Did I succeed? Well, much of that is something I can't know. But I know the effect it had on me. And I know that I saw Him shining in my life in 2011--a lot.
At the start of 2011, I was launching Jewel of Persia. It was a slow launch, but it's been such a blessing to watch how it's grown and multiplied, until finally it hit the Amazon Kindle bestseller list in its category. Its ranking changes hour to hour, but it's there. That's so stinkin' exciting!
I spent the first month and a half of the year writing Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland. I wrote it with absolutely no idea if it would be good enough, if Summerside would like it, if it was my ticket to a big publisher or if--as I'd truly begun to think--the Lord wanted me to stay with our small press. Every single day, I woke up and gave that book to Him, saying more than once that it had to be His, because I just couldn't write it otherwise. Unlike Jewel of Persia, it wasn't a story I wrote from a fire within me, feverishly and without the desire to pause. I agonized through every chapter of Annapolis, uncertain the whole way.
I turned it in on my son's birthday, 11 February 2011. For the next month, I couldn't tell you how many times I prayed, "Make me okay, Lord. No matter what happens with it, make me okay." Because I knew that one way or another, I'd have an answer soon, and that this was my only shot with this story.
On March 15, I got the call from my agent. Summerside was buying Annapolis, and it would release 1 December 2011. Nine short months away!
But in this business, you have to always be looking ahead. Publishing lines are scheduled so far in advance, that if I wanted another book out around a year after this one, I had to get cracking now. So throughout the spring and summer, I decided on my next project, found an editor interested in it, and wrote it. I signed with a new agent, the fantabulous Karen Ball. I turned in this project to the editor super-excited about it. Got an offer for another from another. Was offered a three book deal on the one I'd just finished.
A banner year--a shocking, wow-look-how-it-all-clicked banner year. I went from having one solid lead for a contract but absolutely no certainty that I could pull it off, to having five contracted books in the works. I got to watch my biblicals, the stories of my heart, find their foothold. I got to work with some fabulous authors with WhiteFire, contracting and editing three amazing works of historical fiction.
In my personal life, I got to watch my daughter grow by leaps and bounds in her schoolwork, and my son develop a single-minded pursuit of all things with wheels. My hubby and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with an amazing weekend in Niagara Falls, and we topped the year off with a gift of kittens for our kiddos--hands-down the best gift they've ever gotten, they say. =)
|Misty morning view of the American falls|
|My parents looking on while Rowyn jumps on the couch, totally startled, and Xoe squeals in delight.|
So here we all are, another new year on the horizon. I'm praying for another word from the Lord to represent 2012, and praising Him for my year of Shining, for all that He did and helped me do in 2011. I'm praising Him for the friends I made, the friends I grew closer to, giving to him my grief over the friend I lost.
|My friend Mary, who succumbed to cancer this summer but lives on in the legacy of faith she left in many lives.|
Thank you, Lord, for a year of reaping after so many of sowing. Thank you, Lord, for the promise of all that's to come. Thank you, Lord, for planting the garden of my life with so many amazing friendships that have bloomed and made my world beautiful.
Thank you, Lord, for carrying me through every shadow, every valley, so that I can again glimpse and cling to Your shining light.
How was your 2011? And what are you hoping for in 2012?