To most writers, those four words would be fun. Exciting even. To me, they’re unnerving. Intimidating.
I write fiction for a reason. For one, I don’t have to write about myself. I write about characters I have created, and I design them exactly the way I want them. They are as nasty or kind or insecure or silly as I decide they should be. And I craft a story-world just the way I want it. If I don’t like the way a plotline is turning out, I just hit delete, and rewrite it. Again, and again, until it ends up in a manner that pleases me.
Well, life is not like that. I don’t get to write the ending. God has that honor. And things don’t always go the way I want, or even in a way that makes sense, at least to me.
I started writing In the Shadow of Sinai over twenty years ago. I stopped after a couple years for two reasons.
1) I ran into a wall doing research. There wasn’t an internet then, and books on the subject were rare. I got so frustrated, I quit.
2) My first child was born, and I concentrated on her. I tried a few more times in the years to come, but never really got going with four kids at home.
In late summer 2009, I decided (or God did) that I would once and for all finish the book He had put in my heart so many years earlier. I completed it about a year ago, and took it to a Christian writer’s conference. An agent asked for the whole manuscript, a rarity for a new writer. She told me if it were prairie fiction she could sell it “in a heartbeat.” For a brief moment, I considered changing all my characters from Israelites and Egyptians to Amish and Indians. :)
Over the summer and fall, I entered a few contests. I placed second twice, and then in December I won first place in the Show Me the Spark! contest. I yelled so loudly when I opened the email I scared my ten-year-old.
In January I queried a publisher, and he requested the full manuscript, and that’s where it is right now.
So … I can write. At least that’s what I’ve been told several times. But will I get published? That’s not an ending I can pen. In the meantime, I’m writing the sequel, I’ve started this website and blog, and I keep studying the craft.
If you follow my blog, you can see how the story turns out. It may not be the story I would write. It may have many twists and turns and detours, and may not ever end up where I would have it end. But as with all the other stories of my life, when it’s over, His version will be far better than anything I could ever possibly imagine.