Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Such Thing as a Fairy Godmouse...

Isn’t that supposed to be fairy godMOTHER, you know, as in Cinderella and her magical mentor who turned mice into prancing horses, a pumpkin into a golden carriage, and rags and bare feet into a beautiful gown with glass slippers?
Well, yeah…but please bear with me for a moment, okay? I have a collection of framed greeting cards that I periodically switch out above my desk for inspiration—and a kick in the seat of the pants. You can see one of them above…little Cindermouse astonished by the arrival of her very own fairy godmouse who will transform the world as she knows it.
This particular illustration is near and dear to my heart. Years ago, in my early days as an aspiring writer, I’d written on the back of it: “There ain’t no such thing as a fairy godmouse.”
And what did that uncompromising statement and the charming image that inspired it mean to me?
The winged and wand-waving rodent was a humorous “reality check” that, as much as I hoped for, longed for, and dreamed of reaching readers as a published writer, no fairytale creature was going to step in and magically do it for me while I watched from the sidelines. No fairy godmouse would type my book as I slept. She wouldn’t polish my prose, transform the sagging story middle or cover other flaws of craftsmanship with fairy dust while I attended to other things.
The essence of the familiar Cinderella story—a good-hearted, mistreated lady (or lad!) magically being granted success—is one rooted in cultures throughout the world for thousands of years. It’s certainly well-established in our modern-day collective psyches, often to our detriment when it encourages us to lethargically await a magical, effortless intervention requiring little or no commitment or exertion on our own part.
Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says “God actually chooses people on purpose who absolutely cannot do what He is asking them to do unless they allow Him to do it through them.”
But she doesn’t mean He does everything FOR us while we’re off having our nails done or getting a massage. Instead, He chooses to do things WITH us. He is the power source but we are His instrument if we willingly make ourselves available.
From the very beginning of my writing journey, I knew I didn’t want to be published if it wasn’t God’s best plan for me. I also knew early on that while God might plant story ideas in my head and frequently pick me up and dust me off when I despaired of ever attaining publication, he expected ME to sit down at the keyboard and hammer out the thousands of necessary words. He’d grant me the courage to enter a contest, but he wouldn’t send off the entry. He’d give me insights into the feedback received from judges, but He himself wouldn’t incorporate those lessons into my manuscript while I was taking a nap. He’d point the way to open doors of opportunity, but he wouldn’t force me to walk through them. Even if I did everything “right,” the effort came with no guarantees of publication or remaining published. I had (have) to be “good” with that.
It’s a partnership if we choose to sign on.
Few things in life that are worth doing come easy if you want to excel at them. God won’t wave a wand over my writing dreams. He wants me to build spiritual muscle in order to be healthy and strong, to have endurance for the long haul, to grow in deeper relationship with Him. He’s using the writing dream to develop those things in me. But it takes a time and effort commitment on my part. Self-discipline. Setting and meeting goals. Dismissing negative self-talk. Trusting God. While I may still sometimes wonder why it took so long to get published and wonder why it can still be so hard to write a contracted book, I know God’s developing my “core” self. Building layer upon layer of “muscle” in the most central part of who I am and who He wants me to be. In His eyes, pursuing the writing dream is more than the attainment of publication. Much more.
For me, it’s been an ongoing lesson in perseverance, patience, self-discipline and overcoming fear. It’s been growth in time management and craftsmanship, in coming to better understand the power of Story. It’s seeking God’s support and guidance and continuously being willing to conform to—and trust in—His will even when I’d rather take a shortcut or throw in the towel.
So what do you think would have happened to our beleaguered Cindermouse if that winged and be-wanded fairy creature hadn’t made a timely arrival? Would she still be sitting in the ashes, feeling sorry for herself because she can’t complete a book? Making excuses because she’d rather watch TV or cruise the internet than “pump iron” at the keyboard? Whining because the road to publication (and staying published) is often harder than she’d ever imagined? Or would she seek God’s guidance and solider on?

