Life From Scratch by the amazing Melissa Ford was the first novel I’ve read by someone I know. And by “know” I mean, “know on the internet but really really hope I’ll meet her in person someday, though I’d probably be starstruck.”
I’m moderately into chick lit, by which I mean, I like it if it’s well written (see: Jennifer Weiner) and merely tolerate it if it’s not (though I’ve been known to read more than my share of poorly written fiction of many genres). Life From Scratch is definitely in the former category. If you’ve read Mel’s blog for say, two seconds, you know that she writes very well. Her voice in this book is decidedly Rachel’s, though a hint of Mel shows through as well.
I have to say, as a semi-recently divorced woman, I was pleased to pick up a book with a recently divorced woman as the protagonist. And here, I must confess, I remember those fictional blog posts that Mel linked to on Stirrup Queens way back when. (Does anyone else remember them?) When I started reading the book, I recognized the name, Rachel Goldman, and the bare bones of her story—divorced, learning to cook, best friend a single mother by choice.
Towards the end of Chapter 11, Rachel is reflecting on her relationship with Adam when she says “What I really want, more than any other birthday wish I ever made, is to meld what I know now with what I had then and build something entirely new in the process…something potentially wonderful again.” If you could go back to any time in your life and “meld what you know now with what you had then” when would you choose and what would you do with the information you have? What would you tell yourself or what might you try to change about yourself and/or your life?
I thought long and hard about if I’d like to go back to when I met Mr. X and see if something potentially wonderful could happen. The problem is, with what I know now, I would not end up with him, unless he, too, were different.
I’d really love to go back to college with the self-knowledge that I have now. I’d be a lot less tortured (I hope) and I wouldn’t feel so bad about not fitting in with the people I thought I was supposed to. I wouldn’t let the grief of losing a best friend my freshman year paralyze me and I would allow myself to grieve and move through the process in a healthy way. I would be more open to relationships with guys (other than my “best friend,” or on vacation or study abroad) and I would be open to learning a lot more without the strictures I placed on myself back then.
How would you react if your blog hit the big time — if you had hundreds of thousands or even millions of readers hanging on your every word, if you won awards, if mainstream media wanted to interview and feature you? Are there aspects of blogging fame that you’d refuse? How would the content of your blog change?
My blog has been at it’s best, I believe, when I’ve been the most honest, the most vulnerable. My being able to do that requires anonymity, or at least, anonymity to those in my face-to-face, everyday life. I don’t want to say “real life” because some of you have been very real friends to me, in ways that my wonderful, in the flesh friends could not be.
The idea of any kind of fame makes me nervous. Blogging fame in particular makes me nervous, unless I wrote a very different kind of blog. Even then…nope, don’t want the fame. If I’m ever any good at this blogging thing (and please, don’t judge me by the last few months alone), being able to be real and honest is the key to that. Fame would just shoot all that to hell.
If you had a year to do what you wanted, what would you do? Would you learn to cook or something different?
I don’t believe I would learn to cook. I might learn photography. I’d love to use the time to travel and learn photography as I go.
I’d really like to be able to fall in love (with an emotionally mature one this time) and make a life with someone. I’d like that life to have children in it. If all I had to do was take a year off to get that, I’d be first in line.
To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at Write Mind Open Heart.