Saturday, April 22, 2006

SHEW! WHAT A RELIEF!

God woke me up at four am.....to ask me to do something very frightening.

"Will you be willing to take new writers under your wings and mentor them for me?"

What?! NEW writers? I still feel I'm a new writer! Oh man do I feel NOT equipped to do this, Lord--"

"I've equipped you with Godliness and everything you need to--"

"But.but.but...Godliness has nothing to do with the craft of writing, God!"

Silence.

More silence.

"God?"

More silence. Big. Echoing silence....

Then something came to me....He probably cares less about me getting published than He does about the road leading up to it. He wants me IN THE PROCESS. It builds character, that's for sure.

Of course I told Him yes because I know He won't tell me to do the next thing when I haven't even done the last thing He asked of me.

You know, this journey to publication...or wherever this is leading...insanity possibly...

One thing I see that puts me in awe of Him....

I have had so many authors come alongside to help me... Margaret Daley being the one who's stuck by me from the beginning. She's been one of my biggest cheerleaders and I'm getting all teary-eyed right now just thinking about her and how wonderful she is. I have a really funny story about one of the first crits she did for me...but I'll save that for another day..but I'll suffice it to say, she tought me very well that the Delete key is not slathered in Anthrax...it's okay to touch it now and then. There are so many more published authors, and advance writers on the verge of publication that I could name who have helped me but I'm afraid I'd forget someone. Dana Corbit always has a listening ear for me and sound advice. Brenda Coulter spent so much time helping me learn how to format ms that I think her eyes must have permanantly crossed! Marta Perry is always rooting for me, and at high tea in Denver made me grin like a goon when she read the pitch Camy Tang had helped me prepare for editors...and said, "Oh! Now this is GOOD!" That moment is branded in my mind and heart and when I get a hard critique...God always brings that moment and her voce to mind. Susie Warren and Susan Downs and Colleen through contest crits and Mae Nunn and oh man...all of you who critted my stuff that I don't know your names. Then there's my wonderful agent Tamela. Lena Nelson Dooley, and Vickie McDonough are taking time out for me with a project...means SO much that they believe in me. My crit groups...Inspy critters, New Cambrian, Crit group nine...FABULOUS writers each and every one of them. And not one of them hasn't helped me profoundly. Robin Miller's critique boutique, Camy Tang's structural editing. Linda Rondeau's line edits and my grammar mentor...I really hope she starts an editing service so many more people can benefit from it. The FAB FOUR...Heather, Camy, Pammer...Pammer was SO sweet on the boards and taught me so much about POV and active writing and Heather beleived in me even when I didn't know which side of the comma the dialogue quotes were supposed to go on. Brandylin and Randy...his tiger marketing and advanced fiction writing ezine. The SEEKERs who are finding multibook contracts in their mailboxes left and right...and still SEEKING Him.

THANK YOU, Lord for each of these and I could spend an entire day writing names here and still not list everyone who's helped me.

So how can I tell you no even when it scares me to think someone a little behind me in this wonderful/difficult/exciting road? OH Man let me tell you I was sweating it there for a few days when you didn't tell me, "Relax, I'm not asking you to give it up." But I sense that now. Shew. What a relief. Shew what a test. I would lay it all down again for You. I'd have more time for my children. Yet I belive You want me to move forward. You're my best friend...my aspiration, my inspiration. My life. You're my whole life and all I want to do was write as worship.


You know, God gave me this gift of story to keep my mind of the physical pain I've been in for the past two and a half years with my hip...and to keep my mind from fear and prevent death by boredom while I was on bedrest and having complications with all four pregnancies...one of which didn't make it. But I know that baby is with Him, and He sustains me when I grieve, not over the loss of the baby, but over not being able to have any more.

Hey, there's always adoption, right? I would bring a million orhpans home with me if I had the room and the help and the money. So I'll just have to give it to Hopegivers and Phillip Cameron so they can care for the masses of precious children.

