Monday, February 6, 2012

Taking a flying leap

I have tried and tried and tried to write the true rest of the story about my getting-an-agent story. But it doesn't feel right somehow, no matter how I explain it. So I give up. If you don't know already because you forget (as I do kind of a lot lately) that I even have a blog, I got an agent for my Hoarders meets Project Runway contemporary YA novel and getting an agent is a very hard thing to do and I'm excited about it. The story is here

The extremely abbreviated version of the rest of the story is this: when I realized I had a national market story on my hands, I got a little nervous because that was never my plan. Publishing in the national market didn't make sense to me. Dither, dither, dither. Finish the story or go back to the sure thing? Finally pray. Hear with clarity that I should submit to the national market. Freak out because suddenly I'm dealing with a test of faith. That won't make sense to most of you. *Shrugs.* It'd take a really long time to explain why. Trust me. I drafted that really long blog post twice.

I'll skip to the embarrassing part now. I really admire Janette Rallison. Love her books, admire her standards in her writing, would love to emulate her career. In the midst of doubt and "Why on earth am I doing this?" in regards to my national book, I approach her as almost a total stranger at the LDS Storymakers conference last May. I ask her advice. She listens. I cry. I cry some more. I feel completely stupid about crying so that makes me CRY MORE. This goes on for a half hour that she probably should have been doing other things. She is patient. She says, "Trust the Lord. Go for the national market."

I know this all sounds very dramatic. Just trust me that this was never about the book or being published nationally. It was about having faith to do something that made no sense. I'm not good at faith.

But I decided to exercise some. So I finished and things went really well. And it helped my faith a lot. And I realized something: it's probably not very important to the Lord that I publish in the national market. But I think it was very important to Him that for the first time in a very long time, I who have weak faith approached him with a question where He set me up to test and prove Him. And it was not a request for a favor, either. It wasn't a prayer of, "I really want this, please make it happen." It was a prayer of, "What do you want me to do?"

So He granted me an experience He's probably been wanting to give me for a long time but I was never asking the right question. And I learned from that. 

Trust me, it makes sense in my crazy head and only in my crazy head, I get it. 

I guess my only point here is to say a public thank you to someone who put up with an emotionally unstable woman for thirty minutes she didn't have to spare. And to say that I learned a lifelong lesson about listening to the spirit, and for that I thank my Heavenly Father.

And that's enough about the craziness. In other news, the finalists for the Whitney Awards were announced on Friday. My name is in there and I'm STOKED. Check out all the nominees and find some great new books to read here

And for more fun, the LDS Publisher blog has chosen finalists for the best book covers by genre from last year, and mine are in there. To check out all the covers and vote for the COVER you like best, you can check that out here. It's fun to browse.

Good Monday, everyone.


Barbaloot said...

No, what you're saying (writing) totally makes sense. There are times I've realized it's not about what I'm praying about, but that I'm praying and am I willing to listen to the answer I get.

Wouldn't it be nice if we only had to learn that once...?

But good luck and I'm so excited for you! And I'm excited for your new book next month!!

Becca said...

Amen and Amen. That whole idea of an open-ended prayer is sort of terrifying, isn't it? That "do I even know how You sound when You speak to me?" part -- but the hearing and the understanding is so precious.

And wahoo for your FINALISTS. You rock it, sista.

Kristina P. said...

I think it's awesome that you are going to be the next Stephenie Meyers. I hope there are lots of sparkling nipples in your book. That's where the money is.

DeNae said...

You are the goods, sister. And since my daughter is both a Hoarders and Project Runway junkie, I'm pretty sure we'll be first in line to buy it. Want a review? I know that all six of my readers will be ITCHING to see what I think about your book! Maybe I'll get my (very talented writer) daughter to write it. If you want it at all, that is. OK, now I've gone stream-of-consciousness, so I'll just say I'm proud of you for every bit of this story. xoxo

Karen Peterson said...

Those leaps of faith are so hard, but always so worth it in the end.

Maggie said...

Sounds like a whole lot of wonderful things are happening for you right now. Congrats Melanie.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Aw, Melanie. What a wonderful post. And you're right. Janette just rocks.

And your listed as the one of the Whitney finalist! That's a bit of an understatement, girl! Your TWO books both made it to the finals and now constitute 40% of the finalists in your category. That's freaking awesome!

But so are your books. Congrats!

Donna K. Weaver said...

And I really know that word is you're and not your.


Linda said...

I am so proud to be your aunt! Love you.

Erin Bennett said...


Vivian said...

Certain things only make sense in our head. I'm happy to read it made sense to you and that you were reminded of what many of us still constantly forget: faith, trust and patience. Thank you for the reminder :)

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Makes sense to me, Melanie. It really, really does.

And I love seeing your name on the Whitney list TWICE. How awesome is that?!

wendy said... is a tricky one sometimes?? I have been trying my whole life to "correctly" direct my prayer requests, so they don't sound like a take out order.

YOU MUST BE SO PROUD. Good luck with all the nominations etc.

Lara said...

I think you make much more sense than you think you make, because we've all been there. Well, I have. I know what you mean.

I'm thrilled for you. And I think it's very cool how much you recognize the hand of the Lord in all of it.

Janette Rallison said...

Everyone is allowed to cry when they're pregnant and they're considering dealing with agents, editors, and rejection letters. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it--and I'm only talking about the morning sickness and stretchmarks.

Congrats on the agent! I know you're headed for great things. (Witnessed by the fact that my captcha for this post is the word,"Forks". I mean, hello, the computer thinks you've got a Twilight thing going on.)

L.T. Elliot said...

And in the end, I think this is the best way you could have told your story. That leap of faith, that stepping into open air and believing He has the ability to help you soar? That's terrifying. And He caught you. You're soaring. You're exactly where you're meant to be. I'm proud of you. And grateful for this post.

p.s. So ridiculously happy that you made the whitney finalists not once but TWICE! Yay!

Melinda said...

Made total sense to me! :) I'm glad you got an answer, I'm even more glad you followed a prompting and strengthened your faith. Awesome. I'm excited about this awesome book of yours!

Rachelle said...

You. Are. Amazing! Love this story. And I think it totally rocks that you are a Whitney Finalist twice over. Congrats. Super big congrats!

Charlotte said...

I think I know exactly what you're trying to say. I've been there and had to follow the answer to a prayer (even when it terrified me)! I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of asking God the right questions, so I liked your insight.

Also, the book sounds interesting. I'm excited for you.