Launching A Book–Part 3









Edits. Track Changes. Copy Edits. Proofreading copy. More edits. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.

Launching a book is not the process I thought it would be when I first signed my contract. These past few weeks I put the finishing touches on the final proofread of book one before I send the manuscript back to my editor. Every comment from her or the proofreaders had to be addressed. Each word choice checked. Meticulous, tiring work, but satisfying as well.

One proofreader sent me a note through my publisher saying, “I hope to finish in the next few days. I had to stop for the evening because I’m having trouble reading through my tears. This is good stuff!”

Be still, my heart. My story made a proofreader— a man—cry? I had to stop and catch my breath. I didn’t see that coming.

Three proofreaders read the manuscript and made suggestions. In some places they disagreed about the need for changes. In others they concurred. The constantly shifting copy made my head swim, but the book moves forward, now barreling down the publishing timeline to its release date, September 1.

Once I submit the final read, I also have to send the copy for the second novel which will launch next year. I received the content edit back this week. The woman who read it made some great suggestions and found some (oops!) inconsistencies. All part of the process.

Often I feel as if I climbed aboard a treadmill from which I can’t step off. But rather than feeling tired, or overwhelmed, I’m buoyed by the fact that I will soon be a published novelist. A title I’ve worked hard to achieve. God, in His wisdom, knew when my turn could come.

I think of Esther (Esther 4:14) who was afraid when she was called to defend her people and Mordecai said to her, “who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Like her, my time is here. Both exciting and frightening.

I’m sure there will be more tripping hazards ahead—like reviews, sale numbers, blog interviews, and book signings—but I’ve earned the right to participate and I am ready to take it on. For better or for worse.

More to come soon.

To Bloom Where Planted

Earlier this spring my husband brought home two discarded whiskey barrel planters from a work site. Delighted by their size and matching exteriors, I filled them with compost, planted flowers, waited for blooms. The containers didn’t disappoint.

About a week ago, though, I noticed an odd green leaf poking out the side of the barrel. An unwelcome visitor. Like a duck in a bevy of swans, the vine dared to creep out among the flowers.

I stooped to pluck the offensive intruder only to discover it had bloomed. How could I destroy something that so obviously wanted to thrive? And what was it? A cucumber? A squash? A watermelon? Curiosity piqued, I left it to grow.

Thriving where one is not comfortable is a common theme in the Bible. Daniel, a young Jew, was captured and transferred to Persia. While there, he continued to worship his God and rose to a position of power under King Darius. Tricked into signing a decree that no one could worship any other gods for thirty days, Darius regrets sending Daniel to the lions’ den. He says in Daniel 6:16 “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.” Faith prevailed and Darius declared Daniel’s God the only one to be worshiped.

Similarly, Esther lived among the Persians, a young Jewish woman in the care of her uncle Mordecai. When the king banished his wife and sought a new one among all the eligible maidens in the kingdom, Esther was chosen. Afraid, Esther is asked to approach the king on behalf of her people. Mordecai advises her in Esther 4:14 , “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

My little leaf has since trailed itself into a three-foot vine. Blossoms appear every couple of inches, but nothing tangible has developed. Perhaps nothing will. I’m content to wait. The seedling is blooming where it was planted.

So should we all.