I'd like to share my heart a little with you today.
Two years ago, a journey began for me. My amazing husband urged me to finally write the book that had been nagging at my soul for years. He did more than urge me; he sent me away to write one day a week until it was finished. I had no idea what would happen next but Silvery Moon just fell out of my head. I would sit down and the characters came alive. The source material was close to my heart because it was inspired by my Grandma Morgan’s account of growing up on a farm in Indiana. The journey of this book took me a few places. On a whim, I registered for the Ohio Christian Writers Conference last November.
When I got there, I learned three things:
1. I didn’t really know anything about publishing a book.
2. Christian writers are some of the most wonderful people in the world.
3. I could make a plan and move forward.
Some of my fondest memories from this last year came from connections I’ve made at this conference and The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference I attended in May.
One of the things I learned when I got to the conference is writers have to put themselves "out there" so to speak. (Something I don’t love to do.) I was told to start a blog. I came home feeling like I was given an impossible homework assignment I wasn’t particularly interested in doing. But then I thought for a few minutes. What are some of the things I wish a friend had told me about being a stay at home mom, or parent, or friend, or wife? I started making a list of those things.
I found I had a few months of material. I chose to publish on Monday mornings because I need encouragement on Monday more than any other day. This blog has been a blessing for me. I have learned to look for God in the little things (at first for blog illustrations) and now it's just a habit. I've connected with people I wouldn't have like a handful of amazing authors of the books I've recommended. And I've learned to rely on God more and more each week.
All this started because I felt God was calling me write a middle grade novel that helps young girls see that they're valuable and capable of doing astonishing things. My prayer is that Silvery Moon accomplishes that.
People often ask me where I am in the process. The short answer is I’m moving forward. I have a professional editor helping me with each chapter. She’s wonderful and so wise. (Even though the book fell out of my head, that doesn't mean it didn't need a bunch of editing.) I’m looking forward to having the manuscript in a place where I feel good about sending out proposals and I’m so close.
Can I give you a sneak peek? Here’s an excerpt from chapter two when Isabel meets Veda, a friend who changes her life.
Once we got to the end of our potato rows, Veda and I were proud of the huge pile of potatoes we had harvested. My arms and hands were aching and I was glad to see the sun setting. I looked at Veda and her dress was covered in dirt just like mine. “Veda?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“I want you to know something. At school, I’m not…I’m…I don’t have a lot of friends. And if you want to make other friends I understand because…”
“You have me,” she interrupted.
“But what I mean,” I went on, “is that once you get there, you may want to be friends with the other girls. The ones who never talk to me.”
“What’s wrong with them?” she asked.
“Nothing, I imagine. I’m just kinda shy at school and…”
There was a little pause and Veda said, “I think we’ll be ok. You’ve got a friend now and if they want to be friends with us they can. But I’m not choosing them over you.”
“How can you be sure?” I asked.
“We came here today with nothing. We don’t know how to farm. We haven’t had anything new or much to eat in a year. My Ma and Pa are beat down. They have faith, but they are just plain beat down. We came into your house uninvited and your family treated us like people. Like we matter. You taught me how to harvest pumpkins and potatoes. Your mom gave us a delicious lunch and your family is going to help us with our first harvest. I know I just met you today, but I’ve never had a better friend. When we get to school, that won’t change.”
And just like that, I, Isabel Williams, had a friend. A real friend.
You can help me in this process. I’m amazed at how supportive so many of you are. Something that will help me get published is if my blog gets more traffic.
A few simple ways you can help with that are:
1. If you read the blog and want comment, comment on the blog instead of (or in addition to) Facebook. Facebook comments are great, but they don't help make the blog more visible on Google searches.
2. Share the blog (shares help my readership so much).
4. Please pray for me. I’m making it my mission to encourage people in their day-to-day faith, and the enemy hates that.
Thanks for allowing me to share this with you. I hope you have a great week.