Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Waiting Room

I know many of you have spent time in a waiting room, reading six-month old magazines and looking up each time the door to the doctor's inner sanctum opens, hoping to hear your name called. Usually it's someone else's. And sometimes it's someone who came after you. Well, I've been in a sort of waiting room for the past six months. Last January my proposal for Daughters of Justice went out to as many Christian publishers as you can count on both hands. Some responded right away with polite "no thank-you's" yet others still have yet to respond. One has shown some interest but still hasn't asked for the full manuscript. So I continue to wait. If anyone thinks that writing a novel and getting it published happens overnight, you need to think again. For a new writer I need to have it written before I propose it. Then the proposals go out and the waiting begins. Hopefully, someone eventually asks for the full manuscript to read and you move back into the waiting room again. Each time can take months. You know the old cliche. Don't give up your day job. Meanwhile I work on preparing yet another manuscript and synopsis for proposal for another publisher. Why do I do it? Because it's what God has laid on my heart to do. I don't know His plan for my writing, but I do know that I can trust Him for the outcome. An outcome that is perfect for me. One that He knows will bring Him glory. And I can trust that.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

My Story's Purpose

As a Christian who writes fiction, it is always my prayer that my stories will touch my readers' hearts in ways that will change their lives spiritually. That they might be able to see themselves in my characters and their experiences and apply the lessons to their own lives in positive ways. Today I found yet another purpose for my writing. To help myself through my own walk with the Lord.

A specific issue I have been struggling with a long time raised its ugly head again this weekend. Yesterday I prayed in earnest to God asking why and it suddenly hit me. I'm struggling with much the same thing as Linnea, the main character in Daughters of Justice. Forgiving myself for something God has already forgiven me. My sin isn't the same as Linnea's but that doesn't matter. What matters is the lesson learned.

I sat here at the computer some time ago writing the dialogue between Linnea and her friend Wes. God helped me put words into their mouths at the time, but little did I know that weeks later I would read those same words again through different eyes. As a reader and not the author.

This morning I opened Chapter 34 of my manuscript and read how God has forgiven me because years ago I came to Him with a repentant heart. I can't keep beating myself over the head for sin that has been confessed and forgiven. God sees me now as forgiven, my sin forgotten, and I need to see myself the same way. Not unworthy of His blessings because I haven't been able to forgive myself.

I still don't know what God has in mind for this novel. A publishing contract is what I'm praying for...but already the story has had its purpose fulfilled in my life. Meanwhile I will continue to work and to hone and to pray for God to bless it in ways I can only imagine. Because he is a God of miracles!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

My Journey So Far

My journey as a writer started long journey as a blogger is starting right now!.

Writing has always been a part of I child I began journaling in a diary which I still have! At eight years old, I mostly talked about learning how to ice skate or watching I Love Lucy on TV. Later my diaries were filled with crushes and new clothes for school. Over the years whenever something lay heavy on my heart, I found myself writing about it. But it took a long while to realize that my writing was something someone else might like to read besides me.

I am what some would call a late bloomer. I didn't graduate from college until I was in my 40s. In the accelerated adult program I took everything was tests, just papers about what I had learned, what was discussed, etc. I loved it. Then I took a creative writing class and hardly looked back. Could I actually make up stories? Yes!

Now, many writing classes, conference workshops, and crit groups later I actually have an agent and have written the book of my heart. Daughters of Justice is all but finished and waiting for God to open the right doors. You see, I wouldn't be where I am right now without God in control. It was a God thing I got my agent and every part of writing this story has been a God thing as well. Many times I've thought maybe I should put it down and try something else. After all, nearly everyone says your first book never gets published. But when I think these thoughts God always steps in and a word of encouragement comes by way of an event or a person. A word that says to me "don't give up." So I'm not. God has given me this story...and maybe tomorrow will be the day my agent will call saying a publisher wants the full manuscript for consideration.

And so my writing journey continues. Care to join me? Check in here from time to time and I'll keep you posted. After all God says in Jeremiah that He has a plan for my life, one that gives me a hope and future.