A few months before Grandma died, an idea started stirring in my head for a novel. I always knew I wanted to write novels and had even started a few, but it just was not to be. Wrong place. Wrong time. But the thought of this storyline wouldn't seem to go away, and so I started writing. I wrote for about two months, and then, my worst nightmare happened. A phone call... a frantic drive to Russellville... and Grandma slipped away forever.
I was mad. Mad at God. Mad at the world. And so, I boycotted the novel. I actually remember feeling Him prompting me to write, and my response... looking up at the sky and saying, "NO!" Out loud. No! Good thing He was big enough to take it. And so He just waited and kept reminding me of what He wanted me to do.
A year later, I sat down at my computer again. My heart had changed, so many things I had already written to that point were changed as well. But that was ok... It was meant to be that way, I think.
Over the next four years, I picked up the novel. And put it down. Picked it up. And put it down. (Mainly put it down.) I was plagued with the thoughts 1.) You can't finish this, 2.) If you do, it's going to suck, and 3.) It's going to suck.
Still, I persisted. Little by little. Between changing diapers, cleaning house, doing laundry, getting pregnant, having a baby, living with a baby, loving on my children, loving on my husband, every other duty I somehow have, getting diabetes, and life... I persisted.
And yesterday, five years after the thought entered my head, I finished what I started.
Here's the thing... It most likely does suck. But you know what? I. Finished. It. I finished it. I don't think I can ever remember actually feeling proud of myself. Ever. But yesterday, I did. I felt proud. And I can't help but think Grandma would be proud of me, too. I think she would make a big deal about it and ask me to read it and tell me it's the best thing she's ever read even if it's the worst.
I'm dedicating it to her and Grandpa.
And while it may serve only as a doorstop or an oversized paperweight, I am content knowing I wrote what He gave me, what he put on my heart at the exact time I needed it. I couldn't ask for more.
And I want to just say a quick thank you to everyone who has asked me about it over the years, how it was coming and such. I think my answers might have been a bit cryptic. (Please see reasons 1-3 in the fourth paragraph.) But I honestly can't tell you how much it meant to me that people cared. I am currently editing, and yes, we will probably pursue getting it published, although I have no idea where to start. We'll figure it out. I have a husband who is amazingly supportive and who has made the biggest deal out of it to the point of embarrassing me over the past couple of days. It's a good embarrassed, though. I love that man.
So, here it is. (See picture below and cue angel chorus.) It's around 450 pages in this format, but I'm guessing in an 'actual' book format, it will run about 350. It's the most beautiful, black, bound heap of pages I've ever seen.