Golden. Not Burnt.
Just about a year ago, I ended one brief (yet exciting) chapter in my life to focus on something entirely different--writing my first cookbook. Although there were other major factors that pulled me away from the road as well (e.g. family, health, family health, sanity, etc.), I knew that I wouldn't be able to finish a big ol' book of filipino recipes if I didn't devote a huge chunk of my time to it while also considering all the other things going on in my life.
And let me tell you, there's a lot to writing a book of cookery! Especially if there's to be 100 or so recipes in said book of cookery. In addition to developing and writing each recipe, there's the testing and re-testing (and testing again) of each recipe and incorporating some of the feedback from my recipe testers (many thanks to those of you who volunteered!), not to mention writing all the additional text, stories, and anecdotes, and the research that goes along with all of that. And that's only half of the battle!
The other half of that GI Joe equation is in the food photography. Besides all the writing and recipe development, I also took it upon myself to do my own pictures and food styling.
If you've been following this here blog for any amount of time, you may have noticed that food photography ain't my forte (neither be grammar). So with an already full plate of stress and despair, I also managed to pile on more worry with my relative inexperience with a big fancy camera. Now, all 100 recipes had to be individually styled and photographed. And because nothing ever goes as planned with me, that meant thousands and thousands of photos at different angles, in different light, and with different settings--only to whittle that number down to a couple hundred photos. Sheesh.
So you can probably imagine just how difficult these past 12 months have been for me trying to cobble together the cookbook of my dreams. And I loved every minute of it! Even the ones where I was cursing myself and my camera, or cursing myself and my stove, or just cursing myself in general (cookbook writing can be downright introspective and self-deprecating). But I'd do it all again (which I probably, hopefully will, but much much much further down the road...).
But first thing's first. A little over a month ago I finished the manuscript and photographs for my very first Filipino cookbook and submitted everything to my editor at Tuttle Publishing. Soon, I'll be getting some edits back of my draft manuscript for my review, and I'll also probably have to re-shoot some things as well. So even though I'm done with the manuscript and photos, there's still plenty more to do in the months to come before an actual cookbook hits the shelves.
Aside from more editing and photos, there's layout and cover design, color separation and pre-press, many more reviews and edits, printing overseas and shipping to the US, and a whole bunch of other minutiae that I'll probably cover in other posts.
And although I first reported that my book would be out by late 2012, it's more likely to be early 2013. It takes time to craft a quality cookbook, you know? I will keep you posted...