Monthly Archives: May 2010

I Should Give Up More Often

A few days ago, I sat down with God and gave him my thoughts on a few things. The main one was — as I’m sure you expect — about writing, or my lack thereof lately.

I basically told him, “This contest is it. If nothing comes of it, I’ll know you want me, for the foreseeable future anyway, not to write anymore. At least not for publication.”

It wasn’t an ultimatum, per se, more of a “What do you want me to do?”

My life is full, contentedly full. Raising my two-year-old, enjoying photography and working full time I figured was enough for now. To add writing to it felt more like a burden. With nothing to show for it over the last month or so, I thought it was time to quit.

I didn’t have a problem with that. I love writing, still do and know I always will. But I was beginning to think that the novel writing was a mere phase, something to keep me occupied and passionate about until something better came along — like my son. It was also a way for me to talk to God, and for him to talk to me.

Through my son I’ve found other avenues of communing with God.

Or so I thought. Hence the sign I asked of God via the Genesis contest.

This afternoon when I returned from lunch, I happened to look at my phone. Someone had left me a voice mail. I missed it because I left it at work to charge. I shrugged thinking it was either my hubby wanting to know where I hid Thomas’s shoes, or a wrong number.

Wrong on both counts!

Turns out my novel made the top 5 finalists of the first round and will go to the second.

Am I excited? Sure! It’s an answer to a prayer (well, one of the few yeses anyway). Heck, the first thing my husband said when I came home was, “What’s with the big smile?”

I look forward to receiving my scorecard. I’ll have until May 16th to make any edits accordingly and resubmit for the final round. I also have to send it a head-shot of yours-truly for a presentation during this year’s ACFW writer’s conference in September. I’m wondering now if I should go . . .

Whether or not my novel wins, I can at least mention it made the finals in future (verses past?) query letters.

Don’t you understand? I had Plans!

About 15 minutes ago, my husband and son left for the ND Badlands for a father/son camping trip with about four other father/sons.

I miss them already.

By the same token, I had planned to go out and about to take about 1000 photos of our lovely spring landscapes/flora/fauna, et al.

But the skies decided to cry.

All weekend according to the forecasts.

What to do instead? Since I haven’t written anything in a while, it’s probably a good idea to take advantage of the time alone and catch up. I have an outline to complete for my new installment of “The Red Dagger.” I should also research publishers/agents for the first one. This will be easier than my Christian SF “Traitors”, because it’s a more secular story.

Sad, isn’t it, that secular stories sell better? Then again, it is a secular world.

Some might say it’s a sell-out for a Christian to write a secular story in the first place. Not really. Jesus said to go out amongst and preach to the “sinners.” I’m no preacher, but I can still spread the Message, however subtly.

Who knows, if I manage some success with “The Red Dagger,” perhaps those readers will be curious enough to read my more overtly Christian works. One never knows — even if one can hope.

It’s now May 1, and I should find out in about two weeks whether or not “Traitors” made the second phase of the Genesis contest sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers. Am I excited? Eh. Not really. I figure it will be what it will be. Like I said before, I’m more interested in the critique.

You can find the score sheet HERE if you’re interested in how the stories are judged. Regardless of my score, I’ll be able to see concretely my strengths and weaknesses and go from there.