My book finally comes out tomorrow(!), but before it's officially out there, I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank some of the people who helped me along the way. Below, I'm copying and pasting the "Acknowledgments" from my book, which I've annotated slightly, mostly because it's been a year since I wrote them and a lot of things can happen in a year. (I'm also including links where I can.)
***First and foremost, I want to thank the readers of my blog. Without all of you, this book would never have happened. I especially want to thank those who, through their thoughtful comments on the site and occasional e-mails, became more than just readers but cheerleaders and friends. Whether you knew it or not, your digital messages often served as tangible proof I actually had readers, which translated into quiet encouragement to continue the blog (and to continue writing in general).
I want to thank my agent Amy Hughes for calling me three years ago and proposing the idea for this book as well as for her continued support through this whole process, not to mention other important processes, e.g., childbirth and child-rearing.
I want to thank my editor Emily Griffin, who encouraged me to write the kind of book I always wanted to write and who took so much care not only with this manuscript but also with me. I like to joke with my writing students about how writers are naturally fragile, self-conscious, sensitive creatures, and during the writing of this book, I was all of these as well as pregnant, and then very pregnant and grieving. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more understanding person to help me shape this book.
I want to thank Wendy Brenner—my professor and thesis director while I was at the University of North Carolina Wilmington—who has always encouraged my writing, both fiction and non-, and who has been a reader and supporter of the blog from the very beginning. I also want to thank her for convincing me to watch the 1948 classic film The Red Shoes during a time period when I was feeling particularly down and out. She wrote to me, “the MOVIE is insolent and…you (Amelia) have to be insolent (defiant) to be an artist of any kind.” It was exactly what I needed to hear at the time.
I also want to thank my other writing professors who believed in me enough to allow me to believe in myself (if even for a few fleeting moments). I’m referring to you: Rebecca Lee, Lucy Bucknell, and Stephen Dixon.
I want to thank my fellow “food bloggers,” or perhaps better-put, this creative, supportive community I’ve found myself in; specifically, Tim from Lottie and Doof, Luisa from The Wednesday Chef, Kimberley from The Year in Food, Sarah from The Yellow House, Kelsey from Happyolks, and Tannaz from All Kinds of Yum. Each one of you and your sites have been sources of encouragement as well as inspiration.
I want to thank my friends (specifically: Dionne, Kat, Roger, Stephanie, and Simone) and bosses at Heath Ceramics. Although the job might have brought me to tears on more than one occasion, the people I worked with made me smile way more often. Plus, I found daily inspiration in the company's dedication to the art of making as well as the beautiful ceramics.
I’m a demanding friend. (Or, as my friend Liz once kindly put it, “Amy is complicated.”) I want to thank my close circle of friends for their support. Mary Anne, Adam, Raena, Sonya, Liz, Kara, Tim, Corinne, Jodi, Neal, Sara, Sean, Ali, James, Peggy, Rachel, Chelsea, Nick, and Kathleen, you guys have been there for me time and time again, and I can’t thank you enough. Thank you also to those of you who served as trusty recipe testers. Your feedback was invaluable to this self-taught home cook.
Of course, this book really wouldn’t be possible without its main topic, my family. They say, “you can’t choose your family,” but if you could, I bet very few people would choose someone who was writing a memoir in which you were a main character. Yet my immediate family has been nothing but supportive of this project—from my kindhearted stepdad to my loving and enthusiastic in-laws (aka Mombers Dadbers) to my amazing siblings-in-law (Andrea, Adam, and Fave) to my late grandma, my culinary guardian angel, and, of course, my late father who supported this book in his own unique way.
I especially want to thank my mom and brother, who helped me write this book by picking up the phone when I called (just about daily) while on a walk in the late afternoon after a morning at my computer. When Matt asked my mom for permission to marry me, and she famously warned him that I’m extremely difficult, she was extremely right. With that in mind, I also want to thank my mom and brother for loving me despite all of my many flaws and all of the instances I’ve taken the time to point out theirs. The truth is that no matter what I might say (or write), I love them with my whole heart.
Of course as much gratitude as I owe to all of the abovementioned people, I am most indebted to my husband and best friend, Matt, without whom I would have given up the blog long ago; without whom this story wouldn’t be worth telling.
To be on the receiving end of Matt’s specific, highly energized, and open-hearted brand of unconditional love is a very special thing. And to watch it in action with our