I am revising The Blessed Ones, trying to get it sent off to an agent by September, when agencies start their hunt for new work, start fresh and endure stress, in order for writers to flourish.
But, revising isn’t the flowing, dizzyingly ecstatic prospect that writing is. It’s draining, and so yesterday I gave myself a break and went to Barnes and Noble with a friend.
Roaming the bookshelves, I felt a sense of peace and jitters all at once. I checked Christian Fiction, to see what some of the prettier covers looked like. Checked to see where the works were housed. I wasn’t impressed, as they were on a shelf in the very, very back, just before–*sigh*–history. It was ironic and almost laughable, seeing two things that used to be the highest valued in life, placed now at the back of the store, and, even if unintentionally, the back of everyone’s minds.
Religion (or philosophy, for a broader term) and history. The things wise people cry that we need to remember, least our forgetting leads to deadly consequences. And I don’t mean we shove it down people’s throats, but at least make it important enough to value.
It depressed me, knowing that Christian fiction–my fiction–would be shelved in some back shelf.
But then I found Ted Dekker, master of writing within the Christian realm, placed not only in Christian fiction, but in one of the front shelves of Fiction and Literature. He crossed genres! YES!
A new surge of hope took me. If the writing and story was good enough, it would cross barriers, boundaries, genres, anything.
As good Literature should, of course.
I roamed shelves, touched spines, admired gorgeous cover art. Reminded myself this is what I loved and where I wanted to see myself in twenty years, thirty years. Surrounded by books. Buried in them, even.
Gold and white caught my eye, a beautiful new cover for Lowis Lowry’s finally completed Give Quartet. My heart leapt with joy, and though I already owned the first three with different covers, I bought the prettier Collector’s Edition anyway.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt also caught me, the second time, in a different store than the first, and this time I bought it.
Somehow, I had a new power. Revising would be done, books would be published. By other writers, but also by me.
And, the new idea that had been teasing at my brain was made more clear–the next novel, the start of a series.
Rushing home, I was ready for the R’s to take over–reading, new work, new books. Revising, my work, tedious but necessary. Researching, preparing for the new flow of words.
Rush. It was all a rush. But it was lovely and wonderful and I was again reminded this is who you are.
Cradling Lois Lowry’s work in my hand, I felt the still small voice: this is going to be you some day..
In another pair of loving hands, giving another person a rush, an inspiration to go on to face whatever dream.
Yes, this is the life I wanted.
I thanked God, and prepared myself.
Rush. A rush, a thrill.
Perfection isn’t possible, many people say.
But some days, I think it’s not very far off.