Anavim. Hebrew for "for the oppressed. The meek. The poor. The broken. The weary." etc. Anyone in need. Like Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."

Anavim. Lord you know what that word means between the two of us. You understand the promise and the code. You are a God of covenant and you never break your promise. Let me be a servant of covenant and help me be just as faithful. I know you remember. Hold me to it. I still mean what I told you. You know my heart. You know my motives. Keep them pure. No regrets, Lord. What matters. Only what matters. Everything else can fade away. In the light of you...it all does anyway.

I'm humbled and blessed and touched that you'd even ask me, or trust me with such a task. Helping people chase their dreams...help me to help them to chase you more.


I'm excited to do it. I will study craft hard and speak the truth in gentle love.


Thank you for this journey. That there are people ahead of me in the road, like we're all in one long line...holding hands and moving down the same road. Some of us closer to the end of the road, some of us just starting out, some of us in the middle. But we all have hold of a hand. The hand in front of us tugs us along, helps us up when we fall down, grasps tight and doesn't let go when we try to shrink away from the road and give up, and dusts our knees of our hearts off because this road is sometimes paved with seasons of rejection and harsh critiques, and it sometimes feels like wearing shorts instead of jeans and crawling over broken glass to get there. Then we do the same for the person right behind us on the road. If I know a little bitty bit more than they do about how to craft a great opening hook...then I won't hold that to myself. I remember your lampstand Lord. I will not hide my talents under a bucket. As I've been given, I'll freely give.

Thanks for asking. I love you.


Squirrel/Cheryl


PS: blogreaders, sorry is this seemed like an utterly wierd post where half the time I was talking to you and half the time I was talking to God. Because of time constraints and because I feel like I'm supposed to leave my sincere though rambling conversation with God in there...I won't go back and seperate it. But I hope you have a blessed day and thanks for stopping by my blog.


Thank you for telling me what you want to see here, too. I'm on it!

Blessings,

Cheryl

6 comments:

Michelle said...

I just have to say, I thought you were already mentoring new writers. I feel like you've helped me so muchand I don't know where I'd be without you!!!!

LYLAS!
M18:19-20

Synner said...

Cheryl, I'll be praying for you and your writing and this new calling laid on your heart. You inspire me to not be content to stay where I am, but to run after God and find the path that He chose for me. I am always in awe of your love for Him who first loved us. Keep on listening to Him, keep on writing for Him, keep on seeking Him.

Kath said...

Mentoring, hmmm???? Well - now that sounds like music in my ears. If you have room for one more chick in the nest, let me know, Cheryl. I'm working so hard and I could soooooo use a cheerleader/mentor/friend/teacher in this area. Smiles - Kath Atwell

Mirtika said...

I think this is one of the more open and beautiful things I've seen on any of my writing-chums blogs. You moved me, girl.

Your India stuff and this post...they were very "real."

Mir

ScrollSquirrel said...

Michelle, you've helped me just as much! Hands down, you are THE best plotstormer on the planet. I know how much you believe in me, and I in you, and your friendship is a precious gift.

Synner...as usual...your post moved me to tears. You're going to blow readers away when your editor finds you. You write straight from the heart, and from a heart yielded to Him, and it shows. Thank you for making His day and mine.

Kath! You blow me away with non-fiction stuff. You're eon's ahead of me in that realm. I'd dearly love to help you, and just as soon as I find your email address, I'll tell you so!

Mir, I'm striving to be more open and honest in my blog. I admire Danica and Heather and Angie Poole because I think they write their hearts for the world to see, no holding back or pretense. No guile, and I'm trying to be more like that. So your post mean a LOT! I may get the India stuff back up here. You are such a great writer and I cannot figure out why those editors haven't scooped you right up yet! Your honest and encouraging. THANK YOU!

Squirrel/Cheryl

Pammer said...

You are just precious! You would make a great mentor because of your heart.

Hugs!