Life From Scratch Book Tour

March 1, 2011

Welcome to this stop on the Life From Scratch book tour!

Life From Scratch is the first fiction book by the incomparable Melissa Ford. I reviewed her first book, the infertility resource book Navigating the Land of IF a couple of years ago. This book is just as excellent, but in very different ways.

I’m not a ChickLit reader — literally the only ChickLit books I’ve ever read have been for book clubs — but I did enjoy this book. The characters are more fully developed, the protagonist more likable, and the situations more realistic than most other books of this genre.

It was funny, knowing the author, to see bits and pieces of her throughout. The main character is in many ways dissimilar from Mel, but there were several times when, if I’d been reading the book blind of the author’s identity, I would have said, “Hey that sounds like something Mel would say.”

And now, the Book Tour questions.

Blogging plays a key role for Rachel in the growth she experiences throughout the novel. How has blogging affected who you are and/or how you see the world?
Blogging helped me survive infertility.

Blogging introduced me to several friends. Not online friends, real true friends that I just happen to mostly talk to online and happen not to see that often in person (or in some cases not at all, not yet).

Blogging has helped me articulate my inner life, since I tend not to express my private thoughts and feelings in other venues.

Blogging has also compartmentalized me — I have BabySmiling friends and other friends, BabySmiling thoughts and other thoughts, experiences told only to BabySmiling readers and experiences told only to others, photos of my twins that I’ve posted on BabySmiling and all of the other photos. I’m not particularly thrilled with still having to remain so secretive to maintain the two separate existences, but I am thrilled to have a place where I can be so honest.

Rachel’s blog gets very popular when she wins a blogging award and she starts averaging about one hundred thousand hits per day. Would you want your blog to become that popular or would you prefer to stay smaller?
More evidence of compartmentalization: this is not my only blog. A couple of readers know that, but most don’t. I would not want BabySmiling to become hugely popular — I am delighted to share my experiences with anyone who needs them, especially anyone struggling with infertility, but I don’t need the level of scrutiny that would come with such an enormous readership. I also don’t need the heightened likelihood of having my identity discovered.

For my other blogs, though, I would be fine if either one became that huge. They’re not intended for that kind of audience, though, so it would invariably change what and how I wrote. Not good or bad, just a bit different. A little less idiosyncratic, a little less intimate, a little more about conveying interesting or useful information and less about personal connection. I’m very active on one of my blogs (posting more often than I do here) and would continue to be so. I’m extremely inactive on the other one, so if it became popular (though I’m not sure how that’s possible when there now are a only a few posts per year, but this is all hypothetical anyway) I would certainly be more diligent about regular posting.

While she is trying to move on from her divorce, Rachel cleans out The Box- a box of sentimental mementos from her marriage. Do you have a Box of your own? What do you (or would you) keep in it?
I don’t have one single Box. I have several areas where I keep things. I have one box of all of the greeting cards DH gave me during our courtship, another box with all of the letters he wrote me — on notebook paper — accompanied by the various roses he gave me, dried. I have a box with ticket stubs from everything we’ve attended together. A couple of pieces of jewelry he gave me when we were dating are in my regular jewelry box. And then there are the photo albums, physical albums from the early and middle days and digital-only (though well backed up!) most recently.

I have all sorts of other sentimental mementos from experiences we’ve shared, but I don’t think of those as being from my marriage — I think of those as being from my life.

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

Buy the book in paperback or Kindle. C’mon, you’ll enjoy it!

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15 Responses to “Life From Scratch Book Tour”

  1. Kir Says:

    oh I loved all your answers, and since my questions were different, I found myself wanting to answer yours too.
    I love how you related your life and blog to Rachel’s life.

    It was interesting to see this book from your view.

  2. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    I got the same set of questions and happened to choose the same ones you did. My answers post tomorrow. It was interesting to read your take on the questions. Different experiences and interpretations.

  3. Michelle Says:

    I hear a lot of my post within yours. It makes me think just how connected IF women are; we seem to echo the same needs, wants, and dreams with our blog. I like that. Thanks for sharing!


  4. [...] Baby Smiling in Back Seat [...]


  5. I found myself nodding at the way you expressed the compartmentalization that comes with having a blog. So true!

    Very cool that you’ve saved all the ticket stubs. I wish I’d thought to do that.

    Have I told you lately how fond I am of the Chain Bridge? Who knew, at the time I walked across it, that it would be a bridge to someone I adore so much?

  6. Barb Says:

    I love that they are not just your marriage but your life. I think it’s good to see your life as a whole that way. Although I also agree that compartmentalizing can be good with this whole anon blog/IF stuff. (I’m anonymous as well.)

  7. Mel Says:

    I love this distinction: “Not online friends, real true friends that I just happen to mostly talk to online and happen not to see that often in person.” That is exactly it. I just think of it as the friends I can touch and the friends I can’t (with the can’t category ranging from people I met online to old college friends across the country).

    Thank you so much for doing this.

  8. Kathy Says:

    I really enjoyed your answers. Thank you for sharing! I got the same list of questions and will be posting on Thursday (I chose to answer 2 out of the 3 questions that you did). I would have commented sooner, but wanted to have a good draft of my answers ready before I read anyone’s elses (as not to be influenced, since I am highly impressionable) and was still working on them until tonight.

    I am not a big chick lit reader either, but also really enjoyed Life from Scratch!

    I too really appreciate how you talk about your online friends as being your friends just like anyone else. Very cool perspective.

    As someone who has never blogged anonomously, I also found your discussion of compartmentalizing interesting. Likewise, I was surprised and intrigued to find out that you have two other blogs.

    Lastly, I liked reading about the sentimental things that you have saved from your relationship with your husband. I too have saved all of the cards he has given me. I love that you have saved the tickets from things you have been too.

    Take care,
    Kathy :)


  9. This book sounds awesome. I’m putting it on my TBR for my next cycle. Sad that there’s no audiobook book, though. So hard to find time for physical books these days.

  10. jjiraffe Says:

    Here from the book tour, and I enjoyed reading this. Lots of food for thought.

    I find it fascinating that you maintain different blogs: this one is anonymous and the others are more open. It makes sense. A lot of us write about infertility and parenting after (and multiples) but that’s hardly all that we represent. But, those are the parts that most of us probably don’t want to share with all of our nearest and dearest. And yet, the blogging community is so necessary and helpful for those dealing with ALI. Interesting conundrum.

    I’m also impressed by how organized your mementos are. What a great way to maintain your memories.

  11. WiseBursche Says:

    What is your blog suddenly became too ‘popular’ overnight? Not that you wanted it to be, but it suddenly got propelled to a more open space… how would you handle it then?

    What if, you were being judged from the outside, without you even coming to know of it?

  12. WiseBursche Says:

    sheesh…”What ‘if’ ….”

  13. loribeth Says:

    I too recognized Mel’s voice in the book. ;) I also tend to compartmentalize my life — which is why I find Facebook sort of disconcerting — having people from various compartments of my life all coming together in one spot. There are still times when I’m not so sure I’ve done the right thing by being there…!

  14. jodifur Says:

    I think it is interesting you have more than one blog and you feel differently about them becoming popular.

  15. Cat Says:

    Sounds like a good book, I’ll definitely check it out.


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