Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Sure-Fire Way to Reach Never-Never Land

Persist. Persevere. Overcome. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Hang on.

Tired yet?

Just looking at those terms wears me out, yet without struggle there is no victory.

My literary agent, Linda Glaz, understands this principle on a couple of different levels, and today she is sharing her discoveries.

Never too late

I began writing when I was 42 years old. I was published at 62.

Okay, don’t let that discourage you. If anything, understand that any calling you honestly believe in, anything you truly long for, can be yours if you persist in working at it. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Truer words were never spoken. So if I wrote six novels by the time I was 48 or so, what did I do for the next 14 years?

I studied the craft. I wrote more. I attended conferences. I met and began to work with the fine critique partners that I still have today. In other words, I stopped thinking my writing was the next best thing to ice cream and made the moves to learn what I should be doing to improve it.

Never too much

When I weighed over 200 pounds, I knew I wouldn’t decide to be a healthier version of myself and BAM! I’d be healthier. I began to eat healthier. I started walking at the track…wait. That’s an understatement. I went to the track and stumbled around one lap, wheezing and coughing halfway through. Thought I was gonna die.

Then the next day, I did one lap in an almost upright position, breathing a hair (and I mean a hair) better. The next day easier…and the next…and the next. A week later, I did two laps, then three, then a whole mile. And I was breathing so much easier I could hardly believe it.

Half a year later, I was a much healthier version—down four sizes and feeling like a million bucks. No more sugary diet, and I didn’t miss it. A couple miles aren’t even a challenge anymore. How did I do it? Perseverance!

Never give up

And writing is the same idea. One step, one lap at a time until the novel’s done. Until you’ve met your critique partners. Until you’ve found your agent. Until you have five books published and a contract for three more.

WOW! When did that happen?
Oh yeah, and somewhere along the line I became a literary agent, hopefully to encourage others to stick it out and make it to the finish line. Hmm, could it be that God helped me become a better agent by allowing me to make all the mistakes?

Never say die

If you are a writer, truly a writer, you will have to write as surely as you have to breathe, because only then can you claim the title. Writing is a gift, one to be shared, and the only way to share it is to persevere, cross the finish line. Keep doing laps until you’re jogging/walking as many miles a day as you choose with each breath as fresh as the one before.

Perseverance! The only answer to all your questions.

Check out Linda's latest title:

Abby's all grown up. She just needs Will to notice.
When WWII soldier Will Judge brings home an orphan boy from Europe, it turns his world upside down.His fiancée might be ready to marry him, but not to mother a war orphan. As Will struggles to figure out his next move, he turns to Abby, his childhood friend.

Since they were teenagers, Abby Richardson's feelings for Will have always been more than friendly. Once she was willing to be his pen pal and his confidante, listening as he poured out his heart. But now Abby wants so much more: to be part of Will's ready-made family. What will it take to open Will's eyes—and his heart?

Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Can God Forget?

In light of Memorial Day, my last blog post referenced several biblical comments on remembering—how important it is, how honoring, even humbling. But during the research for that post, I also noticed God’s forgetfulness.

God forgetful?

Yes, He is forgetful. By choice.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah says the Lord “will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (31:34b).

Another prophet speaks of God’s forgiveness when he says, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

And in Psalm 103:12 we read that God has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.

I’m sure glad He didn’t choose a northerly or southerly direction.

Look at a globe. Choose a starting point with your finger and move it around the globe heading east. Or west. Either will do.

If you’re moving east, do you ever run into west? If you’re moving west, do you ever run into east?

Now try the same thing starting at the top or north point of the globe and move your finger down. Eventually, you will hit “south.” If you keep going, your direction will change and you’ll run into “north.”

South and north meet. They turn back on each other again and again even though you keep moving straight ahead. But east and west never meet.  

Thanks to Jesus, when God chooses to forget our sins, it’s a done deal.