So over a year ago, in April of 2011, I was folding clothes in the guest room (in case you didn’t know, I consider our guest room bed a gigantic drawer for clean clothes, and occasionally that drawer gets a little out of control), and out of nowhere, a book title popped in my head.
Well, it wasn’t an actual book title. It was an old Southern expression that I thought might be a possible book title. Granted, it seemed totally ridiculous that I was even contemplating book titles considering that I had no plans to write a book and had never even had an idea for a book. Plus, I’m not a dreamer, I’m not a goal-setter, and I’m terrified of rejection. So it didn’t require much of a mental leap to conclude that my self-doubt and I were not exactly on the fast track for publication.
But the title stuck with me as I finished folding clothes, and I texted it to myself so that I wouldn’t forget it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there might be something I could do with it.
Last fall there were some very unexpected developments, and in February I signed a contract to write a book for Tyndale. I was thrilled to pieces for approximately twelve hours, at which point I realized that OH SWEET MERCY I HAVE TO WRITE ALL THE WORDS NOW.
And there may have been a little bit of panic at that juncture.
But this past Saturday night, around 9:20 in the PM, I finished the first draft of the book while I was sitting at my kitchen table. David and Alex were in the kitchen with me, and oh, it was a happy moment. They have been so supportive and encouraging throughout this whole process – y’all have no idea. I don’t know how I can ever repay them, but I’m going to start with lots of ice cream and also fried chicken.
The book is a collection of personal essays (that sounds fancy, but I think you know me well enough to know that the book is most definitely not fancy) about the joy of the day-to-day. It’s about the South and faith and family and food and how faithful God is to meet us in the middle of our seemingly ordinary circumstances. And while I never expected to say this, I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun I had writing it. It was one of the biggest blasts of my whole life. No kidding.
And by the way, the book really is called A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet. That makes me so happy. It wasn’t the title that we had on the proposal, but a few weeks after I signed my contract, I emailed my sweet editor and said, Okay. There’s this title that came to me last year when I was folding laundry. And I can’t let it go. She immediately wrote me back and said that she loved it. And then I put my head down on my desk, and I cried.
Actually, I sobbed. But we’ll pretend it was all very feminine and dainty and delicate.
ANYWAY, thanks so much for your patience with me over the last six months or so. It’s been a hectic time, but it’s been a wonderful time. I am unspeakably grateful.
And now? Oh, listen. I AM GOING TO WATCH SO MUCH TV.
I’m also going to sample new snack crackers, and I’m going to try to make Alex laugh at least once an hour because his laugh is pretty much my favorite sound in the world right now, and I’m going to paint my dining room, and I’m going to visit with my friends, and I’m going to go out to dinner with my husband and remind him at least every ten minutes to please notice how carefree and not stressed out I am.
And then, after I’ve frolicked in the land of no deadlines for awhile, I’ll tackle the first round of edits.