Monday, November 1, 2010

Creativity Born of Neccesity

I've cheated some during the past week and stayed up much later than I should to complete a project. Let me explain:

I am an involved member of a very large church. This Thursday evening the Women's Ministry of my church is hosting a huge holiday craft/gift sale. [If you live near Indian Trail NC stop in and bring lots of money. You'll want to buy a lot a great gifts!] Last year my writer-friend Jill Lord set up a table and sold a few of her children's book and a few of an anthology to which I contributed.

It was so much fun! It was like a cross between a birthday party and the side shows at a circus. I drummed up business for Jill and she drummed up business for me.

So we're preparing to do it again this year. But another dear writer-friend Kristi Butler will be joining us. Kristi will be selling her two delightful books about Gracie Groundhog.

Jill has several beautiful board books to offer.These are her most recent ones:

I don't have a new book or story to offer this year so I'll be selling more copies of Christmas Miracles by Cec Murphey which contains one of my stories, "Our Miracle Man." I emailed the publisher a few weeks ago to order some copies. No response. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So, last Monday I called to inquire. Yes, they received my order. It is back ordered. Sorry, there's no way I can receive it in time for the sale.

Drats! So, I did what I do every time I face a brick wall--I prayed. "Lord, what am I to do? Should I just go to the sale and encourage and assist my friends? Should I back out?

While I waited, listening for God's voice, I got an "impulse" to create a mini collection of our family's favorite Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes to sell. "Hmmm...that doesn't sound too difficult, Lord. I can do this in a week!" [I am forever getting myself into binds because of such responses!]

So, I lost a few hours sleep and typed up those recipes. It was great fun. I enjoyed it so much that now I plan to do three or four more [if these sell, of course]. I had them copied. I cut and collated them myself. Tomorrow I'm off to my friendly local printer to have them trimmed and hole-punched. I'll have to sell ten to break even. Here's praying I do!

I found this project to be exhilarating. I think it's because it was something I knew I could accomplish, finish, complete totally in the week. Family Favorites: Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes will go from concept to finished product in one week.

And, oh how I do love to finish projects. That's one of the frustrating things about writing for hire in my opinion. I go from concept to laboring at the keyboard to critiques to revisions to submitting the ms to publishers to...

to...that place out in the big beyond where mss that are good, but not great, go. That place where I never hear back from most of the editors. That place where I get a form rejection eighteen months after I mailed the mss to a publishing house. That place where I bite nails, toss and turn at night, and eat too much chocolate while I wait...wait...and wait...

But this little self-published collection I am actually holding in my hand. It's a book. A real book. Finished. Printed (even if I did do it myself) and ready to go to the craft show. It was terribly gratifying to hold these mini copies in my hands and know that I, myself, had created a finished project.

BTW-today my mysterious book order showed up. So, I will have some books to sell, thank you very much! And I'll offer my little recipe booklets and see what kind of response I get. I'm hoping and praying they are a winner for people who want an inexpensive token to give to teachers and hairdressers and care givers this Christmas.

But the only way I'll find out is to lay them out on the table.

That's true of all of our writing for publication; the only way we'll find out if it sells, or if it helps others, or if it strikes a cord and leaves an eternal to lay it all out on that gigantic publication table and see what happens. As long as my words stay on my hard drive they're not going to bless anyone but ME. That sounds kind of selfish to me.

I'm excited that two of my dear Write2Ignite! Buddies are joining me this year. I know we'll have fun and eat too many free samples of candies, cookies, breads, and holiday cakes. It's going to be a super opportunity for us to encourage each other while we mark a couple of names off our Christmas shopping lists.

Hopefully, we'll sell a few books, too.

I learned a lot from producing this little booklet. It turned out nicely, I think. But I've already figured out how to make it better with the next volume: Family Favorites: Crock Pot Creations.

Then, I think, will be Family Creations: Bread, Bread and More Bread and finally [I think] I'll make Family Favorites: Cookies Galore.

Can you tell I love to cook? It, too, is a very creative past time.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jean,

Have fun at the craft sale. Enjoy spending time with Jill and Kristi too, as you all lay it out on the table. I love that expression. Please let all your readers know how it goes. Happy sales!

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Wow! Here's hoping you sell out the recipe books. So glad the others came in! Such a cool gift!

mrswordsmith said...

I was just looking for some new holiday recipes yesterday. If there are others like me around who love to cook, your cookbooks will be sold out in on time! In the meantime, enjoy the festivities--Mitzi

Cheryl Barker said...

What a neat idea. Good luck with selling all of your books -- and good luck with your future recipe books, too!

quietspirit said...

It sounds like you have had a roller-coaster of a week. But God came through for you. Praise the Lord.