It is with pleasure, great relief, and even greater trepidation that I can FINALLY say that Delancey, my second book, will be published in three months and one day.

Right! Three months and one day sounds like an eternity. An age. But we’re closer than we were a month ago! Look at it that way. That’s the way I look at it in my better moments, the ones when I’m not staring at the clock.

In the meantime, I get to present to you the book trailer, or video, or whatever you call it, for Delancey. My publisher and the video team did a beautiful job! Granted, I am not exactly what one would call at ease in front of a camera, but aside from the fact that I blinked so much that one might think my eyeball was about to fall out, I’m very happy with it. I should also tell you, while we’re on the subject, that Delancey is available for pre-order. And when it comes out, I’ll be doing readings and signings across the country. Planning is underway! More to come!

I am also tickled – and turning into my grandmother, as evidenced by my use of the word “tickled” – to learn that my first book, A Homemade Life, was chosen as a Kindle Monthly 100 Pick for February.  That means that the Kindle edition is crazily cheap – $1.99 – throughout the month of February. And because they were feeling nice, my publisher updated it to include a sample chapter of Delancey, too, at the very end. I love that they did that. I don’t have a Kindle, and believe me, I am quite familiar with A Homemade Life, but still, I bought it tonight and had it sent to our iPad, just so I could check it out. I’m living large.

It also recently occurred to me that some of you may not know that Brandon and I have been writing a column on craft cocktails for Food52?  Or, I don’t know, maybe you know? In any case, we post there every other Thursday, which adds up to a lot of cocktails already. The next post will go up tomorrow. I try not to play favorites, but what the hell: my favorite is the unlikely-seeming Negroni Flip. And in moments when that feels like too much work, I find it hard to beat a Campari Shandy.

Somewhat, or maybe mostly, off-topic: I watched the documentary Pearl Jam Twenty for the second time last week, and I have to insist that if you haven’t seen it, and if you have even vaguely fond memories of the hard rock bands of the early ’90s, or even if you don’t, you should watch it.  I streamed it on Netflix, but it also seems to be available as a 12-part series on YouTube. It’s directed by Cameron Crowe, and it’s wonderful, and I say that as someone who has always, actually, leaned more Nirvana than Pearl Jam. PJ20 is as much about Seattle, my adopted city, as it is about Pearl Jam, and one thing I particularly love about the film is its exploration of the unusual tradition of collaboration, rather than competition, between Seattle bands.  Brandon and I have experienced the same phenomenon in the restaurant business here – and I write a bit about it in Delancey – and I don’t know, but the whole film is just very inspiring. Brandon is going to kill me for publicly admitting what losers we are, but both he and I choked up the first time we watched it.

Last, but not least, I was invited to deliver the keynote speech at Food Blog South in Birmingham, Alabama, at the end of January, and yesterday, the esteemed Dianne Jacob posted an excerpt from my talk. Being asked to give the speech forced me to think through my gut feelings about writing and creativity – so many ideas and decisions that I don’t usually take the time to articulate, even to myself – and now that the anxiety of the actual talk is behind me, I’m happy to have those thoughts on paper, and grateful to Dianne for her interest in sharing them.

Happy Thursday, all.