“So, you hired a ghostwriter, right?”
This was not a question I expected. I’m a worrier. I worried about all sorts of things people could ask me when I went out on the road with the book. Mostly I figured the stumpers would be farming or cheesemaking details that I’m not an expert on. Things like, “How do you prevent frothy bloat?”*,“What is the optimal pH for Mozzarella?”**or “What is the current somatic cell count limit on fluid milk?”***
Still I was a little prepared for this question because someone else had asked earlier in the day. I attributed that to nervous blurting,**** — god knows I do that myself – when that person was suddenly confronted with a book for sale in the middle of the Oregon Cheese Festival.***** However, when asked a second time in an hour, I started to get mad.
“Why would you say that?” I asked.
“My husband is a freelance writer. I know how it is.”
The Oregon Cheese Festival is amazing in many ways, but one which I didn’t appreciate until that moment was their wristband system. I had not attended previously, so I don’t know if there were problems in the past, but each adult wristband had 10 wineglasses printed on them. When an attendee gets a drink, the wine pourer checks one off. I looked at this woman’s wrist. 12 Noon… 7 drinks. And that didn’t count the beer she was holding.
She had already mentioned that she worked at a large retail chain (not grocery) that sells food. The best thing I could come up with in my head is that she was so immersed in the world where someone wouldn’t do anything unless there was a profit to be made. That I would write a book because it would be fun, educational, and fulfill a lifelong dream really didn’t seem to be on her radar. No, this had to be about brand positioning. Either I needed a book to increase the profile of our store or for me to get my shot at the Food Network. Clearly having a book isn’t about writing a book in her world. It’s only about self-promotion. Why would I waste time actually writing it?
I did the obvious thing. I brought Laurie into it.
I turned to Laurie who was standing right next to me but had been talking to someone else and hadn’t heard my conversation. “Hey, Laurie, this woman just asked if I hired a ghostwriter.”
“What? I think she’s saying that you look too stupid to write a book,” Turning to the question asker, “Are you calling him stupid?”
She started to respond but we just kept loudly saying, “Ghostwriter?” laughing and mocking her question until she walked away.
*Making sure your ruminant is eating dry feed as well as high moisture forage
**from 5.0 – 5.2 if I understand Paul Kindstedt correctly
****not related to frothy bloat.