February 1902

February is Too Short

Sometimes, my schedule doesn’t work. What happens on paper, stays on paper, but doesn’t make it into reality.

I’ve been promising that my memoir, Masterpiece (A Love Story) would be released in February.

Well, it won’t. But it will be out soon. I promise.

I could use the excuse that February is too short. But that would only work if the book would have come out on February 30th or 31st.

Rather than bore you with the backstory or deliver any details, I’ll just quote old Robbie Burns.

The best laid schemes
Of mice and men
Often go awry

That’s the only line that is usually remembered from his 1785 poem ‘To a Mouse, On turning her up in her nest with a plough.’

Or, as Burns originally wrote it,

The best laid schemes o’ Mice and Men
Gang aft agley
.

That’s my excuse. The publishing temporarily gang aft agley.

But then, the entire book project has been like that. When I started writing, I dithered for weeks about how much was fit to tell. Or the best way to tell it.

There is plenty of attention to be had in the popular press by Naming Names and Calling Out. The more salacious the better, it seems (see: Augusten Burroughs).

These books are good reads, but nah, not my style.

So I knew I wasn’t going there, but I had to go somewhere. I just wasn’t sure of the direction.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. So, it took me five months to get serious about writing the book I had hoped to finish in six. When I finally settled down to business, still with a six month deadline, I was handed a cancer diagnosis.

That also slowed things down considerably.

The manuscript was eventually finished. Unfortunately, I hadn’t really edited anything in some years, so I forgot how long it takes to turn 80,334 good words into 68,437 better ones (see: Farming Rule #1).

Seeing as how I had never published a book before, I underestimated how long that might take. Optimism does not always pay out in coin. It can feel good at the time, but…

Then, to top it all off, I also took a well-deserved holiday out of the country in a sunny place. Cancer treatment during a British winter creates that kind of craving.

All of which is to say that you, Dear Reader, get to remain in anticipation a little longer.

March, I think. Yeah. Sometime in March.

Meanwhile, here’s a little taste to take the edge off.

I sat down to begin this account for the umpteenth time. He sat across from me.

Surely you are going to tell them the whole story.’ he said.

That wasn’t actually a question. It was a command. I had been dithering for days, turning over in my mind just how much – or how little – of my story was fit for people to read.

I was planning, self-editing, trying to make a way in a wilderness of words….

You will know when you are done telling the story,’ Jesus said, ‘and then I will take you by the hand and together we will edit it into My story. That way, I become the Author and the Finisher. It is My story that changes the world, Beloved, not yours. Telling what I have done changes hearts and minds, and brings people to know and understand who I created them to be.’

He chuckled then. ‘God knows they all need it.’

Meanwhile, I’ll be back here next Thursday. See you then.

If you want weekly inspiration, and a reminder about fresh content, follow me on Facebook at PleasantLinesWriter.

Calendar Image from Wikimedia Commons, Theo van Hoytema / Public domain

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