Monday, September 19, 2005

The Desire of My Heart

Since this blog is an opportunity for me to update my readers on my career, I thought I'd kick it off big. While at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Nashville, TN this weekend, I was presented with…


Praise God!!! Every year at this conference, Tracie Peterson, editor of Heartsong Presents, announces new member book contracts as well as a contract for one established member. This helps elicit excitement. She called my name, as well as Mary Connealy's, during dinner on Friday. (Wish I could remember the established author's name, but frankly, I'm a tad brain-dead since I only came home last night. Let's just leave it at TBA.) I had a feeling she would do this, because after my major rewrites of Merely Players that I submitted last October, I was told that if she liked my changes, she would contact me within the month. Three months went by, and so I had a feeling since I hadn't heard anything--good or bad--that Tracie would be doing it at the conference. However, as the conference neared, that little niggly one percent of doubt sat inside my brain like a raspberry seed stuck in a tooth. The more I tried to pick at it to get it out, the deeper lodged it became, to the point that even though I prayed, I had a hard time concentrating on God's voice. Friday, I was determined to ignore the doubt, but the pressure remained. When I heard my name, that seed of doubt popped out of my head and I could clearly hear God. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4. That night, I attended my first "author party", held exclusively for Heartsong and Barbour authors. They all welcomed me into the fold, and I felt like I had come home.

The other half of this blessing, (yes, there's more,) is that not only will my book be published singly through the Heartsong presents book club, but it may later be packaged with two other authors and sold to regular stores like Wal Mart. Can you spell "royalties"? This is extremely good from a business standpoint.

But more than the money, all of this affirms God's promise to me--"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." This career journey started in 2002 when I won a contest at CCWC, Colorado Christian Writers Conference. I clearly heard God clapping as I accepted that certificate. "What are we going to write next, Kathy?" he asked, and at that point I knew I had the ultimate writing partner.

I'm surprised that the doctor didn't find a pen in my hand when they pulled me from my mother's womb. I'm sure as a fetus I was floating in that soft, warm place taking notes in my head about setting. . .

It's dark here, but not scary. I'm surrounded by a body temperature warmth that I feel comforting. There's a sound nearby--thump-thump…thump-thump--and I get the sense that whatever is making that sound loves me with a fierceness that I may never comprehend. . .

Writing has always been a big part of my life. I remember when, in my pre-kindergarten days, I would fidget in church, my mother would hand me a pencil and a piece of paper. I'd scribble and I'm sure people thought I was drawing pictures. But I think I was actually drawing word pictures, trying to get the stories in my head out where I could see them. What a glorious year it was when I learned how to spell! In my faltering, baby-step writing, I managed to write a poem. "The Fat Cat in the Black Top Hat." This endeavor garnished some income. I sold hand-written copies of that poem to my friends, complete with a drawing of a fat cat in a black top hat that looked more like a dusty snowman with whiskers. I charged a nickel and I made 25 cents. This, in my mind, made me a published author.

Lest I start believing it's all about me, let me ponder the beginning of that verse. "Delight yourself in the Lord." The Message states Psalm 37: 4-7 like this: "Keep company with God, get in on the best. Open up before God, keep nothing back; he'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don't bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top." To me this says that it's also about God. It's my obedience that will clear the way for God to minister through me. I don't need to worry about the next project or the next book contract. If I'm still before God, if I listen to his voice, He will take my career to where He wants it to be.

And there is nothing better than that.