Book Tour: “Life From Scratch”

Welcome!  I am honored and thrilled to be part of Lavender Luz’s book tour for “Life From Scratch”.  Melissa Ford, the popular infertility blogger, has written her very own bestselling novel: according to Amazon.com, it is currently #139 on the Kindle list.  Congrats Mel!

Buy the book, everyone. It’s a fantastic read and so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Life From Scratch” is a book about finding yourself.  I loved the idea that someone could use a hobby or personal interest to reshape their life and connect with the core values most important to them.  Of particular interest to me is that Rachel uses a blog to record her journey, using her culinary lessons as a metaphor for her own voyage to independence.

I am trying to use a blog to chart my own voyage to a life full of more joy and happiness (spoiler: with mixed results), so I related to Rachel’s story.  Through reading about different philosophies, I hope to connect (or re-connect) to the values most important to me, hopefully discovering and defining what brings me joy.  I am learning that, for me, seeking joy is not easy.  In fact, it’s hard, hard work.  I think Rachel discovers her inner joy by digging into a task that seems daunting at first, then gains confidence through the tough yet fun endeavor of learning to cook for herself.  Her story gives me inspiration.

Here are the discussion topics I chose to answer:

1. One of the topics explored in the book is the workaholic culture in Manhattan, and the ultimate choice of sacrificing that culture for more free time (and less money) to spend with your husband or wife.  Do you agree with Rachel that leading a comfortable, luxurious life (with lots of take-out) and very little quality time with your spouse is less preferable than a life with more emotional connection (and food made from scratch), and presumably more economic hardships?  Does it have to be an either or situation, or is there an in-between?

This is one of my questions, and I have been thinking hard about this topic as part of “living joyfully”.  Rachel’s used to a pretty posh life of take-out food and nice apartments, financed by her absent husband’s punishing career.  She rejects this lifestyle to live a more frugal, meaningful life with, presumably, a strong emotional connection to an eventual partner.  It’s a fairytale choice: love or money.

I’m finding this choice more complicated in real life. Just the act of living our life is expensive.  To finance our pretty barebones existence (heavily budgeted with no take-out food, boo), my husband works really long hours and travels a lot.  I’m a SAHM, not particularly by choice, but because my career features crazy hours with not enough pay to cover basic childcare costs for our twins.

Not seeing my husband very often sucks. It helps to remember that he’s not working this hard to pay for Porsches, ponies and pearls, but just to pay the bills.  I think this scenario is pretty common among many middle class families.  It’s sad that many people don’t have the fairytale choice to reject a workaholic culture.

2. Arianna is a character not seen much in fiction: a single mom by choice who had trouble conceiving, and used IVF.  Do you think her infertility struggles and single parenthood affect the choices that Rachel ultimately makes in her life?

I’m pretty sure that everyone in the book club LOVED the Arianna character.  Arianna is the first realistic portrayal of an infertile woman I’ve come across in fiction.  Her struggles to get pregnant are correctly and poignantly described.  Hooray!  I hope the book gets made into a movie, so the public can GET WITH IT.

To be fair, how would the public know better?  Here’s what I learned about infertility from “Friends”:

  • When you act as a surrogate for someone, you’ll have a completely normal and full-term pregnancy with TRIPLETS, delivering them all vaginally.
  • If you are infertile, you’ll be diagnosed within one month, immediately move on to adoption and be quickly matched with a woman who is unaware she’s having twins.  (The discovery of those twins, during delivery, will be a shock to everyone, including the doctor.)

I like how Rachel admires Arianna’s choice to be a single mom and realizes that getting pregnant when she’s ready may prove to be difficult.  Hopefully, lots of readers will learn the same lesson and have a bit more empathy for those who battle infertility.  One can dream, right?

3. If you had to take up a hobby after a life changing event, what would it be? Have you ever wanted to just try something new?

Great question.  Cooking is something I’ve dabbled in from time to time, but when it comes down to it, I’m afraid I’m a take-out kind of girl.  But the one hobby I’ve always wanted to try is writing, and after I experienced my second miscarriage I decided to pursue this blog.  Real original, I know ;)  It’s been life-changing to “meet” the ALI community, and it has been rewarding to put into words my point of view.  I once asked Elizabeth George at a book signing what she recommended an aspiring writer do. She replied, “Write!” And so, I try.

To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at Write Mind Open Heart.

