Of agents and contracts, conventional wisdom and–Love?
It was, on the surface of it, mere coincidence (co-incidents). A happenstance. An odd, unplanned meeting in a coffee shop. A conversation flash-sparked by a purse (and that, bright orange). A mention of ‘books’ and ‘proposals,’ and then a strangely declarative word. “You’d better get that done.” So I’d listened. I’d busted through, stayed up one night, finished the Official Proposal. And sent it. Then, like that, it was signed…
It was in 2012 that she came. During one hellish, fiery summer of trial and suff’ring. Of heartache and pain, of total and utter exhaustion, I’d fired it straight up. “Show me. Give me somethin’. I don’t know, but You do, what I’m needin’. I’m dyin’; at the end of my rope.” And the most amazing event some weeks later was the answer.
“You’d better get that done.”
In the literary world, there’s a certain protocol. A “way of doing things” that I began to take note of upon my entrance into that arena. Queries. Proposals. Pitches. Writing conferences. Building your “platform.” Submitting here. Submitting there. Rejection letters. Then, “Try it again.” Do this, don’t do that, in’s and out’s. Head’s whirling.
It was strange, how it came about. An open door here. Another one there. A writer with an agent who put in a word for me. Then the proposal, a conversation, and the contract. I’m on the way!
“And visions of book tours and big contracts danced in her head.”
After two submissions to two houses via Conventional Means, two rejections. Too quick. “I don’t think I can sell newspaper columns.” Official Word.
So I went back to doing just what I’d been doing all along. Raising my sons. Typing reports. Writing a weekly column. Staying married. All the while, feeling no further impulse or urge to pursue a book deal.
Years went by. Some terribly hard and painful years, and the urge to speak to the public went away. Spotlight’s dark now. Caterpillar’s morphing.
Looking back at that part of my journey, I know that the dream of writing for a huge audience didn’t die. It went dormant, and that was fine. That, in fact, was good. Very good. For during that time, a loving True Father was walking with me through all the pain and wounding and lies and crippling that a lifetime of, well, living, had brought. Yes, it was good.
Fast forward to this summer on a sun-drenched Caribbean beach. Again, my friends Happenstance and Coincidence showed up with a smile (I can still see their faces, hear their voices, know their names). And one morning, as I ran, bare feet flashing through ocean’s warm surf, the Lord said, “It is time.”
I came home, did something I hadn’t done in years, and I checked in–with my human agent–to see if things in That World had changed. They had; they’d gotten harder. “They (the publishers) all want large platforms.” That’s what she said, the Very Kind Lady. And that, I knew, I didn’t have.
But back to the stranger in the shop. We’d kept contact, she and I, and she’d become a spiritual mother for me. Early one day, she’d awakened, and He was talking. About my writing. So, in obedience, she passed it along. “You don’t need to follow conventional wisdom.” That, all folded in with truth-bites that exploded in the mouth like lemon raspberry muffins. From the coffee shop.
And then, one day, He spoke again. “Time to terminate.” So I did in faith, trusting.
Just this morning out on the *BOS, I said to Lord Christ, “What is my vocation, my calling?”
“To love and feed My flock.” That’s what He said. Then, knowing my heart’s desire to have a space, voice, and place outside the religious bubble, He added, “And that includes the sheep that aren’t in My fold yet.”
Oohhh, yes. Yes to that! I’m in.
Today, I feel–free. I feel–secure. I feel–well, happy. Happy to rely on the One Who gives gifts. To follow the One Who writes my story.
I don’t follow conventional wisdom. I follow Him Who is Wisdom.
I don’t trust in my own talent or connections. I trust His.
The One Who morphs worms into grace-tinted wings has my heart, holds my hand, guides my steps. And my ‘stance’ while it ‘happens?’ It’s all joy.
P.S. – I don’t believe it was an accident that the door opened up with the human agent for that specific period of time. (I have a theory as to what that was “good for,” but I am waiting to see. I knew when it was time to get in, and I knew when it was time to get out.) After I’d drafted my letter of termination, something tickled at my brain. I turned to the original contract. The date of its execution was September 10, 2012. The date I heard the Lord say, “Time to cancel?” September 10, 2017. What a God. #inHishands
*BOS – Bright Orange Swing