Sunday, April 14, 2013
...But God, a story from my heart
I am still in awe of the service and the presence that was in our church today. So I feel lead to share my Testimony with you, my Blog friends.
The Wishing Well Curse started out being called A Ghost from a Wishing Well. Because over twenty years ago, the idea come to me to write a story and the plot was inspired by the song, If You Could Read My Mind Love, by Gordon Lightfoot. The idea rolled around in my mind but I never sat down to write. But, then again, I was raising babies, having babies and dealing with a broken life.
A year and a half ago, God orchestrated my life in such a way that I had a lot of time on my hands. The desire woke up to write, and of course, this story ignited once more. So I sat down and wrote it all the way to the end. It was amateurish and really terrible, and I knew it. So I started searching for information. I contacted a writer acquaintance whom I had met through a Tear Drop Trailers Forum. She directed me to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) from there I found resources to teach me to write. I downloaded Jeff Gerke's Plot Vs Character book. Read it through and was inspired all over again. I googled Jeff Gerke and found a discussion forum he had started, Where The Map Ends, or Anomaly. From that forum, I was invited to join an online critique group, The Sandbox. I submitted my story to the critique group and started critiquing their work as well. (By the way, you learn a lot about writing by critiquing other people's writing and by having your own work critiqued.)
They gently but firmly tore my story apart and helped me write it so that it was better and better. While I was playing in the Sandbox (that's what we call our time together) I met Pauline Creeden who had started a small publishing company. I think she had been building her company for the past three years. (But that's her testimony) She wanted to publish a collection of short stories about a clockwork dragon. She submitted her own short story to demonstrate what she had in mind for the stories and offered to the critique group an opportunity to write anything, set in any time period, fantasy or contemporary, literally: whatever, as long as it was about the clockwork dragon and the idea that it was home to legion, the many demons from Mark 5:9 and somebody encountering them.
I was inspired. Ideas came to me and I asked her if this idea and that idea was what she was interested in. She told me to write it up and submit it. She'd let me know if it worked for her. Well, my mind went wild. I thought of four stories, then five... On day, my son said, "Mom, stop writing Clockwork Dragon stories." We laughed about that. So I submitted the four stories and talked to another writer who submitted a mermaid version of the story. We decided to write one story together about Fairies at a slumber party.
The Clockwork Dragon was published October 2012. WOW! Then I went back to The Wishing Well Curse and, again, read through it and worked on making it better. I figured well, that was cool. Now to really published a book. I searched Christian publishers and perused their submission requirements. I worked on putting together a Sale Sheet and synopsis, etc. all the things needed to submit a manuscript to an editor.
Then in December, I received a message from Pauline explaining to me her goals for her publishing company and she asked me if I had any finished manuscripts I'd be willing to submit to her.
I couldn't believe it! Publishers DO NOT come to writers and ask for their manuscripts. It just doesn't happen.
I gulped and told her about The Wishing Well Curse. She read it and a few weeks later she contacted me to suggest some major changes in the story line and told me if I was willing to work with her, make these changes, she'd be interested in publishing this story.
After I picked myself up off the floor. Cried for several hours and called all my children!!! Well you know what I'm saying. I said yes, and here we are today. The Wishing Well Curse is available at Amazon.com for e-readers and will be available May 1 in paperback.
Now, please don't shake your head and say, "Well! Some people have all the luck!"
I have had my valley of the shadow of death! It wasn't an easy road to get here. But when I was so broken, I had no where else to turn, I turned to God. I'm reminded of 2 Chronicles 20:3-22. Jehoshaphat feared the armies approaching to destroy Judah and Jerusalem so he cried out to the Lord and the Lord set ambushes against the men...and they were defeated.
I turned to God and turned to God and turned to God. I have counseled with my pastors, prayed, been prayed over, prayed for others, and I have grown in the Lord. I have followed His lead, which was the unction to write and wrote from my heart that He ignited with a story. And He made a way. He connected me with Pauline and I am assuming (but that's her testimony) that He lead her to ask me the questions, "Do you have a finished manuscript you'd be willing to submit."