Why I’m terrified of telling you about my memoir

sasha-martin

My dear friend Becky and I had been chatting over drinks for more than an hour when I suddenly mumbled “I’m terrified of telling my readers about my memoir.” The admission took me by surprise, as did the tears that spilled down my cheeks. I added, almost self consciously, “I don’t know how to tell them … isn’t that crazy?” I darted my eyes around R Bar expecting to lock eyes with frowning onlookers, but the only other patrons were engrossed with each other, the flush of new romance in their eyes.

Truth is, I’ve been scared to tell you about my memoir for a long time. Sure: I’ve told you about the book casually – in a billboard announcement sort of way (clipped, chirpy, and relatively benign). But I haven’t told you in a pour my soul out through the keyboard sort of way. And – for better or worse – that’s the kind of announcement this book seems to require.

My friend took in my tears, then said:  “Tell them the truth: that you’re scared; that you cried at a bar just thinking about telling them.” She gave me a gentle smile and added, “Start there. You’ll know what to write after that.”

And so the words flow on…

Contradiction or Confluence?

One major reason I’m afraid to tell you about my memoir is because it will mark a significant change both in how you see me and how you see this blog. Until now, I’ve been a fun-loving food explorer to you. You cheered as my daughter grew from a 7-month old to a 5-year old, all while eating food from 195+ countries and territories. You laughed when my picky husband sniffed his way through (most of) the foods I prepared.  And you sent email after email in support of my mission of peace through food. This blog has always been about the good and the silly – purposefully bypassing any discussions of war, poverty, or suffering in an effort to celebrate the cuisine of every country.

I was the world’s biggest cheerleader.

And yet.

Naked before you.

Obsessively cooking the world distracted me from my troubled past – a past I had yet to examine and whose truths I kept from these pages by maintaining a careful grip on my keyboard.

But soon – in less two months – you’ll know so, so much more about me.

Adrenaline flows through my fingertips even as I write these words.

So many of you think my memoir will be about cooking the world – and it is, in a way. But that’s only the last third of the book. So much more of my memoir is about what drove me to obsessively cook the world – the trials and tribulations of my childhood that made me hungry for peace. In fact, most of the book dives deeply into the very things I avoided through this blog:

Grief. Loss. Separation. Heartbreak.

I crave peace because I lived so long without it.

Of course, it couldn’t be my book without food. Rest assured: this is a real food memoir with 29 recipes and countless delicious descriptions. Within the pages food and cooking repeatedly reveal themselves to be sources of comfort and healing. Perhaps that is why this book is also unlike any food memoir I’ve read – it gets raw with life – my life.

Eeek.

Dream stone

A significant change in the life of this blog for 2015

I have to face the facts: with the release of my deeply personal memoir, Global Table Adventure must become something more. What exactly that will look like, I don’t know. To be honest, change scares me. I’m a bit slow on the uptake. That being said, we’re pushing forward because a redesign process is way overdue (we’ve had this current design for four years now). The new look will be revealed in February. If all goes according to plan, the new framework will provide some wiggle-room for Global Table Adventure to grow and flourish in new ways.

What I know so far:

  • I want to keep sharing and learning through world cuisine.
  • Thus far, the word “table” in Global Table Adventure has indicated the 650+ recipes I tried and shared with you, as well as this last Year of Global Celebrations, and several Around the World Lunches.  But the “table” can represent much more: community, family, togetherness. We do more than eat around the table. I want to explore this.
  • I’m not exactly planning a barrage of personal essays but I DO want to blend a little more of me into these pages. I’m not just a cook. I’m a mother, an artist, a writer, and a dreamer. And many more things besides. (Why is this so scary to admit!?!)
  • I want to connect more with each of you! I am so grateful for your support over the years and consider you friends, whether you joined today or back in February 2010. I hope you will be open to these changes as the site evolves. (Several of you who follow me on Instagram – especially while I wrote the book – have already seen more of my life. This openness has fed my soul).
  • It is my great desire that, by opening up in this way, I find my spark again – that curiosity will once again drive this site and that, together, we can make great discoveries.

I hope you don’t mind. In fact, I hope you come along for the ride.

With love, from our home to yours.

xxoo
Sasha, Keith & Ava

P.S. If you want to enter to win a copy of my memoir Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness, please enter now at Goodreads. 50 copies are available: I’d be thrilled if some of you won them! Also: if you’d like more info on the book, including how to preorder, go to my book page.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

 

Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

Life From Scratch

by Sasha Martin

Giveaway ends January 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

34 Comments

  1. Wow, Sasha! What a brave undertaking. I am sure your memoir will be incredible. I can’t imagine how it must feel to bare you soul; it requires great strength to share you life with others in this way. We wish you all the best and look forward to reading about your life and knowing you better. You are going to rock this!!! xoxo

  2. Jean Katsaros says

    Sasha, we have only just discovered you (thanks, Rick Steve’s radio show!) and can’t wait to explore the recipes you’ve shared. We have been feeling in a huge rut, food-wise and it’s a new year to get off the treadmill! My husband and I love cook.

    Your memoir will be interesting! Can’t wait to hear more about YOU!

    • Sasha Martin says

      You’re in for much deliciousness! And the new site will make it easier than ever to search the recipes. 🙂

  3. Jean says

    I preordered your book when I first had the opportunity to do so. I admire your strength in opening up your heart for all of us. I will be following you as you start on your new journey. Best wishes.