At this very moment I’m under a pressing deadline for a book that’s due at the end of June. Several other Seekers are currently in a similar boat. We believe the books we’re writing are a God-pleasing endeavor, but we also know that no one is going to complete our manuscript for us. No one else is going to expend the creative energy, make the required sacrifices or carve out time to sit in front of our computer—except us.
That’s reality.There’s no such thing as a fairy godmouse.
Many of you who visit Seekerville are among those who’ve stopped waiting for the appearance of wand-waving fairytale creature. You prayerfully determined this is a direction God would like you to explore. There are no guarantees that you’ll ever be published or remain published, but there’s a promise that God will use your efforts to make you an instrument fit for His purpose—whatever that may be. You made a decision to step out and commit to do your part. You’re writing regularly, you’re taking on-line writing courses, attending conferences, joining critique groups, submitting entries to contests and queries to agents and editors. Some of you have even become published authors since we first met you on the sunny beaches of our Unpubbed Seeker Island!
So please share with us today what the turning point was for you—when you went from merely daydreaming to pursuing the dream in tangible, measurable ways. How do you keep going when attaining the dream doesn’t happen overnight, when you desperately long to get your hands on a magic wand? What evidence do you see that God is building your “spiritual muscle” through this ongoing endeavor?
If you’re an Unpubbed Seeker Islander who’s not yet taking concrete steps toward pursuing your writing dream, what are you waiting for?
And please don’t tell me a fairy godmouse!!

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a winner’s choice of one of my books, please mention it in the comments section, then check our Weekend Edition for the winner announcement!

Glynna Kaye’s debut book “Dreaming of Home” was a finalist in the ACFW Carol and Maggie awards, as well as a first place winner of the “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Her 4 1/2 star “At Home In His Heart” was chosen as a Reviewers Choice finalist by national magazine RT Book Reviews. “A Canyon Springs Courtship,” her sixth Love Inspired book (and the fifth set in the mountain country of Arizona), releases in September 2013--with two more contracted for 2014!


Nancy Kimball said...

Well that's twice now my comment got eaten. Stupid Windows 8. Not even blogger's fault. It gets shorter every attempt, LOL, so I'll try to squeak this in. This was timely for me, Glynna, thank you.

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

This is very insightful.

I have thought about life and my writing. I’ve had a long time to think about it. And I feel comfortable with what I have learned.

I don’t think we can judge a life by where we end up: rich or poor, published or unpublished. God can have many plans for us. He might want us doing many different things all at the same time.

It is the quality of the journey that makes a valued life. It is what we are going every day that makes a life worth living.

I write for the reason that I do many other things: because the effort is wroth doing.

If all our efforts are viewed as not worth doing unless, in the end, we have published, then all those efforts will not have been worth it -- even if we do publish.

An unpublished writer goes to heaven and apologizes to God for never having published and thus never fulfilling God’s plan for her.

And God answers, “My child, my plan for you was for you to try and become a writer because trying to become a writer made you a better person. Learning to write gave your life the meaning I wanted you to have. I was interested in what you did every day of your life. I couldn’t love you any more than I do now -- even if you had published hundreds of books.”

If there is no fairy godmouse, then that’s because we never had a need for one in the frist place.


Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the inspiring post today Glynna. I'd say my pivotal moment was when I started reading again after too many years of buying books and leaving them on the shelf. I had had characters dancing through my head ever since I seemed to stop writing poetry. I've just recently began really studying the craft and letting my characters take me on their journey.

I would love to be entered to win one of your books. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, this was wonderful! Glynna, you made me smile with the God-mouse, but I truly felt the message of taking the task into hand and doing our best!

My turning points: One, getting my children launched, that's when I said I would take time to write (even if it was and is from normal sleep time) because I felt like I'd tackled the first job God gave me... my kids and their education... and had reached a launch point.

Second one was Tina Radcliffe's "Plan B". Tina's organizational skills rounded up the last half-dozen Seekers and reminded us of Einstein's brilliance with "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

That change-up garnered me notice from ABA editors and publishers at the same time that Melissa Endlich stepped into the editor's seat at Love Inspired. It truly felt like God had opened a door... and in case I messed up and tripped going through the DOOR... he'd opened a window as well.

It is so easy to get discouraged in this biz, but then I'd think of Laura Ingalls Wilder, not writing until she was 60... of how difficult it must have been for writers of old. No computer, no Internet, no instant research gratification!!! How blessed are we???

And each day I make my writing a gift to myself. It's not a job or a chore to get those words down...

It's my self-reward system in full play! I absolutely positively love what I do and it's an honor to do it!

Jackie said...

I began writing when my second child was born. But I worked full time and had a twelve year old son also. Then we moved to another state.

Needless to say, my writing disappeared.

Then I tried again years later and was pretty serious about it. I studied the craft and worked hard. Then a disaster struck our lives and it was all I could do to keep my head above the water.

