Step of Faith

Gulp!

I’ve embarked on a new path after a couple of years of procrastinating {I know I never do that}, questioning the value of the project and questioning myself. But I was encouraged through faith to take that first step … and today I took it. I formally signed a publishing contract. If all goes as planned, in about 90 days or so, Heaven Shines Through will be available on line and at your favorite book stores.

Some of you may be familiar with Heaven Shines Through. It was a 24 week labor of love that was planted almost exactly five years ago.

You might remember the exercise I started by stating, “I often though it would be cool to work on a collaborative community ‘novel’ … or at least a short story. I know it’s been done before, but I have never done it. Now is as good a time as ever. I’m floating the idea here on my blog.” [Oct. 10, 2012]

Simply put, I invited readers — and that included Reveille/Between the Lakes [the newspaper I published at the time] readers as well — to contribute to an ongoing story. As long as there was interest, I told them, I would continue to advance the storyline.

I had no expectations about where the story would go. In fact, I didn’t even have a storyboard or outline. I was trusting in their imagination and direction. Would it end up being a mystery? A romance? A comedy? A drama? A slice of life? Inspiration?

I thought we would decide together.

The plan was to get them started and have them submit continuing paragraph(s) each week. Together, I reasoned, we would flesh out the storyline, develop characters, possibly throw in some curves or red herrings. In the end I hoped we would be able to come up with a readable piece all would be proud to share with family and friends.

To get them started, I began …

I was driving alone on the dark black asphalt, seemingly darker because of ominous clouds on the horizon ranging from steel gray to puffs of white. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of white as the sun tried to peek out from behind the clouds. It didn’t succeed, but first a ray rained into the picture, followed by a halo of rays.

My name is …

Just like real life, things change. Except for naming the lead character [Samantha, which presented challenges in and of itself since I am far from being of the female persuasion], everyone bailed out and I was left to trudge along by myself [I did get positive feedback along the way, though, which buoyed me] …

In all, I worked through the story writing a “section” each week for 24 weeks, then spending another couple of weeks coming up with the title. I didn’t have a direction at first, although each week led to the next week of the serialized tome.

I put the exercise away for a couple of years, but in the quiet of Maine, I was able to revisit and edit the project, while also attempting to convert it into a screenplay [That’s another story for another time and another project I am considering].

Is it any good?

I don’t know. I was personally happy with the final product, which I farmed to a few close friends I knew would give me honest feedback.  Now it’s up to the publishing experts to critique and place it in the right category.

Ironically, I was convicted to take the next step by a five-year old song by Matthew West, Do Something. While his message was a lot deeper, the words “If not us, then who … Right now, it’s time for us to do something … If not now, then when…” was a message I couldn’t shake. It was not enough to do nothing … It was time for me to do something. Right now!

I really don’t know how to describe the book. I suppose I would categorize Heaven Shining Through as a flashback love story that weaves in evolving values, reconciliation and redemption. I tried to keep it real with appropriate language and activities. I purposely stayed away from being “preachy” but rather told a story that showed the presence of God in everyday, sometimes messy lives. The hope is readers will be able to see that.

We’ll soon find out.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Be like a postage stamp. Stick to it until you get there. — Harvey Mackay

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in book, books, communication, courage, encouragement, entertainment, Faith, family, Friends, God, Life, love, Memories, relationships, stories, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Step of Faith

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am so delighted for you! What a hard-fought success.

    Love the Matthew West song, too.

  2. Best wishes for success.

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