Monday, September 15, 2008

Thirty-six Hours from Now . . .

That’s about how many hours are left until I and my two traveling companions set out for Minneapolis and the writers’ conference. Someone warned us about last minute tensions and panic, and I thought at the time that I was doing pretty well. But the panic started setting in today. You know those last-minute jitters you get when you start wondering if you’ve remembered everything?

For a writers’ conference that is multiplied because I have all those strange things to think about such as whether my pitch is good enough, and whether I’ve printed everything I need off the Internet, and whether I will remember everything I need to get copied to the flash drive before I leave. Hmmmm.

Then there is the matter that came up Saturday about whether I need to consider restructuring the beginning of my story. I committed it to the Lord and told Him I was sure He would give me the right answer in His own time. I didn’t have to wait long to know what I need to do and to have peace about it.

No, I’m not tearing into the story and starting to chop it up. That would be foolhardy. Instead, I’m going back to exactly what I was doing before Saturday. I’m continuing where I left off in polishing and applying what I’ve been learning. That’s my first priority. Deciding what to do about rearranging anything is not something to be rushed into.

Part of what comes with the conference is one appointment with any editor of your choice and one with an agent. You submit four choices for each, and when you get there, you find out with whom you’ve been scheduled on both counts (possibly your first choices, possibly not). That’s another area you commit to the Lord for His perfect will and direction. There are additional chances to meet and talk to editors and agents at meals and informal encounters.

So there is a lot of anticipation stirred together with a lot of unknowns. We’re told our best preparation is being well “prayed up,” and I’ve been working on that. I’ll be grateful for the prayers that anyone else wants to add to mine. It’s hard to believe that next week at this time I should be freshly arrived at home. I’m confident I’ll be loaded with some rather amazing memories.

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