For as long as I can remember it has been my dream to write a book—or two, or three, or more. I was so very fortunate to meet Sandy Gilbert, my editor, and now dear friend, in 2010. Not only did she get my vision, she made it better—the mark of a great editor.

I had NO clue what went into writing a book. Page counts, copy edits, cover selection, endpapers, book design (you are the best Doug Turshen), pagination, marketing specification (thank you Jessica Napp), blue lines, and so much more.

What I love, and find most gratifying, is starting with an idea (a blank piece of paper if you will), and then you have a hard copy in your hands!

With my first book, Designers at Home, I was a baby blogger (i.e. an unknown). I am so grateful that Rizzoli took a chance on me. Thankfully, seven years on, the book has exceeded all expectations.

After a long and successful run Rizzoli afforded me a second opportunity. For Entertaining at Home, I was very fortunate to shoot all new imagery (much gratitude to Michael Hunter and Matthew Mead).

Trying to narrow down 6-8 images, from AMAZING imagery, for each chapter, is almost an insurmountable task. How do you cut so many incredible photos?!? But with help, you do.

For me, I can’t write a story until I see the images and the layout. Seeing the carefully selected photos gives me a jumping off point, lends a narrative and gives voice to the story.

Matthew Mead and I have often joked that I could do two more books from all of the images we produced, and he is probably right.

As I sit here today, thinking about our new reality, I need to focus my attention to the things that I can control today. I also need to do something that helps my mental health. And for me, that is writing.

So, to take me my mind off of the news, I decided to look back through all of the wonderful outtakes and share them with you.

I thought too it might be fun to share some of the backstories. My hope is that we can all lean on each other, in whatever small way, to give our mind a break from reality.

Each day, starting with the first chapter of the book, I will share backstories and outtakes. And, when my new YouTube channel comes online, we will share more moments together.

In the upcoming days, I look forward to connecting with each of you. I pray for your well-being and the safety of our health care workers, first responders, and people who are working to keep us supplied with the food and the necessities that we need each day.

As we are sequestered, please join me here each day over a cup of coffee or a glass. And please invite your friends as well. We all need to uplift each other, and come together, in some small way. Enjoy. Stay safe.
Ronda x

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