  4. Megan says

    If you confront your inner enemies, you are a hero! Nobody puts Baby in the corner!! (Ref: Dirty Dancing).

  5. Suzan Perkins says

    Sasha, your readers will love every truth about you because it made you the person you are today. I love you and your precious family. Keep up the good work on your adventure and your acceptance of who you are and how far you have come.

  6. Arni says

    Sasha, looking forward to the book, it is clear from your comments above that you have had struggles in the past and those that come out the other side are stronger and wiser for the experience.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Sometimes I think it’s like steel – being forged in fire makes the blade strong.

  7. Sakhi says

    Sasha, I’m SO eager to read your book! I’ve been waiting for it since first learning about it, and just cannot wait. The thing is, everyone who follows your blog already thinks of you as a dear friend with whom we share an online kitchen. The book is simply another way of sharing some more time together. xoxo

    • Sasha Martin says

      I love the idea of sharing an online kitchen – and I’m so glad we’re all friends – isn’t the internet amazing? xxoo

  8. It’s always hard to be vulnerable, especially when you know it will alter others’ perceptions of you. I commend you for your bravery, and for doing the hard introspective work involved in taking on such an endeavor. I’ve loved the lighthearted tone of your blog, but I’m also looking forward to the changes that lie ahead. And I’m excited to read your memoir!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thanks for your support. It will generally remain upbeat – I just need more room to stretch my creative wings and perhaps share some quieter concepts about community, family, and togetherness (all with global perspective).

  9. Your blog has inspired me to try new foods, encouraged me to reach into the foreign for common ground and finally, satisfied me that I’m not the only one out there with a real love for all the people around the world. In fact, food brings people together. When I read that you are scared to tell your memoir, my first honest thought is “oh no, the food and surface-level sharing will go away and only very personal followers will be able to keep up with the blog.” So many times a wonderful blog just gets too personal. It is the internet after all. This is only my 2 cents and not worth much. But, I do look forward to keep reading your journey.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m so glad you share this passion for loving people around the world. About the changes – you have a great point. To clarify: I don’t think of these changes as too personal (in the sense of TMI), but rather about allowing me to pull from more aspects of my life as points of inspiration – parenting, art, books, etc. While food and all things international will remain the focus, this expansion will allow me some creative freedom that should inspire my work and help me represent myself more fully. I hope that makes sense…

  10. Pam the Goatherd says

    Sasha,
    Beautiful diamonds are made under extreme pressure. Opening up to your blog friends about the pressure that created your diamond will help us appreciate your beauty even more.

  11. Janet Goodell says

    No appologies necessary for the lif you have led survived, overcome, endured. You are doing fantastic work which is, at least, partly due to your life so far. It must be scary, but I am jealous a little because some of us would lose our jobs! I love following you adventure and am about halfway through (Liechtenstein was much enjoyed by my family yesterday. My teenage son may want move there: snow, mountains and cheese). Thank you so much–you book is on my TBR list right…..now.

    • Sasha Martin says

      You are such a trooper, Janet – I love that you’ve gone through the countries like this!

  12. Teri Angcos says

    Sasha,

    Thank you so much for your honesty! I have loved and looked forward to your blog posts for the last couple of years. And, I am SO excited about your book. The blog will evolve and change and we will all learn how to accept change with you. You have earned my respect and would truly miss seeing your posts. I love the questions that you have been posting on FB. So fun to connect with like minded people all over the world! Hold your head high…you have many people who will support you.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying those community questions – it’s fun to see everyone’s answers! And thank you for your support.

  13. Your memoir sounds fascinating. I entered to win an advance copy. I relate to what you’re saying. For several years, my blog became focused on a list of 101 things I was completing. Once I completed the list, I was drifting in terms of what to write about or what my focus was “supposed” to be.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Oh my gosh – Marcy – do you have any wisdom for me?! What did you end up doing?

      • Hmm, no wisdom, I’m afraid, but I accepted that there are no rules, and I can write about whatever I want. I do sometimes miss the specific focus that I had before, but it is also liberating, too, to be able to go in any direction I wish.

  14. The teacher is me says that this post is a great anticipatory set! The book will be well received!

  15. Carolann says

    Sasha, the book will be great because you are! You’ve given us great writing and wonderful recipes for a long time, and I for one will be thrilled to see your book. I’m always inspired to know someone’s back story: There’s so much richness there. Congratulations on being brave to tell us yours. All the best.

  16. Amy says

    Found the book before the blog and have found it truly inspiring. I have already tried two of the recipes!! Wish you all happiness and success.

  17. Marilyn says

    Sasha, thank you for this book. I was at your book signing and talk in Wellesley a few months back, not too far from your old stomping grounds in JP. Your story touched me deeply, you have a beautiful voice. I’ve read the book twice. Cooked the perfect omelet twice this week already–who knew, high heat and ghee! It is perfect! Mostly though, your story gave me some understanding of children separated from their parents, the ongoing anguish, the capacity to heal. Like Patricia and Pierre, my brother and his wife took care of a young boy whose mother ran into hard times. He was a wonderful part of all of our lives for two years, I had him on weekends. He was not blood related, his mom was just trying to keep her kids out of the system. She got back on her feet and.was able to take her kids back. My hope has been that the love and new experiences he had in those years will inspire his future, and that the feeling of abandonment won’t haunt and weigh him down. Your story gives me hope that this is indeed possible, that we are resilient. Thank you!

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