My recent posts about my recipe cupboard have generated some interesting emails, tweets, and blog comments about my cookbooks.
In case you’re wondering – yes, my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook is indeed disintegrating from overuse, and yes, the Intercourses aphrodisiac cookbook really will make your spouse lie down naked on the dinner table (so maybe don’t use it when your mom visits).
A couple comments reminded me of a conversation that took place when I first purchased one of the books:
Clerk (eyeing the book, then eyeing me): A Weight Watchers cookbook?
Me: Um, yes. And also this shower brush shaped like a penis.
Clerk (eyeing me some more): That’s not a penis, it’s a leg. And why do you need a Weight Watchers cookbook? You’re thin.
It was one of those moments I wish I were quick with clever retorts. My first instinct was to wonder if the clerk also chided overweight customers purchasing dessert cookbooks. Then I imagined the inappropriate conversation I could spark by returning to the counter with a sex manual.
But I suppose I can’t fault the clerk’s observation. Yes, I’m a relatively thin person who just happens to like healthy cooking. My intense love affair with my Reader’s Digest How To Book of Healthy Cooking doesn’t mean I’m on an anorexic quest to drop 50 pounds, but it does probably mean I’m interested in keeping the figure I have.
It’s funny this subject should come up the same week I’ve been contemplating taking an online course on revisions from author Lani Diane Rich (aka Lucy March).
I mentioned it to an acquaintance the other day, and she looked at me like I’d just announced my intent to try sword swallowing.
“But you’ve already got a book deal,” she said. “Why do you need a writing class?”
I’m intrigued by this idea that an author could reach some I have arrived pinnacle and suddenly kick back with a glass of Sangiovese and the smug certainty she knows everything there is to know about writing.
If there is such a pinnacle, I don’t want to reach it.
Isn’t that the thrill of this business? The fact that no matter what stage you’re at in your career, you can always learn and grow and fine-tune your writing? There are a million ways for an author to refill her bag of tricks, and that’s part of what keeps this process fresh and fun. I don’t care if you’re a brand new author or Stephen King – smart writers are always working to hone their talents and sharpen their skills.
How about you? What do you do to maintain or improve your writing abilities?
Please share in the comments.
I'll be busy enjoying my healthy cookbooks and my online writing class and especially my penis-shaped shower brush.