17 September 2007

A Season for Sleep

127:1 If the Lord does not build a house,
then those who build it work in vain.
If the Lord does not guard a city,
then the watchman stands guard in vain.
127:2 It is vain for you to rise early, come home late,
and work so hard for your food.
Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.
Psalm 127 (a song of ascents, by Solomon)

A few weeks ago, it hit me. ACFW conference approacheth. Yikes! What had I been thinking all year? Had I been diligent to query magazines about articles? No. Had I been diligent to submit short stories? No. I tried to make it up in the past month, but funny thing about magazines and journals: they don't care if you're on a deadline. They still work at their own speed. Very inconsiderate of them, if you ask me.
I'd lay awake at night with a running list (and commentary on the state of my life) scampering through my mind. Is my pitch ready? Is it a fast ball? A curve ball? How about my proposal? My synopsis. Oh, the synopsis. Do I know enough people? Why, heck no. My husband's the networker. I'm the people watcher. (For those of you who are networkers, people watching is distinctively harder when you're busy meeting people instead of in a corner with your Nancy Drew notebook.) And Chris doesn't go to these writerly things with me. I have to network myself! Oh, the stress of meeting new people.
But here's the thing: unless it's what God wants, there's nothing I can do to further it. And I don't need to lose sleep over it. If it's what God wants, there's nothing I can do to thwart it.
Besides singing the Byrd's song (To everything--turn, turn, turn; There is a season--turn, turn, turn, which, in my soundtrack to life, is this week's theme, and which was originally written thousands of years ago, talk about your seasons), I had to accept reality. I've only been doing this fiction thing for about a year--since July 2006. I've written my pancake novel, so that's over and done with. I have a manuscript I love, and I have a manuscript I love working on. But this year, I need to focus on improving my craft and meeting people. Getting to know you; getting to know all about you (which was not originally from the GM commercials but from The King and I).
Now, resting in God, I'm sleeping better. My nightmares about the guy chasing me and showing up in the back of my car and where ever I go until I had to behead him, which was the only way he'd actually die, stopped (excepting one dream last night--I was wanted by the mafia and hid on the roof of a building, but you could take compartments of the roof and move them around like one of those puzzles where you move the squares around one at a time to find the picture of the tiger, but we started taking the compartment too far like the Willy Wonka elevator in the end (high above the buildings of Philly) until it started to lose its magnetic pull and we made it back just in time before it started to careen to the ground to find my old boss there with some cheerleader-type girl and George Bush). And my neck doesn't hurt when I wake up.


Real Live Preacher said...

Uh, what is ACFW?

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Laughing at that dream. And my neck stopped hurting when I got my gallbladder out. Not saying that's your problem.

ACFW is American Christian Fiction Writers. Their big annual conference starts Thursday in Dallas.

Pamela said...

I think I've been reading you for at least 1 year

your dreams might be a good place to take pen and your nancy drew notebook

Mark Goodyear said...

I'm really sad that I can't make it to Dallas. : (

But have fun. And remember that ACFW will be the season to stay awake all night long. That can be a good season too.

Heather said...

Thx, Jen, for answering the question. I've been a bit myopic about it this past week preparing, so the lingo slides off the tongue. Sorry.
Mark--we'll miss you. I was hoping to get to meet you in person and am disappointed, but there's always next year!
Pam--over a year ago, I had a dream that I think would make for an excellent book, but it's a murder mystery with a touch of the sci-fi (just a smidge), and I'm not sure if I could pull that off. Maybe someday...

Robin said...


Oh, my....you're there now (I think) or have just returned...can you tell I'm pulled in a thousand directions? This kind of post sure does make me miss ya...oh, little cyber buddy of mine :). I can h e a r a lot in your words and in their tempo...

Dream on, Sweets...you're on the right road :).