Thursday, December 16, 2010

Haul Out the MasterCard

"Haul out the Mastercard
 Wrap up these gifts before my spirit falls again
 Where did I park my car?
 Wish I could find it 'cuz its starting to to rain again now...

"'Cuz we need a little Christmas
 Right this very minute
 Where's my CD starring
 Carols at the spinet?"

So it's been crazy the past week or so, trying to get shopping done after work in preparation for my parents' visit this weekend.  We are having "four Christmases" as my son says, since we are getting together with different parts of our family on different weekends, and also exchanged gifts with my mother-in-law at Thanksgiving.  My mom and dad are going to take all the family gifts back with them, so I need to have them wrapped and ready.

It's actually a good thing that I'm getting all this stuff done early.  Well, I guess it's not technically "early" any more.  But it *feels* early.  I'm just not mentally ready for Christmas, because I haven't really had time to stop and think about it. My mom, who retired this year, said that she is actually enjoying Christmas shopping now because she can take her time with it.
Sooooo... I haven't written anything except for a little bit on Sunday morning.  I would love to finish this novel by Christmas, but there is just no way. I feel like one of those people who always says, "I'm writing a book" but never actually finishes it. I could be "writing a book" until I retire. But I won't even let myself think that way.

How are you guys doing?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

Okay everyone, here's your chance to share again!  This time, just post the last 50 words of whatever you wrote.  It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense.  The point is to take a quick snapshot of your style and genre.

Enter your snapshot below!

 Remember:  It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to be good.  It just has to be yours!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There is no greater burden than great potential. - Charles Schultz

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Testiomony of Timing

The holiday season (and yes, I mean "holiday" as in Thanksgiving + Christmas + Hanukkuh + Kwanzaa + New Year's) is a time of reflection for most of us. Even in the midst of all the rushing around, I find myself thinking about the past year: its accomplishments, its failures, its joys and its sorrows.

In case you haven't picked up on this before, I'm a born-again Christian. I don't really like that term because of the negative connotations that get attached to it, but it does accurately reflect my belief system. I don't just believe that God exists and is in charge of the universe, but that He is personally involved in my life on a daily basis through His Spirit. Everything I do is either in accordance to His will and purpose, or against it.

It's not always easy to know God's will. Sometimes I sense His Spirit speaking clearly in my heart. Sometimes, I hear nothing but my own anxiety and confusion. Sometimes He just tells me He loves me.

Which is nice and all, but it can be annoying when I want an answer, darn it!

This year has been one of transition. I sensed that things were about to change drastically. I didn't know what would happen, just that it would be different.

Two major things changed: I gained new confidence in my writing, and I went back to full-time employment in an office. Both of these were a matter of timing.

I had been agonizing for about three years as to whether I was "good enough" to write for publication. I spent about half that time just uncurling from my creative fetal position. I spent the rest of it learning all I could about writing and publishing, mostly from other blogs. I also found a local writer's group which has been a huge boost for me.

I finally reached a point of clarity with my novel: I know what to write, and how to write it. I just need to find the time to concentrate enough to do it.

I tend to beat myself up over how long it's taken me to get here, but I have to remember that this is a learning process. Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God sent him to free Israel from Pharoah. So I shouldn't feel bad about not getting published before age 40. I know I needed this time to learn enough that I can trust myself now.

I know my instincts are good. I have confidence in my voice. That is HUGE.

The other big thing was getting my job. I recently passed my 90-day probation period. I'm an official full-time employee now. Although it's been a tough transition for all of us, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do for child care Christmas week, I know I'm in the right place. I couldn't imagine a better company to work for. My boss and I get along excellently. This makes up for all the hassle and the long commute.

Earlier in the year, I was beginning to panic about looking for a job. I felt enormous financial pressure; I was literally sick to my stomach with worry. When I prayed about it, however, I felt God telling me "Not yet. Wait."

So, I waited.

When that feeling finally left me, we were down to the wire. But by then I had come to trust in the God who provides every day, every month just what we need. There were so many times that I thought, "This is it. This is the month things will fall apart." But you know what? Something always came through.

We were so blessed! I decided that "my worrier was done busted." I just couldn't worry any more.

Then I applied for this job and was brought in for an interview. They called me at 6:30 the same evening and offered me the position, for three times what I was earning part-time. It was like a shower of blessing!

If you have stayed with me this long (and I hope you have) my testimony to you is this: Wait, prepare, be ready!

I have heard over and over how important it is for writers to be prepared for unexpected opportunities. So don't worry if none of your queries have been accepted. Just make sure you are ready when you do get a response.

If you aren't at the querying stage yet (like me), don't worry how much time you spend training yourself in your craft. Every little bit adds to your marketability and skill. Don't worry if the manuscript isn't done yet. Just focus on making it your best work possible.

It will happen at the right time.
When it is meant to happen.
When the right people are positioned to help you succeed.

Trust yourself. Trust God, however you perceive Him.

There is no other, no better, no more satisfying way.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Note: Please do not post religious comments that have nothing to do with my post!  This is a writing blog, not a religious blog. Thank you for respecting my virtual space.