Over Memorial Day weekend, my sons and I watched the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played. If you’ve never seen it, Shia LaBeouf stars in the true story of Francis Ouimet, a working-class kid who falls in love with golf during the early 1900s. Read on to see what this could possibly have to do with writing.
Happy Thursday from Jeanette! Last month I was getting ready to head off to Mount Hermon, open to whatever God wanted to say or do. For the first time in fifteen+ years of attending this conference, I was not submitting or pitching anything. I’ll confess that I almost caved in a moment of fear and packed some old proposals just in case. What would I do with my time if I didn’t have editor appointments? What would I say when people asked about my writing? But I’m happy to say that I stuck with the plan to make this conference about what God and I both knew I needed—to be filled up. I’m so glad I obeyed!
I may not have made any connections with editors (other than one that I set up time with because I write for her on a regular basis and we’d been looking forward to finally meeting in person), gotten in-depth feedback on my manuscripts, or walked away with requests for proposals, but . . . I received much-needed spiritual refreshment.
I had precious time with friends, including a talk that started a healing process.
God lifted a fog that had been hovering in my brain for a year.
God calmed a fear regarding the future of my writing, and a struggle with creativity caused by the fog in my brain referred to above.
I attended workshops that I might have missed if I hadn’t let Him direct each choice.
I went home strengthened for a challenge that I didn’t know awaited me. But God knew.
In some ways it was more intense and emotional than any conference I have ever attended, because God was working on my heart more than my career. But it was intensity that I needed, and it was mixed with plenty of laughter, fun, hugs, moments when God allowed me to encourage others, unexpected gifts of just the right words, and sweet time with my Heavenly Father.
Sometimes God’s direction doesn’t make a lot of sense. What? Go to a writer’s conference and plan ahead of time NOT to pitch? Are you serious? But when we obey, we see Him do far more than we expected. And I truly believe that my writing will benefit greatly from doing this conference differently, because when we allow Him to search, heal, and refocus our hearts, everything in our lives changes for the better.
Happy New Year from Jeanette. Yes, it has been awhile since you heard from me. A lot happened at once and some things got set aside. Today I started to wonder though, if commitments like blogging got neglected because I was overwhelmed by circumstances that were far more important, or because I let them consume me. Maybe it was a little of both. Sometimes it’s hard to tell isn’t it?
Happy Monday from Jeanette! Last week I finished and sent the final section of a three-part review of the classic novel Les Miserable. Not only did this fun writing assignment allow me to revisit why I enjoyed the book so much but it also reminded me of the many ways that a writer can benefit from reading the classics.
We’ve all been there. (At least I hope I’m not the only one.) The calendar says it’s time to post something on a blog and we have absolutely nothing insightful, intelligent, or new to say. Or after meeting a series of deadlines we finally have time to work on the novel that we’ve left on the back burner for far too long and now that the free hours are available, the creativity just isn’t there. Again, nothing to say. What do we do?
Hello from Jeanette. I hope you are all enjoying your summer. For me, summer seems to include a lot of movies. Over the weekend I watched one that came highly recommended by my sister Sherry—the Young Victoria. The story followed Queen Victoria as an 18-year-old adjusting to her role as ruler of England. A scene from the end of the film really resonated with me; I couldn’t help applying it to the writing life.
Happy Monday from Jeanette. Today I walked into one of the 2nd grade classrooms at my youngest son’s school and handed the teacher a stack of books that I’d just finished spiral-binding.
“I’ll let you make the announcement,” Miss Anne whispered. She got her class’s attention.
Before I could say a word a little girl named Myra squealed, “Our books!”
“That’s right. You’re authors!”
The King’s Academy 2nd graders had worked hard for weeks on stories about a dog named Ace (inspired by Miss Anne’s dog who gained fame when he had to have his tail amputated—long story), based on what they learned when I taught a writing workshop. We’d promised to collect their stories and bind them in a book. And now the day had arrived. Their books were ready, hot off the copied-and-bound-in-the-church-office press! I don’t know who was more excited, the kids or me.
I watched Miss Anne pass the books around, eager hands reaching out. As each child received a copy of The Adventures of Ace they flipped through to find their page. What a moment! If I hadn’t been field day I would have suggested a lunchtime book signing!
An hour or so later I had another cool moment that only a writer could appreciate when I watched my oldest son sign his first contract for an article that he wrote and had accepted—his first submission and his first acceptance. He acted so unaffected as he filled in his SS#, name, date, and signature and slipped it into the envelope. Of course I stood back beaming but trying to hide it, knowing that if I made too big a deal he would say something like, “Mom, if you’re going to act this way every time I get something accepted, I’m never writing again.” But deep down I wanted to hug him and cry and jump up and down and make a total idiot of myself. His first contract was headed to the mailbox! I know he was equally as pumped; my son is just too laid back to show it.
Both of these experiences reminded me how fun it is to encourage the next generation of writers. After all, as much as we hate to think about it, we won’t always be around. Someday, instead of our books and articles, readers will pick up someone else’s . . . perhaps my son’s or stories written by one of the 2nd graders from King’s Academy. What a privilege it is to share the thrills, not knowing where God will take those little ones who contributed to The Adventures of Ace.
Who knows, one or two of them could be a future CAN member!
Happy Monday from Jeanette, writing from exciting snowing-one-minute-and-sunny-the-next Reno. I spent most of today, not writing, but talking with my bank’s fraud department. Apparently someone borrowed our account number for some overseas purchases. “That’s it,” I told the bank representative. “Nobody in this family is ever ordering anything online again.” It’s possible that that’s all it took—an innocent purchase put information out there for a sick individual to snatch up for who knows what (make that, I don’t want to know what). It probably took them five minutes to rob us, while it took me hours to undo the damage.