Virtual Book Tour: Life From Scratch

This past year has been filled with contemplation over the reality that is my reproductive system. Luckily for me, one of the most influential bloggers on infertility discovered a couple of my posts on the subject (thanks to a mutual blogger friend) and helped me on my journey towards acceptance of what my body can and cannot do.

Then I found out Melissa Ford wrote a novel titled Life From Scratch that was to be published about a woman who learns to cook (and learns plenty of other lessons) for the first time after the end of a relationship (and blogs about it!). Mmm, cooking and blogging. Oh, and the main character happens to be named Rachel.

Needless to say, I read Life From Scratch rather quickly during the first weekend of 2011.

When that same mutual blogger friend decided to do a virtual book tour for Melissa’s book, I was all over it. Here goes…

Did you see yourself in any of Rachel’s situations or relationships? In what way?

When Rachel finds out her best friend and brother have been dating (something the reader suspects early on), she realizes how self-absorbed – for better or for worse – she has been regarding her own situation. That theme continues throughout the last quarter of the novel with all sorts of twists and turns. Over the years, whether in the midst of a depressive episode, or while I dealt with the reality of my body’s failures (diabetes, hypothyroidism, uterine anomaly), I know I have ignored what is going on around me. Not entirely a conscious decision, of course, but more on a I-need-to-focus-on-me kind of level. I get that.

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?

Arianna knew what she wanted out of life and did it, despite being on her own and struggling with infertility. She figured out a schedule with her employer that allowed her to accomplish all of this – pregnancy and motherhood. When Rachel starts connecting dots in her life, she realizes just how motivated and passionate Arianna has been and recognizes a sense of motivation and passion beginning to develop within herself, even if it does not necessarily mean motherhood for her.

Rachel learned more than one lesson in the course of this novel – which one impressed you most and which one could you relate to most?

The one that both impressed me and to which I could relate to most would be Rachel discovering a new career through her blogging, which became her new passion (even if she saw herself having to return to her graphic design career after a sabbatical). I admit I was lost when I started blogging, going from administrative assistant to maybe doing nursing school to being an accounting clerk. What I always wanted was to write – and blogging allowed me to do that, if not for money. I found passion in diabetes and chronic illness advocacy, and I do get paid (albeit very little) for my efforts in writing and social media consulting. Like Rachel Goldman, I hope to be able to write for a living instead of feeling directionless in a dead-end career. Eventually.

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

Posted on March 2, 2011, in Books. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Lori Lavender Luz

    I especially like what you say about Rachel’s lessons learned and how they relate to you.

    Like the other Rachel, you have a terrific writing voice. It’s been a pleasure to watch you develop it here and on Twitter. So glad you joined this tour!

  2. Hello, here on the book tour. :)

    I loved your answers, I esp loved the answer about how self absorbed Rachel was, while I didn’t think of it as that at the time you made me really give some thought to how we get “wrapped up” in our stuff. Infertility was like that for me, like I needed to just focus on getting PG and ignore the rest of the world. I really really liked that answer.

    hoping that your dreams for your career and family come true. :)

  3. Here on the book tour. I love your answers to the questions.

    I am right with you on how easy it is to get wrapped up in your own problems and miss what is going on around you. I’ve found myself doing the same thing with my infertility and sometimes it takes something drastic to remind me that I can’t always stay wrapped in my own life.

  4. Hi Rachel! I am here for the first time via the book tour. I LOVE the byline below the title of your blog! Very creative and I can relate (I have been embracing the chaos since `75)! ;)

    I also really enjoyed Life from Scratch and reading your answers. I got a different set of questions, so I appreciated having the chance to consider some other things about the book.

    I can relate to your answer to the first question, as I have definately been self absorbed over the years dealing with secondary infertility and loss. Now that I am on “the other side” I realize that there were times when I took a lot more than I gave in many of my relationships. I am grateful to those who stuck with me even so and try my best now to pay it forward (and back) by helping others who are struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss and neonatal death.

    Lastly, I have also developed a love for writing, that I didn’t really have before, after blogging for almost 4 years now. If you told me back in high school or college that I might someday want to be “a writer,” I would not have believed you. But I guess that is all part of how we evolve and learn from our experiences.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Baby Smiling In Back Seat

    Here on the book tour…

    I wonder how many obvious things we may have missed from being self-absorbed that we never ended up finding out about.

    Good luck with your goal of writing for a living (and your other goals as well!).

  6. oooh! Really like your answer on the first question! I’m there with that too! I felt like such a bad friend for a long time, but I’m finally able to focus on more in life again.

  7. Here from the book tour. I really enjoyed your answers, and the point you make about how infertility and other health problems can make one miss things. YES. So true, and I never really realized it before.

  8. I think when you’re in a crises, it’s sort of like how the body responds to trauma where all the blood rushes away from your extremities and towards your main organs. And so I think this line: “I know I have ignored what is going on around me. Not entirely a conscious decision, of course, but more on a I-need-to-focus-on-me kind of level. I get that” sums that up perfectly. That it’s not something done with intention; it’s something that sometimes has to happen.

    Thank you so much for writing this.

  9. Great answers! I also guessed about Arianna & Ethan long before Rachel figured it out. ; ) It’s hard not to get wrapped up in our own little world sometimes… which is also why I think so many of us take offense when others don’t seem to pay enough attention to our IF & loss issues. We’re wrapped up in our stuff, & they in theirs.


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