Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Journey to Publication

It's official!!! After months of staying quiet about a potential contract, I have officially signed, dated, and mailed my 3 book contract with Charisma House.

Looking back on this journey, it is truly marked with the fingerprints of God's faithfulness.

- Rejected from grad school (spring 2009)
- Spent a year subbing and reapplying
- Lord closed the doors
- Moved back to Dallas in May 2010
- Met a writer and began attending a monthly writing group in June 2010
- Signed up for a local writing conference
- Last person admitted to the Fiction Writing Clinic
- Had to have 3 chapters for clinic, so I picked a story idea and wrote 3 chapters which later turned into this book!!
- Invited to join the Christian Writer's Guild Craftsman program
- Last person admitted to class
- Began in December 2010 with my mentor, DiAnn Mills
- Went to a conference in February 2011 and met with interested agents and editors, including one from Charisma House (who later instigated this deal)
- Went to a residency with Jerry B. Jenkins, DiAnn Mills, and Doc Hensley in April 2011
- Finished the manuscript by September  2011 and began A LOT of edits
- Finished the class in December - the exact education I would have received in grad school with the benefit of a Christian mentor and author
- Went back to February conference in 2012. Met my agent and the editor from the previous conference
-Signed with Sarah Joy Freese through WordServe Literary Agency in Spring 2012
- Submitted A LOT of manuscripts
- Began talking to Charisma House at the end of October 2012
- Received a letter of intent from Charisma House in November
- Signed the contract for a 3 book deal on January 14, 2013
- First manuscript due on February 1, 2013!!!

There was a time at the end of 2009 where I really questioned the Lord's goodness and sovereignty. I was doing good things and involved and growing. Why didn't He choose to bless me according to my plans? Good grief, if I knew the journey He would take me on over the past 3 years, I never would have doubted. His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not mine. They are light years better!

Looking back at this journey, I cannot claim credit for ANY of it. He orchestrated every step! Over the course of the last few years, my life verse has become Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted in the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Being still didn't mean passively standing by. I constantly prayed that the Lord would align my heart with His, and then I moved forward in faith. He doesn't promise to give us what we want. He does promise to use us if we are obedient and faithful, and again, that isn't always in a way that is comfortable. But He gets so much glory!!

I pray that you stick with me as the Lord continues to craft my story here. I can't wait to share sneak peaks and updates as we move toward publication in January 2014!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Silent Vigil

Family Christmas’ in Chama, NM

Peering out the window, the glass
foggy from my breath, I spot
the peaks of the San Juan Mountains
in the distance, shrouded by
a wintry haze. Cottonwoods

stretch their branches in
the field across the cement
lot. I follow the icy
tufts as they fall, twirling

and fluttering to thicken
the frosty blanket covering
the ground where
crunching leaves no longer

sound. Fire toasting my back
begs to melt the ground
outside the window, smeared
from my fingers clearing the

view. Outside, my wooden friends
bend and shudder under the
imposing burden of snowflakes

and ice. Their bark, dry and cracked,
reaches upward, clawing,
begging, pleading, praying for relief,
warmth, and for budding blossoms
to form a green shaggy

mane on barren limbs. What diligence
it must take to praise their Creator
unconditionally, arms stretched
upwards towards an ivory
dusted sky.

Written January 27, 2009

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Word of the Year

One word can change the course of a person's life. By definition, this change requires dedication, commitment, and a strength derived from a source greater than ourselves.

I once heard that "Growing is not being satisfied, but to always be pushing yourself." I would amend that slightly. I would say that I am content with who I am, but I am not satisfied or content to remain there. A new year means a fresh opportunity to change and grow. My word for 2012 was COURAGE. This year, I want to build on what the Lord showed me last year. For 2013, my word is...

...each moment and opportunity.
... the ability to celebrate a ton of weddings with close friends this year.
... celebrate God's goodness, even when I don't understand circumstance.
... time with my family.
... the ability to go, do, and be.
... every new person, place, and opportunity.
... the process of writing a new book.
... the time to rest and the time to be busy.
... the growing pains at work.
... each season as an opportunity to do fun things with my community group.
... each new relationship.
... every opportunity to serve and love others.
... a growing relationship with the Lord.
... every opportunity to make a difference or influence.
... the chance to slow down and enjoy life.
... laughter, love, and living life to the full as the Lord called us to.
In 2012, the Lord began to show me what it looks like to live abundantly and make the most of every opportunity. I want to put that lesson into practice in 2013. I am so incredibly excited for this year. I have a huge tendency to always look for the next thing. I stay busy and rush and see how quickly I can accomplish something and move on to the next latest and greatest challenge. Part of that is who I am. Part of it needs to change.

I want to take time to "stop and smell the roses" as my mom says. I don't want to miss the joys of this year. God is so good, and He calls His people to have a heart of praise. I lose track of that fact in my busyness. This year looks like it will be one of the craziest of my life, but I'm ready for it.

Bring it on 2013! Let the adventure begin.