. I knew it. It's impossible to create something that everyone loves. Impossible.
A few weeks after "The Family Flavor" came out, I went to Belgium. For Christmas last year, my parent's gave me a round-trip ticket to visit my sister in Belgium, to be redeemed whenever I wanted. It was the most magnificent trip. A once in a lifetime experience. I went alone, leaving my willing and able husband at home to tend our flock. I saw amazing things, met amazing people and ate amazing food. I don't remember the last time I felt that carefree. One night, I was sitting on my sister's kitchen counter, getting ready to devour some delicious Thai takeout and I thought I would check out the latest reviews. And there it was, the review that felt like a punch in the stomach. But of course I knew all along that my book wasn't going to be for everyone. Or did I know that? I mean, the review seemed a little harsh. Couldn't they have just said "I don't like it"? Or even gone farther and said, "I freaking hated this stupid book". But they didn't. They got specific and mean and man, it took every bit of wind out of my sails.
Ever since them, I have really struggled to revel in the joy of having written a book. I find myself going days on end not thinking about my book. I even caught myself purposely not cooking something specific because I knew I would have to look it up in my book. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I wrote a book! I should be happy and proud! I have had so many kind, wonderful people say kind, wonderful things. I succeeded in having my book get people cooking and comfortable in their kitchens. Why can't I focus on that? Instead, I sit and stew in my mind. I put myself down and let that bad review take over. There are days when it consumes me and I feel so dark and sad.
I e-mailed my mom who is a writer. I said, "Mom, I got a bad review. Be my mom right now and tell me I don't suck." And she responded brilliantly and said wonderful smart things. In fact, I will post it. Here, read this. It's long.