What it’s like to Write a Book

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to write a book, but didn’t want to experience it first hand in order to find out, you’re in luck, because I’m about to give you a short summary.

Writing a book is like running a race where the finish line is constantly being pushed farther away. Writing is like climbing a mountain that is constantly growing taller. Writing is like trying to shovel snow in a blizzard.

And that’s just writing. Plotting is like trying to sculpt something realistic using playdoh. Editing is like trying to get a used litter box clean enough that you would feel comfortable eating off of it. Trying to write query letter is like trying to reduce War and Peace to 200 words without losing its flavor.

So writing a book is, like, hard. But writing a book is also awesome. Writing a book is finding the room from humor in the worst of circumstances. Writing is making some very good fictional friends. Writing is getting a better view of life and learning where hope really comes from.


Just Along For The Ride

In the story of my life, I am just along for the ride. What little control I have, I need to give back to God, each and every day. So yes, I am not the author of my story. But what fun is it to read a book where you know the end from the beginning? I have ideas for my future: I want to go to college, I want to be a published author, I would love to be on the New York Times Bestseller List, I might want to get married one day, I want to share with others how wonderful God is, but except for that last one, there is no guarantee that any of those things will happen. If none of them did, it wouldn’t be because God wants to spoil all my fun, but because he had a plan for my life so much better than anything I could ever imagine. (Proverbs 3:5-6)  So even though I don’t have much control, (not that I should, because I would really mess it up) I don’t have to be afraid. God has a plan that is perfect for me; all I have to do is trust him. I’m just along for the ride, and it’s going to be awesome.

Being A Writer…

Being a writer is writing when you don’t feel like it. Being a writer is writing the scenes you don’t, like to get to the ones you do. Being a writer is knowing the end from the beginning and using it to your advantage.

When you video chat with you co-author late at night, trying to resolve the loose thread you pulled, you’re being a writer. When you know that there was a reason you wrote a scene a certain way, but can’t remember the reason, you’re being a writer. When you search things like BMI for seventeen-year-old guys and snakes that live in Germany, you’re being a writer.

That time you searched the average advance for first-time novelists, you were being a writer. The time you got a really “great” idea for book late at night and discovered the next morning that it wasn’t that great, you were being a writer. That time you read a scene so many times that you never want to look at it again, you were being a writer.

Being a writer means obsessing over details. Being a writer means pain. Being a writer means wishing you could take pictures of every other person you see on the street. Being a writer means excitement and fear when you think of querying. And most of all, being a writer means being awesome.

Car Chase

Common sense; we all have it, some of us more than others. Nevertheless, no matter how much common sense one person has, every once in a while they will find themselves in a situation where they don’t have sense common enough to think.

For me, one of these incidents happened a month or so ago. I was going to the mall with my mom and friend, and before we went to the main mall, my mom asked me to go into a nearby restaurant to check the balance of a gift card. Well, she had just dropped me off in front of the restaurant, planning to circle the parking lot and come back, when I walked through the front door of the restaurant/cafe and noticed something. I saw another customer go in and come right back out. Upon further inspection, I realized that the reason he was turning around was the line. It was long, like really long, and I wasn’t about to wait ten or fifteen minutes just to check the balance of a gift card, so I went back outside. That’s when my stupidity manifested itself.

So since we were in a pretty busy area, my mom and friend hadn’t gotten too far; I actually think they probably weren’t more than twenty or thirty feet away from where they had dropped me off. But, despite the fact they were going to come back for me in less than two minutes, I got the idea that I should just run and catch up. So yeah, I took off after the car. Now that shouldn’t have been a problem, but as I got a little closer, the car started moving. Even though my mom wasn’t going all that fast, something like ten miles an hour, it was unlikely that I could outrun the car, but why in the world would I let that stop me from trying?

So I really started running. For some reason, it still didn’t occur to me that it would have been a better idea to just wait for them to circle back. I knew it could have waited; I just didn’t want to. I ran after the car, waving my hands around, and try to yell, discreetly since I was in a public place, in hopes of catching their attention. Occasionally the car would stop, and I would gain on it, but I just couldn’t quite make it.

Even though it didn’t make sense, and even though other people probably thought I was crazy, I kept running. I had ran about a block when the car stopped again, I kept going and finally got to the car. I slammed my hand into the side of the car, to alert my mom and friend that I was there, in case they started moving again, and dropped into the back seat.