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12 Comments

Filed under "Life From Scratch" Book Tour, Discovering joy, Family

12 responses to “Book Tour: “Life From Scratch”

  1. Pingback: Life from Scratch book tour part 3

  2. Pingback: The readers speak: Life From Scratch book tour

  3. “Seeking joy is not easy. In fact, it’s hard, hard work. ” I KNOW! Doesn’t it seem like seeking joy should be much easier!?

    Your Friends observations made me spew my coffee. So true and clever!

    I am glad you’re taking Elizabeth George’s advice :-)

  4. Hi! I am here for the first time via the book tour! I really enjoyed reading about your thoughts on Life from Scratch and your answers. I especially appreciate what you said, as you chose to answer questions that very few other participants focused on.

    As a former work-a-holic (before my husband and I were able to have kids), I can really relate to that topic in the book and your question. Though at the time I wasn’t doing it to try to make more money or impress my spouse. I got wrapped up in it because it was the culture of the place I worked. My husband and I had always planned for me to be a SAHM, so much so that we saved my salary during our pregnancy with our first child and bought the modest home we have lived in for the past 8 years based only on his salary at the time. I like what you shared about how some people today in many ways become work-a-holics, but not by choice. That seems to be a result of our current economy. My husband has definitely experienced a big evolution in the nature of his job over the past few years because of that. Though travel has never been a big part of his job, he used to work 9 to 5 and never bring work home. Now he works longer hours and often has to do work at night from home.

    I also really liked Ariann’s character in the book and how well Mel portrayed someone dealing with infertility in a real and relatable way. I do hope that others will get a better sense of what it is to struggle with infertility by “meeting her” in Life from Scratch. Too funny that you shared examples of what a person could “learn” about fertility from the TV show Friends. I find those examples both scary and amusing at the same time.

    I think it is great that you are pursing writing! I enjoyed reading this blog post and like your writing style. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi! Here from the book tour. Your first question is a great one. I’m also a SAHM to twins because my career wouldn’t pay me enough to make it advantageous for me to work. We’re lucky that the military (DH is in the Air Force) pays well enough (but not as much as most people think) that we can have some luxuries (on a take out once a month scope) and can save for their college education but not quite enough that we don’t fret each month when the bills are due. Life should be more joyful and less punishing.

  6. Kir

    HI there, here from the Tour.
    I loved your answer to the first question. I feel exactly as you do, that we spend so much time working for a better life for our kids, to give them everything we didn’t have, or even what we did and we sacrifice our marriage, our quiet time, our selves for it. While I feel that daycare is the best thing for our family (and my sanity) I also know that I am giving up time with the babies it took me so long to create.

    and I wish you luck with the blog and the writng. That’s awesome, a little something for you. Wishing you GOOD THINGS

  7. I loved the character of Arianna! I want a friend just like her.

  8. I love your answers! I can totally relate to the middle class conundrum. Even though I’m not a stay at home Mom, my job is not very conducive to being a Mom, and doesn’t have a lot of understanding parents, nor does it pay well. So it kinda sucks. I’m currently stuck working in it mainly for the health benefits as my husband’s benefits are terrible. It makes me resent that I have to work as much as I do a lot because it’s not even all for the money. Just the stupid health benefits. Sigh.

    Look at the rant you got me on! Good job! hehe.

  9. Mel

    You write: ” I am learning that, for me, seeking joy is not easy. In fact, it’s hard, hard work.” But it’s the really important work; the sweet work. I’m glad you’re doing it.

    And thank you so much for writing this; for taking part in the tour.

  10. Stopping by from the book tour. I agree, finding joy isn’t as easy as it would seem. It is something that I need to work on more in my own life.

    I also almost spewed tea with your friends reference. However, that is the truth about public perception. Oh, it is so easy to get pregnant, even if you are infertile. See how easy it was on “Friends”? Luckily, no one in my own life has gone quite that far, but it’s been close.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! And yes, to answer your question I really do weave chain maille jewelry. It’s deceptively easy and difficult all at the same time. Eventually I’ll find a picture of a project and remember to put it up on my blog.

  11. I loved your answers, but that “Friends” reference is HILARIOUS!

    When I first read the book & that Rachel never cooked, always had takeout, I thought, “How New Yorkish!” And then I thought about the family next door & the pile of pizza boxes in their recycling bin every week at the curb for pickup. Hmm.

  12. Here from the book tour…

    Your IF lessons from Friends are so funny but also infuriating, particularly given that at least one member of the cast involved in those ludicrous storylines has openly dealt with IF.

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