Monday, September 15, 2008

Speaking and Book Proposals

Lately I've been asked to edit several book proposals. So I was pleasantly surprised when someone from a newly established writer's group asked me to come speak about writing a proposal. The group meets at the Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado. And I evidently am the first speaker they've had. Just found that out this morning. *smile* I wasn't really nervous . . . until now.

But the nervousness was sure to come. Maybe that little statement made it a little more real to me. Truly I am amazed at the way God works with us as individuals. I shouldn't be, but it does. When I think of what I was like in high school, college, and into most of my twenties . . . well, God has brought me a long way. *smile* I am an introvert . . . every personality test I take shows that. My high school was the only one in McAllen, Texas, with the very basic name of McAllen High School. Yep, today McAllen boasts at least four high schools the last time I checked. Anyway, it was easy for me to "hide" in the midst of so many students and teachers. I had my circle of friends, and I very rarely had to put myself forward and do things solo . . . like speeches or singing solos.

In college I was "forced" to take speech—two semesters. Yikes!! There were maybe eight people in the class, seemed like a whole lot more. On my days to do a speech, I was literally sick. I had no problems writing them or memorizing them. But . . . when I stood up in front of the class, I shook like an aspen leaf, didn't project (couldn't, I was too busy controlling the hyperventilating that was going on!), and promptly forgot most of what I'd memorized. Sigh.

After college, I married and started teaching . . . first grade. I chose elementary education (I've always been a teacher, it's my primary spiritual gift) because I thought I could handle being around children all day. Surely God wouldn't expect me to face a classroom of high school students or adults. Not even upper elementary! Hmmm . . . somehow it escaped me that I would have to speak to parents at the beginning of school open house. Yep. All those freshman speech memories came crashing back. LOL

After I had Kathy, I was a stay-at-home mom! Perfect! Until the Lord asked me to work with the teens. . . . Okay, as long as I don't have to teach Sunday school. And I worked Sunday school nursery for years so that teaching wouldn't happen. That worked . . . until the Lord told me it was time to lead a ladies Bible study—our Precept teacher was moving and we needed a replacement. Very warily I took the training courses . . . and started to teach. By the time we moved to Colorado, the morning class had sixty ladies in it; the evening class had twenty. And yes, every Monday evening and every Thursday morning, I could barely eat. But God continued to encourage me and to bring me along. By that time, I was also teaching part-time at our Christian school—high school Spanish.

Do you see a trend here?? LOL Here in Colorado, the Lord continues to open up opportunities for me to teach ladies Bible studies. And for the past four years I've taught a ladies' Sunday school class, I've taught workshops at the Colorado Christian Writers conference, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and other writers groups in the area. Tonight is the latest of these opportunities. I no longer get sick, thank goodness. And I now look forward to speaking. I do still get nervous, but that's normal. God is so good.

Back to the book proposals—the thought occurred to me last night as I was preparing for tonight's talk that this is something I can talk about on this blog. I know that lately all I've been doing is posting book reviews for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. And I will continue to do that. But I also know that isn't the primary reason for this blog . . . as you can tell from my header. So . . . starting next week—after the ACFW conference later this week (YIKES!! this week??? already?), I will start posting on book proposals and other writing and self-editing related topics at least twice a week. So please stay tuned.

Before I leave Wednesday morning for the conference, I have two fairly large editing projects to complete as well as speaking tonight in Aurora. I'm thinking sleep is something I'll do Wednesday night when I'm alone in my room. My sister, Kathy, is joining me on Thursday. I'm so excited that she's joined ACFW and will attend her first ACFW conference. And I'm looking forward to seeing so many writer and editor and agent friends again. I would appreciate your prayers as I work through this week.

Daily Bible reading: Tuesday, September 16—Lamentations 3–5; John 6:45–71
Wednesday, September 17—Amos 1–3; John 7:1–27
Thursday, September 18—Amos 4–6; John 7:28–53
Friday, September 19—Amos 7–9; John 8:1–27
Saturday, September 20—Ezekiel 1–2; John 8:28–59
Sunday, September 21—Ezekiel 3–4; John 9:1–23
Monday, September 22—Ezekiel 5–7; John 9:24–41

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