Also, judging a contest, mentoring a friend who finaled in a contest, and reading a couple of synopsis for writer friends.
It's not a burden though it keeps me busy. Even a bit distracted but I love helping others. Truly, I've been so blessed it's a bit hard to say "No" to those requesting help.
Why do I say "Yes?" Because I remember what it was like when my heart burned to write. Burned to be published. Burned to have input from someone who knew what was what. I was desperate for a helping hand and leg up.
And the Lord sent people to me. I am forever grateful to Him. To them. So I love giving back.
Yet, I'm eager to get planning and writing this next book. Rattling thoughts are loud.
But I don't know the ending of this book yet and it's hindering my beginning and protagonist identity.
It'll come to me. It always does. God is so very faithful to supply the job He's called me to do.
While that was exciting, the stats on the first Nashvegas book, Lost In Nashvegas socked me in the gut.
My heart palpitated as I read the comparative units sold. Surely it was a misprint. Or, you know, numbers from the first few months.
I was discouraged. A bit embarrassed. This book was supposed to knock chick lit on it's ear as the first "redneck" chick book. Instead, I was knocked on my ear.
At that point, I felt I'd failed everyone. My publisher, my editor, my agent, myself. I was terrified to call anyone to talk about it because I thought I'd hear the cold truth. "You're not good enough."
I'd been struggling with Sweet Caroline, finding the right tone, finding a deeper layer to my voice, all the while knowing as I wrote a chick lit the genre was on it's way out. So the catalog news only added fuel to my self imposed fire.
|First Cover. Won a Carol Award with this one|
Deadline approached. Another author read what I had so far. Days away from submitting the book to my editor, the author wrote saying, "You need more tension. Perhaps another story line?"
Blow to the gut. But, I took it to heart and sat my butt in the chair for 15 hours on a Saturday writing and rewriting. Went to bed late, woke up at 3:00 a.m. to write before church.
Yet there was no way I was going to weave in a good sub plot. What a mess.
I went to church. Walked around like a zombie. So discouraged. So tired. My writing career was over. My editor would discover what she was bound to suspect after the low Nashvegas sales. "Rachel is a hack."
|Original cover idea|
I sought prayer from anyone who would listen that Sunday morning. I needed a miracle. Like, you know, God downloading a new book to me overnight. I'd wake up with it written and edited beside my bed.
Hey, anything is possible. Especially to the desperate.
Several praying friends exhorted and encouraged me that morning. I determined to go home, plant my butt in the chair, clean up what I had, and submit the best book possible on Thursday.
So tired, I could barely think. God did not download a new, grand, better book to me.
Instead, He sent me a friend. I called Susan May Warren and saw the first of two miracles....
(to be continued)