A few years ago, Brandilyn Collins gave me the gentle push I needed to get back to writing. She told me to join ACFW and go to a conference. I got back in the saddle once more and followed her advice.

I'm still not published, but I've prayed enough to know God wants me to write.

Thanks for this encouraging post, Glynna!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, NANCY! So sorry your comment was gobbled up. Before I select "publish your comment," I've made it a habit of copying my comment, so that if it gets eaten I can just re-paste it into the comment box for a "do over." I've had to do that 2-3 times on occasion, but it usually eventually 'sticks.' :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, VINCE! I think God has so much more planned than we could ever imagine from the seeds he's planted in our hearts to write and be published. The paths he's chosen for us to grow in, stretch us in and become more like him are different for every human being. It just happens the paths of many here in Seekerville include a love for writing and a desire to reach readers with the message of His love through that writing. There may or may not be a book on the shelf for us, but nevertheless behind the scenes he's using the dream he planted within us to grow us into the people of faith he wants us to be.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, CINDY W! Reading is such a beautiful gift, isn't it? And it's started not only your characters on their journeys but your own writing journey as well!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, RUTHY! For me, it was a combination of Tina's "Plan B" and realizing that my day job was never going to ease up. If I continued to wait for that day, I'd never be any closer to where I wanted to be. I had to make a decision and commit to taking the necessary steps "in spite of" and move forward.

Glynna Kaye said...

JACKIE -- I totally understand the "then disaster struck." A health disaster struck me right when I was winning contests left and right, judges encouraging me to find an agent and editor, and it looked like the door to publication would be opening soon. But with a crushing health blow, I basically took a sabbatical from writing for 6 years. Read about the craft. Took on-line classes, but didn't write. Couldn't write. And then gradually God brought me back around to being able to write again, planted me in the midst of the Seekers...and the rest is history. :)

kaybee said...

RUTHY, I love the idea of making writing a "gift to yourself." Hard as it is, I would still rather be writing than not writing, spending time with my wonderful characters and leading them toward God! Telling stories!
VINCE, love the story about the unpublished writer in Heaven.
I have been trying to do this for most of my adult life, and wanting to do it since I was 6. I have made every possible mistake! Sometimes it was me, sometimes it wasn't God's timing. I got back in the ring seriously about a year ago -- crit partner, craft group, Seekerville, contests, pursuing my dream/goal in a systematic way. But I came back to it with a totally different attitude -- it's about the journey, who I meet and what I learn from them.
I have learned a lot from my husband. When we were first married, we went out to Colorado for him to attend Bible college. We lived on bologna sandwiches and Jello. My parents didn't travel and we had no money, so I did not see my family for four years. Both my children were born in Colorado. My mother did not know what it was like to hold one of my children as an infant, and I was deprived of a mother's help at that time in my life. Dave finally graduated and took a pastorate, then a second pastorate. Then God called him OUT of active ministry. I was bitter and questioning about this for years -- WHY did we make all those sacrifices -- until I learned that God had a purpose for it besides Dave actively pastoring. It made us strong, and helped us to withstand challenges we've had since then. This is a long post, but you See What I Mean! Have a good day my wonderful Seeker friends.
Kathy Bailey
Long-winded in New Hampshire

apple blossom said...

thanks for the thoughts
have a super day

Glynna Kaye said...

KATHY--Your Colorado story is an ideal example of how God uses experiences in our lives, takes us down paths that we don't always understand. Sometimes we think "well, that was a dead end, I must not have heard from God." But that may not be the case at all! We very well may have heard from God and the path was one of his choosing--for a different purpose than we'd assumed. And even if we do "mishear," he can use the path mistakenly taken for his purposes and get us back on the "right" path.

I'm happy you're back on the writing path!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Apple Blossom. Thanks for stopping by!

Cindy Regnier said...

Thanks for the encouraging post. God uses everything, I think. Last night my little town of Bennington Kansas was spared from a massive tornado and nobody can explain how or why. I believe angels of God held back that storm, You better believe that is going in a book someday! Would love to be in the drawing for the book. Thanks again Glynna,

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kathy, that story resonated with me. When we were first married, we lived on bullheads that first year. Dave would fish in the bay every night, he'd clean the fish and I'd freeze some and cook some.

We existed on bullheads and pasta because we'd used our savings to buy our first house.

Those sacrifices are what forge us into who we are later. You have been forged well!!! And the depth of our being I think is made stronger by those sacrifices and adversity.

