Friday, October 29, 2010

I Am Jazzed!!

It's nearly 2:00 am.  My daughter is sleeping peacefully in her bed.  My husband is snoring in the living room with the TV not quite blaring.  I am sitting in a terribly uncomfortable position in my kitchen--because it seems to be where my mobile broadband device gets the best signal for the moment--and my back is killing me. 

But I am so JAZZED!!

I have actually begun the process of writing my first novel.  I'm currently using the Snowflake process that seems so well-known among authors, and I've completed the first two steps.  I think I've got a pretty good start on step three as well.

I've been talking about my novel to anyone who will listen!  Well, I've been talking about my novel to people I think might actually care.  They've all been very supportive.

I feel a need to tell about my writing here tonight (or this morning if you're a real stickler), so here goes.

Several years ago, I think about 6, I was riding in the car with my husband, and we were listening to Johnny Cash.  The song was "Give My Love to Rose."  As I listened to the song I realized that it would adapt nicely into a romance novel. Since I've read certainly hundreds, possibly thousands of romance novels in the past 20 years, I felt myself a decent authority on the subject. 

I was very excited, and I began making notes in an old three-brad folder I had used in college.  I was working a pretty mindless temp job at the time, and spent quite a bit of my work days scribbling notes in my notebook.  But I wasn't really committed to it, and didn't really think I could do it well, so my fire slowly died to embers--as fires do when not tended with skillful hands.  The embers never fully burned out.  Now and then I would kindle them up with a new tidbit.  I'd dig out my notebook from the dust bunny colony under the bed and scribble a new detail inside every few months, but mostly I ignored the story.

Fast Forward about five years, give or take...

Strangely I cannot remember for certain the date, but I remember that I had been doing some doodling in my novel notbook for a few days, and I remember it was Sunday.  I was sitting in church listening to my husband (and pastor) preach a sermon about all the amazing things God did with Moses--a stubborn and tempermental servant--and a dried up old stick that Moses had found somewhere out on the back side of the desert.  When God called Moses he was not a wealthy, powerful Prince in Egypt with the weight of the throne to back him up.  He was a poor shepherd with a few sheep and a stick.  Actually the sheep belonged to his father-in-law.  So Moses was a poor shepherd with a stick. Impressive, Huh? But look what God did with that stick when Moses dedicated it to serving Him.  God wants us the way we are, and he wants only what we've got on us right now.  What is your stick? What do you have? and Will you give it to God?

As I listened to the sermon, and felt God's conviction, I asked Him, "Lord, what is my stick?"  The answer came in a voice, audible only to me, I'm sure, but audible just the same, "Give My Love to Rose."  As this was the name of the song that inspired my story, and the one I had given to the story itself, I did not have to say, "Lord, what do you mean?"  Instead my mind said, "Really? That's what I have to give? No. Surely there's something else."  God continued to speak, this time in a voice much like my husband's (Don't you hate it when that happens ladies :) ?), and I realized that my husband was still preaching, and I should be listening. (Though I think one is excused from heeding the preacher's words when God is speaking audible words to the ears of one's spirit)  What I heard was again, God wants what you have on you right now.  This seemed confirmation enough, so I stopped arguing. 

Since that day (some 6 mos. to a year ago), my story has taken shape a lot in my notebook, and in my head.  I've even received the seeds for the second and third books of the trilogy. But I've been scared.  I have used a host of arguments to excuse why I've made almost no progress writing this story that God gave me and told me to write.  My favorite excuse was, "I have no idea how to write a novel, and all the information is on the Internet, and I don't have Internet access!"  I learned from a dear friend who also writes, that there are actual books that can teach this skill (imagine that, people knew how to write before the Internet. Amazing!). She recommended two, and actually gave me a third (she's very generous).  I started reading them, and they were helpful. 

But the thing that really convicted me came from my husband--but not in church this time.  I was all excited about the idea I had for the third book, and I was telling him all about it.  He looked at me, scoffed just a little and said, "Don't you think you should finish the first one before you start the third one?"  I turned up my nose, and in my best "that-shows-what-you-know" voice, told him that a writer is always excited about a good story idea, no matter when it comes :P 

But again God was using my husband to get me on the right track.  Then just a few weeks ago, this wonderful man I married decided that we needed to get the Internet.  God was in the back of my mind periodically saying, "Ahem, " then he showed me an article about a group called the Seekers.  I went to their website, and started getting to know them.  They're great ladies (and a few gents stop by too) who advise and encourage and answer questions I didn't know I had. 

In the last few days, I began to wonder if God had a frog in his throat, but then the flood gates opened.  With the help of my dear friend Melissa (who shall become famous someday),  the Seekers (some of them already are famous), and God, of course, I've scaled the giant brick wall that was blocking my path. 

I don't know exactly what will come next.  I'm sure I'll have other down and discouraged days. 

But for now, I am Jazzed!...and tired.


  1. Andrea,

    From one pastor's wife and woman inspired by Moses's story to another... I'm so glad you're jumping in!!

    Several years ago, I felt led to go from writing secular romance to Christian romance, but I didn't feel qualified to do it. Then while doing the Experiencing God Bible study, I had an encounter with Moses and his doubts. Or rather, I had an encounter with God through Moses and his doubts. :) God showed me He could use even me.

    Seven years later, I sold my first book. :)

    We're so glad you've started hanging out on the Seeker blog! I hope you'll keep coming back and let us encourage you whenever you need it.

    P.S. I can tell you're a great writer by your touching post.

  2. Oh my stars, girlfriend, we are twins separated at birth!!!!

    Andrea, this is such a great story and I love how the Holy Spirit whacks us upside the head WHEN WE'RE TOO SLOW TO FEEL THE GENTLE NUDGES....


    I had no Internet when I started, either. I had an old used word processor. A cousin sent me an old computer (think Diplodocus-slow with dial up to boot) when her kids got a new one.

    My world expanded. I taught myself everything I could.

    And wrote and wrote and wrote.

    And made some REALLY BAD WRONG TURNS, but they were good learning experiences in the end.

    You go, girl! Have fun, delve, explore, it's an amazing thing when God's words on your heart are Gilead balm for some lost soul. You are blessed among women.


    And I brought you chocolate. Because I'm THAT nice.

  3. Hi Andrea, What a wonderful testimony. It is amazing how God nudges us. We are delighted to have you with us in Seekerville.

    Keep writing and reading and learning. That's how we all started and here we are. You'll be there before you know it.

    I'm impressed at how much you've learned about the Intenet. Here you are with your own blog already. Whew. You're leagues ahead of me.

  4. Oh, Andrea, your story gives me cold chills because it's sooooo like God how he gently prompts us into writing for Him!! For you it was a Johnny Cash song and your husband's sermon ... for me it was a 2001 Newsweek article about how Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding ... and a whisper in me ear that "this is the time to finish your book." I knew that nudge was about the book I'd begun at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind.

    Now, almost 40 years and 45 rejections later, that same book begun at 12 became my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, so when God gives you that nudge, it's not to lead you on, no matter HOW long it takes! Nope, it's to lead you (and your talent to write) to Him!! You go, girl!!


  5. Andrea, I'm so excited that you're jumping in with both feet! Thanks for mentioning Seekerville. We are blessed to get to meet wonderful people such as yourself. Keep us posted on your journey, okay? And we'll keep storming the gates of Heaven on your behalf.

    Cheryl Wyatt of Seekerville

  6. Go Andrea!!!!

    This is awesome! Whether you are successful at NaNo or not, keep plugging away girl! You can do it!