I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been kinda busy. Not too busy to write, mind you, just busy writing. Editing. Rewriting. Reading out loud and editing some more. And I am now happy (or would that be relieved or maybe even terrified) to report that I am publishing my book. MY BOOK. The one that I wrote.
Well actually, the one that I started writing 12 years ago.
Yeah, sometimes I’m a little slow. But in this case it was never laziness or negligence that rendered me sluggish. It was trepidation. You see, my book is a memoir. Actually my pal C calls it a “cook-moir”. Because it is a memoir which includes recipes.
My book is all about cheating.
In the kitchen.
In the bedroom.
No, not at the same time.
As the word “memoir” suggests (I think) this book will be my memories. MY memories (and therefore my saga) of a tumultuous time in my existence when my marriage exploded and so did my life. But it’s more than a sordid tale of an affair, broken hearts, new love and surprising twists. It’s a tale of my evolution. My jagged journey from desire to disillusionment to discovery. Which I hope is more compelling than my illustrious inclination for alliteration.
The trepidation comes from the fact that even though the names are changed (to protect the innocent; mine remains intact), the narrative is true. At least as true as I recall. But how much truth do we dare tell? How many warts do we willfully expose? How naked are we willing to be as we strut down that very public road?
These are all choices I had to make. And it was hard. Because I didn’t write this book to call anyone out or to blame anyone (except maybe me), to justify my choices or condemn someone else’s or even to seek forgiveness in the public eye. I wrote this book to help.
Golly, Vick, aren’t you just about the most altruistic human being on the planet?! … yes I know it’s what you’re thinking (sarcastically). But the reality is I absolutely had to get to a place of magnanimity before the tone was right. As long as I was sniveling or accusing or even making excuses, my memoir was a kindergarten exercise in self-indulgence. I had to arrive at a place of full understanding and acceptance to actually write a book that (maybe) matters.
But the other thing is – I had to be willing to write the truth. THE TRUTH. Okay, let’s rephrase that to MY TRUTH. Because without the truth my little book is just a racy potboiler drenched in tears. But WITH the truth it is a pilgrimage.
At least I hope so.
The one thing I have always elected to do with this blog is protect the privacy of those included. I never use full names and I even change the initials. Even so, the number of people I have totally PISSED OFF is way higher than I would like.
This makes me sad.
But I also get it. Most people hide behind very heavy cloaks. To have even an inch of that fabric stripped away is disconcerting. Or humiliating. Or both.
I (on the other hand) am just a nude beach waiting to happen. This is a weird and somewhat blessed side effect of spending far too much of your life lying. Or altering the truth. Or hiding the truth? Or maybe not even having a fucking clue of what the truth is.
So … now that my book has gone off to the editor (this morning – yay!) … I am at peace with my truth. I am comfortable with my telling of it. I am satisfied with my depiction of all characters and I am excited to share my work with the world. Somebody’s gonna be pissed, this I know. Somebody’s gonna take offense. Somebody’s gonna be mad as hell that I reopened an old can of worms.
But hopefully somebody is gonna learn something. Somebody is gonna gain knowledge the easy way (reading about it) as opposed to the hard way (living it). Maybe somebody is gonna think twice before making the mistakes I made. And maybe somebody is just gonna try a cheater recipe or two or just be entertained.
Maybe nobody will even read the sucker?
I’m okay with all of this. I’m okay with all of this because I realize now that if I do not tell the truth, my voice is useless. It is only in the baring of my soul, the telling of MY truth and the sympathetic (I hope) portrayal of ALL other players that my voice finds its purpose.
So get ready for “Confessions of a Potty-Mouth Chef: How To Cheat, Eat and Be Happy!”
This baby is 12 years in the making. And she is ready to be born.