After months—nay, years—of anticipation, plus blood, sweat, and tears (though fewer than those who know me might expect), I’m thrilled to announce that Sugar Snaps and Strawberries has arrived! (Wow, that was a little like a birth announcement. Coincidence? I think not.) My advance copy (just one!) came via the slowest courier ever, and arrived while I was off at work. I will admit that I was not the most focused employee this afternoon, thinking about the package that awaited me at home. And then I was home, and the package was in my hands. And yet somehow, I couldn’t open it. I’d imagined that moment for a long, long time, and I wanted to savour it. Preferably along with something alcoholic. But dinner was on the stove and I had a toddler bashing her plasma car into my shins. So I waited. We ate dinner (the package seated alongside us). I almost held out until Lila was in bed, but at some point I said something along the lines of, “screw it,” and tore into the package.
It’s a funny thing, getting what you want. This thing—writing a book—has been on my bucket list since I was an angsty teen (I imagined myself more of a Sylvia Plath or Anais Nin than a garden writer, but heck, I’ll take it). Holding that book—my book—in my hands was a totally surreal moment. As my friend Dave says, nothing is ever as good or as bad as you think it will be. And so it was. The book seemed physically smaller than I’d expected. But somehow bigger with the weight of all the expectations I have for it, the work and love and time that went into it, and just the bigness of it all. I wrote an f*ing book. Allow me to be amazed for a moment, friends.
And there’s so much fear that comes along with it, too. What if there’s an error? What if someone doesn’t like it? It’s so much scarier than hitting “publish” on a blog post. This thing is in print. I am both thrilled and terrified to be sharing it with you all.
Like I said, it was a bit of a surreal moment. I looked at every page. Stuck my nose in and inhaled the ink. Was satisfied. Then I put the book down, saw the spine, and screamed. My husband, thinking I’d spotted a mistake, looks like he might be getting ready to dash our child to safety. Then I explain: “Bellamy! My name is on the spine of a book!” I don’t know why, but that suddenly made everything real, and worth it. I can’t wait to look myself up at the library.
Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden features stunning photographs by the uber-talented Jackie Connelly, and is published by the fabulous Timber Press. I owe them huge gratitude, as I do you, my loyal readers. Thank you for being here.