(I gave this same talk to some middle school kids this morning who don't appreciate how hard their parents work to give them dancing lessons... music lessons... the chance to play ball and soccer... ungrateful twits!)


I love that you've jumped back in the ring and you hang on tight. It's a roller coaster ride on both sides of the "divide", pubbed and aspiring, but I've always had a fond penchant for roller coasters!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh GLYNNA I love the little fairy godmouse. I can so see that sitting in your office. What words of wisdom today. Something we all need to be reminded of.

Thank you and have a great day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

RUTHY, like KATHY B. I like the idea of writing as a reward.

Not only do you reward yourself, but all the rest of us too. smile

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Glynna,

Thanks for the inspiring post! It reminds me of the story attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, who was in his garden when someone asked him what he would do that day if he knew the end of the world was at hand. His answer? Finish weeding the garden.

Whether we're writing, cleaning toilets, counseling a friend, or signing another publishing contract, everything we do, we do to the glory of God.

My turning point was much like Ruthy's - I was nearing the end of my homeschooling career, the children would soon be launched (as Ruthy put it), and I asked God to show me the next thing He wanted me to do. I never thought it would be my long-desired dream of writing :) But He opened doors and I stepped through.

Have a great day, everyone!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

What got me writing fiction for the first time was Speedbo a year ago and what got me finishing that first book was this year's Speedbo.

Little did I know that my writing, classes, critiques and gaining great supportive writing friends would see me through a really difficult year. Now that I am on the other side, there is a world of possibility open for me.

I may not have a fairy godmouse who does the work but I have plenty of angels God sent when I needed them!

Peace and thanks for such a thoughtful post,


Glynna Kaye said...

CINDY R -- You and your town certainly have a lot to be thankful for this morning! I'm so glad your community was spared the tragedy of so many others. It does sound story worthy!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, SANDRA! I think those little mice are cute, too. We'll have to get MARY'S take on them, though. I have a feeling she'll have a different opinion on anything "rodent." :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JAN! I like that St. Francis story! And it's so wonderful that God opened the door to your writing!

Janet Dean said...

Wonderful post, Glynna! Writers probably love fairy tales as much as anyone, but we know books are born through hard work, not the wave of a wand. Though wouldn't that be nice??? LOL

I started writing and illustrating romances when I was twelve. When I met my dh in college I told him I'd write a book one day. I didn't return to writing until our kids were in high school. I don't regret those years. Each experience prepared me to tell stories. Once I sought publication, my cp, contests and conferences kept me keeping on during the years of rejection. Along with the knowledge that God had planted that desire inside me for a reason. As He has in all of you.


Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JULIE H.S.! That's so cool that Speedbo launched you and helped you get the book done! I'm glad to hear you're on the other side of a rough year, too, and standing eagerly at the doorway, ready to step through!

Glynna Kaye said...

HI, JANET! Yeah, I could go for the wave of a wand on occasion, too.

Amazing, isn't it, how God planted that little seed of the desire to write when you were a kid? I was writing short stories in grade school, too, as were several of my cousins. For two of us (out of the 5), the writing seed was planted deeply and we continued to write all the way to publication! A lot of time passed and a lot of life was lived before that happened though. Stuff we how can put into books!

Myra Johnson said...

So inspiring, Glynna! Wow, if I had to list all the writing epiphanies in my life, I'd be here all day!

The first came when I realized my reclusive personality was a terrible fit for the life of areal estate agent. So two years into that "experiment" and I was out of there.

Not long afterward, I came upon one of those Institute of Children's Literature magazine ads. I'd seen them many times before, but this time it just seemed so right, so I took the aptitude test and enrolled. Those lessons kick-started the dream I'd had since childhood and gave me the tools to actually succeed with my writing.

Of course, I had no idea what a roller-coaster ride this writing life would turn out to be, but I'm glad I held on!

Jill Weatherholt said...

I love this, Glynna! You ask, "How do you keep going when attaining the dream doesn’t happen overnight?" Honestly, the stories I read here about the struggles and perseverance you all have faced in order to glorify God through your writing, keeps me going. Twice I thought about giving up and each time I received word that my short story was going to be published. There is no doubt, God was speaking to me. Thank you again for this lovely post.

Jill Weatherholt said...

I love this, Glynna! You ask, "How do you keep going when attaining the dream doesn’t happen overnight?" Honestly, the stories I read here about the struggles and perseverance you all have faced in order to glorify God through your writing, keeps me going. Twice I thought about giving up and each time I received word that my short story was going to be published. There is no doubt, God was speaking to me. Thank you again for this lovely post.

