Writing Process Blog Tour

I was invited to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour by Erin McCole-Cupp. dyfamIf you don’t know Erin, she’s the author who got me hooked on Tomato Pie with her 1980s-themed Catholic murder mystery, Don’t You Forget About Me. Erin was also one of my roommates at the Catholic Writers’ Guild Conference last summer.

The idea of describing my writing process is a little daunting, because sometimes I feel as if I don’t have one. My desk is in the living room, and I write between interruptions.

1) What am I working on?

My priority project right now is my cooking blog, Cook and Count. I’ve had a cooking blog for years, but I started this one to refocus my efforts on recipes that include carb counts for Type 1 diabetics. The original blog, Mom’s Fridge, was just a place for me to store family recipes and, sometimes, weekly meal plans. I’ve stopped posting on that blog, but am pulling recipes I’ve already posted there and adding them to Cook and Count along with nutrition information and photos.

I also coordinate the Meatless Friday feature at CatholicMom.com and contribute Tech Talk and book reviews, and I maintain a blog and social media for Room Two Productions. There’s a nonfiction-book project up my sleeve, but I’ve put that on the back burner for now. I need to concentrate my energies on feeding my kid right now.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most recipes for diabetics are targeted toward Type 2 diabetics, who mainly control their disease through diet. Type 1 diabetics must use insulin to control their disease, so their diet is less restricted, but they need to know the carbohydrate count of everything they eat so that they can select the proper insulin dose.

3) Why do I write what I do?

In November of 2013, my then-11-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after a two-week illness. I started Cook and Count for two purposes:  to keep track of the carbohydrate information I computed for recipes I’ve been using, and to help and encourage other parents of Type 1 diabetics who need to know this information.

This blog is not just for diabetics and their families. The recipes are good for any family; they’re generally child-friendly and most of them don’t require a huge investment of time, expensive or exotic ingredients, or special equipment.

wpid-0526142019.jpg4) How does your writing process work?

I have a notebook where I scribble information about recipes while I’m cooking. This is especially important when I’m making a recipe up as I go along. Before I found the online nutrition-label generating tool, I had to add up carbs ingredient by ingredient. (Since math is not my favorite subject, I was motivated to write things down; the last thing I want to do is compute the same recipe more than once.)

After I’m done cooking, I write up the recipe. I begin by listing the ingredients in the order they’re used. Then I write detailed directions for cooking the dish. Finally, I’ll often add an introduction with the story behind a particular recipe or something we liked about it. After adding photos, I’m ready to publish the recipe.

Because I know that my older son uses my blog as an online recipe book, I am motivated to keep my directions clear and precise. This utilizes skills I learned when I worked as a software tester before my children were born; I had to give clear descriptions of problems within the software to computer programmers whose first language was not English.

Next week, stop by these blogs to learn about their authors’ writing process:

I just realized that all of these three authors are Jersey girls just like me! They’ll be sharing their stories on June 16.

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6 thoughts on “Writing Process Blog Tour

  1. Barb, this is awesome. Thanks for joining in. You DEFINITELY have both a process and a mission, and I love how you’ve turned a family difficulty into a blessing for others, bringing both peace and good. Way to live out the Franciscan charism in a very practical, relateable way!

    [BTW, did I miss whatever happened with City Tavern?]

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  2. Thanks, Erin. This was really a good exercise for me to do. I hope my work helps others–unfortunately there are many kids diagnosed with T1D every day.
    City Tavern was uneventful. Little Brother didn’t even bother eating the bread (after all that work I did to carb it out.) And he got a fruit cup for dessert. He had a good time, but I just hate that he always has to feel “different.”

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  3. If he doesn’t feel “different” for this, he’ll certainly feel different for other reasons down the line. Better the kid becomes at peace with “different” now for something over which he can’t adjust his morals, though I’ll bet you already know it. I’ll also bet it precious cold comfort. :/

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