February 13th, 2008


What's Cooking, Doc?

WriteIngredientsSomewhere out there Teri Smith is laughing hysterically.  My weird publication karma has struck again.
I realize you're probably scratching your head, wondering what's weird about it.  As far as most people know, everything I've ever written for publication made it into pixels or print.  That's true, but for some of the most important ticks on my personal writing scorecard, it's not the whole story.
Take my first published article.  When I was fourteen, my German teacher insisted I write a piece for a contest held by a national association of German students.  It wasn't because she liked my writing.  She didn't like my style or me.  But she made submission a requirement for a passing grade.
I don't have a problem with that.  Composition requirements are a language teacher's prerogative.  What I do have a problem with is the results were posted before the end of the school year, and the teacher never shared with me or the class the fact I finaled and was published in the association journal.  Instead, she told the class our submissions were so bad, none of us even rated a mention by name.  I didn't find out the truth until the following year when another teacher in a school district half way across the country recognized my name and made the connection.
Tonight it happened again.  I found my name attached to a publication I had no idea I was published in.  This time, however, I know there was no malice involved.  In fact, I'm tickled pink to be involved in the project.
The book is Lori Foster's The Write Ingredients: Recipes From Your Favorite Authors.  It's part of her ongoing fundraising efforts in support of U.S. military personnel.  As an Army brat and longtime Defense Department drone, I'm totally cool with that.
But I swear, I didn't know they'd accepted my recipe (my mother-in-law's famous Slovak apple pie recipe--unlike my mom, she was a great cook).  I remember writing it up.  It was during those dark days immediately following Teri's death.  I was pushing myself hard on the little things, because a busy mind keeps grief at bay.  But I don't remember signing the contract.  
I could've.  I was going through a rough patch.  I could've easily zoned out on the paperwork, despite my normally vigilant inner Virgo.
Oh well, it's tax time.  I needed to review the year's paperwork anyway.
And buy the book.  ;-)
Jean Marie