Labor Pains

When I was a teenager/in my early twenties, one of my relatives wrote a book and wanted me to read it. Well, actually, I believe she gave it to my aunt to read and because I like to read/proofread, I ended up with it. It was her first book and as far as I read, it was comparing visions to pregnancy. Sometime last year I became acquainted with a youtube video of a keynote at a conference that referenced the same thing. Apparently it’s a really useful analogy with women in the religous world. To be honest, when I was given my cousin’s book, I was befuddled and a little disturbed.

I never finished editing that book. My cousin hired someone to edit it and it was published. As a writer, I feel terrible that someone gave me their book baby and I DNF’d on it. When my usual beta reader was reading my daily output of Delivering Justice, I felt that feeling ramp up in me. It’s especially bad now that I’ve given the marriage book to my minister to beta read.

So, in honor of my late cousin and my regret for not realizing how ahead of her time her book was (possibly), I am going to compare my book journey with the marriage book to a pregnancy and childbirth. (Sigh) OK, here it goes.

The seed for this book (and I’m a little grossed out already) came from a frustration with the fact that people were always pestering me about when I was going to get married, but no one seemed to be willing to share with me any useful information about being married. It was like the number one rule of marriage was you don’t talk about marriage–except to tell people to get married.  As the idea took root, I began to think about a)how I could get people to stop asking me when I was getting married without resorting to rudeness and b)how to get the information I really wanted to know about being married.

After some initial doubts and second guessing, of downplaying and explaining away the symptoms, I realized that I was pregnant with a book (gah! typing “I realized I was pregnant” in any context right now is just…*lays down in the corner for a while*). Once I knew I had a book growing inside of me, there was no way I could abort it.

Boy or girl? There were a couple of ways this book could have turned out. I could: write a book about a subject I’m not all that authorized to talk about (hello! I’m not married); write an intensely personal account of my own journey to marriage (which, since I’m not married, seems a bit premature), or; talk about something I actually do know about–being single. The thing is, I didn’t want to write some book about how it was so great to be single. I’d been content with being single for a long time. I didn’t have much to learn there. The point was that I wanted to know about marriage. It took a while, but I finally found the book I could write: a book that focused on being a content single woman who is also acquiring biblical knowledge about what it would mean to be a wife. I was having that book.

I conducted the first interview (the official start of this book making process) nearly four years ago in August of 2010. Since then, I have conducted many more interviews, study scripture intensely, gone through two different pre-marital counseling courses, attended years of monthly Marriage and Family workshops, wrote in fits and starts, and…stayed single.

I’ve experienced my share of Braxton-Hicks contractions with this book. I thought I was going to get it out into the world many times before now. I thought I had someone to help me with publishing. I thought I knew who would design my cover. I thought the book was finished. In every instance, I was told it was a false alarm. It wasn’t time yet.

I’ve never been in labor  myself, but from what I understand (mostly from TV), labor starts slow and can take a long time. But then, things start happening, and the next thing you know, TA DA! Baby is here! My labor began pretty slowly as well. I began working on the book again after a hiatus writing and subbing romantic fiction. I saw someone who had a book coming out post a picture of their cover and thank their graphic designer. The cover looked really nice, so I looked at the designer’s portfolio. I really liked what I saw, so I asked her for a quote for a cover design and formatting for kindle and physical books.

Then the contractions began to come faster together. I wasn’t sure if I could afford the quote that I was given, so I told her to let me think about it. Soon after, I was asked to do paperwork for someone who promised to pay me well for doing it on short notice. Then my minister agreed to beta read the book for me. Then someone else offered to help pay for the book cover. Then a visiting minister’s wife (who has self-published two books of her own) said she would help me with any part of the publishing process that I needed help with. I did a good chunk of the paperwork and received enough money to pay the downpayment the graphic designer asked for in her quote. A couple of beta readers have my book and I have the downpayment to commission the cover,  all in less than two weeks.

I’ve kept the name of this book baby close for a long time. Once I get that cover, I will reveal the cover and the title. I have a really good feeling that this book is going to be here really soon now.

So, that’s (most) of my journey from aspiring author to (almost) proud book parent. How is your journey going?

XOXO,

Erica

Married to an Idea

I have begun to work in earnest on the marriage kit book! I almost have an entire chapter completed as I type (well, more than one has been started, but this one really is almost complete). Not only that, but I have an outline of how I want the chapters to be organized, with specific sections, as well as several chapter outlines that I want to tackle.

For each chapter I’ve thought about doing the following:

Introduction

Worldview

The fact of the Matter (God’s View)

Personal Story

The Other Side of the Coin

In the Meantime

The ones in bold will be actual headings within the chapters; the others just identify what type of writing will be present at that point of the book. This is a preliminary structure, but it works well with the material that I have thus far. It was only after continuing to write after I had starting reading a sample of Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron that I even thought about how I had written down in my chapter outline some things that all the chapters had in common. Yay for inspiration.

I am continually blown away by how this project is unfolding. In all honesty, it looks nothing like the book I thought I was writing.

New (Untitled) Piece…and What I’m Working On…

There’s a new piece up on my (Untitled) page that’s really personal…it’s about my relationship with my dad from way back. Thankfully, we’re beyond that stage now, but it was a good piece and I wanted to air it out somewhere.

Lately, I’ve been going through my various journals and highlighting things I want to use and ideas I want to play with for my two non-fiction works, Some College and the Marriage Kit book. It seems I’ve written short excerpts and stream of consciousness thoughts for both works everywhere; now that I have the command center set up, I’m putting it all together. I’m also slowly but surely working my way through the Camp NaNoWriMo manuscript, and living life experiences that will go well with the NaNoWriMo 2010 manuscript. All in all, it’s been a pretty productive month for being creative.

I’ve been going through some of my floppy disks, the ones that I used with my Brother Word processor. That’s been an experience. I found some things from when I turned 15 and on that I may share on this or another blog. I still have plenty of disks to go through from my computer disk days in middle and high school, but so far I’m estatic about all the pieces I’m rediscovering, some of which have some real merit. Now to get my hands on the other notebooks I wasn’t able to bring, and to have my entire body of work here to mull over and continue.

Nothing much else never in 2blu2btruLand. How are your writing lives going?

2blu2btru