Jeanne T said...

Glynna, what a wonderful post. It didn't take me long to figure out thee was no fairy godmouse. I began pursuing publication when I really figured out how to plot my first story. I don't know how long it will take, but I'll put in the hard work needed. :)

I so appreciate your encouraging, straightforward words!

Glynna Kaye said...

GOOD MORNING, MYRA! I remember those ads, too, but never had the gumption to check them out. :) And yes, it's a roller coaster, ride! So glad we've all hung on!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JILL! So glad the Seeker stories of perseverance have kept you going--and isn't it amazing how God's timing on your short stories reconfirmed you're on the right path?

Glynna Kaye said...

JEANNE T - I'm STILL trying to figure out how to plot a story! LOL. So consider yourself fortunate! Coming to a DECISION that you're going to do whatever it takes is half the battle, and it sounds as if you've made it and are moving forward.

Clari Dees said...

There may not be such a thing as a fairy godmouse, but there is such a thing as Seekerville. And in my opinion, that's so much better!

Thank you, Glynna and all the rest of the Seekers and Seekerville residents, for continued inspiration, encouragement, and the occasionally-needed-kick-in-the-pants you provide so graciously!

Clari Dees said...

Cindy R!
I was watching storm chasers follow that tornado last night on the weather channel! I am so thankful you and your town were spared. Praise God!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Whooooa. Apple Blossom. Haven't seen you in a while. How are you???

Tina Radcliffe said...

What have you done today to make your dream come true.

I rest my fairy godmouse case.

Lyndee H said...

Hi Glynna,
Thank you for the thoughtful post. And I'm so glad to hear that plots can be a thorn for you, too. My plots get so complicated, I can hardly catch my breath! Imagine the torture of my poor characters! I feel as though as soon as I write The End I need to follow-up with an letter of apology to them.

Trust is a pet-project between God and me. He started this in 1999 when I launched my freelance writing career. That's why I'm so calm and prayerful about this process. I learned early on and over and over that this business takes time. I view this as His preparation for the blessings yet to come - whatever form they take.

Bridgett Henson said...

Glynna, this post almost made me cry. I so wanted to take a nap while my fairy godmouse finished these revision.

Oh well, guess I'll get back to reality.

Seriously though, I'm reevaluating my writing. Am I writing for myself or for the glory of God? It's so easy to get caught up in the trends I sometimes forget what God has called me to do.

Thanks for reminding me.

Elaine Manders said...

Glynna, I can relate. I had another writing life in which I listened too closely to people and too little to God. As a result I wrote a lot of manuscripts I was too ashamed to try to get published. There, that's the truth, I've finally admitted it. Then when I retired and thought I was too old. I started reading Jeannette Oke's series and other Christian fiction and realized a lot of the writers were as old or older than I was. That excuse went out the window. Now's the time, God whispered. Then I heard a sermon entitled "What do You Have Buried under Your Bushel?" But I didn't want to even read those manuscripts hidden, much less rewrite them. I prayed that if God would send me a story that would make me fall in love with writing as He had before...the one I'd ruined, I'd follow His guidance and get it published even if I had to publish it myself. I kid you not, the very next day, I was playing golf and before the 18th hole, an entire series had been born and I was in giddy love again. My goal now is to get that one and all those lying hidden written and polished to the best of my ability and do my best to not only get them published but to get them sold, because I'm now writing for the reader.

I don't need a fairy godmouse for my writing, but if anyone has some, I'll take one to clean up my house.

Debby Giusti said...

Lovely, Glynna!

I just finished a book. WHEW! God was with me the entire time. I wouldn't do this if it was just for me. Knowing it's what He wants me to do--that we're working together--helps me persevere.

Although...I could use a fairly godmother to tackle the housework. Going into deadline mode leaves my house a wreck. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee said, "...this business takes time." Amen to that!

I had a slight breakthrough in my writing these last few weeks, which is good. Hope I can continue to improve. That's always the goal. There's always more to learn.

Debby Giusti said...


How wonderful to get confirmation that you're on the right course, especially when negative thoughts set in.

Like you, God often offered a much needed carrot when I was struggling to publish.

Debby Giusti said...

Just read Vince's comment about heaven.

Nicely said, Vince!

It's about the journey, isn't it!

