Monday, March 21, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 17


Happy Monday. I’m continuing to post from Mount Hermon Writers Conference. A couple of my regular blog readers are here—Becky and Rich. This is why they’re not commenting at the moment. They’ll have to go home on Tuesday and read the last 5 days’ worth, so they tell me.

I could play a little trick on ’em. Delete the last 5 blogs. Confuse ’em like crazy . . .

Methinks I shall continue with my tale instead. Good grief, it’s only day 17 now. You’d think by this time in the story I’d be published, published again and on the bestseller list.

Not.

I left the story on Friday with me being a changed person. And my writing changed. Now I just had to tell my agent.

So I did. Intimidated as all get out, but determined. It went something like this. (Imagine timid little voice.) “Um, hi, Jane. You know that manuscript for sitting on that editor’s desk? The one I’ve worked so long to sell? It’s uh, kinda, well, I don’t want to sell it anymore.” Insert cough here. “And, while we’re talking about it, you know those producers who were interested in film rights for Color the Sidewalk for Me? See, it’s like this.” Cringe. “I don’t wanna sell that either.”

Duck, cringe some more.

Well. God had gone before me. He’d prepared the way for this particular conversation. Just as He’d prepared the way for my entire 8-year journey so far. Jane said, “Fine. Write what you need to write. Christian fiction? I can sell that, too.”

I took another look at Cast A Road Before Me, thought it was ready. Sent it to Jane.

And then I waited. Again.

I’ll digress here a moment to say that I really believed at this point things would happen quickly. After all, I was now on God’s page. (Pun intended.) I was writing stories with the message of salvation interwoven within. All God had been waiting for was the turning of my heart and attitude.

Right?

Well, yeah. He had been waiting for that. But . . . maybe I now faced new hurdles. Like learning a new market. What did I know about writing Christian fiction?

I got the manuscript back. Jane’s bottom line: “Sorry to tell you this manuscript is not yet ready for the Christian market.” Main problem—I had “dusted on” the Christian message rather than really weaving it into the story. “Try again,” said Jane.

Let me get this straight. Eight years now. Heart turned around. And I’m supposed to do another rewrite?

I didn’t quit that day. I was now on a path I had to follow.

But I did kick a cabinet. Hard.


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Read Part 18

5 comments:

Katrina said...

Feeling your frustration over yet another rewrite, I couldn't help but think of the verse that talks about the 'trying of your faith working patience.' I don't deal well with long-term frustration. This has been a good reminder for me to keep plugging along.

Thanks for sharing your story, Brandylin. It's the frustrating aspects of a writer's life that I glean the most from. It's encouraging to read the problems of others because it lends validation and guidance to your own, even if they don't exactly translate the same way.

Here to the bitter end (.. part 93 and counting...ha ha) =D,
Katrina

Jen said...

He, he, he...I'm glad I'm not the only one who kicks things! And (ducking while I write this) I'm kind of glad it took you this long. Now, you are able to encourage all of us who are still in the trenches working hard and waiting for God to move.

Thanks,
Jen

Lynette Sowell said...

Sheesh. That's a lot of rewrites. I guess I'll stop complaining about all I've had to do. But in the end, if it makes the book beter, it's worth it! Hope you're having a great week at MH.

mrsd said...

Brandilyn,
It sounds like birthing twins, and then triplets, while in the middle of remodeling your house would've been an easier 8 years to live then these last 17 posts. ;)

But isn't that the way life is? It's easier to tell it in 17 days then it is to actually live it out. Reminds me of the way the Bible tells us. The angel visits Mary. 'You'll have a child.' Scripture mostly fast forwards about 9 months, and she's all set for the delivery.

Hope you're having a great week!

mrsd
PS. I wanna see a picture of your cabinets and your steel toe boots.

Karen said...

I am also at Mount Hermon. I left early tonight...needed to dry out and warm up...so I decided to read through your 17(!) posts. I am going home with all my rewrite comments from my critiques--just when I really thought I'd finally "got it." I am also trying to get an agent. Someone is interested in one of my stories but it's not ready yet. Needs more rewriting--especially after attending two of your workshops. Thanks for sharing on your blog. I needed to read this tonight.
P.S. MRSD--Birthing twins is easier. Been there; Done that.