Moving on

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Now that I have come down from the ceiling (directly related to having landed a book deal) and settled onto firm ground once again, I have had a chance to reflect on the journey thus far.  The Beatles would affirm that it was "a long and winding road."  

Perhaps my trek could be useful to some out there who have set out on a similar journey.  For those who have already traveled this road, it might be interesting to compare notes.  Here are just the facts, ma'am (relying on memory in many cases because, as you will see, the journey was long and arduous):

  • 1994 - Sitting under a palm tree on Myrtle Beach, while my husband watched our twin boys, I wrote a poem called "Oceanography," a cathartic exercise in dealing with my mother's mental illness
  • 1996 - "Oceanography" published in The Texas Review
  • 1994-2004 - Numerous poems dealing with the same topic were written and published in various literary magazines.  
  • 2004-2006 - A collection of twenty poems materializes, and writing buddy Carol Baldwin suggests that they need to be a book.
  • 2007 - Work begins on the first draft, called Breakdown
  • 2009 - Attend the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua, NY and work directly with Patti Gauch, retiring senior editor of Philomel Books
  • 2010 - Sign with Julia Kenny, agent at MarksonThoma Agency in New York
  • 2011 - Revision requested by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company on YA novel written in verse titled CRAZY 
  • 2012 - Receive 3 offers within 2 weeks, sign with Eerdmans for a 2014 publication date
If you are good at math, you already know this process spanned eighteen years. Eighteen years!  I feel like this has to be some kind of record.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.  But hopeful writers listen up.  Life went on as usual for most of those years, with full-time teaching, full-time kid raising, and full-time being a minister's wife.  I would have to say that the last year of waiting was probably the nearest I got to pulling my hair out, sitting on pins and needles, chewing my nails to the quick, being totally driven to distraction.  Perhaps if it had been fewer than eighteen years, I may have been able to eliminate a few of those cliches!  

But I write this to ENCOURAGE all writers out there.  If I can wait eighteen years you can stay the course, whatever your course may be, and all the while keep believing in your work.  


  1. As another grandmother just entering the published world, I can relate, Linda. It just makes it all the sweeter :) The time between now and when your book is finally out may seem longer than the whole eighteen years you've waited so far!

  2. AH, Linda... I hadn't realized it had been 18 years. What an amazing journey and I am so thankful to have been the one who said, "This is a book!" Glad to have been part of your travels.

  3. Congratulations! (And I must say I find the eighteen years very encouraging.)

  4. Hi Linda,
    I'm so happy for you and I know there's hope for me yet. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Linda Andersen

  5. Thanks everyone. It's such a blessing to be able to support one another in this fickle business!

  6. Congratulations- Wonderful to hear your successful story-

    Kit Grady

  7. Congratulations! Enjoy the experience.
    Gretchen Griffith

  8. Kit, your books look precious, and Gretchen, good luck on your Saturday reading. I will be interested to follow both of you on your journeys!

  9. Fantastic! I am so very happy for you, Linda. Here's hoping the time flies by. At least 20 years is a nice round number and even more impressive than 18. You'll have bragging rights!

  10. Linda,
    Congratulations, a second time in this comment section. I love that Carol has blogged about your success too! She's a great friend.

  11. Joyce thanks for your well wishes (I hope writing the second book will help the time fly by) and thanks, Linda, for dropping by a second time!

  12. Wow, Linda! Many good wishes. I'm very happy for you, and I'm anxious to hold your book in my hands.

    Blessings to you.

    Hoot! Hoot!


  13. Thanks, Jean! And as you know, there is nothing "quick" in this business, so hopefully the next WIP will keep me busy until 2014! Happy writing to you, too!