I always thought my years of rejection helped my then teen kids realize the value of hard work. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Elaine, we're thinking alike about that housework godmouse. Where is she?

Loved reading the highlights of your journey! I wrote secular suspense early on in my unpubbed days. Kept asking God how he was going to use my suspense for His glory. Well...duh, I had to add a faith element. :)

He is go good!

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Elaine! When you find a fairy godmouse that cleans houses, send her this way!

Lyndee H said...

Hey, Debby! I was just thinking about you and wondering how you were doing with your looming deadline. Congrats on making it to The End and I know the Lord was marking time with you every step of the way.

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee, I've been praying for you...two pitches, right?

Cindy Regnier said...

Thank you Clari Dees!!

Pam Hillman said...

He himself [God] wouldn’t incorporate those lessons into my manuscript while I was taking a nap.

Glynna, I could have gone all day without this reminder...or at least until AFTER my nap.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Glynna -

Love that art!
Excellent post. Looking forward to reading the comments in a bit... But as for my own...

I'd taken some courses (most intensive was the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice) and wrote for local paper from time to time, letters to the editor in magazines here and there. But it wasn't until the idea came to write about our rescue dog, May, that things got serious. Once the idea came to me, it wouldn't let go. So much so, that I had difficulty sleeping for several months.

Finally, I told God, "ALRIGHT ALREADY!!! I'll do it!" Knew I'd have to if I was ever to get any sleep.

Now I'm awake for different reasons but know I'm on the right path. Hugs from children and wonderful emails from adults about books one and two have made this plain. Sure is nice to review those memories when sleep-deprived on deadline.

May your deadlines be reachable!

Thank you forever to each of the Seekers for doing what you do for aspiring authors.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince said: I write for the reason that I do many other things: because the effort is wroth doing.

Vince's observation is true. Here's a tangible way of looking at this from a different perspective...

I do not regret having tried to BLANK, but I would regret having never tried in the first place.

I can put "paint", "play the piano" "gardening" in that blank. I'm not very good at any of those. Okay, I'm really PATHETIC at all three, but I tried. I lost interest after a few months/years, discovering that while I admired art, piano music, and beautiful gardens, I didn't have a passion for any of the tasks. I wasn't willing to put the time and effort into developing them. If I'd had a passion for any of the three, I would have kept at it. I might have even discovered some talent. I have a very tiny bit of artistic ability, but I'm not interested enough to pursue it, so who knows how far I could go? Or how good of a musician I could have been?

I can hear the changes in major chords in music (btw, I know just enough about music to be dangerous), but I wasn't passionate enough about playing the piano to get better. And, you know, it doesn't bother me in the least. :)

My brother-in-law's family gets together often with their guitars, banjos, and fiddles and have a jam session. I know people who get real antsy if they don't get in a good jam session at least once a week. Me? I'd rather stay home and read a good book.

A musician might not be able to make a living playing and singing, but more than likely, they are involved in music on some level most of their life. Same with an artist. It's a fire shut up in their bones. A passion. It's part of them.

A story-teller's passion is to tell stories, and in this day and age, that means hands on keyboard, or pen to paper. We might not be able to write every day, we might not be world famous, we might not ever publish a book (or another book), but the journey, the effort, is definitely worth the doing. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Cindy, so glad to hear that everyone in Bennington is okay!

CatMom said...

Wow Glynna, I feel this post was written just for moi! This is truly what I needed to read today as a reminder, so THANK YOU!!

When the Lord closed the door on my beloved teaching career (due to severe spinal issues) I felt He was opening the door for me to write full-time. However, I have to confess that I still didn't take my writing seriously...not really. About a year ago the reality hit me--the Lord has given me this wonderful opportunity, but it's up to ME to do my very best. So that meant I had to improve my self-discipline and time management, and write even when I didn't feel especially creative.

I LOVE your Cindermouse and Godmouse picture--that is adorable. Please enter me in the drawing for one of your books (I have Dreaming of Home, and Second-Chance Courtship, and LOVED those!). Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Elaine, like you and Debby, I did some secular stuff too. And it wasn't me. It just wasn't the direction I wanted to go, no matter that folks told me my sweet stuff would never find a home...

The home found "it" eventually and it worked out so well!!!

You hang in there and just know we've all been there. It's part of the journey in so many cases... and we live and learn!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince, you remember that famous Erma Bombeck quote that I use often, right? Because it reminds me of what you said...

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"

It's not about the end result, but like Deb said, the journey undertaken.

