Monday, November 16, 2009

Adventures with Editors

Our Heart of America Christian Writers’ Conference—you shoulda been there! Wow!

Our keynote speaker was Cindy Kenney, one of the great writers of Veggie Tales. What a great speaker; what a great speech! I bought the CD of her speech; the only CD/tape I’ve ever bought at a conference/convention of any kind. Ever. She's now an editor at a Winepress Publishing.

On Friday, I attended her workshop on writing for children. Unfortunately, at lunchtime she had a bad car wreck. “Oh, no!” She had to cancel all her workshops and critiques. You can imagine how that put a damper on things.

And just as bad: at dinner our leader was rushed to the hospital with an apparent heart attack! “Are you serious?!?”

Well, there was good news Friday. Cindy Kenney wasn't hospitalized, but she was so banged up that she couldn’t come back. She went to a relative’s home where she was resting comfortably, but pretty sore.

And our leader did not have a heart attack after all. He was just so exhausted that he couldn’t go much further. He was back by two o’clock Saturday after almost 16 hours of sleep/rest.

The Lord watches over us.

I recently began a childrens book project that has really consumed me. I spent the past month preparing a presentation for Cindy Kenney to critique at the conference. Well, since she was resting comfortably somewhere else I was allowed to present it to two editors from other publications.

The second editor hemmed and hawed and pointed out ways for it not to work, not to sell. Slumping, I wasn’t sure what he wanted. But without warning, he gathered up all my pages and said, “Work on this a little more and when you get it ready, send it to me. I want to present it to committee. I think this could go someplace.” I was blessed and pleased.

But first—the first editor riffled through my pages pretty quick. Was he anxious to get on to the next person? Suddenly he yelled out, “This is fantastic!” My mouth dropped open. “Huh?” Tears welled up. “Honest?” I was speechless.

Editors don’t use superlatives. They don’t say “Fantastic!” Or “nice” Or “beautiful” Or “wonderful.” Or anything like that. Not even “cool.” He continued with some worthy pointers on presentation, formatting and marketing. I think I remember them. I also think “Fantastic!” will float in my mind for the rest of my life. I know I'm floating.

Saturday night after the conference, My First Wife and I went to see our Grandson shine in the production, “West Side Story.” What a kid! Then on Sunday we celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary with family and friends. She keeps on loving me. Life is good. Beautiful, too.

I am still floating. When God opens the windows of heaven and blessings pour out, watch out! Because there is no holding them back.


DBFrank said...

46 years! FANTASTIC as a superlative! You've been blessed this weekend my friend. God is GOOD.

Jennie said...

That IS fantastic Paul! Congratulations. Certainly an interesting weekend.
I think you're going to be a shingsta (that's word verification for "shining star". :)

Mom said...


kenju said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Our next one, in July, will be our 46th.

Herb said...

Wow! I understand the feeling about the editor. Going on 30 years with my first wife next year.

Senorita said...

I'm glad you had a good time, but I am sorry to hear about the chain of events that took place.

Happy Anniversary ! Why do you call her your first wife ? Are there others ? Were there others ? What's the deal ?

Lil Red said...

You, my friend, are fantastic! Wait until I finish the Twilight saga...y voy a leer tu libro.

I can't wait to hear more about your children's book deal. It sounds promising!!

Happy Anniversary to you and your very first wife! :)

Seeker said...


jennifer said...

God is good Paul. I am grinning from ear to ear over the last portion of this post. I can imagine how the events with Cindy Kenney must have been for you. But look what God did!

I can't begin to imagine how wonderful that "FANTASTIC" was. You are blessed.

Happy Anniversary to you and your first wife. Please send her my heartfelt warm wishes.

Happy Thanksgiving Paul!