How are your goals?
Are you rounding first?
Sliding into second?
Caught in a "hot-box" of indecision, trapped between the bases?
SAFE AT THIRD?????
Rule#1: There are no strike-outs in Seekerville... Because with God, there is always a second chance. And a third. And so on, and so on, we're going with a no-limit pitch for everyone who steps up to the plate!
Did you fall apart the first week because life threw you a CURVE and you sighed and thought "Why am I bothering, this clearly isn't my time?"
DO NOT DESPAIR! Geez, Louise, we all get brushed back, it's like par for the course, so don't let it throw you... Get yourself back in the batter's box and swing for the fences!
God said: Be ready.
And that's my theme today. I'm keeping it short because we should all be writing, but there's a reason the Bible talks continually about being prepared.... "Prepare ye the way".... "Be ready for we do not know the day or time"....
We think of those verses as warnings of death. But what about applying them to LIFE?
Life to the full. Life grasped. Life appreciated.
I know I've talked about this before, about using John the Baptist and "preparing the way" as inspiration. Because it's true, right? But now I'm scrapping my quick talk on fundamentals to share a quick story with youse.
When my September book was turned in and accepted (after some revisions, contrary to popular belief the editorial staff at Love Inspired does not sit waiting in breathless anticipation for Ruthy-work... they read it, advise, make me change things, and then re-assess.... and if you DON'T have to do that, refrain from telling me because I live under the illusion that I'm normal. If you are brilliant and far above my normalcy, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. My ego can't take the hit!) Anyway, I asked if my next book could be scheduled for Christmas 2013... The conflict and story line in my head just begged a holiday setting, this couple, who should NEVER BE TOGETHER UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, I SWEAR are just perfect together in this book.
Redemption. The prodigal, come home. Little children, needing direction. Needing constancy. Forgiveness. Warmth. Family. Oh my stars, if any book said "CHRISTMAS!!!" it was this one.
My contract said otherwise, and having raised a lawyer, I understand that contracts are legally binding documents on both sides.... and while I might promise to have a book in on time, my contract time-frame gave me about five weeks too long. So we decided on a non-holiday book, and that was fine and I got to work, but something kept me praying about the Christmas book... As I wrote, I let the Holy Spirit guide my time frame, and while I felt pushed to work, I didn't rush.
And I prayed that if a Christmas book opening emerged, I'd hear about it and be ready. Because God wants his people to be happy... and to be ready.
I remember a famous athlete doing a commercial half-a-dozen years ago, talking about what if he hadn't been ready when the coach called his name to start a game? What if he hadn't prepared and missed that chance?
I did nothing fancy, writing 1000 words/day.... some days 12-1500 and on weekends about 3K/day. Pretty typical tortoise plod, Ruthy work. But within five weeks, I was at 47K and loving the book.
And then one of the gals shared a tweet from Love Inspired... a tweet that said if someone had a great Christmas book ready to be submitted, now was the time because they needed one.
I e-mailed my editor in the middle of the night, offering my book and explaining where I was with it. Not pushing, but knowing I could do this, given a week.
She e-mailed me back with a slew of appropriate questions. Would I be able to have a submission complete and ready for prime time this week? Would I have time to do revisions if necessary? Would I be able to do the Art Fact Sheets for the cover art and handle edits in a timely fashion? All good, pertinent questions, right?
I said yes, if given until the end of this week (March 15th) I could have the book ready, I'd already done my AFS sheets here (Be ready, remember? I had an hour two weeks ago, not enough for writing time, but enough to put my AFS packet together so that the editors and art team can visualize how I "see" the characters, the town, the lake, the businesses, and the CUTE COP!!!!)
Friday morning I got an e-mail offering me the December slot for Rainey and Luke's story.
I wanted it to be a Christmas story. When I knew it couldn't be, I nodded, smiled and wrote the book. What if I'd waited? I still have six weeks before the original book was due. What if I bided my time or wasted my time? This opportunity would not have been possible.
So I prayed and worked.
And the opportunity opened... and now I have three wonderful Love Inspired books coming out in 2013.
I am blessed, yes.
But first: I made sure I was ready.
So whereever you are in SPEEDBO, do not despair. Do not give up. Do not dilly dally or toil in vain. Plan your work, work your plan and let God and self-discipline guide your fate.
God tells us to be ready. Then it's totally up to us to take his command to heart.
Hey, we're giving away 5 (FIVE!!!!) copies of The Lawman's Second Chance today...
NEWSFLASH: "The Lawman's Second Chance" JUST RECEIVED A 4-STAR REVIEW FROM ROMANTIC TIMES MAGAZINE!!!!
AND.... I'm looking forward to talking to or working with anyone who wins a critique or phone chat with me!!!!
After Speedbo closes, of course! Because with this book done, Peeps?
I've got a new proposal to write.