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

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The Waiting Place

I was reading an article by Katie Ganshert yesterday, explaining her road to publication. She waited for 7 months after her book went before a final editorial board to hear if it would be published.

It’s one thing to tell the story after the fact, reviewing the emotions and distractions now that they have all passed, but the actually waiting must be something akin to giving birth, only without a clue as to the due date. I’m in this for the long haul so I might as well get used to the idea that waiting is part of the life of a writer.

Dr. Suess said in his book “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” that waiting was not a place we wanted to be. He inferred that the only folks that will go anywhere are the ones who don’t wait in the waiting places.

I love his book and the encouragement I get from it, but I take issue with that part of the message. Farmers wait until just the right moment to harvest. James 5:7 urges “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.”

Photographer wait for just the right light. Bakers have to wait for their dough to rise. Teenagers wait for maturity before they get their driver’s licenses (Thank the LORD!) Teachers have to wait for that bell to ring on the very last day before they can release their students and begin their vacations. Yeah, I’m dreaming, now!

What I’m getting at is that waiting is part of life, whether I’m a writer or not. Currently, I’m waiting for a charm for my bracelet to come in, for a new pair of shoes that will hopefully carry me through a grueling night of duties at prom, for some tee shirts that I ordered for the same prom, to hear from my dear boy how his rugby team did in their regional championship, to get the last 54 students (out of 1026) seated in our ballroom, and whether my story made it to a second round in a contest I entered.

It’s what I do with the waiting that makes the difference. I read another article yesterday by Sybil Bates McCormack. Her’s dealt with faith, but that has everything to do with how we deal with being in a waiting place. And it reminded me of a section from “Facing the Giants.” The coach was chatting with a man who came daily to pray over the school lockers of the kids. The man urged the coach to be like a farmer praying for rain. Not just praying and hoping for it, but planning for it enough to go out and prepare his field to receive it.

Now THAT’s the way to wait! And as I’m faced with waiting, as a writer hoping for a good report from judges, or a mom pensive over a child’s performance, or someday an author awaiting that first publication, may I be faithful. Preparing to receive the blessing whether it makes me smile or has something to teach me.

Your turn: What are you waiting for right now?