Monday, November 13, 2006

Every writer who’s ever submitted a proposal to an editor knows the feeling of elation you experience once your masterpiece leaves you and makes its way into the world. Often, though, the initial thrill at having crafted what you believe to be the story of the century turns to distress as days turn into weeks without any response. Finally resignation takes hold as you envision your carefully crafted work of art sitting in a slush pile, its pages beginning to crack with age.

So it was with me on a day in April, 2006. At the time I was principal of an elementary school in Tennessee. The last thing on my mind that morning was my proposal that had been in to Barbour for two months. Discipline problems, teacher evaluations, and a phone system that wasn’t working properly topped my list of priorities for the day.

With all the problems of the morning, I hadn’t even had time to check e mail. Annoyed with the phone situation, I took my cell phone, which always stayed turned off at work, from my purse and placed it on my desk just in case I needed to make a call.

Right before lunch it rang. I checked the caller ID. An area code I didn’t recognize flashed on the screen. When I answered, I nearly jumped from my chair as the caller identified herself as Susan Downs of Barbour Publishing.

It was THE CALL I’d been waiting for, and all I could do was squeal with happiness as she told me she wanted my novel Pedigreed Bloodlines for the new Barbour mystery line. Although my agent later told me he didn’t hear my scream, I’m sure it echoed all across the country.

I’ve thought about that day a lot in the months since. No matter how many books I sell, that one call will always stand out as the most exciting of my writing career. Finally someone believed in me and offered me a chance to move into the next stage of publication.

After I hung up, I thanked God for the opportunity I’d been given. Then another thought struck me – one which caused me to stand in awe of God’s great love. Even when we don’t realize it, He’s walking beside us, taking care of problems of which we’re unaware.

When I checked my e mail, Susan had sent a message saying, “Do you have time to chat with me? Call me.” She’d listed her phone number, but I hadn’t seen it.

She didn’t have my office phone and couldn’t have reached me on it because it was not working properly that day, so she called a crit partner of mine in Texas to get my cell phone number. I know God guided me to take that cell phone from my purse and turn it on that morning.
He already knew what was in store for me and worked out the little problems that would have delayed my news. Understanding God’s love and how he works in our lives is what keeps me writing. It is my prayer that His words will fill the pages of my stories as I try to tell others of that great love He offers to all people.


Jess said...

Love your story, Sandra. And I do love how God is in the details. Sure makes me feel secure.
Can't wait until your book comes out!

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