Some of you know that I've been working on a book for the last 10 or so years (longer if you count the years early in Dave's illness that I journaled, before I ever thought of writing a book). In between taking care of Dave and the kids, homeschooling, working part time, and trying to breathe, I found snippets of time here and there to work on it. Some years I worked on the book a lot, some it lay dormant, like a seed in the ground. Cold, dark, resting--waiting to grow.
Last fall I attended a Women of Faith convention, and learned about a contest that WestBow Press was sponsoring. The deadline gave me just under 4 months to finish up, and I wondered if I could do it. I prayed and God cleared my Thursday afternoons and many Saturdays, so I set those aside for writing and revising.
My original journals went through several evolutions. The first draft was mainly for me. Sometimes I joke that I "unwrote" a book because my journals were so lengthy! During the second draft I was trying to find my way...could this be a book that might interest and help others? Two trips to Write-to-Publish and countless conversations, prayers, and experiments later, I settled on a devotional format. Last fall I had a revised draft of about 2/3 of the book finished, and I spent the last 4 months finishing the final third and reworking the whole.
This week I finished, and entered the contest. You can find a "sneak peak" on the page at the top of my blog:
Invisible Illness, Visible God
When Pain Meets the Power of an Indestructible Life
101 Devotions for Those with Chronic Illness and their Caregivers
The Grand Prize, of course, is publication of the winner's manuscript courtesy of WestBow Press, with the option that Thomas Nelson might decide to pick up the book. Hundreds of people enter, and last year's winning entry looks like a quality book (I love Marcia Moston's title: Call of a Coward). The winners will be announced on March 31st. While I'd love to win, my prayer is that a quality book will be chosen that glorifies God, and that whether through this opportunity or another, my book will be published. I'm so thankful to be finished, and truly appreciate the support and prayers that many have given us. The encouraging emails kept me going when I wondered if I should give up on such a big project. Thank you!