It's a funny thing to say to someone. It feels boastful and full of unearned pride. Almost like an emotional masquerade. "I'm writing a book."
To which the other person in the conversation replies with any number of appropriately enthusiastic responses, and generally inquires as to the subject, how I got into it, who is going to publish it, when it's coming out... And I am left to piece together a reply that is factual, fair, succinct, and above all, something that doesn't make me sound as if I am an overinflated balloon of hot air and narcissism.
Invariably, it comes out something like this:
"Well, it's a book about whiskey. Sort of a guide book for women on how to understand and appreciate a spirit that is so rooted in masculinity." [Uh-oh. Feminist ideals seeping out. Do I sound pretentious?] "But it's just a work in progress!" [It is unfinished, and I don't have a publisher yet.] "Of course, I think it has so much potential, and there really is a huge market out there, I mean, there's just scores of women out there who feel so intimidated and unsure, and I really just want to help them." [What's that -- altruism in the midst of a violent flurry of self-consciousness?] "So, I'm in the organization and research phase." [Which is why I am drinking this lovely Whiskey Smash at two o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon.]
In fairness to myself, I have been working on it. And it is progressing, picking up steam, taking off, take your pick o' clichés. I'm networking and talking to other writers and fellow industry professionals. I'm learning. And I'm feeling more and more, that cocktails and the spirits and ingredients behind them are just as fascinating and complex as wine and food.
Now, in the name of research, let's taste some vermouth and analyze which one goes best in the Rittenhouse Rye 100 Manhattan we are making.