The past month has been incredibly busy. I spent five full days with my book's amazing photographer, Kimberly Davis, shooting photos of recipes, processes, and ingredients. It's really incredible how much work goes into a single professional shot. After working with Kimberly I felt really good about my decision to work with a professional photographer on this project. I'm proud of my own work, but Kimberly's expertise and talent definitely kicked the entire book up a few notches. It's going to be beautiful, and I can't wait to see it in print.
Before we started shooting photos I had to finish writing the first draft of my manuscript. It ended up being a really tight fit as far as timing goes, which resulted in some last minute improvisation as the recipes were being tested and re-tested at the same time as the photography was going on. Thank goodness for my Mom. I spent two weeks at her house outside of Houston while I finished writing, and she came to my place for the photo shoots and recipe testing. It's a good thing CC loves spending time with his Grandma because they were together a lot over the last two months!
We shot the action and tutorial pictures at my friend's house. Aneelee has a gorgeous kitchen with glowing white cabinets and light marble countertops. It's the kind of kitchen you want to spend time in which is perfect for her. I don't think I've ever known such a dedicated home cook, and she makes it look easy. If you are in the market for a new food blog obsession, definitely check her out.
Oh, and on top of letting us take over her beautiful home for a whole day, she modeled for the facial mask tutorial! I'm lucky to have such a generous and beautiful friend. Thank you, Nelly!
Our final photo shoot wound up happening on the same day I was scheduled to hand in the manuscript to my publisher. It turned out to be a crazy day. CC was on sleep-strike, ants invaded my sun room (which happened to be where we were taking photos), and every florist in town was suddenly sold out of the flowers I wanted to use in our last batch of shots. There was definitely something in the air. I seemed to be breaking, losing, and dropping stuff all day long. Early on it looked like we might be in for an additional day of shooting, but somehow Kimberly and I managed to get in all of our photos by the time the afternoon light died out.
After that it was just a matter of testing one last recipe one last time, editing the text a little and emailing the finished manuscript to my publisher. Sounds simple enough, but CC (and that blasted hair wash) had other plans. Scott Bobleo and I took turns washing our hair and soothing CC. My cranky teething baby finally passed out for the night around 11:30, leaving me just thirty minutes to get the manuscript in on the day I had promised it.
Now I know that at this point it wouldn't much matter if I waited to send it off in the morning, but I have my pride to consider. Come Hell or high water I wanted to meet my deadline, at least technically. I'm pleased to report that I did just that, hitting "send" with fifteen minutes to spare. I really should have poured myself a drink but at that point I was the only one up, besides I could barely keep my eyes open. Having neither the company or the energy to make a toast I celebrated by passing out. It's a good thing I did because Mr. Teethy-Pants was up bright and early at 4:45.
In addition to finishing my manuscript, I have some other big news. The title of my book is changing from Natural Beauty Reset to The Natural Beauty Solution. My publisher thinks it sounds more approachable and better sums up the point of the book. It took me a little while to warm up to it, but after some simmering I think I agree.
So now that the writing and photography are done, what's next? I'll be taking a short breather for the holidays and then will start working on edits and promotion in January. I'll be planning workshops, speaking gigs, demos, and blog tours to help launch the book with a bang. I'm also hoping to have some kind of goodies for pre-sale buyers and newsletter followers so make sure to sign up for my mailing list.
Last but not least, I'm starting my own little shop where you'll be able to buy kits, ingredients, and finished products mentioned in the book. That means I'll be breaking out the old soap pot once again and maybe even teaching classes locally in ATX. 2015 is shaping up to be one heck of a year! See you there, lovelies.