So yeah, I chased a car through a parking lot for no apparent reason, other than my lack of common sense.

Don’t Eat The Mushrooms

Most mushrooms are delicious, but some can kill you. Thankfully, the one my grandmother took a bite of, didn’t kill her; it just made for an ‘interesting’ night.

It all started when my great uncle found a mushroom out in the yard. He brought it in to show to everyone and my great-grandmother and my grandmother both decided to take a bite about the size of the tip of your pinky, even though they had no clue what it was. Well, my mom and grandmother had just left my great-grandmother’s house when my grandmother told my mom to stop at a nearby convenience store. That was when the first round came. After puking and have some less than solid bowl activity, my grandmother got back in the car, and her and my mom headed off for the rest of the hour and forty-five-minute trip.

Less than thirty minutes later, my grandmother told my mom to pull over again. This next gas station stop wasn’t nearly so dignified. My grandmother went in while my mom waited in the car. Fifteen minutes later, my grandmother still hadn’t surfaced, so my mom went in to check on her.

“Are you alright?” my mom asked.

“Dawn, I’m gonna need you to go get me some pants,” my grandmother replied.

Since my grandmother was still using the facilities, my mom got back in her car and drove to a pay phone so she could call my great-grandmother. Their conversation went something like this.

“Granny, are you alright?” my mom questioned.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” my great-grandmother replied.

“Oh okay, I was just trying to figure out if the mushroom is what made my mom sick.”

“Oh is she sick too? Yeah, I’ve been getting sick.”

So my mom drove back to the gas station to get my grandmother, who slipped her putrid pants back on, and then headed back towards my great-grandmother’s house. My mom spent the drive chastising her mother and violently praying.

When they arrived, they went into the house, my mom gave my grandmother five minutes to bathe and change, and then called the ambulance. When the EMS finally arrived, the paramedic wasn’t in any hurry, but eventually, they left my great-grandmother’s house with both mushroom eaters.

After spending a few hours in the hospital and receiving adamant instructions not to eat anything solid, the two were discharged. My mom and grandmother were driving to my mom’s house when my grandmother told my mom that she felt like she needed some salt. Since nothing was open that late, they once again stopped at a convenience store, and my grandmother went in, thinking that they might sell some broth. When she came back out to the car she had saltines.

“You can’t eat those!” my mom exclaimed.

“I’ll just lick the salt off,” my grandmother replied.

Needless to say, a few minutes later she started nibbling on the cracker. After snatching the cracker out of my grandmother’s hand, my mom proceeded to tell her mom just how stupid she had been for the rest of their drive.

Years later, this story still comes up every once in a while, and always results in a reliving of the ‘wild’ night. So now I know, don’t eat the mushrooms.


A Recipe for Disaster

Cooking is a skill that not everyone has, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that my dad’s cooking skills are hit and miss. There was that one time he tried to make mashed potatoes without boiling them, which you can read about here, there was also the time he decided to make buckwheat aka wet sand pancakes, and then there was the other time when he decided to use honeycomb in cooked apples; you can read about that last one right now.

So every Saturday morning my family and I eat breakfast together. Most of the time my mom does the cooking, but once in a while, my dad will decide that he wants to make breakfast on his own. Now when he’s just making eggs, bacon, and toast, it’s no big deal; it’s when he tries to experiment that things tend to go downhill.

So it was Saturday, my dad was cooking, and he decided to make cooked apples, also known as fried apples. Most of the time cooked apples contain cinnamon, butter, and sugar, but this time, my dad decided to change things up. He put in cinnamon and butter like normal but substituted the sugar for honey. Now that alone probably didn’t mess things up too horribly; adding the honeycomb, that is what really sunk the ship. Once the apples started heating up a smell that was bad at best began floating through the air.

Unfortunate as the circumstances may have seemed at the time, breakfast wasn’t a total bust; in fact, if we’re trying to look on the bright side, it was educational. Now I know that melting honeycomb is a terrible idea.

No Love Like His

God loves us no matter what. If you think about that for more than a second, it’s pretty obvious that love like that is utterly extraordinary. Love like that isn’t something you can find anywhere else, because no matter where you look, no one but God has unconditional love. No one has God’s patience. And even if you feel like no one loves you, God does. All we have to do is ask for His love and He’ll give it to us. We don’t have to earn His affection; we just have to accept it. It’s a gift; so thank Him for it.