NaNoWriMo, meet PerNoWriMo…

As a child, Liridona of Illyria, the dictator’s daughter, watched the sacred prophesies burn in the city square. Now as she finishes her education preparing to take her place in her father’s ruling cabinet she learns the terrible truth behind the destruction, a prophesy indicating her father’s rule would be destroyed by a man with mystical abilities. Adding to her stress are her mother’s attempts at arranging a marriage on her behalf. When a neighboring nation invades Illyria with huge mechanical tortoises and dirigibles painted like sharks Liridona’s once secure future is thrown into jeopardy. Will her military advice be observed or dismissed because of her youth? Will her mother succeed in brokering peace by marrying her to the enemy? Or will Liridona admit her love for Max, a printer’s son, who alone can see the intentions of everyone around him?

Waaaaaaaay back in November I did the impossible – or at least highly improbable – I wrote a whole book in 30 days. I called it The Dictator’s Daughter. That first paragraph is the “pitch” to let you know what it’s about.

NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writer’s Month) is an amazing organization, not only to they make the challenge of writing a book fun, they provide some very nice “prizes” for the winners. Winners, a.k.a. “WriMos”, being loosely defined as anyone who completes the challenge of writing 50,000 words in November. One of the prizes was a 20 minute consultation for WriMos with The Book Doctors Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry with the purchase of their book The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. After doing the math ($150 consultation for $15 book I would have bought anyway) I took the prize.

David was so gracious. I read a rough draft of my pitch to him and he kept me on the phone for 30 minutes. At the 20 minute mark he noted that my time was officially up, but that he still had stuff he wanted to talk to me about – and for the next 10 minutes I scribbled furiously while he poured on fantastic advice and information.

His parting advice was to re-write the pitch and send it to him again. Then, once my book was complete (I had only just begun re-writes based on my first readers’ advice) send the pitch and the book.

Of course I was all over the first part, it didn’t take long to re-write the pitch at all and I sent it out a few days later. The return e-mail was encouraging, “thanks so much, did u attach the manuscript?”

*Gasp* He wants it now? It’s not done yet! I wrote back saying I’d sen it as soon as I was done. On Tuesday Arielle e-mailed, asking if I’d sent the book yet. That was enough to move The Dictator’s Daughter to the top of the To Do pile, above Glitter in the Sun edits, paid-by-the-hour web-writing for Read The Spirit and even laundry.

Yesterday morning The Dictator’s Daughter was sent out into the great big world and now rests in the hands of Industry Professionals. My fervent prayer and fondest dream is they will love it SO MUCH Arielle will opt to agent it and David will pour his wealth of publishing knowledge into me.

Because what’s a dream if you’re not going to dream big, right?

So, now, stepping out in faith, I declare the next four weeks my very own personal NaNoWriMo – PerNoWriMo, if you will. Because The Book Doctors (along with my mom my beta readers) will want to know what happens to Liridona next. 

The Printer’s Son, Book 2 of the Illyrian Saga, coming soon!

And the winner is….

… ME!!!!!!!

Cue the dramatic music, roll out the red carpet, and wave back as I practice my beauty queen wave – elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, touch-the-pearls, blow-a-kiss. (Hey, it’s better than the QE II air scoop.)

OK, well, maybe it’s not that important. But this is a big deal to me. See that over there —->? That colorful rectangle with “Winner” across the top? That is proof that I rose to the challenge, that I wrote a novel. Evidence that I produced more than 180 pages of pure, unadulterated, imaginative fiction in less than 30 days. And I didn’t just type the same word over and over again 50,197 times.

“So,” you ask, “when to we get to read it?”

Well, possibly never. I am going to polish this rough lump of literature up to the best of my ability and send it out to as many agents as I can rustle up. God willing, someone will love it enough to adopt it and usher it through the printing process. You never know. My mom is already saying she thinks it should be a movie. But those are all “what ifs”. And my sanity rests on the belief that then and there will take care of itself when it happens.

Right now and right here, what I’m feeling is a huge and awesome feeling of success. If I can do this, write a story that my friends are anxious to read, I can do anything! I can apply for a corporate position and possibly even get hired for it. I can market Glitter in the Sun and find readers who didn’t know what they needed until I pointed to The Light. I can be everything God has called me to be.

Because that’s really what it boils down to. It’s not about me after all. It’s about learning that what God has planted in me is fun and fulfilling and rewarding in it’s own. Two of my favorite scripture promises come to mind: 1) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and 2) God never wastes anything.

So, this afternoon I will wave, and bow, and blow kisses, and I will point to my wonderful God who delights that I am delighted.