considering “bus ride” – editor’s letter jan 2010

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal:

I sat back on my office chair and frowned at the computer’s write-mail screen edged with powdery blue. A reader had sent me a four-page personal story. Touched by its voice, I had wanted to use it for Ninepatch, but its length concerned me. I thought about presenting it in parts and I had just typed, “Serializing a long story isn’t the best idea.”

My fingers froze on the keyboard. Wait a minute! …I’ve been doing just that with Bus Ride I shook my head. I have been going against my own advice!

Looking back, I remembered why I’d made the choice to present a story chapter each month. I was desperate. Creating a monthly Editor’s Letter and story chapters during the same month was impossible. Hmm. When did I start the Bus Ride in Ninepatch, anyway?

        A rainbow of vinyl archive notebooks lined a nearby shelf and I pulled down a red one: 2008-2009.  Turning blue, green and yellow index tabs, I scanned issues for my journey’s first installment. Finally I read my opening line, “What have I done?”  The page heading read, “January 2008.” I sighed. I’ve been working on Bus Ride more than two years.

        Memory carried me back to October of 2007 when I had started using travel notes to tell about traveling to my forty-fifth class reunion. An unknown urge had propelled me from chapter to chapter, and had me tapping at my Dell hours each day.  I had not finished the story that 2008 January when “Finding a Solution” appeared, but expected to complete it before March.  However, through March, chapters continued to unfold. Encouraged by Ninepatch readers, other stories appearing in The Florida Writer magazine and my Monday Night Writers’ Group, I pushed the travel note stories into summer. If I write enough, I might have a book! 

While I knew there was more to writing a book than typing the story, I was perplexed. Unsure what “more” was, I counseled myself. Relax! If the story is meant to be told, God will guide me through it.

 

Looking over the past twenty- seven months, I see the hand of My Long-term Planner at work. Spirit led me from typing my travel notes, to The Florida Writers’ Association lectures, a critique group and sharing    progress with other unpublished authors. The Higher Power directed me through inner urgings and the synchronicity of meeting people at the time I needed them.  It was a slow pace but I pushed to keep up.

 

Now my first draft is done and I meet with a new critique group to help me polish chapters. I’m back to my 2007 situation. I can’t produce both a monthly Editor’s Letter and rewrite BUS RIDE.

In time the Spirit will guide me.  But at this time, my choices are unclear.  As I look into the mists of the future, I think of you — my faithful readers and audience for BUS RIDE.  As I wait for my Ninepatch path to clear, I know you are there, listening.

May God bless you***

           Frances Fiitzie

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