I have been out of the social media circles this past month or so because I've taken on another job - Editor in Chief of Living Stations, of Living Faith-Fine Arts Apostolate. I am extremely happy with this new venture, even though, along with my editor/project manager responsibilities at Nelson Publishing & Marketing, I have very little brain energy left for much else at the end of the day. That being said, I haven't stopped writing, but it's a much slower process these days and honestly, I'm not always inspired. I am so very happy with Living Stations that I often think that that is what I'm supposed to be doing - not writing books for young readers.
But then something incredible happened. A 5th grade teacher read my book to her class and they LOVED it. A whole class. Like more than one kid - and girls loved it just as much as boys. I've had a few kids tell me they like the book - but most of them are children of my friends. With having two boys of my own, I know that kids will say what they think (and not necessarily what their parents want them to say), so I know that they're not trying to make me feel good when they tell me they like Saving Redwind.
But a whole class where neither of my kids attend? Way cool!
I found out about this because a wonderful author, Lisa Gail Green, tweeted about the blog post yesterday on Thanksgiving. With that wonderful little @KrisYankee tag, I saw the tweet and immediately headed over to Leslie Rose's blog. I was stunned. And what was so cool was that Leslie posted questions/comments from the kids. I had a blast answering them!
Later last night, after my belly was stuffed with turkey, squash, 7-layer salad, and pretzel jello (YUM), my agent called. Crazy. She should be spending time with her family and taking a much needed break. But no. She called because she'd been thinking about me for the past week, especially after an email of me alluding to my happiness with my current job situation and speculating if this was my real calling. She wanted to make sure that I understood the potential impact of my work on readers. That I needed to keep "hanging on" and to keep writing. It was wonderful to hear her voice and her words of encouragement.
So, what does all of this mean? Book contracts are awesome, and I hope that someday I will have one. But writing is such a personal activity. We pour our hearts and souls into the words and are often met with rejection after rejection. Saving Redwind wasn't bought by a publisher. I only put it out there through Createspace/Smashwords because my agent wanted that story available to readers. I was hesitant to self-publish. If I hadn't taken that leap, I wouldn't have touched the lives of that 5th grade class.
And that's a writer's dream - to touch the reader and maybe make some sort of impact, even if it's just that they want to read more.
Thanks to Leslie Rose's 5th grade class. You guys are A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!