The scale at Weight Watchers showed a 3.4-pound loss after the first week. That’s almost three and a half pounds of cake research (and beer research and Halloween candy research, et al.) gone. I realize it’s time to step away from the cake in other ways, too.
As you know, I don’t blog about confections, though I used to when I was working on The Book. Those days are gone now, and, though I would have loved a bestseller, I have to face some hard facts: I’m no Chesley Sullenberger. I’m no Sarah Palin. I didn’t live through Columbine. And these are tough times. Some of us can’t even afford a Ding Dong, much less a book that disses a few of them.
So I’ve redesigned my website to reflect my for-hire photography skills, and I’ve fixed my blog to reflect that I am more than my first book (and even my second book).
It’s not a sweet parting of ways. I’m disappointed that Let Me Eat Cake won’t be released in paperback, that it could easily wind up in the cut-out bin, that I didn’t get on The View or feed cake to Stephen Colbert. And I could have done a lot more to promote myself.
I don’t have that kind of head—the kind that can hand out business cards by the dozen to strangers and friends, that can impose on people, that can beg, that can toot my own horn in any but the can-you-believe-the-luck?! way. And most of the people who can do that are overbearing and obnoxious. For me, it would have been like wearing clothing that’s many sizes too big; I would have lost myself.
That doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t ask, every so often (but not face-to-face!) that you buy the remaining copies of The Book, especially from your independent retailer, if a copy can be found there. I worked really hard on it, I tell you tearfully, if the truth be told. And it’s funny. And the person you give it to this holiday season will probably really like it a lot.
In fact, I have two signed books I would like to sign and give away, completely free, even the shipping. Here are the conditions. 1. If you like the book, please post a favorable review on Amazon and B&N. And 2.) Please share it with at least one other person. Leave an email address in your comment, and I will put your names in a hat and have a drawing next Monday.
(P.S. You can still see old Cake posts and links to author interviews and reviews at The Cake Life.)
Leslie…what you said is true. You're not famous in other areas, so how would people know to read your book? I know it hurts you. I wish you could get joy, or at least satisfaction, from knowing you wrote a good book that people who've read it have enjoyed.
You can do so many things so well. You have so much talent. Everyone who knows you, knows you. You might have to learn to be content to be appreciated by a smaller audience. Those of us who know you and have seen what you can do are WOWED by you.
Just don't step away from writing.
But I get this, and it is good to keep moving forward. Even back when I wrote my first few big feature articles, I'd be all about whatever-it-was way beyond when I should have been, and it stalled me and kept me from moving on to the Next Big Thing. I guess there's got to be some way to keep holding on to those shining moments of ours, while moving on and building too.
I'll keep telling everyone about your book, too, no bribes necessary. Also, being "no Sarah Palin" is a huge point in your favor.
Sweetie, I know you are ambitious, more than most of us. I know you've put a lot of effort and soul into your cake book. I know it was a subject dear to your heart.
We all have our hopes and wishes, and it's a good thing that we do, even if they may be far-fetched and unlikely to come true. But just because your first one hasn't hit the best-selling charts that doesn't mean that you don't have it in you. And we, your readers and friends, know that you don't only have a great way with words, but also that you're a fighter. And you've learned the craft. Which is a great, maybe the best, condition for success.
As for photos – the same applies. You're not famous. Making a living from photography is tough – particularly if you're not the one whose strengths lie in self-marketing. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't try. But just don't set your expectations too high.
And please don't give up on your writing. I know you didn't say you'd do, but I still feel the need to say this. You're too good not to keep on trying.
It says less about you and more about the state of the publishing business, when a well written, entertaining book about cake for chrissake isn't as important as the rantings of a truly deranged politico.
I'm afraid it really is about notoriety now. If you made insane statements in a campaign for public office, you'd be in your 43rd printing.
Anyway, how many people ever even GET a book published at all?
You're all you need to be. You're Leslie, and that's important. That's REALLY important. You rock hard, take no prisoners, and keep us all wondering what you'll do next.
That fame and fortune stuff is so overrated.
We all have to move on sometime, but I like the new direction that you're headed – especially the "ruminating on shiny things" bit. Because I like shiny things. And I like ruminating on stuff.
But, anyways, you wrote a good book. I liked it, and I want to get a copy for my Great Aunt, because she loves cake too.
(And yay you on the weight loss. Reminds me I need to do something about my uhh… spare tire. Heh.)
I would love a copy, Leslie! You could put my name in your hat. After I got laid off and started doing per diem work I cut back on buying, so I did not get a copy but would love to have one. I think your writing is fantastic, and you are a darn good photographer too!
I forgot what my password was, so had to use ananymous until I remember!
I have two copies and love them both. I only bought the one 🙂
I look forward to going with you on this new journey. I love your photography as well as your writing.
Honey, you're artist and that means, to quote Patti Smith, "An artist is somebody who enters into competition with God." That's right, this "always on", perfection business is a pain in the ass; just ask God or for that matter Patti: you think they got it right with the first try? Hell, no. You are creative, you are wonderful, you are what you are and an awful lot of us are extremely thankful for it.
So, that's the pat on the back part of this comment.
For the kick in the arse portion: stop your bitching and start producing. And don't stop. Many a rock and roll artist has played to a room full of empty seats; those with talent didn't stop, they just kept on playing.
To expect anything less from you, who are so blessed in so many different ways, would be, well, being biblical and all of that, a sin.
Enough said – can hardly wait until your next piece comes along.
I bought a copy of the book, and I enjoyed it. I too tell everyone about it! I can't wait to see more of your amazing photography. I agree with Aunt Teena – I am continuously wowed by you!!
Leslie, I agree with Aunt Teena – I am continuously wowed by you. I can't wait to see more of your amazing photography, and I wish you the very best. You deserve it!
Just so you know, I too still tell everyone about your book. 🙂
Really interesting book, moving away from baking and moving towards eating 🙂
Deb from cake decorating books