Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
Shortly after Countin’ On Jesse, my debut novel, met the world, I had my first book signing. I didn’t think I was nervous until I went to pick up my mom. We chatted away, but when we paused for breath, I told her we had plenty of time. She smiled and said, “You’ve told me that three times already.”
It’s good to have a mama.
The signing was lovely. My friend had spent days getting her house ready. Her kitchen island looked like a giant charcuterie board filled with delectable meats, cheeses, and veggies. A couple of cupcake towers sporting a beachy theme served as dessert. Everyone left with a cupcake. Or two.
I talked for twenty minutes about my writing journey. How I started with devotionals and short stories, then tackled a book knowing little about the craft of fiction writing.
When Mom and I were ready to go, our hostess pressed us to take a plate of food home. And cupcakes. Then she lamented the only flowers available were red gladiolas. I smiled. She couldn’t have known it, but both Mom and I adore gladiolas. It was one of those God-things that delighted us all. Nothing would do, but she wrapped them in foil and wet paper towels and sent them home with us.
I found a packet of plant food, trimmed the stems, and put them in water. They lost their droop and flourished again. Beautiful red spears of color. Tall and eloquent, they brightened the room, expressing what I couldn’t about our wonderful day.
It’s good to have a friend.
As a writer, a question I get asked often is how long it took to write the book and get it published. People are surprised and appalled when I say it took five to seven years, but that’s the average. It takes a lot of practice to master certain parts of the craft. In my defense, I was working on book two as well, but it took loads of rewriting for my first book to be professional enough for an editor to take a serious look.
Signing books was fun. Most authors have a tagline—a catchphrase that encapsulates what the author writes. I’ve always stumbled over creating one—until a completely organic theme kept reoccurring in my writing. My stories include two elements—rescue and redemption. 2 Timothy 4:18 says it best. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil (attack), and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom, to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” At this juncture, I sign my work with the tagline and Scripture so people understand what the Lord wants to do in our lives. He desires to rescue us from eternal death and redeem us not only for our tasks in this world, but so we can live with Him forever.
Life went on. We traveled to New Braunfels to visit my daughter and her family. Our son and grandsons spent an afternoon with us. The oldest was working on a comic-style story and gave me the lowdown on each chapter. The youngest was still into paper airplanes and made several. I’m still finding them all over the house. We watched the Cowboys lose to the Cardinals. Humiliating. When they finally did kick in, it was too little too late.
I’m so glad when even my best efforts don’t measure up, there’s One who has already rescued and redeemed me. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, I’m always enough.
It’s good to have the Lord.