“Hey, what are you doing?”
I look at the laptop burning a grid into my legs. I’m on page 157. Is it time to tell people? No, not yet.
“Just goofing off.”
Sure, I wanted to be an author. And my daughter wanted to be a princess and my son planned for world domination. We all have our dreams.
The inconvenient dreams are those that are so special and so unlikely that you can’t share them. You know the odds are against you, but you aren’t ready to hear the cold, hard truth. You want to pretend it’s still a possibility.
I got my English degree in college but I had no plans beyond getting married, having kids and hiring a maid to take care of the house. (One husband and four kids later, I’m still waiting on the maid.) I worked odd jobs in my spare time – and I do mean odd. There was the “News Hound” job for the local newspaper which involved a dog costume and school pep rallies. I also tried my hand at the family business by serving as “The Weigh Master” at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. Don’t let the glamorous title fool you. I weighed pigs. It was a tough decision but I gave up those lucrative (ludicrous?) careers to homeschool at an exclusive, private institution located in my kitchen.
Occasionally someone would ask me to write. I wrote newsletters for our church, promotional materials for missions organizations, and skits for our youth group, but I didn’t have the courage to start a novel. No one I knew had been traditionally published. If I was going to waste my time I’d rather be reading. Normal people read. Only wacky, artsy people wrote. I didn’t even like coffee.
But in the winter of 2009, God started pushing me. Still unsure if I was delusional or under conviction I decided the safest course was to try. As a New Year’s Resolution I would write a book.
So in secret, I did. A few months into my attempt I joined a local writers’ group I found on the internet. I wished I could tell my family I was studying swine husbandry or something profitable but I finally had to confess what I was doing with my Saturdays.
“That’s great, honey. If there are pigs in your story we could sell some of those books at the stockyards.”
My husband was more practical. He bought me a ticket to Indianapolis for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference – and that’s where things got really interesting.