I gave a speech at one of the local libraries this past Saturday afternoon. Only a small group of people showed up. “We get so little participation in our adult programs,” the library director bemoaned as we conversed before the program started. “They come to borrow books and other materials, but they don’t take advantage of our programs.”
If the title of this week’s blogpost sounds familiar, I swiped it from Monty Python, who used it often on TV back in the day. But it fits, because today instead of talking about writing I want to talk about a different creative pursuit—cooking—although it’s one I’ve written many books about. I’ve written something like seven cookbooks and two books about cooking that aren’t actual recipe books. Most of these have been published by Roundtable and are available on GreatReads.buzz.
Words, whether presented in fiction or nonfiction, can evoke sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and felt sensations. Sometimes these are sensations that are familiar, or that once were. But sometimes digging in your memory won’t do it for you, if it’s a sensation you’ve never experienced, such as a sight you’ve never seen, never even seen the likes of, not even in pictures. If it’s completely foreign to your experience, only your imagination will serve to create for you the sensation the writer is describing. But sometimes the writer’s description does indeed bring a sensation floating back to you from however far away.
Some weeks it feels like there’s nothing to blog about—and yet blog I must. My weekly blogpost is due every Wednesday, no matter what. A writer’s life is like that. Whether you have something to say or not, you’ve got to write—not only because of your commitments, but because for a writer, writing is as necessary as eating and sleeping and breathing.
What will be the next big thing in books? That’s what every author wants to know. Every author wants to be in the forefront. Every author wants to have a best seller. Every author wants to have his/her book zoom to the top of the charts. And many authors try to do that by jumping on the current bandwagon. If Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey or Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the hot book of the year, many authors try to write in a similar vein in order to cash in on the popularity of the genre or field or category.
Books can transport, us through the vehicle of our imaginations, educate us on subjects new to us or familiar, and enliven our lives in a way that neither TV nor movies (nor even the stage plays I love) can.
Currently I am working on editing an author’s book that is to be published next month (by another publishing house—not Roundtable). It’s science fiction, which is a genre I’m not that familiar with, as sci-fi never held any fascination for me, either to read or to write. But working on this book has gotten me thinking about the genre overall. Inarguably, despite the fact that I am not a fan, it has a wide following. Why?