(Now add to that the fact that I refuse to get beaten down by anything and if something rejects me, I just double my speed and work harder... because "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.") Eleanor Roosevelt

Debby Giusti said...

Talking about an artist/writer's passion, Pam said: "It's a fire shut up in their bones."

What a perfect Southern (?) phrase and one that a whole book could revolve around. Thanks for sharing, Pam!

Like Patti Jo, I had to make the decision to "up the ante" and get serious about my writing. Joined a critique group with three other gals--all experts in their own areas. We met every week for four to five hours and worked to improve our stories. I felt it was a do or die moment, a line in the sand...if I didn't give writing my heart and soul at that point in time, I would never publish. Eighteen months later, I got THE CALL.

I should mention that I had six completed manuscripts on my hard drive and had been struggling along on my writing journey for years!

Remember I'm the tortoise...always! A slow learner as well, evidently. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Ruthy!

Wasn't Erma Brombeck amazing. Wisdom with humor! I loved her work.

Chill N said...

Glynna, a timely post for me as I revaluate (yet again) where I'm supposed to go with all this. Somedays it feels like the right path and somedays not so much. I guess the trick is getting through the 'not so much' days, and one way I do that is by stopping by Seekerville. Lots of understanding, motivation, and encouragement here!

Congrats on those two books coming out next year. Wow and double wow!

Nancy C

Debby Giusti said...

Nancy, we're all on this journey together. You support us on the down days!


Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

You wrote:

Vince, you remember that famous Erma Bombeck quote that I use often, right? Because it reminds me of what you said...

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"

Yes, I remember you mentioning that quote and it reminds me of Jeter, who, I believe, once summed it up this way: “Leave it all on the field.”

I know it is a cliché to say life is about the journey but there are three good reasons for this:

(1) You can’t make up the time you spent ‘not living’.

(2) You can only smell the roses in real time.

(3) Life can only be lived in real time.

Which reminds me of the old PMA saying: “If it's to be, it’s up to me.”

Which brings up this conversation with God:

Writer: “God, what are your plans for me?”

God: “That depends on how hard you are willing to work?”

Writer: “Can’t you just pick a nice plan?”

God: “My plan for you is for you to make your own plans. That’s why I gave you a mind and freewill. There are many paths that lead to heaven. Find one that you can be true to and let that path take you all the way home. For this you have my blessings.”

I think the above is in tune with Debby and Pam’s comments. For I much agree with what they had to say.


P.S. Glynna: I’d like a chance to win your new book coming out in the fall.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Hi Glynna, This beautiful post brought tears when I read "God is developing my core self." I understand well what you're saying. Thank you for that all important reminder with the call to do my part. You and other Seekers' experiences shared here are an inspiration on this writing path.
Ruth: That Bombeck quote is my favorite one.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, all, I'm baaaack! Sorry, to have dropped out for so long but the day job called! :)

CLARI--So glad you've found a home in Seekerville! It IS a special place to be where all of us can support each other and talk about things that we as readers and writers can all relate to.

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA -- I've always loved that "What have you done today to make your dream come true" that you shared with us back in our "Plan B" days. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello LYNDEE! Yes, plotting for some books is a huge challenge. Characterization and dialogue are naturals for me, as is internal GMC, but external GMC/plot can be a battle and a half!

You have such a beautiful, inspiring attitude about the preparation time for blessings. I think in our society of "instant everything" we can come to often to expect instant gratification.

Glynna Kaye said...

BRIDGETT -- Revisions CAN be a crying (and hair pulling!) matter sometimes! I think periodically reevaluating our writing and our attitude toward it is a good thing. We can get so caught up in it that we sometimes need to slow down, step back and get a renewed God perspective on it.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, ELAINE! That's a beautiful story about how God's renewing your love for writing and for writing for Him!

And I'm so happy you realized you're NOT too old. You're NEVER too old to write when God puts it in your heart!

Glynna Kaye said...

DEBBY -- You were in my prayers all weekend, so I'm delighted to hear the book is DONE!

I can totally relate to a housekeeping mouse! Sometime I'll have to post a pic of what my office looks like when I'm finished with a book. NOT PRETTY!

Walt Mussell said...

I'm not certain when the moment of truth started, I just remember doing an alumni newsletter and getting e-mails from people saying that I should be published. What made things different was when I switched from nonfiction to fiction. I had tried writing fiction but didn't pursue it until a visit to Himeji Castle.

Glynna Kaye said...

