Saturday, November 14, 2009

USS Peggy: Ready to Launch

I'm a charter member of ANWA, the American Night Writers Association. I was one of five women who met on that inaugural night twenty three years ago in the back room of the Gilbert Public Library, and with our founder, Marsha Ward, shared feelings, hopes, and desires about writing. Through the years I've been newsletter editor, webmaster, conference committee member, chapter president (twice) and designer of the original ANWA logo. I was immersed, so to speak, in the workings and dealings of the group responsible for throwing me a life preserver and helping me reel in my first book from the murky waters of non-completion to contract.

So what happen to my good intentions? My hope of publication? But for the short anecdote in Michele Garvin's By Small and Simple Things, a winning entry in an American Mother writing contest, and a few articles in the Latter-day Sun and The Beehive, I'm still treading the unpublished waters of the writing world (yes, I lost my book contract). I wondered why, after all the miracles I had experienced through the course of writing my novel, I was forced to jump ship and start swimming again.

Choking and gasping for air, I surfaced long enough to send out my manuscript to other LDS publishers. Even my previous editor championed my work, hailed additional publishing houses, and provided new opportunities to be saved. No one bothered.

So I quit writing. I let the waves of divorce and water-logged self-esteem roll over me. I even abandoned my beloved ANWA, while all the talented sisters who had supported me from the beginning, and a shipload of new ones, started publishing, blogging and signing books. I watched with tears in my eyes as the Good Ship ANWA sailed off into the sunset.

Funny thing about self-pity, it fails to build self-esteem. Neither does it heal broken hearts or write books. And not to be trite, but sometimes when a ship's hatch closes, somewhere a portal opens. The powers-that-be often chart courses that take us to entirely different ports than the ones we chart for ourselves. To my surprise, my first novel is breaking headwaters to new adventures. And as I begin other projects, I realize my previous effort was not wasted, but was the springboard to faith in my Heavenly Father's promises and in my own abilities.

Such is my current outlook from the bobbing depths of where I tread today. I can see calmer waters ahead. And though I'm busy filling my cargo hold with the how-tos of blogging, Internet networking, and the myriad ways of publishing in the ever-expanding writing/technology ocean, this post is proof that USS Peggy is, again, underway.


Duerk said...

Good lucky Peggy, off to sea!

Betsy Love said...

Yay! Peggy! I've so missed you. You were such an inspiration to me during my early writing days. I wish you much success.

Marsha Ward said...

Sniff, sniff, you made me cry with the power of your tender words. Keep writing, dear Peggy!