February 09, 2010

The Cookbooks are Coming! The Cookbooks are Coming!

As a letterboxer, I spend a good deal of time browsing the message boards at Atlas Quest. My partner and I have been letterboxing four and a half years, and we have many special friends in this virtual community. It’s hard to explain the friendships made online to people who don’t spend much time there. The closest parallel is having an overseas pen-pal, with whom you correspond for many years, becoming close friends, but never have the opportunity to meet in person. Sometimes letterboxers get luckier than pen pals, because they go to Gathers, where they do meet each other face to face, and make their virtual friendship a solid factual one, though no more—and no less—real than it had been before. This community of letterboxers who spend time at Atlas Quest is in reality, a group of very good virtual friends. We help each other. We pray for each other. We share things we’ve learned with each other. We share our other hobbies with each other. The members of Atlas Quest are artists, scientists, nurses, doctors, veterinarians, scout leaders, computer geeks, writers, and chefs. Nearly anything you need to know can be asked at Atlas Quest, and quickly answered by a knowledgeable member of the community. In mid-November, the idea was put forth that, in view of the many recipes that had been posted to the message boards over the years, a cookbook should be compiled. As a letterboxer who had access to inexpensive publishing option, I volunteered to head up the project. My partner agreed to help, as long as it didn’t pull her away from her NaNoWriMo novel. After all, this was in the middle of November, and we were deep in the midst of producing a pair of new rough drafts. The challenge was issued across the message boards, and accepted by many. The deadline for submissions was “the end of the year or when the book reached 250 pages, whichever came first”. The end of the year came first. Clues to Food: A Letterboxers’ Cookbook has been prepared for publication with great speed. The recipes were collected over a six week period. The editing and publishing process that can take one to two years for a novel, was completed in only five weeks. The book is ready. It’s available now through our website, am-jenner.com. Happy reading! Happy cooking! --Anne