PAM--Sometimes things DO look MUCH better after a nap!! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, KC! Sounds as if the seeds of writing were planted in you early, then May was the catalyst! So wonderful that you're getting affirmations from kids and parents about the adventures of your K9 spy!

Glynna Kaye said...

PAM--wonderful comparison about the story-teller's passion and that of a musician or artist. Like any artist or musician, I love "getting in the zone" with my writing. Forming the structure. Shaping the words. Making an idea that's in my mind come alive on the page for a reader. Pretty amazing when you stop and think about it, that an imaginary world can become "real" for someone you don't even know!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, PATTI JO! I'm delighted to hear you're now making the most of your opportunity to write! Sometimes it's really hard to recognize those opportunities as the gift that they are, especially when the "opportunity" is the result of a closed door on something else you love.

So glad you enjoyed my first two books!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, NANCY C! So glad that stopping by Seekerville gets you through the "not so much" days! I think most of us have those at one time or another. I'm learning to deal with them better now, recognizing what is most likely to trigger them--physical tiredness, a less than stellar review, not enough sleep, feeling rushed, a message I'm trying to convey in my story not being one The Enemy wants shared so there's increased pressure, etc. Being able to identify the triggers, I can sometimes head those feelings of discouragement off at the pass.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Glynna,

Great advice! And lovely words of inspiration.

Not sure when it finally clicked for me that I was serious about this writing thing, but I'm sure glad I did. Now I know it's only a matter of God's timing - when I'm ready and the right opportunity is there- and it will happen.

Look at all the Seekers! Every single one of you got published - all in your own time and own way.

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Glynna Kaye said...

VINCE -- I love that -- "You can only smell the roses in real time." I may have to frame that quote.

Glynna Kaye said...

PAT -- I'm so thankful Seekerville is a light along the path for you! Writing can be a lonely, confusing road at times, so it's such a blessing when we can all come here together to share the ups and downs and pray for each other's journeys.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, WALT! Were you surprised when people who read the newsletter said you should be published, or did it just seem "right," a confirmation of what you'd already suspected God was trying to tell you?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, SUSAN! It sounds as if the "turning point" for you came softly, working it's way into you over time. Isn't it wonderful when you recognize God's in control? It makes the effort and the time expended "doing your part" so much more peaceful.

Mary Preston said...

It's certainly a case of knowing when it's the right time to take that leap.

Please include me in the drawing for a winner’s choice of one of my your books.

Gail Kittleson said...

Love the partnership idea, Glynna.

And which mts in Az is your fall release set in? And I'm always glad to win a book!

Gail Kittleson

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MARY P! And it IS a leap, isn't it? :) But with God's help, we have a great safety net!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, GAIL! The mountains where my fictional Canyon Springs is set is a deliberately vague area near the White Mountains if you know where that is. North/central part of Arizona along the eastern Mogollon Rim. Rugged, ponderosa pine country. About a 7000 ft elevation, so lots of snow in the winter and cool in the summer. It's a beautiful part of Arizona that a lot of people outside the state don't even know exists!

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, GLYNNA, how timely is this??? I can't tell you HOW many authors I know right now who are struggling in some way with God's direction for them and their writing, including yours truly.

You said, "He wants me to build spiritual muscle in order to be healthy and strong, to have endurance for the long haul, to grow in deeper relationship with Him."

I would say that that statement above is THE key reason God for the trials God allows us to encounter as writers because He is FAR more concerned with our spiritual success than our literary or financial success.

WONDERFUL blog, my friend, and one that has only confirmed the message I've been getting from the Man above. :)


Leona Loller said...

Glynna, I'm going to print your "Fairy Godmouse" article out and keep it where I can read it when I get discouraged (which will probably be daily). I think God keeps me going; every time I get discouraged, that little voice inside me says, "You know you are called to do this - you do your part and I'll do mine." So, I go back to the computer and do what ever needs to be done next. It's nice to know that others feel that way sometimes.

Michelle Fidler said...

I like the picture and idea of a Fairy Godmouse. It's different.

Please enter me in the drawing for a book.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JULIE! Glad the post "hit the spot." God's agenda is so often much different than what we assume it is, so it's wonderful when we can grow and be conformed into that "sweet spot" of his choosing.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, LEONA! I'm happy the post topic was an encouraging one for you. I know sometimes I just need a little reminder that I'm not out there writing my book all alone--that God's partnering with me if I let him.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MICHELLE! Thanks for stopping by!