Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Doldrums – A Writer’s Journey


You know how the game of Candy Land has that molasses swamp? The whole board is covered with a bright candy variety that still stimulates the kid in me when I see it. Then just before the end, the whole corner is just brown.

Nowadays, of course, I think of chocolate and my mouth inadvertently starts to drool, but

as a child, I didn’t like the color brown. Especially when it could be green or yellow.

And the purpose of the swamp was to drag you down just before you reached the end of your game. To pull you down and make you flounder steps from the finish line.

Reminds me of that swamp in The Princess Bride, too. A place where fears and apathy could set in and steal the determination and joy right out of a person.

In the publishing journey, it’s called the query process. Strike that, I’m sure I’ll be visiting this swamp several times in my career, but right NOW it is the query process. As my book sits in the hands of several editors, it could be several months before I learn whether they are interested or not. And of course there is a much greater chance that they will not be interested simply from the sheer numbers of submissions they receive all the time. In fact, one publisher, Abingdon Press, has it’s list so filled at this point, that they are no longer taking submissions until June 2013!

I find myself checking emails constantly, turning cold each time I get one from my agent or an email address that I don’t readily recognize. And I could dwell there, get little done, and dabble in apathy or depression. But in the words of Dr. Seuss, “No! That’s not for you! Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places were Boom Bands are playing.”

So I’m looking for the Boom Bands. I’ve submitted an entry in a contest. I’ve been working on rewrites to the second book in my series while the first is trying to find its place with a publisher. I’ve laid out a new story that I’ll be fast-drafting in November for NaNoWriMo. I’ve also set up a new character from that story to branch into a story of her own.

So not staying in a waiting place.

But I still find myself checking the emails.

Your Turn: What are you waiting for???

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

7 thoughts on “Doldrums – A Writer’s Journey

  1. Good for you Marji. Keep plugging away and writing. Who knows what will come. If you were called to write it, it will find a home. It just takes patience.


    • I’m with you on that one, Jennifer. And each time I get to this position and press on I find more encouragement on the other side! Thanks so much for being part of that support!


  2. Waiting, waiting, waiting…it seems to be the writer’s lot in life! A year ago I met Terry Burns at the ETBU Christian Writers Conference in Marshall, Texas. He was so kind and had done a very compassionate critique of the first three chapters of my manuscript. For the past year I have taken all his suggestions to heart and struggled through all the aspects of being a writer. Much of which has nothing to do with writing! Blogging, building websites, taking writing classes, reading books on writing, starting a local writers group–the list goes on. I have been ‘waiting’ and trying to be patient. I must say that I have learned a great deal. Next week I have a one-on-one with Mr. Burns again. Now I am praying that all of my hard work and waiting has been worth it. I think it has. My manuscript is now complete. Waiting one more week!


    • Oh blessings on your, Carole! Terry is so generous with his time and expertise!
      It’s funny, I’ve been on this ride for about 15 months now and even my husband can see how my writing has improved. It’s amazing how that works! Hope next week is PERFECT!


      • Marji,

        Sorry, I was out of pocket for a few days. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to see Terry again. I would appreciate your prayers. I am nervous about my second meeting! God bless.


  3. Hi Marji,
    I’m waiting to hear from the agent who took my first two chapter. I’m waiting to hear back from one contest and preparing for two more contests.
    I’m struggling through my synopsis.
    Have you noticed people want different sizes? 2 page single space. 10 page. So stressful, but I keep moving forward.
    Thanks for sharing.


    • Yes! When I finally decided to shop Cat’s Eyes, I did my homework and sent nine completely different query packages to nine different agents. (From 1 page to 76 pages, no lie!) But that homework you’re doing, providing your story proposal the way they want to see it, not only exercises your expertise as a writer, but it shows each agent that you are teachable and willing to do whatever it takes to produce excellence. BRAVA!