Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Want Some Good News?

I’ve shared the quote above several times only because it still resonates profoundly with me. Many of you know that I’ve wanted to write fiction my entire life. I started churning out short stories at the ripe ol' age of six.

They were descriptive, too—right down to the color of the Laz-Y-Boy recliner and the buttons on the remote (important images for me back then J).

The dream has been in my heart for several decades, but I’ve only spent the last almost decade getting serious—thanks, in large part, to my husband who helped me believe in myself, in my God-given talents.

At the time, I was working on my PhD. Writing a work of fiction while writing a two-hundred page research project not only seemed unrealistic but also, again, less serious. One side of my brain is processing Foucault and Bakhtin while the other half is wading around in the minds of my characters, a stubborn and independent journalist and a life-worn but seasoned rancher.

It had been a few years since my grandmother passed away, and I felt nostalgic, missing her like crazy and sentimental toward all things small town, and ranch life, and antique.

I officially finished the manuscript in 2013, and I’ve spent the last three years making intense changes to it—not the story line, per se, but the quality of writing. I’ve learned a lot from those who have helped me, critiqued me, mentored me along the way.

I’ve shared before about the waiting game of publishing, and today, it’s no different. But I’ve taken the wise advice of a writing mentor this semester, who said, when you’re waiting, KEEP WRITING.

So a few months ago, I gave myself a daily writing goal and decided, for my own soul, I would endeavor to write every day.

Occasionally, it feels like a chore, but most days, it’s a breath of fresh air. My whole brain resets, and I come away revived.

I’m still very willing to wait, to learn, to receive all that God has for me on this journey.

And in the meantime, I have some good news to share with you:

I’m happy to tell you I’m less than 10K words away from finishing a second manuscript. I’m on track to finish on or before June 15, and I hope to spend the next few months on the first round of edits and revisions before sending it off to critiquing eyes.

I’m also over-the-moon overjoyed to share that my first book is a semi-finalist in the prestigious Genesis contest. We were hosting about thirty-five students and faculty at our house the evening I was notified, so I missed the call. And when I listened to the voicemail in the rush of letting the dogs out and getting ready for bed, I seriously froze—and almost fainted.

Y’all, I can’t even describe how honored and humbled I feel. It’s not even the end of the contest—like finalist or winner—but this alone feels priceless. All glory to Jesus, for sure.

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey. The time will pass anyway, so I’ll keep chasing after my dreams. 

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