Sometimes dreams really do come true. One of mine is about to when my book will be published next spring!
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Dream big. Believe in yourself. Only you can set your own limits. Hard work pays off. Nothing is impossible. You know, that's what they say in all those inspirational of the day-posters, invariably illustrated with dolphins and rainbows, posted on Instagram by all those self-proclaimed lifestyle gurus who exist on universe dust alone. People that I've so far resorted to rolling my eyes at.
Not too long ago Spotify's recommendations for me went along the lines of "seeing how you cried your eyes out to that song, you might want to ponder the meaninglessness of your life to this playlist, too".
Not the case anymore. It's all 80's pop classics (let's face it: "Waiting for a star to fall" by Boy Meets Girl is just about the best song ever made!) with the occasional Swedish Eurovision entry thrown in and not a tear in sight. Smile rarely leaves my face these days, future looks brighter than ever and my Whatsapp-communication revolves nearly entirely around heart-eyed-emojis and unicorns. Unicorns! Me!
I've had the chance to enjoy this summer, get a tan and even my eyebrows are finally taking orders from me. Surely that's far too much good for one person, but damn, life is pretty damn fine right now.
The travels this spring have given me more than I ever thought was possible. The results have been featured not just on the blog, but in print, too.
It was soooooo goooooood to return to Andalusia after al these years. In Riga we spoiled ourselves rotten and Åland was such love at first sight. Then there was Stockholm. Oh, Stockholm. Our Western neighbour once again showed why it's one of my favourite summer destinations year in year out. Of course, this time was made extra sweet by the new love in my life, another thing courtesy of the sweet, sweet Sweden.
Remember how I hoarded all that Champagne on the ship, wondering if there'd be reasons to celebrate in the future? Well, yes there is - even that wasn't all of my good news (nobody likes a show-off, eh?). For a while now I've been working on a new project which is quite possibly the biggest thing I've ever done.
Earlier this year I was contacted by the biggesr publishing house in Finland and after a couple of meetings they offered me a book deal. A book deal, people! That means next spring I'll have my very own book out! Which of course is completely bonkers. I would have never even dared to dream of something like that but hey ho - now it's happening. For real!
Recipe list has just been given its final tweaks and the name is ready, too. Of course it will only be published in Finnish, so the whole genius of it won't translate terribly well, but here it is: Under the Andalusian Sun - culinary crusades from Jerez to Jerusalem.
The book will feature recipes from the regions I know and love: Andalusia, North Africa and Middle East (Israel & Palestinian territories), along with photos and stories from my travels and the people behind the recipes.
There's a long and laboursome road to go before we get to the finished book, but my God, how much fun it's been! The support from my nearest and dearest has been touching - so far at least 300 people have volunteered to be featured in the acknowledgements of the book. Two of them even did dishes, once. One thing is clear already: without my wifey and beloved partner in crime The Cat Blogger I'd be lost ♥
So, do follow the book project's Facebook page and you'll stay up to date as to what's going on this side of the screen - for better and definitely for worse. Do invite your friends, too - sharing is caring, after all!
There will be some sneak previews, competitions, draws and a hefty dose of realism. And hey - how about an opportunity to join one of our Sunday lunches to check out the recipes for yourself before the book even hits the shops? How about that?
Here's a little sample of what I've been up to.
ANYONE FOR SECONDS?
SHARING IS CARING!