**This giveaway has ended** I can’t believe it’s been a year since I published Taste & See Cooks! This time last year, I was freaking the hell out wondering if anyone was going to buy it, let alone love it. I have no idea what I was worried about. My literary baby was received with open arms. My first order was for SIX books! I couldn’t get over it. I spent the better part of June processing book orders, packaging them up and coordinating pick-ups with my postal lady. A few dozen cookies, and some sweet smiles later: she happily lugged all 42 boxes to her little postal vehicle that first day.
It’s not easy to articulate just how big of an accomplishment this book was for me. I began to write the cookbook shortly after I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I became the fourth person in my family to receive that horrific news. The third person who had been diagnosed, my mother, had been living with me for 3 years at that point. Being her full-time caregiver as she struggled with paralysis that the MS caused, forced me to see what my future may be. I lived with it and took care of it everyday.
When I received that wake up call, I realized I needed to leave my mark in this world. What better way for me to do it than with the medium I knew and loved- food. I began writing the draft in November of 2011, which was also the month my husband left for a hardship tour in South Korea. For a year. Without me. And my old diseased self.
The book-writing process wasn’t difficult. It was brutal. Writing a story is one thing. However, writing a story with accurate instructions and measurements? A whole other beast, indeed. I survived it though. I put out something I was quite proud of, and yet, something I am determined to outgrow.
My Soldier threw a surprise book launch the weekend after the book’s release. Surrounded by friends of many years who traveled long distances just to celebrate my accomplishment…it was overwhelming to say the least. Word got out in our town that a local military spouse had published a cookbook and I was approached to do several newspaper interviews. A major Spanish-speaking network interviewed me for a segment on overcoming trials and finding strength. It was all so humbling and exciting.
I did my own “cross-country” book tour; traveling from El Paso to New York and many points in between. Finally, the dust settled and I realized that writing and cooking were something I not only loved to do, but they were things I was good at. I had the itch to venture into unchartered (for me) territory and begin something my friends had been needling me to do: blog. Specifically, food blogging. I knew food and I knew how to write. Thinking blogging was going to be a breeze, I set out to rebrand myself and chose a name to, not only explain my goal; but honor my mother. PS: blogging isn’t a breeze. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that.
At this point my mother had lost her fight against Multiple Sclerosis and the utter pain of her loss was something I had a tough time coping with. My mother was my biggest fan. She encouraged me to push the limits of everything in life- from homeschooling to culinary arts and, now, to what MS was “supposed” to do to me. I missed her terribly and wanted a way to keep her memory alive and well. Mami was a Jane Austen nut. After weeks of trying to find just the right name for my new blog, Sense and Edibility jumped out at me. A play on Ma’s favorite book: Sense and Sensibility, I knew Mami would think me clever for coming up with the name.
And, so, here we are! You’re reading my blog, and I’m celebrating one year of being an author. I also want to give you a gift for being a great reader and my homie. I’d love to send you a signed copy of one of my biggest accomplishments. To enter all you need to do is sign up for my newsletter, then head over to my Facebook page and click “like”. It’ll keep you up to date with me. Not to mention, give you access to my Facebook live cooking tutorials and a host of other perks. I’ll sign and send you a copy, and shipping’s on me! Thank you for sharing in this adventure with me. Things are only going to get better from here, and I can’t tell you how I look forward to doing this with you!