If you haven't read the blog My Writing Journey, Parts 1 and 2 you might want to read them before this one; they're below.
I went in the room, sat across the table from a perky young lady and pushed my 3x5 card toward her without a word. She picked up my card, looked at it and said “I’m Karen Ball.” She asked me what I wrote, a question I couldn’t answer. I just wrote whatever came out of my head, but I didn’t say that to her. She was gracious to recognize that I was out of my depth and prodded me along by asking what I had brought for her to look at. I had been writing short prayers for women in circumstances they might find themselves and I’d brought five prayers with me.
I didn’t know that Karen Ball was a fiction editor and she probably could have told me so and to go sign up with a nonfiction editor. No; kind, sweet, and professional Karen Ball read each of my five prayers. She wanted to take my pages back to Tyndale House with her and I agreed. I did not know the significance of her doing so. I did know I hadn’t made any copies of them but they were in my computer, so not to worry.
Before too long Karen phoned me that Tyndale would like me to write more prayers. The result was Tyndale published two prayer books by me: Amen and Good Night, God and Amen and Good Morning, God. Later, another company published my devotional book His Awesome Majesty. As I began to learn the craft and used Sally’s market guide, I began submitting short stories and articles—and getting them published.
That Professionalism in Writing School conference was good for me and I attended several years until the director ended its existence. Oh, and by the way, that young lady who spilled her books in the hotel entrance was Bodie Thoene; she and her husband Brock were the keynote speakers for the conference. And that woman with the beautiful Texas drawl who sat beside me in the auditorium was Vickie Phelps and is now a close writer-friend; we’ve coauthored three e-books; our husbands also get along well.
I’ve finished my first novel and have agent representation by Lavonne J. Stevens, Vice President-Fiction at the Literary Management Group in Nashville. Now I wait while she finds a publisher for my story. That’s perhaps one of the hardest things about writing for publication: patience. My patience muscles have grown much stronger over the years.
This writing journey is never-ending. How could I not write? What writing ability I have comes from God and I must be the best steward of that gift that I can be.
Till next time ... keep on smiling.